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The Boat That Rocked

  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • 2009
  • Richard Curtis
  • 129 mins
  • 15

Summary

Period comedy written and directed by Richard Curtis, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and Rhys Ifans. At the height of the Swinging Sixties, the pirate DJs of Radio Rock take to the high seas to play rock and pop music in defiance of the British government. For wayward teenager Carl, who is thrust into this hedonistic world when he is sent to live with his godfather, it will be a time of surprises and sexual awakening.

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Review

A star rating of 2 out of 5.

Writer/director Richard Curtis finds himself all at sea with this tribute to the offshore 1960s pirate radio stations that changed the way Britain listened to music. The golden-oldie hits come thick and fast, much like the loose vignettes passed off as plot in this tale of the good ship Radio Rock. The main thrust follows a wayward teenager (Tom Sturridge) who is sent aboard to find direction in his life, and along the way loses his virginity and learns which of the resident superstar DJs is his father. Other narrative threads add little to the excessive running time, with the dolly-bird craziness seeming daft even by Swinging Sixties standards. There's a decent cast though, including an amiably louche Bill Nighy as the station boss and Kenneth Branagh as the uptight MP trying to ban the broadcasts. It's just a shame that nominal star Philip Seymour Hoffman has so little to do as "god of the airwaves" The Count. Those who secretly tuned in their transistors back in the day will view Curtis's unfocused film as a missed opportunity. Everyone else will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Credits

Cast

rolename
The CountPhilip Seymour Hoffman
QuentinBill Nighy
Gavin KavanaghRhys Ifans
DaveNick Frost
Sir Alistair DormandyKenneth Branagh
CarlTom Sturridge
SimonChris O'Dowd
AngusRhys Darby
FelicityKatherine Parkinson
MarianneTalulah Riley
ElenoreJanuary Jones
MarkTom Wisdom
DesireeGemma Arterton
BobRalph Brown (2)
TwattJack Davenport
Mr RobertsMichael Hadley (2)
Charlotte, Carl's mumEmma Thompson
"News" John MayfordWill Adamsdale
Thick KevinTom Brooke

Crew

rolename
DirectorRichard Curtis

Details

Theatrical distributor
Universal
Released on
2009-03-27
Languages
English
Guidance
Swearing, nudity
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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