close [×]

Dear Flixster Community,

After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

Thanks for all the memories,

Get movie widget Recommend it Add to Favorites

Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Martin Freeman (II), David Tennant, Imelda Staunton ... see more see more... , Brian Blessed , Jeremy Piven , Salma Hayek , Lenny Henry , Anton Yelchin , Ashley Jensen , Al Roker , Mike Cooper , David Schneider , Tom Doggart , Sophie Jerrold , Sophie Laughton , Peter Lord , Kayvan Novak , David Schaal , Ben Whitehead , Russell Tovey

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 Hig... read more read more...h 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! -- (C) Sony

Flixster Users

60% liked it

85,036 ratings


86% liked it

144 critics

PG, 1 hr. 27 min.

Directed by: Peter Lord, Peterlord, Jeffnewitt

Release Date: April 27, 2012

Invite friends to see

DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012

Stats: 2,490 reviews


None yet... Got one?

Your Rating

clear rating

Flixster Reviews (2,490)

  • July 2, 2013
    A rather cute tale of fringe pirates with funny puns, a gruesome twist from Queen Victoria voiced by evil incarnate, Imelda Staunton, and some impressive, near-unrecognizable voicework by Hugh Grant. Nevertheless, the gaping ellipses of claymation mouths makes me a little queasy... read more, so I just wasn't terribly into it.
  • March 26, 2013
    Delightful from beginning to end, Aardman's stop-motion animated caper Pirates: Band of Misfits is hands down the best animated film of the year. Its wry British humor is mixed with inspired slapstick and a child-like sense of folly as the Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) an... read mored his motley crew try to prove themselves to their pirate peers. Then they run into Charles Darwin, discover their parrot is really the last remaining dodo, and have to face off against a double sword-wielding Queen Victoria. The imagination on display is remarkable. Even the puns are funny. The pacing is swift, with gags flying so fast you'll likely want a second viewing to catch them. The voice acting is spot-on and Grant anchors the film with his gleeful impulsivity. The story is simple but well executed and fun. I absolutely loved this movie. Its action sequences are well orchestrated, its comedic sensibilities are silly but often satisfying (a monkey butler who speaks in pre-written cards, a member of the crew that is merely a fish with a pirate hat on), it's self-aware without being too self-conscious, and the animation is wonderful. There's something about stop-motion that other animations cannot replicate, a physicality to its world that can make it so rich and immersive in the right hands. Kids will miss the references to, among others, Darwin, Jane Austen, and John Merrick, but adults will appreciate the nods. Pirates: Band of Misfits is a wildly entertaining family-friendly animated adventure that has it all.

    Nate's Grade: A
  • February 10, 2013
    The Pirates! Band of Misfits! is a delight. The style is a cheerful throwback to classic stop-motion animation. Given the strong resurgence of titles like ParaNorman and Frankenweenie, audiences seem to be responding to its more organic, tangible quality. Of course the aesthetic ... read morebeauty of the film would mean nothing without a good script. Indeed, Pirates is an intelligently written production. Witty jokes and funny sight gags abound for the careful viewer throughout the brisk 88 minute running time. The voice cast is wonderful but it's telling that one of their most amusing doesn't even speak at all. Mr. Darwin's assistant is a highly trained chimp named Mister Bobo who communicates by holding up note cards. He's hilarious, but the rest of the ensemble is quite good as well. Hugh Grant has the right amount of narcissism mixed with geniality as the Pirate Captain and Imelda Staunton is a hoot as the pirate hating Queen Victoria. With its hip soundtrack (The Clash, The English Beat, Jimmy Cliff, Supergrass) and occasional gags that little tykes won't get, this is pitched more at older kids than the toddler set. Seeing as I am well over 8 year years old, that is just fine with me.
  • January 15, 2013
    Not a bad bit of entertainment, for kids or adults I suspect, but Pirates: Band of Misfits isn't as zany as some of Aardman's other works, due basically to a story line that never really takes off in spite of the inventiveness of throwing in Charles Darwin as a major character. ... read more

    I believe that the film is hampered by trying to be too much to too many; keeping the plot simple and most of the characters one dimensional so the kiddies can follow truly robs the film from becoming something even more ribald. It's an issue I had with the Shrek franchise as well - things are kept obvious and simple... of course one could counter by saying "well, it's just a cartoon, what'd ya expect?" -I'd counter the counter by saying that just because something is animated doesn't mean it has to be childish.

    So, we have a film that begins beautifully, with a fantastic camera shot that is truly wonderful, but then that realism is turned on its head by the introduction of Queen Victoria who looks exactly like a cartoon character - quite a jarring juxtaposition.

