With the recent announcement of his casting in the upcoming Star Wars VII, young Brit actor John Boyega may soon become a household name. Do yourself a favor and check out his feature film debut in 2011’s Attack the Block.

A meteorite falls to Earth in the middle of a London council estate (housing project).  A group of young thugs chase down and kill a hostile alien that was traveling inside. Shortly thereafter, many more meteors arrive containing larger and more deadly aliens. The group then retreats to their high-rise and attempts to survive the onslaught.

Having spent much of the 80’s consuming movies in the “Kids Save the Universe / World / Their Parent’s Houses” vein (e.g. The Goonies, Gremlins, Critters and The Monster Squad), this movie played like a blast from the past for me. It is very, very good. It hits the ground running and doesn’t let up, skillfully juggling several different movie genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Comedy. Among the cast of unknowns, Boyega, who is the spitting image of a young Denzel Washington, stands out as group leader Moses. The aliens themselves are pretty brilliant, too. To paraphrase the description of Marvin the Martian’s pet Gossamer, they’re just hair and teeth. Evolutionarily questionable, iridescent green teeth to be specific. Very effective. The movie does shoehorn in some forced social commentary as well but stops short of outright preaching.

Hightail it to the DVD section today to check out this gem.

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