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

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

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler


Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
Director: Gore Verbinski
Series: Pirates of the Caribbean Movie #1
Release Date: 9 July 2003
Language: English
Length: 143 minutes
Movie Rating: PG-13
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 5/5 stars


Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is at an all time low. His crew mutinied on him, dumped him on a deserted island, and now he is left with no ship, no crew, and no prospects…until he sees that his crew really is cursed. Turns out his crew found the gold without him and now were like the living dead. When Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) frees Sparrow so that they can rescue the fair Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) from the pirates, Sparrow realizes that the pirates need Turner’s blood to lift the curse. But Will is not about to let Sparrow use him as a bargaining chip and starts playing the game his own way…


I was excited to see this movie from the moment that I heard about it, but I must admit that I was a little worried that it would be a weak adaptation like The Country Bears a while back. Needless to say, I was blown away by this movie and was so pleased that Disney put out such a great movie! The special effects are superb, with the pirates moving seamlessly between flesh and blood and skeletons in the streams of moonlight that they walk through. The actors are also wonderful – especially Johnny Depp who was laugh-out-loud hilarious in his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow. The humor is not at all slapstick, though, it is very subtle and this makes it that much better. Orlando Bloom did a very good job as the reliable blacksmith, Geoffrey Rush was the epitome of a bloodthirsty pirate and the British soldiers were a very nice casting addition (the 2 soldiers in charge of guarding the ship were my favorite!). In short, this movie has it all – great cast, wonderful effects, thrilling stunts and swordfights, humor, a love story, perfect sets and costumes, a lovely score – don’t miss it!


This movie contains some bawdy and off-color humor, sexual references, drinking, colorful language (though no real swearing as we would see it today), sword fighting, gunshots, violence, sea battles, dead bodies and lots and lots of pirates!  Most of the action is very stylized and fantastical so there is not very much blood or gore involved.  The pirates of the Black Pearl do turn into skeletons in the moonlight and can be a bit frightening for young children.  Recommended for ages 12 and up.

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Filed under Action Movies, Adventure Movies, Fantasy Movies, Historical Movies, Romance Movies

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