In 1966 a young man joins a host of rock-music DJs at his godfather's (Bill Nighy) pirate radio station in the North Sea.
" Forty years ago, they couldn't get these songs on the radio; now we can't get them off. "
" Pirate Radio is a bit of a mess. But an amiable mess nonetheless, with the boys' casual chemistry and the music carrying things along, it's not that hard to watch and it's great to listen to. "
" I started glancing at the time well before the midway mark. "
" [A] bright joy-bomb that explodes in every direction with rock classics used in surprisingly direct and literal ways. "
" What's not to like? It's Animal House on water, with Branagh playing Dean Wormer. "
" It's all got a great backbeat and you can dance to it, but there isn't much to Curtis's rebels except some canned anti-authoritarian, sex-drugs-rock 'n' roll rants. "
" A hodgepodge of half-baked characters and story ideas, stoked by a frantic climax and a blue-chip playlist of 1966 rock classics. "
" It just sits there in the water. "
" Curtis's movie is loosely based on the historical truths of the time, but it isn't meant as a documentary, a rockumentary, or even a docucomedy. It's just a hell of a lot of fun. "
" If there were awards handed out for the most badly bungled concept, Pirate Radio would have to be very much in contention. "
" This might sound like a sentimental recipe, but Richard Curtis, who wrote and directed, keeps the spirit fresh and anarchic. "
" Imagine the dullest moments from Almost Famous and the lamest bits from Animal House held together with clumsy Frankenstein stitching. Now punch yourself in the face. There you go. "
" The boat nearly sinks from character overload, and Curtis brakes when you most want him to gun it. But there's no denying the comic energy of the cast. "
" Richard Curtis's comedy is anchored only in exuberance, but that's more than you can say for most movies these days; it keeps you beaming with pleasure. "
" Any serious music fan -- that is anyone who sees the radio pirates as kindred spirits -- will be outraged by its sloppy approach to the history of rock and roll. "
" Pirate Radio, the new rock-saturated comedy that proves life really is better when it's set to a '60s soundtrack, is, to borrow from the Stones, "a gas! gas! gas!" "
" Despite Curtis' bumbling, Pirate Radio manages to stay afloat bravely enough -- at least until the climax, which comes off as a confused marriage between Top of the Pops and Titanic. "
" The film's original title was The Boat That Rocked. Indeed, these freewheeling, swinging '60s DJs braved their own Titanic to keep on rocking in the free world. "
" Boys will be boys and often at top volume in Pirate Radio, Richard Curtis's fanciful fiction about rebel broadcasters. "
" In just about every respect, Pirate Radio is less than seaworthy. "
REELZ isn't just a great place for movie reviews and celebrity news, we also have a great slate of original programming.
Choose one of our shows below to learn more!
SIGN UP FOR THE REELZ NEWSLETTER: