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Pirate Radio

2009 movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans Nick Frost and Kenneth Branagh.

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Pirate Radio... Pirates Hit the Airwaves

  • Mar 25, 2011
  • by
Over the last few years Hollywood has produced a number of films that I like to call "soundtracks to life". The teen generation recently had Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist. Some people may not agree with me on this, but I feel that Adventureland was homage to classics of the 70s, and this weekend we get the wild adveture that Pirate Radio takes the audience on. It's a picture that brings laughs from start to finish.

Pirate Radio tells the story of a group of renegade radio DJs who filled the airwaves with rock and roll and their attempts to "fight the man" from a ship in the North Sea during the 1960s, using illegal radio to give the people of Britain such obscene sounds as The Beatles, The Who, The Grateful Dead, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and many many others. The only thing funner than the story itself is the soundtrack that will make any audience want to jam along to the tunes.

From the opening to the end credits, I had to remind myself that I was in a theater so I would not start singing along with the great music. The cast of character and their own individual stories breathes another level of story telling through the musical selections that you hear throughout the film. And with the star studded cast of Philip Semore Hoffman, Bill Nighly, Kenneth Branagh, and several other wonderfully casting actors who I would rather save the surprise for you to find out who they are playing this film with leave you smiling. So if you are a lover of music, lived through the 60s, or are just looking for a good time at the theater, I promise you this film is not to be missed. You may just feel the urge to stop at the music shop and pick up the soundtrack on the way home. I just wish that they journey could have lasted longer than it did, however I know that the dvd release will have tons of additional footage worth the wait and possibly a lengthier directors cut of the film. One can only hope.

So come join the pirates on the open seas of the radio airwaves and let the sounds of rock n' roll bring you some joy.

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More Pirate Radio (2009 movie) reviews
review by . May 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     "Pirate Radio", also known as "The Boat that Rocked", is pure fun. And it takes a lot of craft to create what I'd call "fun". A film that probably should have been mediocre and unfunny is turned pretty solid, and indeed funny, through a typically British sense of humor, a rocking-awesome soundtrack, and a big cast with a big heart. I won't call it great cinema, but I admire "Pirate Radio" for the good things about it, rather than scoff at it for its flaws. …
review by . November 13, 2009
posted in Music Matters
Pirate Radio 2
The year was 1966.  Although the sounds of rock & roll, R&B , folk and soul were exploding all over the countryside the staid BBC continued to program only the news, interview programs and the same old dreary music.  The writer/director of "Pirate Radio" Richard Curtis recalled in a recent interview with Rob Lowman of the Los Angeles Daily News that "In my dad's generation they literally had eight records.  They …
review by . February 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
My mom bugged me about going to see Pirate Radio (original title: The Boat that Rocked) when it hit the theaters in 2009. I didn’t want to make the effort, blah blah busy life blah so she went and saw it herself like a boss. I only do that for movies like The Dark Knight, which nobody wanted to accompany with me after my fifth viewing. So, my mom came home raving about this film, how funny it was, how clever, how much she wants to make Bill Nighy my step-daddy (just kidding.) etc. etc. so …
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
Great ensemble piece! This mosaic of great acting and interesting personalities kept me glued and wanting more. Bill Nighy and Nick Frost as well as Rhys Ifans stood out in this outstanding cast. Kevin Branagh was so immersed in his character that he was unrecognizable as the posh, yet devious villain.
About the reviewer
Hannah aka Angry Penguin ()
Ranked #109
I am a film fanatic, constantly watching films new and old. When not watching movies I'm reading YA lit or sci-fi/fantasy novels, or working on completing my own book.      If … more
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About this movie


Rock and roll will live forever – but can it float?

Pirate Radio is the newest ensemble comedy from filmmaker Richard Curtis (screenwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, and writer/director of Love Actually), spinning the irreverent yet fact-based tale of a seafaring band of rogue rock and roll deejays whose “pirate radio” captivated and inspired 1960s Britain. Playing the music that rocked a nation and a decade, the group boldly and hilariously defies the government that tries to shut them down.

Broadcasting live 24/7 from an old tanker anchored in the middle of the North Sea (just beyond British jurisdiction), Radio Rock sends out a vibrant and unifying signal to millions across the nation, ranging in age from wide-eyed pre-teens secretly tuning in long past their bedtimes to everyday people in need of a musical pick-me-up. The Radio Rock roster, overseen by unflappable station owner (and ship’s captain) Quentin (Bill Nighy), includes a risk-prone American known only as The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman); mystic deejay royalty Gavin (Rhys Ifans); slyly amorous Dave (Nick Frost); idiosyncratic New Zealander Angus (Rhys Darby); the rarely seen Bob (Ralph Brown); the aptly named Thick Kevin (Tom Brooke); lovelorn Simon (Chris O’Dowd); ladies’ magnet Mark (Tom Wisdom); shy Harold (Ike Hamilton); reporter News John (Will Adamsdale); and lesbian ship’s cook Felicity (Katherine Parkinson). One night in 1966, ...

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Movies, Comedy Movies, Directors, 1960s, Comedy, Screenwriters, Richard Curtis, Universal Pictures, Focus Features


Director: Richard Curtis
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: November 13, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Richard Curtis
Runtime: 116 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures, Focus Features
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