The Boat That Rocked (15)

Film

Comedy

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Mar 31 2009

‘The Ship That Sank’ would be a more appropriate title for writer-director Richard Curtis’s latest and most disappointing entertainment. It’s a cripplingly self-conscious and self-satisfied tribute to the roistering last days of offshore British mid-’60s pirate radio before the meanies from the ministry pulled the plugs.

It’s also the kind of musical comedy where the actors seem to be having more fun than any audience could ever share. This overlong, poorly paced and slackly directed ship-bound farrago not only wastes its treasury of golden oldies – Hendrix, Kinks, Small Faces etc – but magically contrives to reduce the chaotic, creative spirit of the sexual and cultural revolution to a mere mechanical catalogue of trite and surprisingly sentimental sex-drugs-and-rock ’n’ roll clichés, each fatally underlined by multiple and repetitive reaction shots.

If there are compensations, they come courtesy of a few diverting performances. The movie’s depressingly few incidences of genuine feeling come from Tom Sturridge who is sweet and appealing as the public schoolboy taken under the wing of his godfather, ship’s captain and Radio Rock boss Quentin, played by Bill Nighy as a self-parody in made-to-measure Regency-collared suits. Philip Seymour Hoffman does a turn as the radical, Emperor Rosko-like  DJ in rivalry with Rhys Ifans’s self-serving immoralist Gavin.

Elsewhere, pickings are slim:  the talented Ralph Brown is wasted – he’s cast as Wee Small Hours Bob, a misjudged amalgam, presumably, of ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris and dysarthric Danny from ‘Withnail & I’ – and the same is doubly true of such comic talents as Chris O’Dowd, Rhys Darby and Nick Frost.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri May 1, 2009

Duration:

135 mins

Cinemas showing The Boat That Rocked

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The Battersea Barge

Riverside Walk, Nine Elms Lane, London, SW8 5BP Show map/details

  • Address:

    The Battersea Barge Riverside Walk, Nine Elms Lane
    London
    SW8 5BP

  • Venue phone:

    020 7498 0004

  • Venue website:

    www.batterseabarge.com

  • Transport:

    Tube/BR: Vauxhall

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    1. The Battersea Barge
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  • Fri Sep 5:

    • 19:00

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:72
  • 4 star:16
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|344
1 person listening
Robbie

Yes...totally no atmosphere. Nothing redeeming what a waste of some of the best actors we have .ridiculous in the extreme and something maybee they'd all like to forget. I'd actually never heard of it til it appeared on tv oct 2013! No wonder

rufusII

Well I wish I'd read the reviews before I put this on my ilovefilm list. OMG, the worst thing I've seen in years.

Jamie

Rightly featured in TimeOut's top 50 film flops of all time, this is a disgraceful film. With each implausible, tension free twist of the lamentable plot the audience is alternately bored, disgusted and annoyed. The cast seem to have done their best, the blame here must lie with the director, screenwriter and producers. Ghastly.

prynne

uttterly lame humour, an embarrassment to all concerned and agony for the viewer...

Kit

This execrable film should she consigned to the bargain bin at HMV. Quite the worst thing I've seen in years.

Rufus Duffin

I love seeing films where the reviews are either 0* or 5* with barely anything between! I completely disagree with the poor review from TimeOut - were we even watching the same film? Personally, I adored this film and thought that the DVD offering of an additional three-quarters of an hours of material in the form of deleted scenes was a superb treat. I would ideally have liked to have seen this material in the final film but sadly the MTV generation (to which I belong) seem to barely make it through an episode of The Simpsons without loosing their concentration. I see nothing wrong with a three-hour film if that's what is needed to convey the director's vision and I find it quite disgusting that there is so much pressure for films to be trimmed just for the sake of reaching the magic one hour thirty minutes. As far as the film itself goes - flawless. Stunning cast, including many actors I didn't know such as the brilliant Ike Hamilton. Lovely cinematography. Brilliant sound track and a great story. If you're looking for a film made great by acting and direction, this is one for you. If not, perhaps Vin Diesel has a new film coming out soon that might be more up your street. A film I never get tired of watching. Buy it.

Rufus Duffin

I love seeing films where the reviews are either 0* or 5* with barely anything between! I completely disagree with the poor review from TimeOut - were we even watching the same film? Personally, I adored this film and thought that the DVD offering of an additional three-quarters of an hours of material in the form of deleted scenes was a superb treat. I would ideally have liked to have seen this material in the final film but sadly the MTV generation (to which I belong) seem to barely make it through an episode of The Simpsons without loosing their concentration. I see nothing wrong with a three-hour film if that's what is needed to convey the director's vision and I find it quite disgusting that there is so much pressure for films to be trimmed just for the sake of reaching the magic one hour thirty minutes. As far as the film itself goes - flawless. Stunning cast, including many actors I didn't know such as the brilliant Ike Hamilton. Lovely cinematography. Brilliant sound track and a great story. If you're looking for a film made great by acting and direction, this is one for you. If not, perhaps Vin Diesel has a new film coming out soon that might be more up your street. A film I never get tired of watching. Buy it.

