Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Poster

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Depp for Emperor?
eak-127 November 2005
I am nearly fifty years old. A sober grown man. With children. Children with whom I have now sat through hundreds of movies. Many of which I have enjoyed. And I am not completely hardened in my sophistication. The opening music to The Lion King brought tears to my eyes when my little ones were but wee tots. But still, these are after all just children's movies. In another life, I would never have seen them. And, really, one can't take such movies too seriously, can one?

And so, this summer, after the ritual badgering, I dutifully trudged into yet another Disney "adventure" movie. Named after that tired old ride in Anaheim I first went on in 1965. I mean really, how much can you expect?

And then, it happened. The swirling intoxication. The stunned feeling. What? Who? How? Was this a movie? Or a religious experience? Perhaps more like an addictive experience...

I cannot remember ever willingly paying to see any movie not starring a relative of mine more than twice, and I can count those movies on one hand. I have now seen "Pirates" four times. The only thing keeping me from seeing it again is the sense that this whole thing is just getting out of hand. I cannot get enough of it. It's like walking into a painting that you never want to come back out of. My children ask, with a note of concern in their voices, "Dad, you really like Pirates of the Caribbean a lot, don't you?"

And that Depp fellow. My God. I never had any idea who he was, but his name sounded like something created for a pubescent cover-boy for magazines published to hook thirteen year-old girls on make-up and bad music. Wasn't Depp the name of some hair-goo product back in the 60s?

I am a straight male. I have several good friends who are gay, but have never fantasized about any gender but the female. But now I understand how women can experience swooning crushes on male film stars. He is simply extraordinary. So sly, so seductive, so canny! I read an interview in which Depp said he went through a slight depression when he had to stop playing Captain Jack Sparrow. I can see why. His inventiveness and sheer pleasure in inhabiting the character come through in every frame. How can I admit to my children that I now troll through fan websites about a former teen heart-throb?

I often don't even watch the Academy Awards, and I certainly never have any emotional investment in who wins.

Except for this year.

Go Jack.

And, in a time when many big-budget movies are little more than a hodge-podge of loosely- connected "money shots" this movie puts all the pieces together, with a sense of fun and light-heartedness in special effects that are simply dazzling. I find myself laughing with dizzy appreciation when Barbossa barks out, "You'd best be believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner, you're in one!" and the grinning skeletons come into view, with Badelt's pounding score keeping time to the beat of their maniacal deck-swabbing. And then there's the scene of the pirate-ghouls slithering up from the darkened sea on the mooring cables of the Dauntless, like infernal cats stalking their prey.

And now to the music. I can just hear the effete aesthetes dismissing this score, as Mr. Zimmerman anticipates with his winking "overproduced by" credit on the cover-liner. "Bombastic." "Overdone." "Absurdly Stupendous."

Well, perhaps it is, for those who spend their lives evaluating such things. To me, it is absolutely transporting. I first listened to it while doing a work-out on a rowing machine and found that I tripled my usual distance. It was like mainlining some hazardous tachycardic amphetamine.

Once again, the children were wondering, "What's up with Daddy? Is he OK?"

Perhaps I am just losing my grip, having an adolescent movie get to me this way. But when those final credits roll, and Captain Jack narrows his eyes and says, "Now, bring me that horizon. Drink up me hearties, yo ho" and the music swells ... it is difficult to put into words the effect it has.

At this point my children have to yank me forcibly from the theater, lest I persist in watching the credits to the bitter end, and bid good-bye to the little monkey once more, wiping tears of exultation from my eyes.

This is not just another "entry" in the summer blockbust sweepstakes. It is an exquisite work of fantasy and inventiveness, a true classic, on the order of "The Wizard of Oz." I do hope Depp's performance garners not just awards, but a place in the pantheon, something we old fogies -- and our gently fogeying children decades hence -- will show to our children and grandchildren like a revealed treasure. I cannot recall any movie having such an effect on me.
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Surprisingly Good
Brad20024 September 2004
Although I had expectations ( from watching the trailers ) that this might be a good movie, I was still surprised that it's as good as it is. The story is actually more complex than I had expected, involving cursed pirates and their quest to rid themselves of the curse. I won't say more than that so as not to spoil it if you haven't seen it.

There aren't as many action scenes as I had thought there would be in a pirate movie, but the ones that are in the movie were very fun and enjoyable. After seeing it, I think it had the right balance of action and drama. There are also, of course, a lot of funny bits interspersed between the action and drama. Some really good special effects also add to the enjoyment of this movie.

I wasn't much of a fan of Johnny Depp until I saw this movie. I think he deserved to win the Academy Award for best actor. It's largely because of his performance, IMO, that the movie was so good. Most of the supporting cast did well, mind you, just that Johnny Depp stood high above the rest. I did find Orlando Bloom's performance a bit wooden, but other than that the acting was good.

Basically, it's a really fun movie and I'd give it about 8 out of 10
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Max_cinefilo8929 September 2005
You will always remember this as the movie that made Johnny Depp a superstar and almost got him an Oscar.The fact that he didn't win isn't a problem,since thanks to him this is the best pirate film ever made.

The opening concept is a clichè:a beautiful woman(Keira Knightley)is kidnapped by a bunch of filthy pirates(led by Geoffrey Rush's Barbossa)and the man(Orlando Bloom)who's desperately in love with her decides to track them down.From now on,things get unexpected,as he asks another pirate for help.And it's no ordinary pirate:it's Captain Jack Sparrow(Johnny Depp),a lying,cheating,but charismatic scumbag,the hardest man on Earth to predict,not to mention quite unlucky and clumsy("You are,with no doubt,the worst pirate I've ever heard of" "But you HAVE heard of me!").

It's got all the elements of a classic pirate movie,elements that would give this flick a 9/10.

So,why am I giving it a 10/10? The answer is simple:Captain Jack.From the moment he makes his entrance,justly included in the Empire Top 10 Entrances of all time,we know he's the reason people will keep watching the movie.He 's Depp's best non-Tim Burton-character ever,and I can't wait 'til he returns.

See you next summer,Captain!
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Why is the rum gone?
JPW_33 February 2004
A damn good movie. One of the best of 2003 in my view.

This movie made me laugh, and it really pulled me in.

At first I was afraid this would be another bad Pirate movie. I went to see it anyway, as I've always loved the legends of pirates, and I love adventure. I saw it once. Then twice. Then Quadrupul. Then six times. And one more 7. And now I eagerly wait for the DVD in Australia.

What i'm saying is I couldn't get enough of this movie. It was so well done.

Johnny Depp was hilarious a Jack Sparrow, and acted like a true Pirate. His obsessive drinking antics, and his walk really brought out this chaqracter. Plus he made character we could all love and enjoy, that deserves an Oscar in my view.

Geoffrey Rush played Barbosa the bad guy. Who turned out to be quite a good bad guy in my view. He showed real potential, and I loved the way how he manipulated people.

Keira Knightley plays Elizabeth, the governor's daughter. Prisoner of the Pirates. She is quite momorable in this role, and is a great jump for her evergrowing popularity.

Orlando Bloom plays Will Turner. A simple blacksmith, who is also a well trained swordsman. Who is in hot pursuit of saving Elizabeth from the Pirates.

The more memorable thing about this though is the curse. A well thought out curse. That can always lead to sequel or a prequel. You'll see what I mean when you watch it.

The story is based on these Pirates who happen to be cursed, and they want to rid the curse. To do that they need the blood of a pirate, not just any pirate but the son of Bill Turner- William Turner. Mistaken for Bill Turner's child the pirates Capture Elizabeth, and take her hostage, while William teams up with a Rogue pirate, Jack Sparrow, who is on a streak for revenge against Barbosa. While all at the same time are being chased by the british fleet.

A great adventure. Well played swordfighting. Great laughs. Great music. And great story. Pirates are back in my good book.
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Proof that Disney can still create good movies
gooeysmoo2 November 2004
Disney seemed to be going down the tubes lately, with Atlantis and Home on the Range, but this movie is a masterpiece. If it wasn't for this movie, Johnny Depp wouldn't be as famous as he is today. Every scene with him or Geoffery Rush is brilliant. The movie is very crisp and the shots of the islands are breathtaking. Definitely a movie worth picking up at Blockbuster or even better, buying ( I don't buy DVDs often but this was one of them). The characters are thought out very well and plot is excellent. The script is one of the main stars of the film itself, every line that seems to come out of Sparrow or Barbossa's mouth or any of the other cast is original. If you like action films you'll love this, if you like comedy you'll love this, actually, this movie is great for everyone (except small kids, who may get frightened by the skeleton scenes). 10/10
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Finally, a real swashbuckling film to make me laugh
Igenlode Wordsmith23 November 2003
"Even I love Johnny Depp, and I'm male," a previous reviewer declares, tongue in cheek. Well, I wouldn't go quite that far, but there's no doubt whatsoever that when I lost my heart to this film, Johnny Depp's outrageous Cap'n Jack Sparrow had almost everything to do with it. I don't normally review 'current' films, so the very fact that I'm writing this highlights an almost unprecedented event - after endless failures, Hollywood has finally rediscovered the spirit of the classic swashbuckler movie.

With hindsight, I think the one brilliant decision that was made at some point - given a modern production environment - was to *separate the roles* of hero and swashbuckler. You can then have your worthy Costner-type juvenile lead, as required, who has to Come To Terms with his Past (although his eventual fate is a trifle unexpected in conventional terms...) - *but* you can also have your essential and irrepressible swaggering rogue (of course, he totally steals the film from the moment he first appears, but *that's* no hardship!)

The moonlight special effects were overdone, in my opinion - not that they aren't believable, but that they would have been more effective if used more sparingly, for occasional flashes of nastiness rather than solid minutes of battle. However, that's a minor niggle. The stunts are energetic, highly satisfactory, *not* computerised, and on occasion even carried out by the stars :-)

The other saving grace of the production is its humour - not that there aren't a few over-arch knowing references, but on the whole it manages to send itself up without suspending disbelief in the process. Jack Sparrow's first arrival on the scene (with total aplomb aboard a steadily-sinking boat) is a prime example, as indeed are the vast majority of subsequent scenes involving this character...

The basic Romance and Rescue structure is satisfactory enough, with the addition of the requisite Feisty Female for the 21st century (though I felt the character would have been a little more historically plausible if she had been a little less liberated - she clearly possesses a stronger character than her young man, she doesn't have to strive to be his physical equal as well...) However, it is the pirates themselves who really make the film, simply by being a pack of unreconstructed and uninhibited villains (from the Jeffrey Farnol School of Historical Dialect) who are far larger than life and totally unselfconscious about it. To quote the opening words of the 'Guardian' review: "we have been waiting [50 years] for a modern pirate film featuring someone who, in all seriousness, actually says the words, or perhaps the two-syllable single word: 'Ah-harrrrr!'"

Jack Sparrow, as swashbuckler extraordinaire and consummate rogue (of course, totally honest in his own way... ahem) is the main attraction of the entire film. Not so much loopy as totally round the bend - outrageous and unpredictable (there is a running gag throughout the first part of the film where he is repeatedly described as "the worst pirate I've ever seen", as in "the worst at it", only for the preposterous tactics in question to prove spectacularly successful).

This character saves the hero in more ways than one - without him, the film would be another "Mask of Zorro", a rather stodgy attempt to update an old favourite for modern-day sensibilities and compensate with more and flashier sword-fighting (swashbuckling is not *about* fighting! It comes into it, yes, but it's not the point.) But together, the pair work off one another beautifully - reliability and inspired lunacy, self-doubt and cocky flamboyance, dogged devotion and shameless self-interest. The only question is which, precisely, is the sidekick...

There are two beginnings to this film, neither of them bearing any relation to the wooden costume-drama-by-numbers prologue that actually opens the movie. The moment when events start to move (it could scarcely be less subtle) is signalled by the swell of the theme music for the first time at Sparrow's initial appearance. But for me the moment when the film really took off was in that instant during his first escape, when he seizes the rope and swings up, up, and out, in a classic swashbuckler move from the past that brought it all flooding back... and my heart flew up after him into my throat, and remained enjoyably in that position until the end of the movie, when the audience began spontaneously to applaud.

The film is far from perfect - characters like Captain Norrington (*please* - 'Commodore', like 'Prime Minister', is a job description, not a form of address!) and the Governor are little more than pantomime stereotypes, with only frustrating hints of humanity to indicate that they do after all have potential denied them by the script. Annoying anachronisms slip in - "it's okay", "I was rooting for you" - most of the nautical jargon comes out with about as much sign of comprehension as a phonetic rendition of a foreign language, and Sparrow's one precious charge of powder gets soaked through often enough in the course of the plot to be utterly useless by the end. Both hero and heroine come across as wooden and thankless roles. Orlando Bloom may be costumed to look increasingly like Errol Flynn during the course of the film (was it my imagination, or does he spend it gradually cultivating a duplicate of that famous moustache?), but, alas, any resemblance ends there.

But then it doesn't really matter. It is Depp, not Bloom, who has inherited the mantle of Flynn and Fairbanks in this film. Jack Sparrow was the character who caught my imagination - and, since I'm extremely impressionable, also had a distinctly peculiar effect on the way I stood and walked for several hours later. And there's not many films can say *that*..! ÿ
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One of the Most Delightful Pirates Adventure Ever
Claudio Carvalho24 April 2004
When the daughter of the governor of a Caribbean island, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), is proposed by Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport), she faints, fells into the sea and is rescued and saved by the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) but he is arrested and sentenced to death for piracy. Meanwhile, the town is attacked by the ship Black Pearl, commanded by the former first mate Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who leaded a mutiny against Captain Jack Sparrow years ago. Barbossa kidnaps Elizabeth, and the blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), who loves her, releases Jack Sparrow and they steal the fastest vessel of the navy to follow the Black Pearl, Will trying to save Elizabeth, and Jack trying to retrieve his ship. Along their journey, many secrets are disclosed about the course of the Black Pearl and her crew.

The supernatural adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner and Barbossa are so spectacular that really deserves to be included among the best movies (Top 250) in IMDb. This film has action, humor, romance, mystery, special effects and is so delightful that the viewer does not feel the running time of 143 minutes. I saw this movie for the first time on 24 April 2004, and I have just watched again today (10 Feb 2007) enjoying the same way as in the first time. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Piratas do Caribe – A Maldição do Pérola Negra" ("Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl")
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Lots of fun, perfect popcorn entertainment
labrat-82 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This is a movie to sit back and enjoy. Funny, fast-paced and with sterling performances from all of the cast, it's not to be missed for good, old-fashioned entertainment. I'm not a huge fan of Depp, but here he excels. Knightly and Bloom make an engaging couple and I enjoyed the fact that the characters of Governor Swann and Norrington were taken in a different direction from that which might be expected by Hollywood. The former could have easily become the stereotypical "You'll marry who I say you'll marry, girl!", while Norrington could have been the standard English navy bully and nasty piece of work. Instead, both were engaging good guys and Norrington's graceful dealings with Will and Elizabeth brought a core of humanity to the movie.

And to the previous reviewer who thought they'd spotted a plot hole:








while there`s a serious plot hole at the end where it`s revealed that Jack Sparrow has been suffering from the curse all along so how did he manage to stay out of the moonlight without anyone noticing his skeletal state ? And how did he manage to get drunk on rum ?

Actually, you just weren't watching the movie properly. Jack wasn't in a skeletal state all along. Shortly before the swordfight in the caves with Barbossa and being shown to be skeletal, Jack stole one of the cursed coins from the chest. When he was stabbed by Barbossa, he became skeletal because he was cursed from that moment on. This was made clear at the time when Jack's response to finding out he was suddenly skeletal was to declare, "That's interesting!", flip the stolen coin between his fingers and tell Barbossa, "I couldn't resist." Indicating that he was aware that it was his stealing the coin that had turned him skeletal once he was stabbed.
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random_raven9 August 2003
This is a fantastic movie full action, adventure, humor and a hell of a lot more! The film is 2 hours and 40 minutes long, but that time flies by as you are transported into an awesome world of swashbuckling and sword fights.

Johnny Depp's performance is one of his best ever as the slightly camp Captain Jack Sparrow. Even under his tangle of hair and blackened eyes, he will make you swoon and laugh both at the same time with his tonnes of witty lines and mannerisms. Orlando Bloom plays the love struck son of a pirate, Will Turner and play him he does! This roll highlights the diversity and skill shown by some of the greats. We will definitely see big things from him in years to come. In her second roll in big time flick, Kira Knightley plays kidnapped Govener's daughter, Elizabeth Swan. She is also another young, up and coming star with a bright future ahead of her.

The film may not be the most historically accurate pirate film of all times but all that is forgotten as you enjoy the brilliance of this marvelous movie. Did I also catch a subtle omage to the 1953 swashbuckler 'The Crimson Pirate' when Will and Jack walk underwater in an upturned rowing boat? Sneaky!

The only negative thing I have to say, and believe me I don't want to say it, is that fact we are never told the reason why the curse of the black pearl could only be broken by the blood of William Turner (Senior) and in turn by his son. Despite this plot flaw however, Pirates of the Caribbean is a magical journey that will drop the jaws of parents, children and grandparents alike. I'm definitely buying it when it come out on DVD!
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Johnny Depp puts a little swish in swashbuckle...
allisonmckinley21 March 2004
Despite being rife with technical blunders such as the longest full moon in history, Disney's first non-PG film is proving to be a financial boon while at the same time collecting reviews from critics that run from tepid to red hot. I am in complete agreement with Roger Ebert on one point: Somewhere in this 143 minute tour de force there lurks a very good ninety-minute film.

Other than Johnny Depp, who fashioned his character's personality (and eye makeup?) after observations of his good friend Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, the cast of 'Pirates' reads like a Who's Who of English film actors, including Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport and Mackenzie Crook.

When screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio originally pitched the movie to the Disney executives in the early '90s, Disney rejected it. It makes one wonder just who is running the Disney empire. Universal Studios have been combining action/adventure movies with theme park rides for over two decades (E.T., Jurassic Park, Jaws, and Back to the Future to name a few) only in reverse order-first the film, then the ride. This combination has worked well for Universal, and it seems almost absurd that Disney has taken so long to pick up on the obvious.

I liked three things in particular about this film. Just say Johnny Depp three times. His character Jack Sparrow redefines the term swashbuckler. Not since William Hurt's performance in Children of a Lesser God , and to a slightly lesser degree Kevin Costner's in JFK, has an actor so resoundingly stolen the show. If you do not like Johnny Depp, 'Pirates' is not for you. If you do like Mr. Depp (Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood), you will enjoy 'Pirates'.

That is not to say that Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush were less than fantastic. Rush made a delightful villain as Capt. Barbossa, and Orlando Bloom's performance brought charisma to a rather limiting role as Will Turner. Expect nothing but good things from this young actor in the future.

Let us examine the plot. This will be a rather short paragraph, for sword fights do not a movie make. The opening scenes show a young Elizabeth Swann on a ship at sea. A young Will Turner floats up on a raft, unconscious, wearing a gold medallion round his neck. Elizabeth hides the medallion so that no one else will know that young Will is a pirate. Years later, the pirates come to Port Royal in quest of the gold piece and kidnap the governor's daughter Elizabeth (Kiera Knightly), now all grown up. The fact that she also has the medallion they are looking for is just one of those lucky things that will happen if you're a good pirate who eats well and stays fit. Captain Jack Sparrow shows up at about the same time and he and Will commandeer a ship from the Royal Navy to chase the pirates, save Elizabeth, and add some adventure to their otherwise bleak lives. Swordfight, swordfight, swordfight, and that's about it. Let us just say that Pirates of the Caribbean has all the plot of an amusement park ride and leave it at that.

A few predictions may be in order, however. Look for an Oscar nomination for Depp's efforts. Look for nominations as well for sound, set design, makeup, and cinematography. As far as best picture? Next to Lord of the Rings (Return of the King)? Not likely.

Director Gore Verbinski, who used to play in a punk rock band and is best known for creating the Budweiser frogs, does an outstanding job keeping track of the myriad details required of a director, given his limited experience. True, 'Pirates' has countless errors in continuity, but those occur in any film of such scope. Mr. Verbinski has only four other films to his name: a short entitled The Ritual (1996), and then three very different but effectively made films, Mouse Hunt (1997), The Mexican (2001), and the very creepy thriller The Ring (2002). Again, it makes one wonder just who is at the helm of the USS Disney to put a $125 million movie in the hands of a neophyte. Well, it worked with Lord of the Rings and a very inexperienced Peter Jackson, and it worked here for Disney as well.

