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Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush
Director: Gore Verbinski
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 133 Minutes
Release Date: June 2003
Genres: Action, Mystery

*Also starring: Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Pryce, Lee Arenberg, Brye Cooper, Paul Cagney, Jack Davenport, Lucinda Dryzek, Lauren Maher, Greg Ellis

Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

You've taken the Disney theme-park ride, now see the movie! This rousing, rollicking swashbuckling adventure begins on the high seas as a young girl spots a boy adrift on a raft. He's wearing a gold pirate medallion which she quickly hides in her dress. Years pass. She's Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), daughter of Port Royal's aristocratic Governor (Jonathan Pryce), while he's Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), a lowly blacksmith. But when a charming pirate scoundrel named Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) sails into town, their lives change forever. It seems evil Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) has stolen Sparrow's ship, The Black Pearl, and Sparrow will do anything, including kidnapping Elizabeth, to get it back. Unbeknownst to Elizabeth or Will, that gold medallion is from Cortez' fabled Aztec treasure; Barbossa's greedy, mutinous crew is cursed as the undead until the plundered medallion is returned and a blood debt repaid.

Johnny Depp reinvigorates the flamboyant, outrageous, reprobate rogue (not unlike Lee Marvin in "Cat Ballou"), opposite wily, smirking, villainous Geoffrey Rush. Orlando Bloom is a romantic Errol Flynn look-alike, while Keira Knightly is a feisty damsel. Written by Ted Ellliot and Terry Rossio, directed by Gore Verbinski, it's Disney's first PG-13 rated movie. While there's no sex, nudity or profanity, there are intense, supernatural CGI scenes of pirates becoming ghostly skeletons in the moonlight. It's fun, scary stuff that blows you out of the water! Yet at 140 min., "Pirates" is also too long; the middle section really drags. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Pirates of the Caribbean" is an exciting, escapist 8. Yo ho! Yo ho! And at Thanksgiving, Disney will release another theme-park ride/movie: "The Haunted Mansion."

Copyright 2003 Susan Granger

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