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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)


Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 255
Fresh: 84
Rotten: 171

Critics Consensus: It's shorter and leaner than the previous sequel, but this Pirates runs aground on a disjointed plot and a non-stop barrage of noisy action sequences.

Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 11
Rotten: 32

Critics Consensus: It's shorter and leaner than the previous sequel, but this Pirates runs aground on a disjointed plot and a non-stop barrage of noisy action sequences.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 196,405


Movie Info

Johnny Depp returns to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in an action-packed adventure. Crossing paths with the enigmatic Angelica (Penélope Cruz), he's not sure if it's love-or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the "Queen Anne's Revenge," the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know whom to fear more: Blackbeard or Angelica, … More

PG-13 (for intense sequences of action/adventure violence, some frightening images, sensuality and innuendo)
Action & Adventure , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Ted Elliot , Terry Rossio
In Theaters:
Oct 18, 2011
Box Office:
Walt Disney Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

All Critics (257) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (84) | Rotten (171) | DVD (11)

Depp, grimacing, edges in and out of the action and seems irrelevant and bored most of the time.

Full Review… | May 23, 2011
New Yorker
Top Critic

I've never seen a film in which what was actually onscreen seemed so irrelevant.

Full Review… | May 23, 2011
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Ahoy me hearties, No. 4 is surprisingly not bad.

Full Review… | May 20, 2011
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The franchise is getting tired, but Penelope energizes it...

Full Review… | May 20, 2011
Top Critic

It's never quite clear what the relationship between Jack and Angelica is. Sometimes it's love, sometimes it's hate; it probably depended on who was writing the script that day.

Full Review… | May 20, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

Ian McShane gives Blackbeard as much menace as a goofball romp can handle.

Full Review… | May 20, 2011
Denver Post
Top Critic

Precisely the movie this series should be producing now, a generic, harmless spectacle with the added bonus of Johnny Depp goofing off.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

A movie so dark, dank and devoid of coherence that you'd swear it exists only to pillage gullible buckos of their bucks.

Full Review… | May 26, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

Great production design and a couple well done action scenes make this one somewhat enjoyable.

Full Review… | March 13, 2013
We Got This Covered

Competent, but joyless.

Full Review… | February 7, 2013
Movie Nation

There is fun to be had and it's exciting (for a moment) to see Captain Jack Sparrow on the big screen again but the overall production suffers from franchise burnout.

Full Review… | October 2, 2012

The action ... ranges from fun swashbuckling, to tedious parrying, to outright terribly edited, CGI funk that completely defies any kind of physical presence.

Full Review… | September 25, 2012

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is not really a bad film, it's more so a disappointing and forgettable one

Full Review… | September 20, 2012

... continues not only the tale of (the Sparrow and Barbossa) rivalry but also why (and how well) they ever worked together to begin with.

Full Review… | February 16, 2012

By the end of the film you get the feeling that Depp himself is wondering just how much longer he can fake the funk for a paycheck.

Full Review… | February 3, 2012

Captain Jack Sparrow is running on fumes in this enjoyable, but middling, forgettable sequel.

Full Review… | January 29, 2012

It's not as bad as everyone says. It's just missing the playfulness of the first two films.

Full Review… | December 29, 2011
Movie Metropolis

If it had been cut to about 90 minutes, this could have been a bright and breezy adventure that zipped along at a cracking pace. As it is, it's a rather bloated actioner that has one or two great moments.

Full Review… | December 13, 2011

You know the old saying 'less is more?' I present to you exhibit A: 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.'

Full Review… | November 5, 2011
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Continues to steer the same course as its predecessor sequels, focusing on convoluted storylines that zap all the fun and energy that made the first film so great.

Full Review… | October 28, 2011

An unsteady plot and mostly juvenile humor take over for much of the film's 137 minutes, which though blessedly shorter than installments two and three still feels a little long.

Full Review… | October 20, 2011
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Director Rob Marshall stages slapstick like dance choreography and action like a theme park ride. Which I guess is appropriate...

Full Review… | October 17, 2011

After four movies, Pirates is beginning to feel a bit like a soggy, waterlogged plank that's been afloat in the salty sea a bit too long.

Full Review… | September 26, 2011
American Profile

Saying that less is more with reference to a film that vomits so much over its audience is absurd yet oddly appropriate here.

Full Review… | July 12, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides suffers from an extraordinary lack of imagination, something that cannot be said of its predecessors, convoluted and impenetrable though they may have certainly been.

Full Review… | July 6, 2011

Disney-sanitizer wafts through--there are few bloody, mercenary moments. Some action sequences are cartoonish. And for such a talky picture, the dialogue's not charged enough.

Full Review… | June 22, 2011
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Audience Reviews for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

My daughter Erin loved it. I thought it was okay. I miss Kiera Knightly :)

I dont quite know what to say here. It was not as convoluted plot wise as the second two but did not have the charm of the first.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


We all thought it had ended with the trilogy but no! as in this modern age there had to be a continuation, it had to be milked and a milked it shall be. New director, change of cast line up and a new myth to explore, this franchise has become the Indiana Jones of the era.

