Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Reviews

Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
May 23, 2011
Depp, grimacing, edges in and out of the action and seems irrelevant and bored most of the time.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 23, 2011
I've never seen a film in which what was actually onscreen seemed so irrelevant.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 20, 2011
Ahoy me hearties, No. 4 is surprisingly not bad.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
May 20, 2011
The franchise is getting tired, but Penelope energizes it...
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 20, 2011
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 | Original Score: D+
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
May 20, 2011
Ian McShane gives Blackbeard as much menace as a goofball romp can handle.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
May 20, 2011
Except for one moment in the climactic Fountain of Youth scene, I never once thought, wow, what a magical place I'm being invited to visit.
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
May 20, 2011
It has the feel of a TV drama renewed for one season too many, a last, furtive run at the till before it closes for business.
Top Critic
May 20, 2011
Small kids won't really appreciate Johnny Depp either, though frankly he's getting to be less fun as the series ages, possibly realizing that what's riskiest in Pirates 4 isn't walking the plank, but jumping the shark.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 20, 2011
With further sequels already in the works, and billions more to be made, I would nevertheless like to point out that the wind went out of these pirate ship sails a long time ago.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 20, 2011
Marshall deserves props for putting the "show" back into the Pirates business. But face it, he's polishing a giant turd.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
May 20, 2011
The movie was written by "Pirates" stalwarts Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. They're funny guys, and the script might well be funny too, but it's hard to tell from the metronome rhythms set for the actors by the director, Rob Marshall...
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
May 20, 2011
"On Stranger Tides" feels as fresh and bracingly exhilarating as the day Jack Sparrow first swashed his buckle, infusing new reckless energy into a franchise that shows no signs of furling its sails.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 20, 2011
The more sequels spun off, the clearer it becomes that one movie about these swashbucklers would have sufficed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 20, 2011
Cutlasses flash, music swells, mast sways, critic yawns.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 19, 2011
For all his faults, Gore Verbinski at least handled the action with panache. Those movies thrummed with derring-do. This one sinks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 19, 2011
If you want to burden your movie from the outset, give it a protagonist who can't grow, can't change, can't feel and wants nothing. Then give Depp total license to mug his way out of this confinement.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
May 19, 2011
Dead Man's Chest and At World's End meandered so far off course, and took so long to get there, that almost any Act 4 encore would qualify as a quantum leap forward.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 19, 2011
There's little if anything here to keep us emotionally invested, and so the pile-it-on mutinies and sword fights and perilous dives off vertiginous cliffs exist just to wow us.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
May 19, 2011
POTC was never about nuance, and now it's even less so: It's about watching Depp fall into peril and wriggle his way out, over and over, for hours.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
May 19, 2011
Depp, back again as the swashbuckling miscreant who favors guy-liner and gold, somehow manages to keep this ship of fools afloat. But just barely.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 19, 2011
Never lives up to - or, for that matter, does anything to deserve - the recent parody tribute offered by Michael Bolton in a "Saturday Night Live" digital short...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 19, 2011
This episode feels like the fourth film in a trilogy, wheezing along when it should leap, relying on our affection for recurring characters rather than taking us on a bold new journey of discovery.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
May 19, 2011
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer serves up another five-course meal of cinematic fast food, with all the familiar ingredients in exact measurements and just enough flavor to make them palatable.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 19, 2011
For me, it's too much of a muchness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
May 19, 2011
The new captain is Rob Marshall, who scrapes off a few of the barnacles that clung to the last effort. But he can't avoid the feeling that this adventure has run aground.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 19, 2011
A long, slow voyage through shallow water.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 19, 2011
Stranger tides? Stranger than what? What's strange, or fresh, about any of the mechanical diversions on offer here?
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 19, 2011
Though this movie ends with a clear indication of more possibilities ahead, I'm more than ready to let Captain Jack Sparrow rest in rum-soaked peace.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 18, 2011
A nonsensical contraption designed simply to take your money. Don't give it up so easily.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 18, 2011
I never thought I'd miss the overstuffed craziness of Verbinski's originals - the squiddly extras, the moments of sheer pop surrealism, the Kraken - but "On Stranger Tides'' is like a familiar house where half the furniture has been sold off.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 18, 2011
Its one real act of piracy is stealing away your excitement.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
May 18, 2011
The movie is a series of distractions tossed together in the hopes that they will come together in a coherent story. That never really happens.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 18, 2011
The pirates of the Caribbean are back, and this time they've given up on the doubloons and galleons to plunder something really precious. Our time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
May 18, 2011
Disney has finally arrived at ocean's bottom: an automated money-minter that hardly requires its audience to stay awake.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Nick Schager
Village Voice
May 17, 2011
Jack will no doubt live to prance another day, but from Depp's fey bon mots to a cameoing Keith Richards's scraggly visage, his swashbuckling series is showing its age.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
May 16, 2011
[It] is the shortest in the series. But it still feels overlong and overstuffed: needlessly convoluted yet, at the same time, phoned-in.
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
May 16, 2011
...at a mere two hours and eight minutes, the fourth and latest installment is the shortest... but by the end one feels as if one has had a full 180-minute meal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Tom Huddleston
Time Out
May 16, 2011
'On Stranger Tides' is simply lifeless, a reductive, insulting moneymaking exercise with as much charm and depth as a slot machine.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
May 15, 2011
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" injects new vigor into a megabucks franchise and makes for a perfectly acceptable night out.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 15, 2011
Pirates 4 struggles to stay afloat but finally sinks under the weight of its computer-rendered fakery, which the addition of 3-D does absolutely nothing to improve.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Andrew Barker
Variety
May 12, 2011
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides serves as a welcome corrective, reviving the fun, feather-light frivolity that any film based on a Disneyland ride ought to exhibit.
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Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
May 11, 2011
Captain Jack Sparrow is back in excellent form for his fourth adventure in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which is more serious in the hands of a new director, Rob Marshall, and thanks to Penelope Cruz it's also a good deal sexier.