Box art for Pirate Radio

Pirate Radio

comedy, drama


From the creator of Love Actually and Notting Hill comes a trip back to the freewheeling, free-loving '60s when the rock music that inspired a generation was censored by the government.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    61%
  • Audience Score
    71%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
4 out of 5
Violence
1 out of 5

Good-natured rock 'n' roll comedy with some iffy behavior.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that, though Pirate Radio is about rebellion of every stripe, it's ultimately a good-natured film filled with good-hearted characters who will appeal to mature teens (as well as parents who cherish rock 'n' roll). The movie's events are seen through the eyes of a teenager who spends a lot of time with several free-spirited 1960s DJs ... and pursues losing his virginity in the process. It's all part of them urging him to "loosen up" and "have fun" -- which translates to plenty of rude, dangerous, and anti-authoritarian behavior, sex and sex talk, drinking, and other illicit activities, so be ready to talk to your teens about the real-life consequences of what they're seeing on screen. It's important to note that the only real female character in the movie is a lesbian (a fact that's repeated again and again, mostly with comedic intent).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about why the English government wanted to ban rock 'n' roll in the 1960s. Were they acting in the public good by doing this?
  • The DJs are combating authority, but what justifies their iffy behavior in doing so? (This story is a story told with hindsight, so it's easy to see who was right and who was wrong in the end, but it may be tricky to apply this lesson to other scenarios.)
  • Could the female characters in the film have been stronger?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    61%
    reviews counted: 1
    see all Pirate Radio reviews
  • Audience

    71%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: This might sound like a sentimental recipe, but Richard Curtis, who wrote and directed, keeps the spirit fresh and anarchic.

- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, November 12, 2009

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Can movie be great solely for its soundtrack? Pirate Radio's as close as it gets. Decent acting, interesting characters, all around solid ensemble work in this coming of age/social revolution story of the pioneers of UK rock radio. Kenneth Branagh is especially good, and yes, the music is great: the director uses all of the Who, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, the Band, the Kinks and more - 52 songs, in all - to their best usage, setting the sonic backdrop for the story. In the end it gets a little cheesy, wallking the line between ironic and over-the-top and momentarily falling over, but on the whole this is good film that I feel I could watch many times over in years to come.

- danperry17, Friday, August 20, 2010

0 star

Great music, appauling film! I couldn't find anything likeable about it, despite liking a lot of the UK filled cast and even with the addition of Philip Seymour Hoffman, I had expected this to at least be a silly funny film, but it really didn't even begin to get the chuckle muscles moving

- 76Majikat, Sunday, August 15, 2010

0 star

Have it, not seen it.

- stuartb1234, Thursday, August 12, 2010