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

In anticipation of this months Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, I’m currently rewatching the previous four entries to refresh my memory. The first in the series, Curse of the Black Pearl, kicked off the series in 2003 to rave reviews and a great box office return. I hadn’t seen the movie in a few years so it was pretty much a fresh viewing and this film still holds up amazingly and is one of the most fun adventure films I’ve ever seen. It is the definition of a summer blockbuster.

Curse of the Black Pearl tells the story of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) as they go after the black pearl, Sparrows old ship which he was mutinied off of, to rescue Elizabeth Swan (Kiera Knightley). So begins the battle of wits and swords with the villainess Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush) and his crew.

This movie is just pure fun. From the first scene all the way to the end, there’s a sense of confidence and adventure evident throughout and that goes a long way in making this movie as good as it is. The performances also add a ton to the film as everyone is on their absolute A game. This was when Orlando Bloom was featured in starting to become prominent as he just finished up with the Lord of the Rings and jumped right into this film, now franchise. He absolutely shines in this role as the hero who feels like Pirate Indiana Jones. He’s so badass and has a few moments that make you cheer for him. Keira Knightley is lovely as Swan and she has this sense of curiosity about Pirates that makes you want to get to know more about this lifestyle. Geoffrey Rush as the villain is so fun and menacing that you truly feel like this man is a threat every time he’s on screen. No one though is better than nonother than Johnny Deep as Captain Jack Sparrow. He is absolutely amazing and steals the show in every scene. This is my favorite performance of Depp’s and he was so good, he was nominated for best actor for this role, something that doesn’t happen too often with these kind of movies. 

The action is a true standout here and that’s due to the gorgeous set design and cinematography. You truly feel like this is a living breathing world and once the movie finishes, you’re sad that you have to go back to the real world. Each shot is gorgeously composed and Dariusz Wolski, the cinematographer behind The Martian and the beautiful Prometheus, makes sure you see every inch of action and spectacle this film holds. Of course I can’t talk about Pirates and not mention the iconic score. One of my favorite film soundtracks and one that will always give me goosebumps when the main theme comes on. It truly never gets old.

When it’s done and over with, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl has sucked you in and you’re ready to watch the next films in the series. The amount of heart, spectacle and beauty in each consecutive scene is a rarity in blockbusters. This is one of the landmark blockbuster films and is one of the most fun times you’ll have watching a movie.


                                Grade: A+ 


Next Up: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest 

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