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

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Critics Consensus

May leave you exhausted like the theme park ride that inspired it; however, you'll have a good time when it's over.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 220

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,125,722

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Movie Info

Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) arrives at Port Royal in the Caribbean without a ship or crew. His timing is inopportune, however, because later that evening the town is besieged by a pirate ship. The pirates kidnap the governor's daughter, Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), who's in possession of a valuable coin that is linked to a curse that has transformed the pirates into the undead. A gallant blacksmith (Orlando Bloom) in love with Elizabeth allies with Sparrow in pursuit of the pirates.

Cast & Crew

Johnny Depp
Captain Jack Sparrow
Orlando Bloom
Will Turner
Keira Knightley
Elizabeth Swann
Jack Davenport
Commodore Norrington
Kevin R. McNally
Joshamee Gibbs
Jonathan Pryce
Governor Weatherby Swann
Ted Elliott
Screenwriter
Ted Elliott
Writer (Screen Story)
Terry Rossio
Screenwriter
Terry Rossio
Writer (Screen Story)
Stuart Beattie
Writer (Screen Story)
Jay Wolpert
Writer (Screen Story)
Mike Stenson
Executive Producer
Chad Oman
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Critic Reviews for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

All Critics (220) | Top Critics (53) | Fresh (174) | Rotten (46)

  • Here -- in a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced high-seas adventure that incorporates roaring cannons, oddball comedy, a love story and more than a touch of the supernatural -- Depp unleashes his theatrical bravado. He's hilarious.

    November 1, 2007 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • Depp invests this overfed, action-tractioned swashbuckler with a voluptuous wit and spry spontaneity it surely doesn't deserve.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • And so we leave the cinema happy, our heads full of Gareth and gangsters-at-sea. Context, of course, is all.

    January 24, 2004 | Full Review…
  • It turns out to be slow and somewhat dull, as if it's trying to be something other than a good ride.

    September 12, 2003 | Full Review…
  • Buries its treasures -- mainly Johnny Depp in eye shadow and dreads as Captain Jack Sparrow -- in briny clichs.

    July 31, 2003 | Rating: 2/4
  • Pirates reminds me of a vintage MGM musical, a movie that is more choreographed than directed, and one that serves up good clean fun of the PG-13 variety.

    July 25, 2003 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

  • May 22, 2017
    What has now become a multi-billion-dollar franchise once started as an ambitious risk by Disney. Make a feature length film based on a ride at your theme park? That just didn't seem like something logical to do at the time. However, with a talented group of actors, a swashbuckling script, and one hell of a musical score, the first Pirates of the Caribbean is an absolute joy on all fronts. Perhaps, never really being topped in any way by its successors. Starting a new franchise is bold these days, which is why Disney made the right move in hiring Johnny Depp as the charming and sometimes irreverent Captain Jack Sparrow. An even better move was not leaving the entire film up to Sparrow to lead. Complementing the zaniness of Sparrow is the elegant but fierce Elizabeth Swan and the mysterious and brave Will Turner (played by Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom respectively). All of them are great, but may not prove to be as fun if not for the incredible visual effects, makeup, and action. This felt like the first major blockbuster of the 21st century, and the rest of the series certainly ranks up there. One of the best things this series, and particularly the first film, did so well is create a mythology and universe surrounding Pirates in and around the Caribbean. It happens gradually in 'Black Pearl', seemingly allowing viewers to adapt to the unknown shores of the series without feeling overwhelmed. A lot of it's fun swordplay and grim family history, but the supernatural elements play just as well. Immortally cursed pirates just begin to mark the lovable weirdness of this film. Almost as well known as the characters and the film itself is the score by Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer. Zimmer is always remembered as the one who created the iconic theme, but Badelt should also be credited, as should a few other unknown composers at the time who chipped in. But really, the movies would not be the same without the perfect music played over the action and adventures. This film is lengthy and does feature an annoyingly pesky English Navy who won't go away, but Geoffrey Rush's turn as Captain Barbosa and an equally (if not more) memorable turn from Depp as Sparrow makes the first film the best in the series. As fun as the action and over-the-top humor and adventure are, the thing you can always come back to in these films are the characters. The movies never quite captured the same entertainment as 'Black Pearl' did, but that wasn't for lack of trying. +Action & adventure are unmatched +Score +Memorable characters +Set up the mythology well -Lengthy 8.8/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 20, 2016
    This thrilling Disney tale (the companies first PG-13 film) could be considered by many one of Johnny Deeps best acting performances. This though is one of two things that really saved this film. It's interesting third act really surprised and entertained me while I felt the middling chapter feel flat. Overall though a good film. Though I don't think it should be considered to be a over 74% film but I am okay at where it sits because of its legacy and success in starting a franchise.
    Tyler H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2016
    Though a bit long, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is an exciting, fun film worth watching. Depp's performance as Jack Sparrow is one of the most memorable in all of cinema - his charismatic pirate alone makes this movie great. Perhaps just as great as Depp's performance is the soundtrack - Klaus Badelt creates a universe in his film score. Overall, this is a cinematic experience worth having.
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • May 29, 2013
    Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow is one of the most unique, funny, and entertaining characters ever created in cinema history and the British occupied Caribbean setting is beautiful and rarely seen in film. The story about the pirates and their curse is actually well-written for a blockbuster, the sets look amazing, the ships look completely authentic, and it's just so much fun. The special effects are fantastic for a movie that's already a decade old. I have to admit, if it weren't for Johnny Depp, it wouldn't even be half as good, but the fact that he is there makes all other aspects of the movie (including Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann's love story) even better. See it with booming and huge speakers on a huge screen and you'll have a great time. Pirates of the Caribbean is everything a good blockbuster should be, and is.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer

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