Annie

I cannot disagree more, I think this is one of the best films I have seen. I think it was brilliantly casted and the actors appeared to thoroughly enjoy mking the film which is conveyed in their preformances. The film has a great soundtrack and 100% feel good factor, bursting with loads of good light-hearted comedy. Furthermore, not only is a lot of fun but also includes history about pirate radio stations during the 60s which i found quite intresting. Overall, I think it is a brilliant film and definatly one of my favorites.

Annie

I cannot disagree more, I think this is one of the best films I have seen. I think it was brilliantly casted and the actors appeared to thoroughly enjoy mking the film which is conveyed in their preformances. The film has a great soundtrack and 100% feel good factor, bursting with loads of good light-hearted comedy. Furthermore, not only is a lot of fun but also includes history about pirate radio stations during the 60s which i found quite intresting. Overall, I think it is a brilliant film and definatly one of my favorites.

Chris

I hear both sides of these opinions. It was funny and I did laugh quite a few times, but I couldn't help being disappointed with the film's overall weakness. Having heard about it, I was ready for a quality film about a true and genuinely feelgood story, or a dramatization about Radio Caroline. (By the way I am 26 so have no memory of the original station!) I did enjoy the cutaway shots of the listeners - they gave me a rest from the un-story, and provided perhaps the only believable parts of the film! Tunes were quality yes, but in a film like this, that is surely to be expected? There were so many pointless parts to the story, like the squirm-worthy, poorly acted kid, and the government bloke called Tw@t, which could only go to decrease the film's credibility. And the ship sinking from some unknown, unexplained entity? Please. To conclude: even taking escapism into account, it was a disappointing take on a film that could have been truly great. Like a man with a limp handshake, you've got to do a lot to make up for this Mr Curtis. As someone else said, roll on the remake!

Theresa

Absolutely loved it. Ok, so it wasn't particularly deep or innovative, but can't films sometimes just be stylish and fun? I was hugely entertained, and also went off and did a load of research on pirate radio. Very surprised by the difference in comments here and elsewhere.

Colleen

The worst film I ever endured in a cinema. I was sat cringing throughout. The characters have no character and I was waiting for the sinking with hope that would be the end but no - it just gets worse - sinking deeper into a pathetic plot which it seems the director does not know how to end. Absolutely zero star for me.

Terry

The amazon.co.uk listing of this film's DVD is remarkable. Almost entirely positive remarks. Why the contrast with this site? Are their PR firm starting to flog the DVD already in a vain effort to claw back some of the money wasted on this lamentable film?

rubbisher

A very perceptive piece of film criticism, turks. Well done. I'm sure you could do better if you tried.The

Seasider5

A great opportunity missed I believe. The concept of re-creating the atmosphere of listening to illicit music and cocking a snoop at the "establishment" at vthe time was great. Unfortunately the way it was portrayed in this movie, was amatuerish. Roll on the remake!!!

JohnONolan

You sir, are mistaken. Your harsh review is neither accurate, nor remotely interesting to read. The film was fantastic, I'd like to see you, dear critic, write and direct something better.

JohnONolan

You sir, are mistaken. Your harsh review is neither accurate, nor remotely interesting to read. The film was fantastic, I'd like to see you, dear critic, write and direct something better.

Martin

I think the film was good when I saw it- now weeks after I think it was great. I have spent so much time reading up on Radio Caroline and Pirate Stations of the 60's since. It is a pity the plastic commercila stations of today in the UK are not anywhere as exciting as the Mythical Radio Rock! I am sure this film will do well when released on DVD Bless the memory of those Pirates!!!!

Martin

I think the film was good when I saw it- now weeks after I think it was great. I have spent so much time reading up on Radio Caroline and Pirate Stations of the 60's since. It is a pity the plastic commercila stations of today in the UK are not anywhere as exciting as the Mythical Radio Rock! I am sure this film will do well when released on DVD Bless the memory of those Pirates!!!!

nicklarkin

I see the future.The economy worsens, we all live iin flu resistant bubbles and this film is tiurned into a West End musical. In a way it's ideal, The soundtrack is wonderful and you could get way with a couple of sets.. It wouldn't be difficult to recruit people and pay them the minimum wage to throw buckets of water onto the stage for the sinking scenes. Arguably those are most of the film but it dud sort of capture a certain anarchic spirit. Obviously there were so many inaccuracies in this sort of Heartbeat on the ocean portrayal of the Sixties, even down to the semi-detached house at the beginning of the film having horrible uPVC windows and the Routemaster bus sporting neon interior lights. A sad person speaks! Are but are we taking the so- called 'attempted rape' scene too seriously/ The plan was sureky a prank scuppered in any case!

