Director: Joe Cornish
Stars: John Boyega, Franz Drameh, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones, Nick Frost, Jodie Whitaker, Luke Treadaway, Simon Howard

One of the summer’s biggest disappointments is that the British sci-fi flick Attack The Block, the benefactor of fervent online buzz, didn’t explode as the season’s most profitable indie sleeper turned major hit. Attribute the minor letdown to both a hard-to-find, limited release and an unfortunate lack of mainstream exposure; once writer-director Joe Cornish’s vibrant debut hits DVD and Blu-ray, though, expect it to reach a cult following—or at least it damn well should.

Similar in plot to J.J. Abrams’ inferior Super 8, Attack The Block centers on a gang of teenaged London hoodlums who take on an alien invasion that’s infesting their projects; inspired by everything from The Goonies to old John Carpenter flicks, Cornish’s breathless action pic keeps the jokes firing, the violence effective, and the kids’ themselves genuine, namely the crew’s brooding leader (played wonderfully by breakout star John Boyega). And, unlike the aforementioned Super 8, the film’s aliens are quite satisfying, resembling bear-like shadows and sporting neon-green eyes and snarling ferocity.

Seeing the electric Attack The Block in a theater packed with loud, energetic viewers was one of 2011’s most enjoyable cinematic experiences for all those who did so—too bad only a few of you actually did.