Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), movie review.

The first Pirates of the Caribbean movie I loved—it was an instant classic—the second movie was a disappointment, and the third was…the third was weird and confused me. When a movie series comes out with three movies I assume that that’s it, they made a trilogy and now their done, but not the Pirates movies. Read on to find out my thoughts on the movie.

I’ve been hearing rumors about a fourth Pirates movie for quite a while now, and earlier this year when the rumors were confirmed and it was announced that two of the series mainstays (Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley) were no longer in the movies I was surprised.

Original I wasn’t going to pay to go see On Stranger Tides in theaters, but for some strange reason I decided that I should go see it, despite what its Metacritic score was. And so went to the theater, bought a ticket, got soda, sat down and watched the movie, and then came home and wrote a review.

The Good and The Bad.

Stories are a hard thing to write, and it’s even harder to write one that isn’t filled with of holes or paper-thin. But even so writers (every day) write amazing stories that keep us guess throughout the entirety of it (be that a story in a movie, video game, or comic book). On Stranger Tides is not one of those stories. Every time a character was introduced there was something that disguised them (usually a disguise), but even so, EVERY single time I was able to tell exactly who they were introducing. Also, it was extremely easy to predict the events of the movie, whether it was two characters falling in love, or what happens when they open the door to what they think will be freedom.

While we’re on the subject of writing I would like to say that one of new characters is terribly written. For the first three-quarters of the movie she’s fine but then at the very end she does something completely out of character, to aid her captures and torturers, and without any motivation at all. It is stuff like that that just really pisses me off.

Some of my favorite things about the first three movies were: the monkey, and the two pirates that are always together (the one-eyed guy and the bald one), they were all removed from this movie. The monkey makes a brief appearance but other than that is strangely absent. The only characters that return from the first movies are Jack, Barbosa, and Gibbs—even the Black Pearl is gone, only making a brief appearance along with the monkey

The first Pirates movie earned Johnny Depp and Oscar nomination, but as the movies went by his character lost a little of his awesome. How many times can we watch jack Sparrow escape from the bad guys before it gets boring? How many times have we seen him get drunk and/or have a sword battle on unstable ground? By Stranger Tides he just isn’t the badass he used to be. It may just be that I’m getting older, but I think that Disney ought to end Jack Sparrow’s career once and for all before he becomes too much of a bore.

I don’t mind that Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are gone, but the it was done was just terrible. Never were they even mentioned. Even just saying that Will Turner had been shot would have been better than nothing at all.

One thing that I never thought could be a problem is the fight scenes—which is a shame because that was were the past Pirates moves shined. Several of the main battles in the movies seem to stretch one for far too long. Sometimes it would just be two dudes fighting then it would switch to two others but they would be doing nearly the same thing. In one scene where they have to fight and capture a mermaid (in this movie the mermaids reminded me of the vampires in Van Helsing, only they swim) we see at least four or five mermaids attack in the same exact way.

Usually the special effects in the Pirates movies were pretty good, but in Stranger Tides they weren’t as good as they used to be. They weren’t bad, they were just average.


If you loved the first three and can’t wait to see the rest of the story—don’t see this—I would say only see On Stranger Tides if you truly love Jack Sparrow. The movie handles its connection with the original three sloppily and is poorly written. Newcomers Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz are good, but are no reason to go see the movie.

Visuals: I was a little disappointed by the quality of the special effects in this movie compared with the original three. But as usual the sets and environments are good.

Sounds: Expect to hear the main theme way too many times.

Acting: Jack Sparrow has lost some of his charm after so many movies. Jokes are sometimes pulled off sloppily by non-main actors.

Writing: It was less confusing than the last two but the way it handled its connection with them disappointed me, as did the unmotivated acts of some of the characters.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, and Ian McShane.

Directed By: Rob Marshall.

Parental Rating: PG-13.

Overall Score: 4.5/10


Posted on May 26, 2011, in 2011, Movie, Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Quote: “While we’re on the subject of writing I would like to say that one of new characters is terribly written. For the first three quarters of the movie she’s fine but then at the very end she does something completely out of character, to aid her captures and torturers, and without any motivation at all. It is stuff like that that just really pisses me off.”

    What happened again?

  2. Yayy!! You gave it a 45! (I do like round numbers).

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