Party Like It’s Y2K: “Pirates” UK Garage movie opens to rave reviews

Nitpicking aside, generally positive reviews for UK Garage inspired movie Pirates that opened in the UK last week...

Pirates, a new feature film centered on the UK Garage scene circa New Year’s Even 1999, opened on Friday to rave reviews in the UK.

Aside from some minor quibbles about contemporary slang and music (Wookie’s top 10 smash “Battle” wasn’t released until a little after the events depicted in the movie) the huge surge of press around presenter Reggie Yates’ debut film has been almost universally positive.

“Equal parts late 1990s nostalgia trip and exquisitely-soundtracked charm offensive, Reggie Yates’ big-hearted big screen directorial debut is a giddy love letter to the UK garage scene that raised him,” says the NME. Reviews in the mainstream press have been equally adulatory about the “likeable homage to ’90s ensemble capers” and “fresh take on Black British cinema” (though no one seems to have mentioned the first Black teenage ensemble film, 1975’s Cooley High).

Pirates depicts three teenagers named Kidda, Two Tonne and Cappo as they try to get into the hottest party of the millennium (whether the last or the next is irrelevant). None of the characters are based upon Yates, though he admits they’re inspired by the people he grew up with. “The people I went to drama club with, the people I went to school with, the people I sat next to at football,” he told GQ. “My world is piled into this film.”

The film is not airing or available to stream in the United States. And there’s no word on an international or streaming release but you’d have to guess it’s inevitable now given the crush of positive marks.

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