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

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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
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.
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Time Out
February 9, 2006
Depp invests this overfed, action-tractioned swashbuckler with a voluptuous wit and spry spontaneity it surely doesn't deserve.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 31, 2003
Buries its treasures -- mainly Johnny Depp in eye shadow and dreads as Captain Jack Sparrow -- in briny clichés.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
July 25, 2003
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.
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July 16, 2003
At, say, 85 minutes, this would have been a jolly little swashbuckler, but at 143 it turns into an unholy trial.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 16, 2003
An awkward pirate epic that's jampacked with energy, ambition and spectacular effects.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 14, 2003
This movie is far too long.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 11, 2003
Pirates steams ahead on a mirthless course of script beats and busy action sequences, coldly steered by director Gore Verbinski to the boom-blast-blare coordinates of producing commodore Jerry Bruckheimer.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
July 11, 2003
Isn't so much a pirate movie as it is the idea of a pirate movie.
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
July 11, 2003
Certainly, Pirates has its moments. But it's definitely no 'E' ticket.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 10, 2003
An overstated, unashamedly silly summer adventure.
| Original Score: C+
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
July 9, 2003
The booty here is 100 percent fool's gold.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 9, 2003
[Johnny] Depp is the single best reason to see Pirates of the Caribbean if you're past the age of 10.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 9, 2003
Pirates will enthrall kids and amuse adults. Its only failing is that at 2 hours and 15 minutes, it's about 20 minutes too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
July 9, 2003
There is much by way of noise, computer-generated action, big sets and breezy laughs, and practically nothing to intrude on your thought processes afterwards.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 9, 2003
Who knew Johnny Depp was a theme park all by himself?
| Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
July 9, 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean is a movie that you ride around in circles for 2 hours and 23 minutes, until at last it brings you back where you began, exhausted and a lot dizzier.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 9, 2003
A monotonous, repetitive spectacle of endless shipboard sword fights and pirate ghosts in the moonlight.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 9, 2003
An improbably entertaining, if overlong, adventure that brings new meaning to the term 'summer camp.'
| Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 9, 2003
A theme park ride has been successfully transferred to the screen.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 9, 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean tends to overstay its welcome.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
July 9, 2003
While the plot and action are all deliberately familiar, director Gore Verbinski steers a continual course for sheer, mindless, rope-swinging, crow's-nest-hollering summer fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 9, 2003
A pretty fun ride all by itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 9, 2003
The summer's oddest, most unexpected blockbuster has arrived.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
July 9, 2003
Forget the film and check out [Depp], because there's a superlative to be witnessed here: This has gotta rank among the weirdest performances in the zany annals of the silver screen.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 9, 2003
A movie that charms the audience and then outstays its welcome.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 9, 2003
An exhilaratingly funny movie ride.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
July 9, 2003
The movie is better than it deserves to be, given its origins: a ride at Disneyland and Disney World.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 9, 2003
As forgettable as a bad day in the Disneyland parking lot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
July 9, 2003
Surprisingly dull.
| Original Score: C
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 9, 2003
The most entertaining amusement of a summer divided between spectacles that force you to exercise your brain and spectacles that seem to suck the brain right out of your head.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 9, 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean may have taken its nutso inspiration from a theme-park ride. But it has become, without a doubt, its own wild ride.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
July 9, 2003
If you're weary of summer movies that play like extended MTV videos, you'll luxuriate in Mr. Verbinski's purely cinematic technique.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Ed Park
Village Voice
July 8, 2003
Convoluted but diverting.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
July 8, 2003
The picture's constant forward movement and breezy sense of amusement about itself provide a certain mild sort of diversion.
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John Anderson
Newsday
July 8, 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean has a smart script, an attractive cast, some very creative violence and romance to boot.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 8, 2003
Swashbuckling adventures are few and far between these days, so it's a pleasant surprise to see one that is competently made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
July 8, 2003
Bristling with brash leaps and thrilling spills, Pirates is a stunt fan's heaven.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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July 8, 2003
One of the few must-see films of this summer.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
July 8, 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean is fun -- but only as long as you don't expect much.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 8, 2003
A consistently rousing, funny and thoroughly entertaining summer action movie.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 4, 2003
This is one time when a cartoon approach in live action is exactly right: The movie's flamboyant personalities and tongue-in-cheek action push the envelope of high camp without ever succumbing to sheer silliness.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
June 17, 2003
The picture moves so swiftly in its first hour that one wonders if the energy can be sustained. But the crew has more surprises in store.