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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!

7/10
Comedy . Family . Adventure . Animation
 

In The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!

 
Actors: Martin Freeman , Lenny Henry , David Tennant , Ashley Jensen , Imelda Staunton , Salma Hayek , Brian Blessed , Jeremy Piven , Brendan Gleeson , Hugh Grant
Directors: Peter Lord , Jeff Newitt
Country: UK , USA
Release: 2012-04-27
More Info:
  • Manohla Dargis

    The movie is a curiosity cabinet of visual pleasures but so breezy and lightly funny that you may not realize at first how good it is.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    May be far more ragtag than swashbuckling, but the film is sure-footed, witty and zany fun.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Adam Markovitz

    You can almost smell the brine in the boat helmed by Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) on his quest to win Pirate of the Year.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Pete Hammond

    The Pirates! Band of Misfits is one of the funniest animated films in years, or to put it in terms you scallywags can understand: it's a treasure trove of laughs.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    A clever piece of business that is a complete pleasure to experience.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    The lunacy begins early in The Pirates! Band of Misfits and never lets up.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • David Fear

    No one else has come close to translating England's homegrown blend of deadpan and madcap for a younger audience, much less with such impressive Claymated technique. You couldn't ask for better lesson in "Anglo-Absurdism for Beginners."

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    It is effortlessly and unassumingly funny – and terrifically smart.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Olly Richards

    Another Aardman triumph. The animation house's most technically ambitious project so far and, if not quite at the genius level of Wallace & Gromit, still a comedy treasure and far too good just for kids.

    Empire Full Review
  • John DeFore

    A delightful romp whose varied pleasures should please kids all along the age spectrum.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Leslie Felperin

    Although this family-friendly tale of feckless adventurers pursuing a prize is consistently funnier than "Arthur," in language, humor and attitude it's as endearingly British as Yorkshire pudding, soccer hooliganism and wonky teeth.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ian Buckwalter

    Barely a moment goes by without a well-orchestrated joke (or three), and it's paced as briskly as a clipper in front of a stiff tailwind.

    NPR Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    The biggest thrill for this mild-mannered crew isn't plundering or plank-walking, but Ham Night.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Jennie Punter

    Designed to please all generations of irreverent humour-lovers, The Pirates! Band of Misfits may not be heart-warming (it is about nasty, scurvy pirates!) but it's breezy rollicking fun.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    That the film happens to be in 3-D, with digitized settings and backgrounds, doesn't detract from the timeworn charm of watching blob-like characters lurch erratically through harebrained comic pratfalls.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Tom Russo

    The movie could also teach something to the makers of "Pirates of the Caribbean" about delivering a story quirky enough to actually stick with you.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • M. E. Russell

    It's better at being droll than laugh-out-loud funny.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Uneven but rollicking, The Pirates! has a personality to call its own.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    Pirates! comes with all the usual Aardman strengths intact, particularly the sense that its characters and creators alike are too good-hearted and sweet to nitpick.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    The movie's memorable moments involve a silently expressive dodo bird and "man-panzee," stealing the show from human caricatures acting silly.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Suffused with satire, wit, and the dry, tongue-in-cheek flavor of comedy one rarely finds in American productions, this stop-motion animated excursion pokes fun at pirate conventions while representing icons Queen Victoria and Charles Darwin as a bitch and a twit, respectively.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Michelle Orange

    It's all rather casual - not unengaging, exactly, but lacking a narrative energy all its own.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    A cheerful entertainment, suitable for kids and parents of the brighter stripe. It's just not Nick Park great.

    Time Full Review
  • Nick Pinkerton

    A script that consistently finds fresh outlets for its running gags makes for a sufficiently rollicking pleasure cruise.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Better use should have been made of the voice talent provided by Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, and Lenny Henry than the meager cameos their characters have. But no one here needs to walk the plank.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Jody Mitori

    The movie is missing the zippy chases and lovable characters of Aardman studio's previous films ("Arthur Christmas," "Chicken Run").

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    Like many Aardman films, The Pirates! is awash with silliness. There are far more fleeting visual jokes than one can possibly digest in a single viewing. It makes for an experience that, while geared toward younger, more fidgety audiences, has enough humor to keep Mom and Dad from falling asleep.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    The claymation visuals are charming, and an enthusiastic, if somewhat underused, cast works hard to sell the better jokes (though the funniest gag is a silent monkey butler).

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Neil Smith

    Though we'd love to see how Aardman handle Defoe's followup, An Adventure With Communists, this amiable but overstretched diversion is unlikely to spawn a Caribbean franchise.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    The film is content as it is to run clever one-liners and 19th-century pop-cultural references into the same comedic whirlpool.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    What you won't find amid the clashing cutlasses and flashing foils, however, is anything resembling a rapier wit.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
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