Rated R · 116 minutes · 2009

Several years ago, Cameron Crowe stopped making his schmaltzy-but-satisfying teen films, and switched to schmaltzy-but-horrifyingly-clichéd young-adult movies. Well, Pirate Radioreads like a script that Crowe threw away for being too trite and obvious. Set in 1966 in the waters off Great Britain, it tells the story of a floating rock-radio station and the gang of two-dimensional hipsters who lived there. Sadly, in spite of the gorgeous cinematography and some fine acting, the script reads like a collection of jokes that were translated into Bulgarian and then translated back into English by humorless accountants. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans and Bill Nighy give it their all, but there’s no saving this unoriginal pic. The worst parts involve the silly contrast between the awesome, laid-back rockers and uptight government officials, epitomized by Minister of Not Having Erections Alistair Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh). I suppose if you just wanted to hear the chart-topping rock hits of the mid-’60s, and you’ve lost your K-Tel collection, you might enjoy Pirate Radio’s 72-minute runtime. Sadly, Pirate Radio is 135 minutes long, so even that won’t work.

See our full review: Ship of Rock!

Ship of Rock!

Though it's beautifully shot, 'Pirate Radio' sinks due to flat characters and abundant movie clichés »

Director: Richard Curtis
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Hilary Bevan Jones, Richard Curtis, Debra Hayward and Liza Chasin
Cast: Philip Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Sturridge, Chris O'Dowd, Tom Brooke, Rhys Darby, Will Adamsdale, Katherine Parkinson, Emma Thompson, Talulah Riley, Jack Davenport, Gemma Arterton, January Jones, Ralph Brown and Tom Wisdom


Pirate Radio


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What others are saying (5)

The Coast Halifax Pirate Radio play Richard Curtis' latest is a little more literate, a little more witty than most films out there. by Hillary Titley 11/12/2009
Charleston City Paper Pirate Radio gets laughs out of guys just being guys It's true that Richard Curtis' Pirate Radio is set in 1966, during the period when official British radio stations did not carry rock and roll. by Scott Renshaw 11/11/2009
Colorado Springs Independent Opening this week 2012, Play the Game, Pirate Radio and more. 11/12/2009
2 more reviews...
Colorado Springs Independent Ship of fools Pirate Radio is set in 1966, when official British radio stations did not carry rock 'n roll. But if you're expecting this film actually to be about that time and circumstance, you are mistaken. by Scott Renshaw 11/12/2009
Portland Mercury Radio Nowhere Pirate Radio: good music. Terrible movie. by Ezra Ace Caraeff 11/12/2009

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