Dick Quertis

If it weren't for Hugh Grant turning down the lead role and Bill Nighy's damned prosthetic finger this film would have been fantastic. The fact that Nighy kept disappearing off set to show 'his niece' around his trailer also norsed things up. Don't try to pin it all on Curtis, he was let down by a lot of people. They know who they are.

rubbisher

Dear Sarah, life is obviously not too short to criticise comedies, as many people, still alive have demonstrated. Isn't talking about films interesting? You seem to think so by participating in this forum. I think we are using different definitions of 'forced'. There seems to me a difference between artifice, good, and forced qualities, bad. One of the forced ideas was the admittedly quite exciting, contest up the mast, which had no organic connection to the feelings of revenge expressed by the Emperor Roscoe character. Anyone involved in creating comedy will say that comedy is a serious business; the director did not take this film seriously; it was never clear whether we were to laugh at the characters or with them. What do you think? What are some of the films you like? I like Mike Leigh films, especially 'Life is Sweet' and 'Career Girls'.

Trixy

Ghastly, loathsome film. Not funny, therefore technically not a comedy. Everone involved in the film's production should be ashamed of themselves.

Sarah

Dear "rubbisher" Of course it was forced - it was a movie, it will be dramatized and manipulated. It's not exactly going to be a filming of reality - a movie about an average person's life. That would be dull and wouldn't sell. Life is too short to criticise comedies - for God's sake, sit back and enjoy them - you will never find a 'perfect' movie.

Sarah

Dear "rubbisher" Of course it was forced - it was a movie, it will be dramatized and manipulated. It's not exactly going to be a filming of reality - a movie about an average person's life. That would be dull and wouldn't sell. Life is too short to criticise comedies - for God's sake, sit back and enjoy them - you will never find a 'perfect' movie.

Elwyn

Tim, I am not a fascist. In fact I consider myself fairly left wing. However, much like Nelson Mandela, I am going to avoid trading blame and forgive you for your error/insult. Long live the good ship TBTR, and all who sail in her!!!!!

rubbisher

Dear Sarah, what lovely innocence. I'm glad you enjoyed the film but, as long as there are people like you who like this sort of film this sort of film will continue to be made. What a shame. Didn't you feel there was a rather forced and artificial note to it? Didn't you feel that the father-seeking, virginity-losing threads were a bit trite?

Ken

Hated this film. As bad as all the reviews suggest. No one is going to see it either. Watch out for it being pulled from the cinemas in the next week or two.

Sarah

What a rubbish review. The film was excellent and very funny, I enjoyed the music, and I think that this review is entirely unfair and over-negative. It seems to me that comedies are no longer accepted as good films anymore. What a shame.

Sarah

What a rubbish review. The film was excellent and very funny, I enjoyed the music, and I think that this review is entirely unfair and over-negative. It seems to me that comedies are no longer accepted as good films anymore. What a shame.

J.B.

Why all the vitriol in the comments? Some users like the movie, some don't - that's what's called different tastes. Not necessarily good or bad - just different. According to rottentomatoes.com, professional reviewers seem to be equally divided about it. There's no reason to start spouting conspiracy theories about planted reviews or hurling insults at one another. Just accept that different people like different things and move on to more important matters.

Ashok

'A huge, steaming, chocolatey brown turd of a film' - spot on review Mo. Enough said.

Elwyn

I agree with ronnieblue that this film is very bad. BUT with all that's going on in the world (wars, pig flu, mp's expenses etc) we should stop being so negative. So SIX stars for TBTR!!!

Andy

I agree with Roger. Carol wrote ‘Bizarre how people either love it or hate it!’ - Nonsense if you work for Freud’s you’ll love it (because you are paid to). Everyone else will or does hate it! (With the possible exception of the BBC’s My Family and After you’ve Gone viewers.)

Roger G

ronnieblue must work for Freuds. Give it up loserino, you will have a job to claw back any cash on this one! Utter pants from start to finish.

francis

Sorry, I wasn't alluding to you ronnieblue. It is mainly the posts that use lots pf exclamation marks that I think are fishy. They are very similar and make precisely the same points.

francis

..and here's one star. I didn't realise you can't give it zero stars. Shame.

ronnieblue

to claire this film seems to be either loved or hated i think that if you lived through the 60's it helped to hear your favourite single 3 or 4 times a day was totally unbelievable thanks for the memory

ronnieblue

to claire this film seems to be either loved or hated i think that if you lived through the 60's it helped to hear your favourite single 3 or 4 times a day was totally unbelievable thanks for the memory

rubbisher

How could actors like Brannah and Nighey associate themswelves with such ephemeral rubbish. What an opportunity this was to dramatise a national debate and a turning point in British society. No-one approves of the government's methods but to portray them as cardboard villains was ridiculous. I think, probably the whole purpose of the film is to revive sales of sixties' music..

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