'Pirates of the Caribbean' is a fun movie for most of the family. It may be rather scary for children ten and under and somewhat boring for many over twenty-five. I enjoyed it immensely for exactly what it was... an amusing ride.
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Little_Dream_Goddess14 September 2005
When I first saw the film, I thought it was awesome- the graphics were great and no doubt, Jack Sparrow (Depp) and Will Turner (Bloom) were hot in their own ways. I was surprised that Disney would have scary skeletons in a movie, but it was a very good film indeed.

This movie starts off with a song about pirates, which, I think, is genius. Not subtle, not direct, just genius. The whole plot revolves around rescuing... and rescuing... and rescuing, again.

The second time I saw this film, I thought it was disgusting. What the heck, I thought to myself. It's so... so... unrealistic (which is really unlike me, because I adore fantasy- just not too far-fetched in the fantasy world, like Mary-sue or people popping out of no where to help others). Until I saw it for the third time. I loved it then. (And yes, to watch a film for 3 times and have 3 different opinions each time makes the following statement true- 'there is obviously something wrong with me.') The thing that made me love this movie SOOOO very much was- 'Freedom'. As Sparrow had said, being a pirate is like having freedom. I had a knot in my stomach when I heard this- I mean, oh my god, I hated being trapped in a boring routine everyday. Being a pirate meant adventures, risks, excitement. And that really attached me to the movie. Whenever I read books or watch TV shows or movies about high adventures or fantasy, I almost cry because I'm not the main character- it's not me who's having all the fun, and reading these books or shows or movies might be the closest thing I will ever be to having the adventure of a lifetime.

Watch this movie. It will give you a knot in the stomach if you will just pay close attention and hope to feel like you are one in it.
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A Pirate For Our Times
Lechuguilla5 September 2005
What lifts this film above typical Disney fluff is Johnny Depp's humorous performance as pirate Jack Sparrow, the eccentric, individualistic anti-hero, who confronts other pirates, and outwits a humorless, incompetent bureaucratic establishment. Sparrow looks more like Cher than Johnny Depp, and talks more like William F. Buckley than a pirate. Geoffrey Rush is a worthy foil as the main rival pirate, Barbossa, a character who vaguely resembles Margaret Hamilton in "The Wizard Of Oz".

Most of the plot is silly. There's lots of fighting, shouting, and general mayhem, all accompanied by a frantic score. It's a cinematic slight of hand that conveys an illusion of substance. Still, it's an entertaining popcorn flick.

I'm glad I watched it. Depp's deft performance gives us a memorable character, one that is perhaps unique in cinema history.
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Depp: My Favorite Pirate
semioticz22 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is not y/our typical Errol Flynn type of machismo, swashbuckling pirate; nor does he play another Disney Captain Hook. He's more like Fagan in "Oliver." Capt. Sparrow's ever so fey. That's his charm.

Though the pirates on the "Black Pearl" ship are dead & sometimes in their skeleton form they aren't scary enough for kids since this is a comedy.

The story line goes as follows: A governor's daughter is in charge of a young boy her own age who has been pulled out of the sea by her father's bourgeoisie crew. She notices his necklace is a pirate's & takes it from him to protect him from being hung to death.

But, the golden medallion is the last 1 of a pirate's treasure that has cursed the "Black Pearl" ship's crew. Without its return, with the blood of the boy on it, the skeletal crew remains dead, unable to feel any life in themselves; they are also not killable since they are already dead.

Capt. Sparrow (Depp), though a bumbling comical pirate who's bent upon owning the "Black Pearl," the ship the cursed crew stole from him, plays a marvelously lovable & lucky pirate who is the super glue that holds together the loose ends of the movie. Depp gives his cutest performance I've seen; he's now my favorite pirate! The script is clever; cinematography is fine; special effects are spot-on.
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Gentlemen, ladies .... You will forever remember the day when you first saw the incomparable Captain Jack Sparrow!
BiiivAL8 June 2018
This film impressed me right after the first viewing, in August 2003, after which the following followed and so quietly peacefully, imperceptibly, I probably approached the mark of ten views. In principle, it's worth it, this film can already be called a legend, and it's a pleasure to watch such films.

And now also compare with the sequel, but in fact someone seriously believes that the sequel came out better than the first episode. I, of course, do not agree with this, but I will not argue, everyone has an opinion, and there will be euphoria from viewing (views) of the "Deadlock Chest" and people will soberly look at the "Curse of the Black Pearl" and realize that the second part is not even nearby worth, but it is also a product of the highest class.

The first film is better, maybe not all, but in humor and the plot exactly, and even such a banal sign as novelty, in the second part we saw only a sequel, a slightly different story with the same characters, and in the first film, it was all new , and moments are brilliant. When I speak genius with regard to this film, then, of course, I have the look of Jack Sparrow in the incredible performance of Johnny Depp. This is one of his best roles, from the very beginning he was performed in a genuinely brilliant way, from the first appearance on the screen to the eighth when he sailed on a small boat, flowing through all the cracks, to excellent music - completely capturing the episode, one of the best in all movie. And his first step to Port Royal, an English colony in the Caribbean. And after it began ...

The whole genius of Jack Sparrow's image can not be conveyed in words, that's why we watch this film and review it time after time, and expect the continuation. Especially the second part is the benefit of Jack, and in the first and except for Jack there was a lot of interesting things.

