Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen! Recently I put up a poll on my twitter (@TheMarckoguy, if you’re not already following me there) asking if you wanted me to review the first four “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies since the new one is coming out very soon. After 24 hours the poll was over and a majority voted “Yes” on it, so I’m gonna bring you reviews of all the “Pirates” movies leading up to the new one. So here we go with the first part in this new review series.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”.

When his long time friend and love interest Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) gets kidnapped by a gang of seemingly undead pirates, blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) has to team up with the very eccentric pirate captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to find the bad guys and stop them. That’s it, a simple swashbuckler plot with a supernatural twist… and it doesn’t really need more than that. It’s a fun plot featuring pirates and some supernatural bullshit. And to be honest, while the supernatural stuff isn’t necessary to make a good movie, I feel like it really added something to the plot here, deepening it without going (pun intended) overboard. It’s an interesting world they set up and they make a fun adventure happen in it.

The characters in this movie are all interesting and really entertaining. Jack Sparrow is a selfish jerk who also happens to have his heart in the right place, and Johnny Depp is great in the role, playing him with a lot of fun energy. Elizabeth Swann can seem like a bit of a damsel in distress at first, being kidnapped by the undead pirates and all, but she’s actually a tough and stubborn young woman that I enjoy following, and Keira Knightley is really good in the role. Will Turner is the generic handsome hero guy who you see in a lot of these adventure movies, so while he is a very generic character, I still think Orlando Bloom does a really good job. Captain Barbossa is the leader of teh undead pirates and he’s a vile and menacing man, and Geoffrey Rush is fantastic in the role. Then we have commodore Norrington, a man determined to catch/stop any and all pirates out there, and Jack Davenport is great in the role. Tons of great actors/performances in this movie… too many to mention.

The score for the movie was composed by Klaus Badelt and it is really good. It’s fun, energetic, bombastic, inspiring, and perfectly fits the swashbuckler vibe that this movie is going for. Really, it’s just great.

The movie was directed by Gore Verbinski and I think he did a great job. The shots look great and there’s a lot of energy in his directing. Especially the action scenes, they’re a lot of fun to watch, especially if you have a soft spot for swashbucklers like I do. Also, the visual effects in this movie look great, in particular the look of the undead pirates. Sure, some of the CG hasn’t aged the best, but for the time combined with the overall design of them, it looks awesome. I just love the look of them.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10 and is ranked #249 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 5 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Depp), Best makeup, Best sound mixing, Best sound editing, and Best visual effects.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” is an incredibly fun swashbuckler adventure. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Yarr*. My final score for “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” is a 9,86/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” is now completed.

One down, three to go… ahoy, me mateys!

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4 thoughts on “Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

  1. This first film really is something special – it’s a pity some people now look down on the franchise because the sequels were so overblown, superfluous and driven by $$.
    Personally I’m still excited about Salazar’s Revenge and will join you in a film-by-film rewatch of the series-to-date prior to its UK release next week (provided I don’t run out of time – they are LONG films!!).

  2. I’m delighted to see The Curse of the Black Pearl is still standing in IMDB’s top 250. I loved the film. Saw it twice in one weekend while on vacation in Arizona ($4 movie theater tickets! Can’t beat that! They’re $12 over here in Los Angeles!) What amazes me is that despite how much I enjoyed the first film, I still have yet to see any of the sequels. Perhaps I’ll ride your wave and watch and review all of them before seeing Dead Men Tell No Tales. I certainly should! After all, it’s a pirate’s life for me! Yarrr!

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