    The film only starts to lose steam when Darwin starts acting like... well a cartoon character. So much more could have been done with him, and yet he is reduced to a plot contrivance that has fallen in love with Victoria.

    Now many will talk of the voice acting (which is quite good for the most part, although I expected more bombast from Jeremy Piven as Black Belamy) - but while I found it much fun to see the likes of Brian Blessed (who will forever be Augustus Caesar from I Claudius), and Brendan Gleason in the mix, I can see my wife's point in that who is speaking the words isn't as important as how the words come across.

    There are bits of lunacy and fun, and yet I often felt as if each character was there to perform a specific task; playing to the tried and true method of cartoon characters through the ages. From the Pirate Captain's continual refusal to see anything other than the obvious (and often missing even that), to the crew's all too predicable antics - it all felt kind of tired in spite of some truly funny bits, as when the Captain makes a presentation in front of the London Scientific Community and Also Sprach Zarathustra (the theme from 2001 A Space Odyssey) is played on a squeeze box!

    In conclusion; there are far worse animated films out there (Planet 51 for example), but there are so very many better ones (Over The Hedge, Aardman's own Chicken Run - not to mention anything Pixar). It's just fine if you want nothing more than light humor and a few chuckles.
  • October 11, 2012
    An Aardman production with absolutely no input from Nick Park, surely not? It's ok though, good old Peter Lord makes sure this film is animated beautifully and is aptly silly. It's a great film, full of silly British humour and wonderful animation (I hate the phrase Claymation). ... read moreIt's a shame more UK made films can't take a leaf out of it's book instead of pandering to American audiences (although what was so wrong with the original title 'The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists'?). Jolly good fun for young and old.
  • fb791220692
    October 8, 2012
    "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" feels far more conventional than Aardman's past hits, and at times it steals from its own predecessors such as Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit a bit too much, but it fortunately retains the clever British wit and unique animation that are the two m... read moreain trademarks of the beloved studio.
  • October 6, 2012
    Join the crew and kick some booty.

    Very good animated movie! The animation is top notch, as it should be. Aardman are the masters of their art and having dabbled in stop-motion animation myself, I understand the time and effort that must go into making a stop-motion feature. Aar... read moredman has come a long way from the rough and ready clay models of The Wrong Trousers but the models still maintain their distinctive style and it is obvious that care has been taken during each of the millions of frames. The voice cast is excellent. Most of the actors are instantly recognisable but David Tennant puts on a convincing accent for his interpretation of Charles Darwin. The actors help to make the scrip very funny and I'm pleased to see that the filmmakers have stuck with a mostly British cast and stayed away from an A-List star. It's just great to see another stop-motion clay animated film from Aardman in the big screen, but this time it's in 3D. The 3D is pretty good, but even in 2D the film is still wonderful to watch. These kinds of family films are rare these days. While kids these days like movies with talking animals and some other mediocre stuff, this one uses the ludicrous elements in a smart way. Like I said, it's not new but it's still an exciting and enjoyable film. Go see it!

    After years of humiliation and failed attempts to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award, Pirate Captain and his oddball crew take on the cream of the pirating crop - Black Bellamy, Peg Leg Hastings and Cutlass Liz - in a race to pillage the most booty. They soon cross paths with lovelorn scientist Charles Darwin, who persuades the Captain that the crew's prized 'parrot', Polly, could be the answer to the 'untold riches' they are searching for. Their adventure takes them to Victorian London where they meet Darwin's sidekick 'man-panzee' Mister Bobo, and the notorious pirate-hating Queen Victoria herself. It soon unfolds that Darwin's motives for helping the crew are not what they seem, and the Queen has an evil hidden agenda of her own. The Pirate Captain must choose between basking in the glory of being crowned Pirate of the Year, or staying faithful to his trusted crew.
  • fb100000145236770
    September 15, 2012
    Here's an original and very entertaining animated movie that kids and adults will enjoy. It follows a less than successful Pirate Captain and his band of misfits as he plots to become Pirate of the Year. Features a great cast of voices, and the animation is amazing. Its the cl... read moreaymation that was used in "Chicken Run" and "Wallace and Gromit". Not my favorite type of animation, but it is different and a breathe of fresh air. My son Grant sat with me and watched most of it, and he seemed to really like everything going on(he's only 1 so he didn't get any of it, just thought it looked cool). Hugh Grant, Jeremy Piven, Selma Hayak are three of the voice actors and they do great. One thing about this movie to keep in mind, is it's British. Some of it's humor is different than American humor. I got it, and loved it, but I can see it going over some peoples heads. Good little flick worth a watch, with or without the kiddos.
  • September 12, 2012
    "It's a plunderful life"

    Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

    ... read moret size=+2 face="Century Schoolbook">REVIEW
    The latest comedy from Aardman Studios - the mob responsible for the fantastically oddball Wallace and Gromit output - delivers pretty much what you expect: a clever and unique family film that largely appeals to the adults more than the children. The screen is chock-a-block with winks and nods that the little ones will miss (David Lynch's Elephant Man gets an inspired cameo) and the verbal humour is wryly comical, but never laugh-out-loud funny. The kids aren't forgotten about altogether, there are enough slapstick sequences and memorable sidekicks to keep them amused first time round, however repeat viewings may not be on the cards. Hugh Grant is almost unrecognisable as the voice behind the Pirate Captain (yep, that's his name) but does a nice job of injecting the bumbling fool with warmth and likability, whilst Imelda Staunton is terrific (when is she not?) as the malevolent Queen Victoria. Undoubtedly intelligent and the meticulous clay-mation is always fascinating, but a few belly laughs would've elevated the proceedings.
  • September 8, 2012
    "I specifically rented this for my older nephew. He loves Pirates and Pirate Ships. He enjoyed the movie and so did I, but I just wished it was a bit funnier and more quirky. But it's main audience is kids like my nephew and he said I was to give it four and a half stars. SO, eve... read moren though I think it deserves two and a half, I will honor his decision lol.
    I was impressed by all of the clay work and appreciated all the small details they put into their work. It really is a cute film for kids. The characters were a lot of fun as well. Maybe not for me, but then again, it wasn't made for me. So if you have little ones or nieces and nephews like myself, this will be a great treat for them. Or even for you if you enjoy clay animation."

Critic Reviews

Bruce Diones
May 7, 2012
Bruce Diones, New Yorker

The action is beautifully staged, delightful, and exciting. Full Review

Stephen Whitty
April 28, 2012
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

The filmmakers have said they are already dreaming up a sequel. They needn't hurry. Whatever treasures these pirates have are well buried. Full Review

William Goss
April 27, 2012
William Goss,

To paraphrase a certain man with a certain luxuriant beard, it's only impossible to enjoy if you stop to think about it. Full Review

Alonso Duralde
April 27, 2012
Alonso Duralde, TheWrap

Pirates are right up there with vampires, werewolves and people saying "LOL" out loud on the list of Played-Out Pop Culture Phenomena, but leave it to Aardman Animation to find the remaining reservoir... Full Review

Jody Mitori
April 27, 2012
Jody Mitori, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

This pirate tale is a misguided adventure that doesn't fully set sail. Full Review

Jennie Punter
April 27, 2012
Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail

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. Full Review

Rafer Guzman
April 27, 2012
Rafer Guzman, Newsday

You may laugh more than the child who brought you to "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," a subtly screwball animated comedy with a distinctively British wit. Full Review

Sara Stewart
April 27, 2012
Sara Stewart, New York Post

The joyfully silly gags in "Pirates!" often feel old-fashioned in a "Looney Tunes"-esque way... Full Review

Michael O'Sullivan
April 27, 2012
Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

It makes for an experience that, while geared toward younger, more fidgety audiences, has enough humor to keep Mom and Dad from falling asleep. Full Review

Claudia Puig
April 26, 2012
Claudia Puig, USA Today

Sure-footed, witty and zany fun. Full Review

Critic ratings and reviews powered by

Fresh (60% or more critics rated the movie positively)

Rotten (59% or fewer critics rated the movie positively)

More Like This

Click a thumb to vote on that suggestion, or add your own suggestions.

  • Creature Comforts
    Creature Comforts (100%)
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie
    The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTa... (100%)
  • Hotel Transylvania
    Hotel Transylvania (83%)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (55%)


    • The Pirate Captain: You'll see. I will be Pirate of the Year! And then you'll be laughing on the other side of your faces. And believe me, that is a very painful thing to do.
    • The Pirate Captain: [looks at Charles Darwin's house] You don't get many girls, do you?
    • The Pirate Captain: Now listen Charles, we've all done something unforgivable. I've betrayed my pirate honor, you've betrayed science, and Mr. Bobo's betrayed the animal kingdom.
    • The Albino Pirate: Wee! I'm a floating head!
    • The Pirate Captain: She's not fat, she's just 'big boned'.
    • Black Bellamy: She's fat dude.
    • Pirate Captain: Its us, the pirates, masters of disguise.

The Pirates! Band... : Watch Free on TV

Movie Quizzes

No quizzes for The Pirates! Band of Misfits. Want to create one?

Recent News

No recent headlines. Got one?

Recent Lists

Most Popular Skin

No skins yet. Interested in creating one?