About humor, plot, music, I already said. And also this is the Captain of the "Black Pearl" Barbossa, some minor characters among the Barbosa pirates and among Jack's team. In addition, you can add to the appearance of Jack in the city of Torturra, a meeting with old friends and friends. Or repeated scenes, when Barbossa and Sparrow are in one frame. All these and other episodes can only be admired, for, they do not bother and remain in the memory. The plot of the first part is much more interesting than the plot of continuation, besides the ship full of skeletons under the moonlight, where it surpasses the ship from the team in the form of sea monsters-yudisch. Special effects are here and there at a level, at a high level.

Pirate films now go to the screens of the world a little, and no one can surpass the Pirates of the Caribbean Sea, here in fact there is even a romantic story between Elizabeth and William, the only problem for them is that it moves back to the second or third plan , thanks to the excellent performance of pirates of their roles.

Young Bloom and Knightley could not support the level of their older colleagues, I would say that it's forgivable for them, if they were not so important to the director and producers, and in the eyes of ordinary fans of this film, they are not visible, they swam far beyond the horizon, only, unfortunately, sometimes appear on the screen saying important phrases, for me these characters are superfluous. About Bloom, you can talk separately, his goal is to play a simpleton, spinning around the main character, sometimes trying to throw out an incredible and very daring trick, in the first part he still copes with the role of a simpleton, but when he tries to play the guy, everything fails, he does not go, and should run all career in a skirt of Paris. And in the second part of it they are already trying to make a serious man, give a chance to steer at the head of the film, but time to think, because Jack can not block him, and he does not want to be funny, but could try, maybe an idiot with the protagonist - his role ?

The screen time for the Knightley-Bloom duo is very little allocated, I mean when they are together, and for this it is necessary to say a special thanks to the creators of the film, this does not allow to turn the film into a love story of two childhood friends, but, damn it, from time to time they turn out to be in one frame, and these frames can easily be called not the most interesting for the whole film, in the sense of an acting game, because these young actors do not show anything super-ordinary. Ditch the ocean, shoot cannons (even with forks), rob ships and ports here is the destiny of pirates, and after they also appear on the screen under the magnificent setting of Verbinsky - that's the real movie. The spark from the sensations is getting stronger, the film practically does not allow him to tear himself away for two and a half hours of viewing, except for the episodes of Knightley-Bloom, but this does not prevent the movie from watching when Jack Sparrow appears from the second to the second.

The film really deserves only flattering reviews. The ending of the film, although romantic, but much better than in the second part, when I did not see the ending, it was simply not invented - it's the main and very big minus of the second part, but now the conversation is not about it, because the first part ended very much in rating , I do not mean the MPAA rating, but the main thing is that it's a cobblestone in the sequel garden.

This movie you will remember as the best one in which Captain Jack Sparrow was almost hanged.
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Depp and Knightley are fun to watch, but it's not the rousing adventure I was expecting.
Li-115 August 2003
Rating: ** out of ****

I saw the movie in the hoopla of all the hype, when most people I knew were proclaiming this one of the summer's best films. Not unexpectedly, I walked into this one with high expectations, hoping for perhaps another Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or even The Mummy. Walking out of the theater a very long two-and-a-half hours later (actually, more like 2 hours 50 minutes, given the previews and the final scene after the credits) (this movie has way too many double crosses and false climaxes), I'm not even sure if this is better than The Mummy Returns.

Based off an amusement park theme ride, a lack of solid plot isn't a surprise. Orlando Bloom stars as Will Turner, a dashing blacksmith who's in madly in love with the beautiful Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley, a Natalie Portman look-a-like, except she's much prettier and appears to be a better actress). But when she's kidnapped by a group of ghostly pirates (led by Geoffrey Rush), Turner enlists the help of pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who appears a few cards short of a complete deck. Dark secrets are unearthed and it is revealed the undead pirates need to make a blood sacrifice to become human again.

It's not that Pirates' premise doesn't hold any potential, the movie does, after all, give us the prospect of an oceanbound adventure, the kind of movies you don't see too often. But Indiana Jones on water, this is not, for it lacks all of that trilogy's infectious sense of fun and thrilling ventures into the unknown (not to mention the smart dialogue and rousing John Williams' score). If not for Johnny Depp's performance and Keira Knightley's beauty and strong screen presence, Pirates might very well have lulled me into sleep.

The movie's biggest problem is its generic action sequences. Most of the swordfights are routine, directed without much flair or energy, and their bloodless presentation is just too juvenile-oriented for me. In fact, they all start to look the same after a while, so a little variety would have been appreciated. The film's one semi-creative fight, between Turner and Sparrow, is ineffective since you realize neither are in danger, and the climactic battle, pitting dozens of the undead pirates against the living, doesn't work since the fighting is done by characters I didn't give a damn about.

I like the actual concept of fighting undead pirates, but most of the villains are so goofy (especially the one keeps that fake eye), it's hard to see them as an actual menace. And when they are played for laughs, they're not very funny, either (how many times can we see an eye pop out before it stops being funny?). Also, making them former mates of Sparrow's sort of demystifies them (as if their goofy behavior didn't do so already).

As a pure adventure, Pirates is fraught with a lot of problems. It's repetitive, the characters keep going back and forth between the same islands and boats, sneaking in and out. The most successful adventures usually get the characters going from A to B to C, rather than A to C, then B, and then back to C, then B, and then back to C (and in this case, even back to A!). I got sick of seeing that island cavern over and over in ten minutes.

