Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: 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, includes a risk-prone American known only as The Count; mystic deejay royalty Gavin; slyly amorous Dave; idiosyncratic New Zealander Angus; the rarely seen Bob; the aptly named Thick Kevin; lovelorn Simon; ladies’ magnet Mark; shy Harold; reporter News John; and lesbian ship’s cook Felicity. One night in 1966, Quentin’s teenaged godson Carl comes aboard. While Carl harbors romantic aspirations that he hopes will be fulfilled during one of the biweekly visits by Radio Rock’s prettiest fans, he also hopes to find out more about his long-absent father. (Focus Features)

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. 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.
  3. 75
    For its wicked innocence, this is the finest rock movie since "Almost Famous."
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. Giggles, not belly laughs, come frequently, and it’ll help if viewers love U.K. comics.
  7. 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.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 38
  2. Negative: 11 out of 38
  1. phililq
    Nov 30, 2009
    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. Collapse
  2. SusanW
    Nov 14, 2009
    Watching this film is like having good, fun sex. A tad uneven but with continually enjoyable, occasionally surprising, predictable in all the best ways, and an amazing afterglow. Expand
  3. Jon
    Nov 13, 2009
    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. Expand
  4. Oct 1, 2010

    I decided to review Pirate Radio after an RA in my dorm had a movie night last
    night and played this movie. I didn't go to it as I saw it a while back but it reminded me of it I guess. Well, in case you don't know Pirate Radio is pretty much about the radio censorship in Britain I guess in the 60s or 70s. It of course puts a comedic spin on it. For what it is I really liked this movie actually. Found it very hilarious, the music score was a great collection of classic rock songs and the overall story line wasn't too bad. Also I like the decade portrayed, which always helps. Based on my personal, sheer entertainment on this movie I rate it a 4.5 out of 5. And I must suggest it to anyone who likes the 60s, classic rock, british rock or music in general actually. Expand
  5. JamesH
    Jun 25, 2010
    The music is great and it is a fun and entertaining movie. It is lacking a much needed spark however. It doesn't develop the characters enough and there are a few to many slow patches as well. It's a good concept, but it does wear thin after while and loses steam halfway through. Very well acted by all and the score makes it worth watching. Expand
  6. GaryH
    May 2, 2010
    Great soundtrack but did not capture the feel of that time period. First giveaway was a line near the beginning of the movie, "Think outside the box." That phrase was never used until the '90s. Seems like it was written by a 30 year old who had no idea what he was doing. Expand
  7. SusannahJ.
    Nov 15, 2009
    Maybe the worst movie I have ever seen, considering my disappointment level. The writing was appalling...didn't at all capture an era I was around for...lazy, stupid...what happened to Curtis, whose films I usuallly love (actually)? Expand

See all 38 User Reviews