The Boat That Rocked

Out Now On-Demand

Sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and the swinging '60s are up for a laugh in Richard Curtis' (Love Actually) feelgood ensemble comedy. It's about Radio Rock - one of the boats used to exploit a legal loophole and broadcast parent-baiting pop and rock 'n' roll to the UK from somewhere in the North Sea in the 1960s.

Stars Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost (Shaun Of The Dead/Hot Fuzz), Rhys Darby (Flight Of The Conchords) and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

You know that it’s been a pretty weak year for comedies when a violent parable like Gran Torino gets as many laughs as any of them. The Boat That Rocked is the next cab off the rank attempting to tickle your cinematic funny bone but, like a curate’s egg, it’s great in parts but falls woefully short in others.

It takes the subject of pirate radio and strips it of all its edgy rebelliousness to steer the film towards character-driven comedy with as broad an appeal as possible, built around tongue in cheek production design and a great retro soundtrack. It’s the perfect stage for Bill Nighy to show off his class by being the highlight of a piece that includes the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman – no easy feat. New Zealand’s own Rhys Darby is a lot of fun too.

Unfortunately, the value of these contributions diminishes as the film stretches out to a bloated two-hour plus running time – an epic length for a comedy. The final act twist seems like a desperate attempt to reinvigorate a storyline that has already run its course and the moments of attempted tragedy don’t really fit within the greater context of the film. This might be worth a look though, considering the dearth of other comedy options at the moment.

Dominion Post (Graeme Tuckett)

press

In between slumping deeper into my seat and muttering "Oh, for gawd's sake" at the film's ever more nakedly manipulative twists and turns, I still found myself enjoying the performances, the music, and the whole infectious likeability that Richard Curtis (Love Actually) brings to his projects.

Empire (UK)

press

A mix-tape of successes and failures, perhaps too light for its subject, but a silly, easy watch.

NZ Herald (Russell Baillie)

press

It playlists to starboard. It playlists to port. It still doesn't rock.

Sunday Star-Times (Barney McDonald)

press

It's as sickening as seven-metre swells on the Cook Strait ferry ride. And, at 129 minutes, almost as long.

Total Film (UK)

press

Curtis hangs situation and character comedy on a homage to rock’n’roll. That would be fine if it were funny, but auto-pilot Curtis prevails.

TV3 (Kate Rodger)

press

The film was about an hour too long, the humour hit and miss, the set-ups too obvious and the disappointment immense.

Urban Cinefile (Australia)

press

Riddled with music of an era that reverberates with baby boomers and will lift its interest value. A little stretched and not always focused, the payoff is nevertheless a big one, with an uplifting sequence that perhaps should have been the ending.

Variety (USA)

press

For a script that relies more on character-driven than situational comedy, it’s the performances that count, and these are thankfully strong.
Sean

Sean

user


Best movie I've ever seen

It used to be Ghost but this movie blows it out of the water. It also seems to polarise people. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground here, you either hate it or think that it's one of the alltime greats. Oh well, if we were all alike life would be boring (Mother always said!)

See this movie if you like 60's music with fine and subtle character development coupled with a brilliant script..

John2

John

user


THIS IS BRILLIANT FUN assuming you'd just like 135 mins of entertainment

Since I saw the trailer for this sucker last August I have been dying to see it. I was away on opening weekend otherwise I'd have been there then. If you want a laugh, if you want to feel good, if you want to reflect on growing up in the 60's, if you want a story that resonates around the pirate 60's music world (Hauraki ROCKS!!!) GO SEE THIS MOVIE FREAK. This is the best fun I've had in a cinema in years, and the 20 or so people I just saw it with at Berkeley Whangaparaoa agree, it is stupendous. Chill out all of you who didn't give it 5 stars. It is unbelieveably GREAT. Soundtrack to DIE for, performances that are so glam, costumes that will make you laugh, at times cry, romcom moments that set it on fire for the chicks, testoserone aplenty for the lads and just a f*&king good time to be had...and did you see the FINAL scene...right at the end of the credits...I DID! And to top off a GREAT afternoon my wife had bought me the soundtrack and that's now BLASTING round the house. Thank you Richard, Rhys (screw the local critic who said you were a weak link, you did a GREAT job with your small part), Philip (you're a genius man), Rhys (Danny Deckchair was so long ago), Kenneth (what a fantastic up-tight you played), Nick (I wasn't a fan till today!), January for delivering us the biggest prize beatch in the shortest time, and oh crap, bow down before the King of Cool, Bill Nighy, I'll never miss another film man!

Lena

Lena

user


Awful

This film was the worst film I've seen in a long time. Everything about it was a mess - it was unfunny and the decent cast was totally wasted. I can't think of anything positive to say about it - the soundtrack was great but hey, that's 60s music - nothing to do with Richard Curtis. Misogynistic to the power of 10, the 'jokes' were crude and infantile. Everyone I know who's seen it hates it.

Kim

Kim

user


2 hrs and 15 mins of Laughter

From the minute this movie began i could not control my laughter. With an amazing cast and hilarious topic this was bound to be a success. Not only was the dialogue keeping me in hysterics and the fantastic music drawing me in, but the story was gripping and ended up being quite dramatic. This is by far the best movie i have seen in a long time!!!

Tom

Tom

user


Radio-history

I am simply stumped as to why there is no mention of Radio Hauraki anywhere. If you are familiar with the history of that station, you will realise from the trailer that it's a blatant copy of the story, only set in the UK. It seems foolish not to have any "based on a true story" element to this movie and with Rhys Darby there, there's the kiwi element - so where is the kiwi credit?! This would've been an awesome NZ movie...