Pirate Radio

Rated 3.0

The ’60s were great for rock ’n’ roll in Great Britain—except for the government there trying so hard to keep it off the air. Hence the literal boatloads of unlicensed rock deejays taking over old trawlers, dropping anchor just beyond British territorial waters and rocking around the clock. This reality-derived but fictional case, from writer-director Richard Curtis (Love Actually), also is a pretext for the sort of ensemble comedy in which each member of the ensemble tends toward one-dimensionality, but it’s mostly OK because there are so many talented members (Bill Nighy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nick Frost, Rhys Ifans and Rhys Darby, plus Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson). Chaotic camaraderie is of the essence; at its best, this buoyant dollop of docile anti-establishment nostalgia is as brazenly grooving and as blissfully immaterial as one of the many classic rock anthems whose virtues it commemorates.