This film takes elements from actual real history this time and blends them with classic fantasy. The real bits involve the legendary English pirate Edward Teach and his flagship Queen Anne's Revenge and the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. Now this plot has relaxed a bit, its not a complicated mess of sub plots and tonnes of characters. 'Sparrow' is off to sea once again to find the fountain of youth, alongside him is 'Barbossa' who is now a privateer for the British Navy. At the same time 'Blackbeard' is also after the fountain along with the dastardly Spanish and their religious thoughts. Each party has their own reasons naturally which does as usual involve some double crossing and twists.

I must admit to liking the intergration of actual history into the plot this time. The franchise has slowly used various common old fables and sea myths to its advantage which has worked well, this time the inclusion of some real historic figures gives the whole thing a bit more class, credibility and a small sense of realism. Of course old Blackbeard has been given a slightly spruced up look with black leather top to bottom by the looks of it, aiming for the cool factor a bit too much methinks.

Gotta say I didn't really like the whole supernatural power thing Blackbeard had over his ship with the magic cutlass. That seemed pointless if you ask me, if he can control the ship like that then why use a crew?. His galleon has also been given a very fantasised appearance which makes it look like a unique ghost ride attraction in a fairground. Oh and his ship breaths fire out the front? really? did we need that silliness? they'd probably burn their own ship down with it.

Next to that we see mermaids which is about time really if you think about it. The fact they are actually fearsome creatures that kill innocent sailors was a nice touch if rather obvious. But that plot detail causes confusion with the main mermaid character who we are meant to feel for, but that's hard knowing her kind are merciless killers of the deep, plus the 'Splash' finale for her was too much cinematic deja vu.

I think the film in general is let down by totally unrealistic action sequences that just feel implausible when they are suppose to be reasonably plausible. The escape set piece at the start is a good example, its overly long and over the top in every sense. Sparrow is leaping around like an acrobat (clearly a stunt double) and doing things that just wouldn't work, the worst bit is seeing all the English soldiers prat falling about everywhere trying to catch him, its cringing. We all know the franchise is suppose to be fun fantasy but apart from the actual supernatural stuff you do expect a degree of slight realism with some stunts. If it becomes too outrageous then it ceases to be fun and simply becomes a joke, what's worse is the fact its not meant to be that kind of joke.

The film is full of these daft action sequences really, it looks bad because we all know Sparrow isn't that kind of character, we had 'Turner' in the trilogy for that. So now seeing the campy Sparrow mincing about doing these big hero stunts looks stupid as its actually taken semi seriously. As I said earlier the plot does also go down the route of old Indy with the chalices thing and especially the finale for Blackbeard which is pretty much a rip off from 'Raiders' and 'The Last Crusade'.

Altogether the adventure feels a bit flat to me, nothing much happens that we haven't seen before or made me go wow!. Most of the characters are running low on juice now accept for Barbossa who is always brilliantly played by Rush. Cruz was a bad casting choice and did nothing whilst McShane wasn't all that intimidating as Blackbeard if you ask me. Kudos to Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey for being gorgeously cute as the mermaid and Richard Griffiths in a small role as King George II at the start.

On the whole very very average in my opinion, hyper stunt laden action sequences can't divert from the fact the film is actually kinda dull. It all looks terrific and very atmospheric in that Monkey Island kinda way but you can tell the difference in direction with the film, it does stand out. I just feel they have now used up most avenues of pirate legend both real and fantasy, I can't see what they can do in the fifth film without it being a complete rehash, especially with this struggling for a fresh look. Who's left to utilize? 'Long John Silver'? 'Sinbad'? 'YellowBeard'? (lol!) what other old creatures and myths can they possibly crowbar in?? Atlantis?.

The fact they even squeezed in the minute unrelated hobby of ships in a bottle shows how far they were stretched to incorporate anything remotely olde worlde and piratey into the film. I think this film just about manages to be semi acceptable but that's now it, no more can or should be done. I think Sparrow has had his moment in the spotlight, time to retire in the sun matey.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

I think the character of Captain Jack Sparrow has enough longevity to sustain another trilogy. Any film that doesn't star Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightley is always ok in my book. Unfortunately for this instalment they gave the story to the wrong director. The story didn't interweave, twist or turn as well as it has in the first three films either and after the impressive and quite frankly over the top At Worlds End, this is a bit of a damp squib. Depp keeps it watchable and I'd like to see another, but the story has got to be better for the next instalment.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


Cliche romance, cliche characters, cliche action, cliche story, foreseeable ending and just a few good moments. Rotten.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Quotes

Captain Jack Sparrow:
Did everyone see that? Because I will not be doing it again!
– Submitted by JLuis L (19 months ago)
What were you doing in a Spanish convent anyway?
Captain Jack Sparrow:
Mistook it for a brothel. An honest mistake.
– Submitted by Mila M (23 months ago)
Philip, I can save you. You need only ask.
I seek but one thing.
What is that?
Forgiveness. If not for me, you'd have never been captured.
Forgive me.
– Submitted by Typhon Q (2 years ago)
The Spaniard:
You are a fool. You seek in this place what only faith can provide.
Faith. In faith there is light enough to see, but darkness enough to blind.
– Submitted by Typhon Q (2 years ago)
You know when I feel closest to our Maker? When I see suffering, pain, and anguish, when the true design of this world is revealed.
– Submitted by Typhon Q (2 years ago)
Are you my jolly sailor?
– Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)

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