This sounded like such a bad idea – basing a movie on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland – but it turned out to be one of the best blockbusters of 2003, thanks to some rollicking action and a truly genius performance from Johnny Depp as pirate Jack Sparrow.
Young blacksmith Will Turner (Bloom) hankers after the lovely Elizabeth (Knightley) and finally gets a chance to prove his worth when she is captured by spooky pirates from the ship the Black Pearl. With the (reluctant) help of boozy Jack Sparrow – who used to be the Pearl’s captain – he sets off to rescue her in an adventure packed with witty one-liners, gallant deeds and sword fights. Of course, Depp, with his braided hair, eye make-up and Keith Richards accent, steals the movie from everyone else, and that’s a tough thing to do when you consider the cast also includes Jonathan Pryce (great as Elizabeth’s dad), The Office’s Mackenzie Crook and Geoffrey Rush as the new captain of the Black Pearl, Barbossa.
The director, Gore Verbinski, also filmed two sequels back to back, 2006’s Dead Man’s Chest (in which Jack owes his soul to the mythical Davy Jones, who comes to collect) and 2007’s At World’s End (Elizabeth is captured by an Oriental pirate, played by Chow Yun-Fat), while a fourth was made for release in 2011.
Is Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Over 12s should be fine.
Parents should note that the Black Pearl is sailed by a band of men whose true nature (they are skeletons) is revealed in the moonlight.
There are lots of battles between pirates, and younger viewers will find Barbossa scary.