Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl


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.



Total Count: 217


Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,125,722
User image

Watch it now

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

Movie Info

A tale of adventure set during the 17th Century in the Caribbean Sea. For the roguish yet charming Captain Jack Sparrow, the crystalline waters of the Caribbean, like the high seas the world over, present a vast playground where adventure and mystery abound. But Jack's idyllic life capsizes after his nemesis, the wily Captain Barbossa, steals his ship, the Black Pearl, and later attacks the town of Port Royal, kidnapping the Governor's beautiful daughter, Elizabeth Swann. Elizabeth's childhood friend, Will Turner, joins forces with Jack to commandeer the fastest ship in the British fleet, the HMS Interceptor, in a gallant attempt to rescue her and recapture the Black Pearl. The duo and their crew are pursued by Elizabeth's betrothed, the debonair, ambitious Commodore Norrington, aboard the HMS dauntless. Unbeknownst to Will, there is a curse that has doomed Barbossa and his crew to live forever as the undead--when exposed to moonlight, they are exposed to living skeletons. The curse they carry can be broken, only if a once-plundered treasure is restored.


Johnny Depp
as Jack Sparrow
Geoffrey Rush
as Captain Barbossa
Orlando Bloom
as Will Turner
Keira Knightley
as Elizabeth Swann
Jack Davenport
as Norrington
Kevin McNally
as Joshamee Gibbs
Jonathan Pryce
as Governor Weatherby Swann
Zoe Saldana
as Anamaria
Dylan Smith
as Young Will Turner
Greg Ellis
as Officer Groves
Damian O'Hare
as Lt. Gillette
Giles New
as Murtogg
Guy Siner
as Harbormaster
Ralph P. Martin
as Mr. Brown
Paul Keith
as Butler
Lucinda Dryek
as Young Elizabeth
Michael Sean Tighe
as Seedy Looking Prisoner
Ben Wilson
as Seedy Prisoner No. 2
Antonio Valentino
as Seedy Prisoner No. 3
Lauren Maher
as Scarlett
Mike Babcock
as Seedy Prisoner No. 4
Owen Finnegan
as Town Clerk
Sam Roberts
as Crying Boy
Ben Roberts
as Crying Boy
Fred Toft
as Quartetto
D.P. Fitzgerald
as Weatherby
Jerry Gauny
as Ketchum
Finneus Egan
as Scratch
Don Ladaga
as Nipperkin
View All

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 (217) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (172) | Rotten (45)

  • 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.

    Nov 1, 2007 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

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

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It turns out to be slow and somewhat dull, as if it's trying to be something other than a good ride.

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

    Jul 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.

    Jul 25, 2003 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • At, say, 85 minutes, this would have been a jolly little swashbuckler, but at 143 it turns into an unholy trial.

    Jul 16, 2003 | Full Review…

    David Edelstein

    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

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

News & Features