The lawsuit between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has arisen many interesting details about the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Based on the popular Disney Parks attraction, the pirate the films were one of the most successful franchises of all time.
There are mixed reactions towards the quality of some of these movies, but most people still enjoy watching Depp as Jack Sparrow anyway. Here are the five Pirates of the Caribbean movies ranked from worst to best.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The biggest problem with About Stranger Tides is that it looks like a Jack Sparrow spin-off. It abandons the central plot of the first three films for a new story involving Blackbeard (Ian McShane), the mermaids and the search for the fountain of youth. Although it’s a good idea to see Jack Sparrow interact with real historical pirates like Blackbeard, but it’s a messy story with forgettable characters.
Even Geoffrey Rush is a much toned down version of Captain Barbossa. There are a few positives, including McShane, who is a good Blackbeard, and Penelope Cruz is also a welcome addition. The sequence with the mermaids is also a solid scene with creative action and haunting imagery. Still, About Stranger Tides can’t break the curse of having forgettable characters, boring storylines, and bland action.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
This fifth entry wisely changed course and returned to the story involving William Turner (Orlando Bloom). He’s not much in the film, but the tone is closer to the first three. The story involves Will Turner’s son, Henry (Brenton Thwaites), who seeks Poseidon’s trident that can end his father’s curse.
There’s also another storyline where a ghost captain (Javier Bardem) has returned from the dead and seeks revenge against Jack Sparrow. Or Dead men don’t tell tales falls flat is that it looks like nothing new. Yes, there are unique action scenes and funny moments, but that’s not enough to stand out. The humor falls flat most of the time and Depp overdoes it with his portrayal of Jack here.
It’s not terrible and it tries to capture the original tone of the first three, but it feels like an unnecessary extension of the story instead of a natural narrative progression. Still, it’s a better way to end things than About Stranger Tides.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
The first three pirate the films are so delicious and should have been their own trilogy. At the end of the world is the weakest of the three, but not by much. What makes At World’s End the weakest of the three is that the plot is too confusing. It’s a nearly 3 hour movie, but it still feels like there’s too much going on. The fantasy aspects are cool, but never fully explained. There are weird things like rock crabs, the Davy Jones locker, Calypso, and overly complicated dialogue that bogs this movie down.
However, At the end of the world features many exciting aspects like the Court of Brothers which features international pirates with different cultures and styles. The political aspects of the pirates are interesting and it’s fun to watch these characters debate and strategize. Hans Zimmer’s music has never been louder and this is one of his best scores to date.
The climax involving the crew of the Black Pearl battling the crew of Davy Jones above a whirlwind is probably the biggest climax of the series. It has incredible swordplay, intense moments, and a surprisingly hilarious marriage. It may be the most convoluted film in the series, but it’s engaging if you allow yourself to go around.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
The sequel to the original introduces more fantasy elements to this world but doesn’t go overboard. The introduction of Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) brings in a big bad guy who gives our heroes a menacing challenge. The CGI on Jones and his crew still look impressive even 16 years later. Once again Depp is having a blast as Sparrow and Knightley get more agency as a character here.
The only downside to Dead Man’s Chest it’s that there are a few sequences that overstay their welcome. It’s a two and a half hour movie and it wasn’t really necessary. For example, there’s a scene where the crew tries to save Jack from a group of cannibals. It’s a delightful sequence, but it doesn’t have to be as long as it is. Additionally, Barbossa’s absence from Rush is notable as he is one of the best characters in the franchise.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
the curse of the black pearl always manages to be the best pirate group’s film because of its simplicity. It’s a simple pirate adventure of a humble crew trying to save someone from a group of evil pirates. Barbossa is a big baddie and his skeleton crew has many memorable moments.
There are references to the ride that will satisfy die-hard Disney fans while expanding the lore of this story. Depp shines as Jack Sparrow and he and Bloom work well on each other. Also shout out to Kevin McNally who plays Mr. Gibbs and still manages to be a highlight.
There’s still an element of fantasy, but it’s a great throwback to pirate lore and adds some emotional depth to the villains. Fantasy doesn’t dominate fantastic action and wonderful characters. the original pirate The film remains the best, even as the franchise continues to grow.
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