The film has received generally mixed reviews: it holds a 60% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 149 reviews. The Daily Telegraph credited the film with "some magical moments", but called it "muddled" and criticised its length. Time Out was also critical of the length and said the film was "disappointing". The Hollywood Reporter ran the headline "Rock 'n' roll movie Boat just barely stays afloat", declaring the film too long to sustain interest. Total Film also criticised the film's length and comedic style. Andrew Neil, writing in The Observer, remarked that he was disappointed in the "contrived" storyline and the "unnecessarily perverted" history. Channel 4 reviewed the film more positively, calling it "touching", "heartfelt" and an "enjoyable journey", but ultimately questioned its coherence.
The film's British box office revenues in its first 12 weeks of release were £6.1 million, less than a quarter of its production cost.
"Stuffed with playful character actors and carpeted with wall-to-wall tunes, the film makes for easy viewing and easier listening, even if Mr. Curtis, who wrote and directed, has nothing really to say about these rebels for whom rock 'n' roll was both life's rhyme and its reason."
Robert Wilonsky, reviewing Pirate Radio after having seen The Boat That Rocked and its UK home video release, said the U.S. theatrical release had had "most of its better bits excised"; according to Wilonsky, "after watching the DVD, Pirate Radio feels so slight in its current incarnation. Shorn of the scenes that actually put meat on its characters' frail bones, the resulting product is vaguely cute and wholly insubstantial, little more than a randomly assembled hodge-podge of scenes crammed in and yanked out that amount to yet another movie about rebellious young men sticking it to The Grumpy Old Man—this time, with a tacked-on Titanic climax."
The film earned less than $US 3 million in its first weekend (in a mid-scale release of 882 screens as opposed to 3,404 screens for 2012 and 3,683 screens for A Christmas Carol) and suffered a 49.7% drop-off on its second weekend - earning only $US1.46 million. Pirate Radio took in only about US$8 million (approximately £5 million) in North America.
Read more about this topic: The Boat That Rocked
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Famous quotes containing the word reception:
“Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybodys face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind of reception it meets in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.”
—Jonathan Swift (16671745)
“Hes leaving Germany by special request of the Nazi government. First he sends a dispatch about Danzig and how 10,000 German tourists are pouring into the city every day with butterfly nets in their hands and submachine guns in their knapsacks. They warn him right then. What does he do next? Goes to a reception at von Ribbentropfs and keeps yelling for gefilte fish!”
—Billy Wilder (b. 1906)
“But in the reception of metaphysical formula, all depends, as regards their actual and ulterior result, on the pre-existent qualities of that soil of human nature into which they fallthe company they find already present there, on their admission into the house of thought.”
—Walter Pater (18391894)