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3.9 out of 5 stars354
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 29 September 2010
If a film flops at the Box Office, this does not automatically make it bad. In fact, with the likes of `Avatar' raking in more money than the UK Custom and Excise, there is no equating quality with audience taste. `The Boat That Rocked' bombed on release, especially in the US and it's director Richard Curtis' biggest flop to date - but it is also possibly his best film. There is plenty in `Boat' that makes it an entertaining film; the actors are fantastic with numerous top quality comedic performances by some of the best character actors around - Nick Frost in particular shines. The script is also laugh out loud funny as the various members of the Pirate Radio `Radio Rock' get up to mischief. You will have fun watching this film.

However, there are several flaws with it. The story is anaemic to the point of almost being nonexistent. Essentially the radio station is threatened with closure and that is it. The balance of japes also drifts too far into the adult humour that means a huge proportion of the potential audience is lost. I also felt that the different segments of the film felt very disjointed as if it was a series of sketches for a sit-com rather than a complete whole. It would not surprise me if the film was originally designed to be a set of 6 half hour TV episodes.

In terms of direction Curtis does a decent job making the confined set of a ship entertaining, without ever threatening the genius of someone like Wes Anderson or Wolfgang Petersen. The BluRay looks nice, but is probably uncalled for as the DVD would suffice. In terms of extras the 45 minutes of deleted scenes are a must see. They are introduced by Curtis and he explains that they could have been in the movie, but they were easy to cut as they were self contained and did not move the `story' on. I would have preferred a lot more of these segments in the film that upped the comedy and just have a fleeting reference to the `plot' at the end.
0Comment3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I had really looked forward to this film -a great director, a superb cast and a topic that gives opportunities for a great story and a great soundtrack. Unfortunately it just didn't work out for me.

Richard Curtis follows a similar format to his superb `Love Actually', with the film following the stories of a series of disparate characters. And herein lies the main problem of the film. None of the characters are really likeable, and none of the story lines are particularly strong, so there is nothing to really draw the viewer in. We are left with a series of scenes of people we don't particularly care for in situations and getting up to antics that are all, frankly, embarrassing to watch. And finally none of it ties together nicely. The film cannot decide what it is trying to be, social history, comedy or twee romance, and in the end fails to be anything much.

That's not to say there are no good points - the cast are excellent and do their best with the material given to them, especially the ever reliable Kenneth Brannagh and Bill Nighy. Occasionally the script manages to shine and there are a few genuine laughs and moving scenes. But not really enough to carry it and lift it to the heights that the hype promised.

The real plus side is the excellent soundtrack, but let's be honest with the classic material available for putting a soundtrack together it was guaranteed to be excellent.

