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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Former adversaries learn to work together to battle a greater threat, and in the process they learn to respect and empathize with one another. They exhibit teamwork to triumph over some terrifying odds.
Positive Role Models
Teamed up against a greater threat, the heroine holds a grudge against the muggers for a long while but eventually comes to see their true personalities, as well as their bravery. The street thugs eventually show themselves as good-hearted kids, with a great deal of built-in pride and bravery. Their leader especially turns things around with his selfless acts and heroism.
Violence & Scariness
Strong (albeit cartoonish) sci-fi violence, with several battles against monsters from outer space. Monsters are killed, as are some humans; images include severed heads, face-ripping, throat-ripping, leg-biting, spurting blood, and other gory scenes. Viewers see knives, swords, guns, and various other weapons (including a rocket).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional sexual innuendo.
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Very strong, almost constant language, including nonstop use of words like "f--k," "s--t," "t-ts," "balls," "pube," and more.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pot smoking is a major pastime in the teen characters' lives; some are stoned throughout the entire movie. They hang out with a drug dealer, who keeps a special room filled with pot plants.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this smart but violent UK alien invasion movie from some of the folks behind cult faves Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz features lots of cartoony sci-fi monster battles, with heavy gore (expect to see severed heads, spurting blood, limbs being torn off, and more). Language is likewise strong, with streetwise teens constantly using "f--k" and other words, and pot-smoking is a major event in the characters' lives -- some of the teens spend the entire movie stoned, and they hang out with a drug dealer who keeps a special room filled with pot plants. Beneath all of the iffy stuff, though, there are messages about working together and learning to respect others. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
After a series of dull, brain-dead alien invasion movies (Skyline, Battle: Los Angeles, Transformers, etc.), ATTACK THE BLOCK manages to be fresh, frisky, and surprising. This is UK writer/director Joe Cornish's his feature debut after a career in television (he also co-wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin). No, the visual effects aren't terribly impressive, but they're also not crucial -- the movie's focuses instead on the quirky character dynamic and the related social ramifications.
The film's theme is perception -- not only how humans perceive the aliens, but also how humans perceive each other. But this canny commentary is (cleverly) hidden amid an onslaught of gore, sly humor, and stoner humor. Exciting, entertaining, and rewarding, this movie (which was co-produced by Edgar Wright, the director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) has everything except a huge summer marketing campaign.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.