Pirate Radio (The Boat That Rocked) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pirate Radio (The Boat That Rocked) Reviews

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½ September 18, 2017
A hilarious, well-scripted film which is so engaging largely down to its interesting characters and excellent cast.
½ August 16, 2017
The Boat That Rocked (AKA Pirate Radio - 2009) is a largely entertaining comedy that relies on its soundtrack when the story gets lost at sea. The lovable rogue characters ensure that plot is set up well, but once the premise is established, it limits itself from further creativity. The energy that the cast put into their roles does propel the film for the first hour or so of the run-time, but they do run out of puff towards the end. The film's two main settings (the boat and various Government rooms) limit the film's ability to capture how important pirate radio was - beyond snapshots of screaming girls. That being said, it doesn't majorly take away from the films overall appeal. The gags are a little same-y, but do hit most of the time thanks to the actors' delivery. It's a shame that the film's biggest strength is the 60s soundtrack, which makes an over-long spectacle snappy and captures your attention. The Boat That Rocked (2009) has its flaws, but nothing undermines the film's ability to entertain too much. It's easy, and it's fun - nothing more or less.
July 21, 2017
awesome movie would recamand
April 29, 2017
Funny and with good music.
March 26, 2017
They don't make 'em like it used to be.
March 25, 2017
Always wanted to see this. Interesting and sometimes comedic film with a great soundtrack
November 30, 2016
Pirate Radio is a delightful film. It is about a band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain and they played the music that defined a generation. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bill Nighy give amazing performances. The script is good but a little slow in places. Richard Curtis did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the music and drama.
August 28, 2016
The movie's charm, wit, soundtrack and cast ensure an instant classic out of Pirate Radio.
August 2, 2016
So was this what Bill Nighy's Love Actually character was doing in the 60's?
July 11, 2016
Great movie, how come nobody ever mentioned this movie? It is like almost famous meets titanic. Great movie, sweet soundtrack and based on a true story.
June 30, 2016
So funny and the best sound track ever!
June 29, 2016
Entertaining and light-hearted fun, with an interesting bit of history.
April 8, 2016
Wonderful and passionate
March 17, 2016
Another one of Richard Curtis's charms, surprising not a Rom-com but it still has romance fixed in this ensemble of a film, with a amazing selection of cast, from Hollywood legend of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Brit film royalty of Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans and Nick Frost, Brit sitcom regulars Chris O'Dowd and Katherine Parkinson (happens to both be in the same show) and plenty more to delight a amazed audience, lets go back to when music was at its peak and explore Pirate Radio in such a charmful 60's based Comedy Drama about coming of age, the fight of shutting Pirate radio down and go into see these men fuck around doing what they love most, Play music, have sex, smoke and live how they want to, this film is a true charm and a real tribute to music from the swinging sixes to on-wards.
February 28, 2016
Revolution. Attitude. Sex. Nudity. Liberation. Drugs and MUSIC, embrace the swinging 60's.

Over 40 years ago, a rebellion against the government-sanctioned monopoly on incomprehensibly jazz favourable BBC radio was teetering. Pirate radio stations from Germany and France broadcasted Rock and Roll bringing with it distension from the powers but nothing could be done due to international law...

However in 1964, anchored one mile outside the UK's international waters line, the first fully English speaking station Radio Caroline took to the air. Streaming 24/7 and captivating over 25 million eager listeners by 1966, trash talking, morally lose and uncensored DJ's paved the way to free listening for an entire generation.

This is that elusive wonderfully fun and interesting film I have been waiting for, who would have believed it would come in the form of a baby boomers nostalgia comedy that pays homage to the wild days of British pirate radio?

Loosely based on Radio Caroline, The boat that rocked is that truly fun and wonderful film that has evaded me these last few months. It is a simple, fun and delightfully embellished story frivolously stretching its poetic licence to create an joyously entertaining story.

This outrageous nostalgia comedy pays homage to the baby boomers and the pioneering wild days of British pirate radio. The relatable topic opens the door for baby boomers and generation Y's to actually enjoy the same film at the same time.

When virginal college student Carl (Tom Sturridge) is expelled from school, his somewhat misguided mother (Emma Thompson, who sadly only had a very small role) sends him to live with his godfather Quentin (Bill Nighy) an eccentric radio station boss who after doing too many drug for too many years seems to be missing a decade (not the smartest move mum).

Anchored just outside international waters on a rusty old fishing trawler, Quentin and his boat full of dope-smoking, sex starved vinyl-spinners illegally broadcast Britain's first complete rock and roll radio station, RADIO ROCK!.

Amongst the bizarre eclectic crew is 'tubby Dave' (Nick Frost) who fancies himself as a ladies' man (poor deluded soul); spacey 'Thick Kevin' (Tom Brooke); melancholy Irishman Simon (Chris O'Dowd); silent Fabio 'Midnight Mark' (Tom Wisdom); the only permanent female aboard, lesbian Felicity (Katherine Parkinson) and 'the Count' (Oscar winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman) a big brash Yank who wants to be the first person to ever use the f word on British radio.

When the radio station begins to publicise 'the Count's' intentions, Government intervention and termination is imminent. Believing the station is leading society into anarchy and depravity, fanatically traditional Minister Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh) with the help of his assistant Twatt (Jack Davenport) are out for blood against the drug takers and lawbreakers of a once-great nation.

Brought back to further stir the pot to boiling point both on the boat and off is perverted DJ extraordinaire Gavin (Ryhs Infans), known for his ability to introduce the music whilst making sweet love to the microphone. Is Dormandy the only one hell bent on ending Radio Rock or are the boats inhabitants determined to drive on their own collision course?

Although there is a distinct lack of coherent storyline and the film is uncharacteristically long for the genre, who really cares? Time and story are irrelevant when the score featuring the Kinks, the Hollies, the Who and Hendrix (just to name a few) with their encompassing trailblazing songs even young moviegoers recognisable (people literally broke into spontaneous song, regardless of others protests).

Reminiscent of classic British TV sitcoms, romcom director Richard Curtis (Love actually, Noting Hill) brings together one of the longest and strongest wonderful ensemble cast. Not only are there too many to mention, but none seem to get enough screen time.

As usual I took some companions to the viewing, this time my mother and father. As both are British and were 15 during the time of Radio Caroline's peak, it was delightfully relevant and so close to their recollections of the time. The opening montage with dozens of snapshots of 60's Britain with teens trying to be heard listening to hidden under pillows transistor radio's rekindled their distant memories.

Verdict: If you have ever tried to understand your baby boomer parents but just couldn't get hip to their jiggy, see this film. I have never understood more, or realised just how cool oldies can be. My advice, call mum or dad and go have some fun "All day and all of the night".

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 17/04/2009
February 23, 2016
I really liked this movie, would 100% recommend
February 9, 2016
groovy as he'll but a strange ending. one for the hippies and fans of the swinging sixties. great british film.

February 6, 2016
this movie is awesome! being 60 years old, I was around when this time period occurred, and this brought back so many great memories. I bought the better import version in Blu-Ray, and not only have watched it 10 times now, I even bought the soundtrack on CD, and listen to that often in my car!
February 6, 2016
This film was very...interesting to watch, the music was great so its a great soundtrack, the casting was as usual great, the film was slightly long but it was worth the watch
December 30, 2015
In danger of being a collection of contrived sequences to create a story, but has enough heart and humour to carry it, plus a rip-roaring soundtrack helps.
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