It’s been almost two decades since Johnny Depp, and the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie surprised us. The franchise, inspired by the Disney theme park attraction of the same name, went on to make four sequels. With the film series having run its course and a reboot is said to be on the way, now is the perfect time to rank all the movies the franchise has to offer.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
The fifth and final movie of the series proved to be the nail in its coffin. The franchise didn’t have a good outing last time (On Stranger Tides) and was hoping to rejuvenate itself with the film, but “Dead Men Tell No Tales” performed even worse than its predecessor. The movie felt like a shadow of the original, and the characters we had grown to love felt like caricatures of themselves. Especially with Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the beloved character, while still entertaining, feels too much like a parody of the real Jack Sparrow, stripped of his character beats and motivations. The plot of the film feels just like another standard action-adventure movie plot we’ve seen too many times. Javier Bardem plays the villain Salazar and does a good job here; the CGI work on his character was visually stunning too, but it was too little to save the movie, which was weighed down by a mediocre plot that lags considerably in multiple places along with a script that isn’t half as funny or entertaining as some of the better films of the franchise. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is still an entertaining movie with a few good performances and several good jokes here and there. It is also a good-looking movie with entertaining action scenes and some stunning CGI.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” felt like the end of the saga, with major plotlines and characters coming to an end. Some people still believe that it should have been the end of the franchise. But “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” tried to keep the genre going by adding new characters such as Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz). The movie, however, was lacking in some major departments. “On Stranger Tides” didn’t have the same level of energy or excitement its predecessor had. Blackbeard was not as compelling a villain as Davy Jones was, and the new replacements for Will and Elizabeth were nowhere near as interesting as them. Johnny Depp was funny and entertaining as usual, but his character felt out of place in a plot where he didn’t have any motivation or stakes. Coming to the plot, the story here is, at times, too exhausting and includes finding a whole bunch of MacGuffins and objects, which gets too boring too soon. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is mostly held up by Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, a bunch of decent action sequences, and some humour.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” serves as the end of the saga for a host of characters, and it has the tough duty of closing all the unresolved loose ends from the previous films. On top of that, the movie expands the Pirates universe by adding a host of new characters that have little to no impact on the main story. If that feels exhausting, that’s exactly what this movie is. Clocking in at a runtime of nearly three hours, the movie drags significantly on several occasions. There is also an overabundance of meetings and debates, which is so unlike the mindless action fest the franchise is known for. The movie also chooses to go all out on the outlandish magical elements, which threaten to take away the seriousness of the story. This doesn’t mean “At World’s End” has nothing to offer. Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the eccentric pirate has always been the highlight of the franchise, and he delivers here as usual. The movie takes his eccentric nature to a whole new level, which may be a bit much for casual viewers, but he still remains the face of the franchise. The movie also delivers some extravagant action sequences, especially the finale, which is an overstuffed explosion of action filled with great visual effects and excellent set pieces and has a whole bunch of stuff happening at the same time. The movie is an overstuffed, overlong mess, but it still has its moments, and the characters we have come to love to help the movie get over the line.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
After the success of the first movie, it was obvious that there was going to be a sequel, and “Dead Man’s Chest” did not disappoint. Although not as good as the first one, the second movie in the franchise had plenty of great stuff to enjoy. The movie introduced the character of Davy Jones, played masterfully by Bill Nighy and the rest of his monstrous crew. The movie also expanded the cinematic universe. Johnny Depp continued his golden run as Jack Sparrow, along with almost all the cast from the first film. The movie had a slightly messy plot with no emphasis on character development, which is overshadowed by the vibrant action sequences. From the three-way duel atop a giant rolling wheel to the final face-off with the Kraken, every action scene is exhilarating while being completely original at the same time. The entire sequence with the tribal people on an island is one of the high points of the movie, even though it doesn’t add anything to the central plot. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” is a fun, action blockbuster where the story takes a backseat to the over-the-top spectacle, and the movie is all the better for it.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)
It’s safe to say that each installment of the franchise got consistently worse than the last one, and the first one is the best. “The Curse of the Black Pearl” was lightning in a bottle. It didn’t try to create a universe or expand upon the mythology of the world. It was just a pure action adventure film with great set designs, top-notch stunt choreography, thrilling action sequences, and some unforgettable performances, not to mention the utterly captivating score by Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt. Johnny Depp is by far the highlight of the movie with his extraordinary portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow, the notorious yet eccentric pirate. His performance here is unique as it is equally funny and intense. He knocks it out of the park here with his quirky mannerisms and unpredictability. Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom were great and had good chemistry between them. Geoffrey Rush gives an exceptional performance as the villain Barbossa. What sets the movie apart from its successors, though, is its script and pacing. Almost all the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies had entertaining action scenes and eye-popping visuals, but they were mostly bogged down by pacing issues and a lacklustre plot. “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” luckily doesn’t make the same mistake. The plot is great, and the dialogues are surprisingly mature and, at times, funny. The pacing here is top-notch, and the movie doesn’t drag at all. The movie also found a balance between magic and realism, which made the stakes feel serious, something the other movies had a hard time doing. With an extravagant finale filled with mind-blowing spectacles and great moments taking place in a visually stunning location, the movie steers clear of any competition from the rest of the franchise.