Movie Review: Pirate Radio


In the 1960-ies, pop rock was banned in the U.K. (surprisingly, the place where The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who emerged) and the BBC broadcast only about 30 minutes a day of pop music. Powerful radio stations operated from ships safely anchored in the North Sea outside of British territorial waters. Whether the authorities liked it or not, half the listinging population was latched onto those stations. One of the most prominent ones was Radio Caroline.

Pirate Radio is loosely based on the this ship and its occupants.

It’s a comedy, one where I smiled and chuckled at times, but really didn’t laugh all that much. It started slowly and almost lost me a few times. I would call the movie and its various subplots cute, no more, no less.

What movie about renegades broadcasting rock from a ship in 1966 could exist without a powerful soundtrack of songs from the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix and many other icons? The music, the endless classic rock, the stuff my generation grew up with, saturated the film for all its 116 minutes of runtime, and that alone is what kept me watching. A trip back to my youth. What sells in movies? Violence, sex — and trips down memory lane.

Rating: **

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