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

I never thought pirates could actually be considered sexy.

A young swain (Orlando Bloom) recruits rascally, charismatic pirate Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to help rescue a maiden (Keira Knightley) from rival buccaneers. But Sparrow and his motley crew soon find that they’re up against firightening supernatural forces and an ancient curse.

I have actually been on the Disney ride that this film is based on, and to say the least, the ride sucks. Somehow, they actually managed to make this nothing like that ride, except maybe being two hours longer.

Director Gore Verbinski knows exactly what kind of film he’s dealing with here; pirates, camp, action, and adventure. He doesn’t try to make this anything more than just straight-up Hollywood entertainment, and it totally works. There’s a lot of beautiful set pieces, as well as awesome action to spare, and the visuals are amazing. In many films you can tell what looks real and what doesn’t and just how they got that to look like what it does, but here you can’t really tell and it’s amazing to see how Verbinski designs this film.

I also liked the fact that the screenplay was actually very witty and had some good comedy here and there, but also a good story to follow along with. I think I could just feel Verbinski’s ambition and energy when it came to him making this film and that is what lead on to me having a great time with this film, even after the fact that I’ve seen this movie about 7 times already. So congrats to Verbinski on making pirates cool again.

The only problem with this film that I have is that it does feel awfully long. I didn’t mind all the action, humor, and pirates but when it came to a running time of about 2 hours and 23 minutes, then that’s the big problem. It meanders for a little bit longer than it really should have and some will be annoyed by how long this actually is, but as long as I’m having fun, I say it doesn’t matter.

Now everybody’s favorite element about this film is the man with a plan, Johnny Depp as the iconic pirate, Jack Sparrow. Depp does an impersonation of the one and only Keith Richards in the most perfect way because he bumbles and moves around like a total lunatic the whole film, but not once did I get annoyed of his shtick. Depp brings a lot humor to Sparrow and almost makes him a larger-than-life persona that does not once back down from any problem that runs in his face, and I have to say that Depp really did create one of the best film characters of the past decade.

Everybody else involved with this film is pretty good too. Geoffrey Rush is a lot of campy fun as the villainous but amusing, Captain Barbossa, Keira Knightley is gorgeous but also fits well in this sausage-fest of a film as Elizabeth Swann, and Orlando Bloom is that straight-forward kid that seems so out-of-place, but fits so well as William Turner. Everybody here seems to be having a lot of fun playing their own characters, and even though Johnny Depp blows them all out of the water, they still are equally as memorable.

Consensus: The running time may make this film seem over-long, but Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black pearl is a fun, and great-looking swashbuckler that features fun for the whole family, and great performances from the whole cast, especially the always amazing Depp.



  1. Nicely put.

    This was a great movie. Lots of action, lots of laughs. I’d bump it up from an 8 1/2 to like a nine, easy.

    My problem is, I wind up having a hard time dissaciociating it from the string of declining sequels that followed it.

  2. I never considered that dirty pirates with bad teeth (I’m speaking specifically of Cap’n Jack Sparrow here) could be hot, but damn if Johnny Depp didn’t pull it off. The problem is that you can tell, as the franchise continues, that he’s starting to lose interest in the character. Or maybe I’m the one that’s losing interest. Either way, by the time the credits rolled on the fourth movie, I just wanted the series to go away.

    • I don’t think he’s losing interest, I think other people are just starting to get tired of seeing him basically play the same dude over and over again. The fourth one was OK, but lacked the spirit that this one held so well.

  3. The first one remains the best because it’s so damn entertaining. Plus, I was so into Captain Jack Sparrow. From the way he walked to the way he eyed things. It’s Johnny Depp at his best.

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