JT Film Review

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

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

4.5/5 stars

Director – Gore Verbenski

Cast – Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush, Jonathan Pryce


— followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest


The first in a wrongly-maligned series, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black potc1is a return to the swash and buckle of the old Errol Flynn movies and the like. There’s more adventure here than one can shake a cutlass at, and characters that will live on for ages I’m sure. In fact, there is word that a fourth movie will join the franchise. Despite claims of beating a dead horse, I can’t wait.

The plot is fairly dark for a Disney movie, and one aimed at kids nonetheless. It features a god’s curse, damned sailors, etc. One sequence is quite frightening in its bizarreness; leading lady Keira Knightley sees the pirates secret, that they are “undead” and that when moonbeams hit them they turn to skeletons. They twirl her around and then launch her in the air on a tattered sail, much like in the old classic Winnie-the-Pooh cartoons. It was a bit too much I found, but all in all it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the movie.

The acting ranges from good to bloody amazing (all except Orlando Bloom, who is terrible). Johnny Depp’s creation (and it is his, the role originally was a pirates1normal dashing hero) of a deranged and just plain loony pirate, Jack Sparrow, is one of the best characters ever made. We have seen nothing like it before. Most of the truly great comedic moments in the movie stem directly from him. To put it simply, without this character the movie would not have been near as big a success, critically or comercially.

That is not to belittle the supporting characters, who for the most part all put in great performances. Jonathan Pryce, Geoffrey Rush, and Jack Davenport all are wonderful, taking their acting cues from again, the old Golden Age pirate movies of Errol Flynn etc. They are both enjoyable and credible, and they certainly raise the quality of the movie.

One on the main criticisms of the movie is that it is a bit long. That is almost true, though personally I found that it held my interest the whole way through.Some may be put off by its comparatively complex plot, but again, I found it refreshing to find a movie with more plot than the usual. I’m getting sick of plot lines that can be summed up in one sentence, aren’t you?


This is a great movie and a very good start to a franchise. The characters will keep you engaged, the action will thrill, and the overall sense of fun and adventure will keep you coming back. Recommended, except to the very young (-8). It gets a bit intense for that age.



“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia



July 29, 2009 - Posted by | 4.5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Fantasy, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , ,

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