Film Review © 2003 by Trip Reynolds


Directed by Gore Verbinski; Screenplay by Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, and Jay Wolpert. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Starring Johnny Depp (as appealing pirate Captain Jack Sparrow), Orlando Bloom (as the virginal and heroic Will Turner), Geoffrey Rush (as the evil Captain Barbossa), Keira Knightley (as the ingénue Elizabeth Swann), Jonathan Pryce (as spineless Governor Swann and doting father of Elizabeth), and Lauren Maher (as Scarlett).

Johnny Depp makes this film. Without Depp, film bares an uncanny resemblance to Rob Reiner's intentionally more comical 1987 fantasy film, "The Princess Bride." On its own, "Pirates" is too long and should have been trimmed by at least 30 minutes, and the ending sucks. Without giving away the ending, the film doesn't deliver on an establishing shot (of a parrot!) which suggested more support for our heroes Will Turner and Captain Jack Sparrow than what actually occurred. Film falls flat.

For my money, "Sinbad the Sailor," made in 1947, is the best pirate film ever. "Sinbad" featured a legendary cast of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (as Sinbad), and Maureen O'Hara, Walter Slezak, Anthony Quinn, Jane Greer, George Tobias, Mike Mazurki, and Sheldon Leonard. Hum, but let's not forget "Against All Flags," made in 1952, which starred Errol Flynn, Maureen O'Hara and Anthony Quinn. Plus, let's not forget Tyrone Power swashbuckling with Maureen O'Hara (yes, again) in "The Black Swan" from 1942. These are the best films in the pirate genré - all made, yes, when movies were REALLY movies!

Film is directed laboriously by Gore Verbinski, overproduced by Jerry Bruckheimer and, in a true indication of chaos (with too many hands in the stew) - film is overwritten by Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, and Jay Wolpert.

Film has a laborious running length of 143 minutes.

Recommendation: "Pirates of the Caribbean" is strictly a cable movie! If you want to see a good pirate movie in a movie theatre, you'll have more enjoyment from seeing the animated "Sinbad" movie.