Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. The best of it has the comradely, free-swinging bawdiness of Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H."
  2. 75
    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.
  3. 75
    Richard Curtis is good at handling large casts, establishing all the characters and keeping them alive.
  4. 75
    Pirate Radio does what it sets out to do. It rocks.
  5. If you want to know years in advance what old-age nostalgia is going to look like for Baby Boomers, look no further than Pirate Radio, in which the sun always shines, the music is great and the sex is available, guilt-free and glorious.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Classic rock enthusiasts will want to stick around through the end credit sequence, which features an array of album covers.
  7. A tale so raucous, raunchy and punch-drunk with love for the rebellious spirit of rawk -- and so disdainful of those who have tried to squelch it -- that it pretty much negates any claims to objectivity, let alone factuality. In other words, it's not a documentary.
  8. 75
    For its wicked innocence, this is the finest rock movie since "Almost Famous."
  9. 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.
  10. 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!"
  11. 70
    Fortunately, Curtis isn't completely tone-deaf, and he does manage to capture the mood, and certainly the sound, of the era. The best parts of Pirate Radio take place in the movie's margins, in the vignettes and asides that don't necessarily have much to do with the plot.
  12. Stuffed with playful character actors and carpeted with wall-to-wall tunes, the film makes for easy viewing and easier listening.
  13. 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.
  14. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    67
    What comes through is the freshness and innocence of a generation's passion for the infant rock 'n' roll.
  15. It's a calculated crowd-pleaser that skims over the surface of the era like a cruise-ship production of "American Graffiti."
  16. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Writer-director Richard Curtis (“Love Actually’’) has made a party, not a movie, and if the party goes on much too long, at least the guests are great company and the host’s taste in music is impeccable.
  17. 63
    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.
  18. There's an overly episodic feel to it all, as Curtis and company seem happy merely to float along from gag to gag.
  19. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    60
    A mix-tape of successes and failures, perhaps too light for its subject, but a silly, easy watch.
  20. 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.
  21. Giggles, not belly laughs, come frequently, and it’ll help if viewers love U.K. comics.
  22. Tries to capture that moment -- complete with air guitar-playing deejays -- and unapologetically rides a wave of nostalgia, but ultimately sinks due to a bloated, watery script.
  23. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    50
    Picture generally stays afloat on the strength of its characters but sometimes threatens to sink under its overlong running time and vignettish structure.
  24. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    50
    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.
  25. 50
    A hodgepodge of half-baked characters and story ideas, stoked by a frantic climax and a blue-chip playlist of 1966 rock classics.
  26. Awash in nostalgia and amped-up male camaraderie, Richard Curtis' Pirate Radio takes a great story - the hugely popular offshore radio stations that illegally broadcast pop and rock in 1960s Britain - and turns it into an aggressively irritating floating frat-party romp.
  27. Richard Curtis, the writer of "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Notting Hill" and "Love, Actually," goes off-shore and out of his depth with Pirate Radio .
  28. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    50
    An even bigger issue: things start sinking by the opening minutes.
  29. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    42
    Do you like montages, but grow bored with the tedious plot bits in between? Then Pirate Radio is the movie for you.
  30. 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.
  31. Witless, tasteless, toothless, pointless, garish, repetitive, obvious, and painfully dull, Pirate Radio is that exceedingly rare film that never, but never puts a foot right.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 38
  2. Negative: 11 out of 38
  1. phililq
    Nov 30, 2009
    10
    I heard nothing about the movie but was there for pirate radio so of course I went. When the film started with my favorite group I was I heard nothing about the movie but was there for pirate radio so of course I went. When the film started with my favorite group I was hooked. The ship is a stage with great actors, characters and non stop comical situations and lines. Full Review »
  2. Jon
    Nov 13, 2009
    9
    I loved this film! One of my favourites of the year and the soundtrack is on my ipod. I can't understand the low reviews, I normally use I loved this film! One of my favourites of the year and the soundtrack is on my ipod. I can't understand the low reviews, I normally use metacritic for all reviews but think the collaborated reviewers have missed the mark here. Rhys Ivans delivers a stunning role and Bill Nighy is great. Well worth a view. Full Review »
  3. AlexK
    Apr 20, 2010
    1
    Curtis takes a fair premise, nice setting, and some great actors, and wipes the whole lot on his bum. I kept looking for the tell-tale Curtis takes a fair premise, nice setting, and some great actors, and wipes the whole lot on his bum. I kept looking for the tell-tale tongue-in-cheek looks that these performers should have been sneaking in, but I guess the pay kept them on the straight and narrow; they should be ashamed. I felt dirty and insulted after watching this... and angry. Complete tripe. I can't even imagine listening to The Who for at least 6 weeks. Full Review »