All in all two stars.
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on 14 September 2011
There are some films that just take you out of yourself and transport you back to 'the good old days'. This is certainly one of those and as a bonus it's well produced, cast, acted and is very funny from start to finish. A great buy that I will watch time and time again.
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on 7 September 2012
This film is wonderful. I was given it for a Christmas present and it has been played regularly ever since.
As a dramatised history of Pirate Radio this is superb, the characters are all to various degrees, 'Mad,Bad,and dangerous to know,' but given the opportunity wouldnt you want to be part of that scene?
The sound track is brilliant, and offered up some lovely unknown tracks which added to the enjoyment.
Bill Nighy turns in a cracking performance and the Count was probably the best of a brilliant cast. Kenneth Branagh was suitably poisonous and must have enjoyed doing this role.
I also saw him in the role of Heydrich in the HBO film,Conspiracy, and comparing him in both films, Im not sure if he was nastier as the deputy commander of the SS in Conspiracy or as a Government minister in The Boat that rocked.
All in all well worth watching, but leave it just as it is, dont make a sequel as what would be the point, this has it all.
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on 26 January 2013
In North America, the movie was re-titled: ''Pirate Radio'' & a good 20 minutes was cut off. Now this edition (region free) brings you the full movie (plus deleted scenes). A must have!
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on 1 July 2015
This film is not intended to be historical - it is not about Radio Caroline. It is nothing but a sit-com on a boat with a Sixties sound-track. It is a critique of censorship, it has that much going for it, although its criticism of British radio for not having pop music does sort of ignore the vinyl record market. In fact, thinking back, I remember hearing a lot of pop music on the radio in the mid Sixties (I'm pretty sure my parents never played Caroline!). Instead of Curtis's trademark romance we have bedroom farce inferior to any of the bedroom farces that were made in the Sixties. Tony Benn under Harold Wilson put an end to pirate radio. And again, if you want history, most the of the Caroline DJs then went over to radio 1. This film has (for laughs) Kenneth Branagh playing the man responsible as though he were Anthony Eden's most uptight minister (the stick up his ar*e has got a stick up its ar*e). Bizarrely the ending is very impressive and makes Titanic look like Carry on Sailing, which makes me almost weep for what the film could have been if Curtis's talent hadn't died with Captain Edmund Blackadder. But Curtis's comedy and romance have been, to me, lamer than Stephen Hawking since I saw 4 Weddings in 1994. If you think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread, then you'll probably love this movie.
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on 19 December 2010
This film is a must see if you have recollections of the pirate radio era. It conjures up the spirit of the time, if you are young then it's a good fun film which will give some idea of what brought about the sixties radio revolution in the UK. Great sixties rock music features throughout.
There are parallels with events that happened to Radio Caroline. The Boat That Rocked [DVD] [2009]
In addition to the main feature there are some very humorous director's cuts which deserve watching -they just couldn't allow the screen time.
0Comment10 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
`The Boat That Rocked' is a fairly decent comedy about a pirate radio boat that floats in the north sea during the sixties and which the government (in the guise of Kenneth Branagh) wish to shut down. The captains god son visit's the boat and sees the adventures the crew get up to first hand and joins in the fun and frolics aboard the boat. There is a decent cast in this film and the camaraderie amongst the various DJ's onboard really makes this film. Philip Seymour Hoffman is especially good as The Count, a brash American DJ who has a softer side for his friends as well. The soundtrack is one of the best parts of this film and the selection of rock, pop and soul music on offer is superb. Every track is a gem. There are some genuinely funny moments in this film and I did laugh out loud at some points, but the only thing going against this film is it's length. At just over two hours, with not much of a storyline, it does feel a touch long at times. But that aside, this is still a decent comedy that makes for an entertaining and relaxed way to spend an afternoon. Worth checking out at some point.

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on 23 June 2014
Promising subject matter and a great sound track fail to save this poorly executed Carry On inspired farce.

Totally unconvincing characters, a muddled farcical script and repeated attempts at school boy humour destroying any potential that this film may have originally had.

Not the worst film that I have ever watched but it would have been in the photo finish.

One star for the music.
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on 2 May 2009
Are you sitting comfortably...? Then I'll begin...

The Boat That Rocked is an understated mix of music and cinemography, which (as a film lover and music lover) completely rocked my evening. The characters are a believably ecclectic group, headed by Quentin (Bill Nighy), living as a group of pirate radio DJs aboard the Radio Rock boat, somewhere in the North Sea. The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Gavin (Rhys Ifans) and Dave (Nick Frost) are the other main DJs, supported by a plethora of other shows which run 24 hours a day. Without ruining the plot, the film follows the lives of this bunch, with the usual antics that result from a group of men living together in group isolation.

There were two things I loved the most about this film. The first was that the filming methods used made me feel like I was on board taking part, rather than an outsider looking in. This really took the audience into the centre of when the characters were living through, and made the film so much more believable and *real*. The second thing was the music - I've grown up being fed healthy doses of Radio 2 and dispite only being 24 I recognised and could appreciate every song I heard. And it made me feel so darned patriotic, knowing that it was BRITISH music and BRITISH pirate radio stations such as Radio Rock that made todays radio what it is. Just imagine what radio could be like now without the influence of 1960s rock, and then bring in the realisation that without Johnnie Walker, John Peel et al, it wouldn't be what we hear today. Its interesting to know that it was only the introduction of BBCs Radio 1 in 1967 that finally brought pirate stations to their knees, yet until then it was only in the hands of the priates, the actions of which are immortalised in this film. You gotta love it!!

This is a fantastic film, I thoroughly enjoyed every second. It could be accused of being a little stretched in places, but the music easily made up for the maybe three occasions where I felt this. It is hilariously funny, especially given the cast, and is a fantastic tribute to the pirate DJs and their influence on popular radio. Top notch, one of the best I've seen in a while, and thoroughly recommended :-)
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