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The Boat That Rocked

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United Kingdom, Germany, France · 2009
Rated R · 2h 15m
Director Richard Curtis
Starring Tom Sturridge, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, Bill Nighy
Genre Comedy, Drama

The Boat that Rocked is an ensemble comedy that focuses on the romance between the young people of the 60s and pop music. It's about a band of DJs that captivates Britain, playing the music that defines a generation and standing up to a government that wanted to control popular culture through the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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Village Voice by

Seven months after its theatrical release in the U.K., and two months after its DVD debut there, Pirate Radio washes ashore with most of its better bits excised.


Variety by Derek Elley

Picture generally stays afloat on the strength of its characters but sometimes threatens to sink under its overlong running time and vignettish structure.


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

The result, although uneven, is generally enjoyable, especially for those who attend with the right mindset. Character and narrative are secondary concerns for a movie primarily driven to provide a Valentine to '60s rock-and-roll.


Entertainment Weekly by Lisa Schwarzbaum

Pirate Radio is, in the end, about as rock-revolutionary as a tea break. But the choppy production floats on a great soundtrack (the real pirates are the Rolling Stones) and is buoyed by an inviting cast.


Austin Chronicle by Marjorie Baumgarten

Despite a title change from "The Boat That Rocked" to Pirate Radio, this British import exudes about as much outlaw swagger as Tom DeLay in a dance competition.


The Hollywood Reporter by Ray Bennett

The real pirate radio ships, whose days ended in 1967, wound up being towed away for salvage but the film avoids that fate -- like the best rock songs -- with a rousing finish and a pleasing climax.

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