But Pirates is not without merit. Its singular savior is Johnny Depp, whose introductory scene is so hilarious, I was afraid I'd choke on my laughter. Sure, some of his scenes don't work so well (like when he tries to get those two guards to distract themselves), but he's more often a blast to watch than not, and most of the scenes he's in are pretty enjoyable. I also liked Keira Knightley (almost easily the movie's best piece of eye candy when you compare her good looks with some of the goofy visual effects), who displays genuine fire and feistiness even when she's mostly played as a damsel in distress. Both performers make the best of their parts, elevating the material quite significantly (if Depp and Knightley weren't present, the movie would have gone from middling to bad in a heartbeat).

Klaus Badelt's score sounds almost exactly like Hans Zimmer's work in The Rock given a period flavor. It's distracting, I spent too much time wondering in what ways Badelt would rip-off scores from Jerry Bruckheimer films. But at least it gave me an excuse to pay attention to something in-between th e scenes featuring Depp and Knightley.
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An okay goofy pirate adventure, but kinda boring and forgettable
Wuchak13 March 2014
I don't go to the theater too often. A film really has to light my fire to get me to actually go out and see it. Well, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" got me interested enough to go see it when it was released in the summer of 2003. Why was I so interested? Probably because I occasionally enjoy fun adventure films in the manner of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) or "The Mummy" (1999). "Black Pearl" is a film of this ilk.

WHAT WORKS: The film looks and sounds great, which includes the actors, costuming, cinematography, locations and score. Johnny Depp as pirate Capt. Jack Sparrow is a notable character; Sparrow comes off as a young Keith Richards gone Pirate. Keira Knightley is beautiful as Elizabeth Swann; and Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom & Lee Arenberg are all fabulous in their roles.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: When I first saw it in 2003 the film struck me as too long for such lightweight fare (2 hours and 23 minutes). It also struck me as boring and forgettable for some reason. I decided to see it again recently and came away feeling the exact same way. What makes it boring and forgettable? I don't know, it's hard to pinpoint. Maybe because it's too drawn-out; light film fare like this works best at around 80-95 minutes. Maybe it's because many of the characters are unable to die because of the curse, which naturally creates a lack of suspense. Mostly it's because the story and characters, although fun, are absurd and superficial. Also, I suppose it's too much to expect to glean some morsel of depth or truth from a film like this.

CONCLUSION: "Black Pearl" is a fun, goofy pirate adventure; it's okay but far from great like, say, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or even the 1999 version of "The Mummy." It's overlong, overly light, kinda boring and ultimately forgettable. I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm not a fan and can't recommend it, except maybe to kids. But if it trips your trigger that's great.

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Romantic comedy meets campy horror film.
duffster21 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
After watching Pirates of the Caribbean last night, I was very surprised to see that it had an IMDB rating of 8.0! Could THIS MOVIE really be one of the best 250 movies ever made?!? Then I looked at the voter breakdown, noticed that females gave it an average rating of 8.7, and the 1,041 females under 18 gave it a 9.5! Suddenly things started to make sense. A little sense.

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW* Basically what we've got here is a pretty typical story. The rich governor's daughter loves the poor blacksmith boy, and he with her, but she's supposed to marry the military man. The blacksmith boy is amazingly handsome, makes the most beautiful swords that you've ever seen, and is an amazing sword fighter, since he practices in his free time-- apparently against no one. The military man takes a role that's been popular in romantic comedies lately. He's not a horrible, slimy jerk. He's just not the type of guy that women want to marry. He's stuffy, always follows the rules, and there's nothing the least bit entertaining about him. Of course she ends up with the blacksmith. Yawn.

The story was incredibly predictable. The evil, vile pirates don't seem that evil and vile, perhaps because they were given too many comedic gags. Additionally, their fighting scenes looked like some sort of a cheesy video game. They never really seemed as real or threatening as they should have.

Bloom and the girl turn in average performances, as does Geoffrey Rush. I was really disappointed with that, as I expected him to really blow me away. Unfortunately, he either wasn't feeling it, or he didn't get adequate screentime.

Johnny Depp was quite good. He really brought some fun to an otherwise drab movie. Had it not been for Depp's performance, I don't think that this movie would have made half of the money that it did. If you DO watch Pirates of the Caribbean, watch it for Depp.

6.5 of 10, rounded down to hopefully drag this thing out of the top 250. :)
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Great poster, lousy movie
preppy-317 July 2003
To tell you the truth I can't remember much about the plot--and I just saw it last night! Something about a cursed pirate ship and its crew and how they all turn to skeletons when moonlight hits them and how they need some coins or something to release the curse...I was so bored during this film my mind kept wandering. Maybe I just don't like pirate films but I think there's more to it than that.

This film has some major problems--it's way too long (half an hour could have been cut out easily); the story is (needlessly) convoluted and very badly done (I'm blaming the screenwriters and director, NOT the actors); despite all the explosions and fights the action scenes are surprisingly dull; there's loads of casual violence; leading lady Knightley is constantly being hit in the face and the admittedly great special effects just didn't grab me. There is a spectacular sword fight at the end with the men going in and out of moonlight and going from skeleton to man and back again--but it's too little too late. The direction is WAY off too--he seems unsure of how to frame scenes and it makes things very confusing.

