The Boat That Rocked (2009) Review

*Pirate Radio

Set in the 1960’s when pirate/illegal radio was what everyone was listening to, to hear the latest pop and rock songs. 8 DJ’s, 24 hours a day on a boat and guess what they have no morals. 18-year old Carl is sent to stay on the boat for a while and learns how much fun is to be had on the boat.


The British Government did not take too kind to this type of radio and eventually managed to put a stop to it all, and this movie is showing what went on. Well what might have went on between the broadcasts. Richard Curtis therefore brings us another British comedy which is very amusing and funny. The more I watch his movies the more I find that I like them and think his writing really does capture British humour.

I am going to admit that the main reason I really wanted to see this film was for Bill Nighy, I just find him so entertaining and just brilliant in his own strange and unique way. His movements are just hilarious even if they are not meant to be. He certainly did not disappoint me in this movie either, just great again. As well quite frankly always!

But this film is by no means just about a pirate radio station with people living on a boat to play music for the UK, it has stories of friendship and love. For Carl this had to include growing up as well, experiencing new things which he had only dreamed about. Which gives it a lot more substance than you may first think and is a perfect reason to give the film a shot.

I also really enjoyed Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s part in the film, it was a very different type of performance from the other roles I have seen him in. I have mainly seen him do drama and not comedy, which was good to see him in a different type of film and role. I always find it strange how much an American accent stands out in a British movie though, as watching a film with everyone having an American accent you don’t really think anything of it. Yes, ok very strange point to make but I have thought that a few times when watching a British film.

I hope Richard Curtis continues to write and direct British comedies for years to come as he always seems to do it just right for entertainment value and make you laugh, thinking I actually know someone who would do/or say that. Which could be the main reason I like his movies so much.

It’s also good to see a cast who actually connected and looked like they were having a good time and we were more watching real people on he boat instead of thinking yes its just a movie.

Did the boat rock you? Or Pirate Radio considering it has two different titles, depending where in the world you just happen to be!

4 thoughts on “The Boat That Rocked (2009) Review

  1. It’s so nice to see a review that doesn’t trash Boat that Rocked!
    I watched it over christmas and having read tonnes of bad reviews I was expecting a train wreck but I actually enjoyed it.
    The plot is thin, and the character development is weak, but it doesn’t take itself seriously and its fun for something to cheer you up.
    Basically it’s a jukebox movie: without the soundtrack it just wouldn’t work, but because the music is so good you’re willing to overlook the other weaknesses which are worringly becoming more common in Curtis’ films
    I agree with you that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was really good in it, probably because he’s oen of the few fully developed characters who isn’t just a caricature.


    • Glad you enjoyed it too Katie. It really is a movie that shouldn’t be taken seriously as you said the plot is thin. But it really is all about just enjoying the cheap laughs, which I did.


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