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Pirate Radio (2009)
"The Boat That Rocked" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  13 November 2009 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 87,327 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 207 user | 194 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A period comedy about an illegal radio station in the North Sea in the 1960s.



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1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Roberts
Mrs. Roberts
Will Adamsdale ...
Ike Hamilton ...
Stephen Moore ...


"The Boat That Rocked" is an ensemble comedy in which the romance takes place between the young people of the '60s and pop music. It's about a band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain, playing the music that defined a generation and standing up to a government that wanted classical music, and nothing else, on the airwaves. The Count, a big, brash, American god of the airwaves; Quentin, the boss of Radio Rock -- a pirate radio station in the middle of the North Sea that's populated by an eclectic crew of rock and roll DJs; Gavin, the greatest DJ in Britain who has just returned from his drug tour of America to reclaim his rightful position; Dave, an ironic, intelligent and cruelly funny co-broadcaster; and a fearsome British government official out for blood against the drug takers and lawbreakers of a once-great nation. Written by Production office

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


On air. Off shore. Out of control. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and some sexual content including brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

13 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pirate Radio  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£1,804,773 (UK) (3 April 2009)


$7,994,115 (USA) (1 January 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | (as dts)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene in which Young Carl sulks about Marianne was originally supposed to be about eight seconds long and contain nothing but Tom Sturridge sitting on a bench and looking sad. Will Adamsdale and Ike Hamilton happened to be there, so Richard Curtis told them to have a go at what they would have done if their friend was in the same situation. He put on 'So Long, Marianne' and they came up with everything that remains in the scene. See more »


The characters frequently use vernacular that was not made popular until much later than 1966. Characters refer to protection as 'condoms,' which were much more commonly called 'Johnnies' in the 60s. Also, Young Carl is told that when dealing with Thick Kevin, it was important to "think outside the box," a term not coined in general use until the early 90s. See more »


Dave: So tell us Mark, now at the very end - what was your secret? How did you get all them girls?
Mark: Simple. Don't say anything at all.
'Young' Carl: Nothing?
Mark: Nothing. Then, when the tension becomes too much to bear, you finally, finally, you just say: "How about it, then?"
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is an additional scene after the credits have ended. See more »


Featured in The 81st Annual Academy Awards (2009) See more »


Dambusters March
Written by Eric Coates
Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Paul Bateman
Courtesy of Silver Screen Records Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

It's all about the small things
8 September 2009 | by (Sofia, Bulgaria) – See all my reviews

Small smiles, small coughs, small giggles, small scowls, small gestures, small looks, small remarks, small hugs, small sounds...not so small laughs and, finally, a warm feeling.

This comment does not contain any spoilers, because the plot isn't of any significance to me - it is the people who are important, and should always be. And in my opinion the main strength of "The Boat" is that it rocks you ever so gently into liking all the characters on it and being just that little bit envious about the freedom they are enjoying and sharing, and also wishing the fun never ends.

If you don't like this film for one reason or another, you might feel vindicated by its patchwork story, by a partly anachronistic soundtrack, by its lightheartedness and unpretentiousness, or even by its premise that all is well in the world of rock and that we are immortal while we dream.

If you like it, I hope it is because it made you feel drunk with happiness and whispered into your ear about the beauty of youth and hope and friendship.

I doubt one could or should ask for more.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where are the Beatles? practicalhope
I really enjoyed this movie...until... onepimptiger
folks in the 60s weren't nostalgic for the 60s wilbrifar
Stuff taken out for US release JimF29
Crew?! northern_lad
What album does Carl's Dad Save? jaytosh522
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