I can't fault the actors--Orlando Bloom (very handsome with beautiful black eyes) is very good in a badly written role. Keira Knightly's role is even worse--she's just "the girl" in the movie and no one could be good in it. Geoffrey Rush is OK as the pirate chief. Johnny Depp is the one reason to watch this movie. His performance is so off-beat and funny he keeps the film afloat. Just his mannerisms and facial expressions give an unexpected kick to lines.

So...this handsome production sinks because of bad direction, ridiculous length and many many boring stretches. Unless you're a huge fan of pirate movies you can skip this one.
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Another Jerry Bruckheimer Piece of Trash
mOVIemAN5617 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The first thing I realized when I saw this film was that Disney is running out of ideas for good films. I never thought they would be resorted to base their films of rides in their amusement parks. It's a pirate film with some good acting but Orlando Bloom proves yet again that he can't act.

After the daughter of the governor of an island in the Caribbean is captured by mysterious pirates, only two people are able to save the beloved Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). These two men are Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Pirate Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Some how they are able to comender a British super vessel able to navigate it across the ocean.

The movie just went way to long, topping two hours and twenty minutes, way to long for a Disney film. Jerry Bruckheimer adds tons of corny lines and supposed battle scenes between undead pirates and British Soldiers . Johnny Deep and Geoffery Rush do what they can with the roles they're given. Their are some beautiful filmed scenes of the ocean but their really isn't a story. I guess you could call this entertaining for a nine year old but for anyone else it's just a yawn fest.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Starring: Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, Geoffery Rush, Keira Knightley, and Jack Davenport.

2 out of 5 Stars.
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Just bad
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews20 February 2004
When I sat down to watch this movie, I was expecting to see a movie that was decent at best. I was very surprised to find how unbelievably bad it was. The plot is non-sensical jibberish. The characters are all one-dimensional, either good-to-the-heart, or bad-to-the-bone, with absolutely no variations. The acting is horrendous, Johnny Depp is like a washed-up rock-star, heavily drugged and very drunk, the entire time. Orlando Bloom is nothing but a simple rehash of the knight in shining armor, if only a bit more easily tolerated. Keira Knightley is just a damsel in distress, pure and simple, nothing else. Something I found ridiculous, was that every other character, even minor characters, mastered sword fighting. The humor is unbelievably childish, at several times it was on the level of the newer Simpsons episodes, which made me cringe more than I believed was possible. All of the CGI effects were very bland, most looked like they could easily have been made at the same mediocre quality several years ago. Why so many people claim this is a great film eludes me. If you ever even consider to sit down and watch this, make sure you keep your expectations very low. Very overrated. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, as it is simply too long, too boring, too bland and too cringe-worthy to be the least bit enjoyable. 3/10
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Distraction for the brain dead
steve freeman14 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If this is among the best from Hollywood, I don't think I'm going to another for a long time.

I know I'm in the minority, but I just don't see the point of this movie. Its plot was totally predictable, filled with all the usual silly impossible heroics. The protagonists, by all rights, should have been killed many times over.

The movie also had a rash of other implausibilities, e.g., no one on the protagonists' crew died despite sustained mortal combat against a superior foe, who by virtue of a curse, could not die. The ending was especially nonsensical: several times throughout the movie, Orlando Bloom had been condemned to death (of course, he implausibly escapes each time) after having saved the life of the beloved fiancée of the commander (and daughter of the governor). Then at the end, they simply lets him and his accomplice go?!?! Even the Johnny Depp character, which admittedly had some charm and craftiness, didn't make sense: why was he seemingly quasi-drunk all the time, slurring his syllables? And why all the eye-makeup? In the end, I wonder about all the money spent on this movie, and about a society in which a silly, pointless fantasy can be lauded as among the finest cultural outputs in years.
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tahamai11 September 2003
While the effects were slightly admirable, this movie made virtually no impression on me. I don't really remember the names of the characters, let alone why they did or felt what they did. I never could figure out why people kept getting into sword fights and shooting at skeletons they couldn't kill. Wouldn't you run away if you shot some guy in the head and he just shook it off laughing? Clearly nobody in this film caught on. Overall, I was not entertained. It wasn't even so bad it was funny.
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Over rated.
reddragon111012 May 2004
The Pirates of the Caribbean the curse of the black pearl, is a very good film. Everything in this film is quite outstanding, but lets face it, people are starting to get over obsessed with this film and calling it "The best". I don't think it deserves to be in the TOP 250, and in a better number than IN America, Henry the Va and 21 Grams. Johnny Depp's performance is very good, funny and realistic, however, it didn't deserved an Oscar nomination. The OSCARS should pick the best performances for the nomination, but Johnny's performance was not that great. Great visuals, a nice interesting story, good performances, good make up, but it is still and will be another blockbuster film. 7.56/100
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old pirate movies put this one to shame
zwerg10530 August 2003
The old pirate movies put this one to shame. The main couple is so dislikable with babbling honorably sounding dialogue but without showing one shred of goodness that you expect in a pirate movie. This is also reflected in the script, which makes them act as if with good intentions, but when you reflect, only to make them look good. Naturally the end is incredibly cheesy, events without motivation, impossible action, and quite good special effects and big breasts to keep the eye interested.
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