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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

The fourth film in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, directed by Rob Marshall

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Reviewed: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides [2011]

  • May 27, 2011
12A - 137mins - Action/Adventure/Fantasy - 18th May 2011
The swashbuckling pirates return in their latest adventure as Disney tries to cash in on older once successful ideas rather than conjure up some new material for our viewing pleasure. On Stranger Tides sees us return to a time after that of the first three films. No longer is the focus on Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan who aren't included in the cast (neither is the prison dog!!) and whose story is considered to be finished in the third instalment, At World's End. Instead the story follows Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in his race to find the Fountain of Youth along with several other interested parties.
Jack is joined in this race by Barbossa- (Geoffrey Rush) now a profiteer working for the British Crown, Blackbeard- (Ian McShane) the most feared pirate on the seas along with his first mate Angelica (Penélope Cruz) and the Spanish armada who all want the power of the fountain for themselves. Throughout the quest they overcome challenges, encounter each other, run into mermaids and generally do as pirates do.

The movie gives out a bit of a 'same old same old' vibe with Jack elaborately escaping from captivity once again and fighting whilst balancing on wooden beams (distinctly familiar). It may have impressed in the first few films and despite being well executed is becoming decidedly stale as a concept in this one. I also felt that the inclusion of some sub-plots didn't add anything to the story (the priest/mermaid plot?) but rather detracted from it instead.

Despite this, those who are fans of Captain Jack Sparrow will not be disappointed as it certainly is better than the second and third instalments. Despite this one running it closer, it's a shame that they've never lived up to the original all the while being impervious to becoming box office flops.
The acting was mostly very good with Depp obviously returning to steal the show with his eccentric Sparrow creation but Rush, McShane and even Cruz put in their fair share to make the story believable. Both the set and clothing design departments show off their talents with impressive visuals to lap up and Zimmer's score does just enough to keep the movie flowing forward.

Overall this will keep you entertained with some good action scenes, comedy and a couple of strong performances but I'm still waiting for the series to return back to the heights of the first film which I don't think it ever will. There is guaranteed to be a fifth film (with or without Depp) but I feel that this should finally be laid to Davy Jones' locker while it can still escape with some credibility. Savvy?

Ps. Once again I stuck to 2D and the general consensus I've got seems to suggest 3D is not quite worth extra pennies yet.

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May 27, 2011
yeah, this was a movie that is easy to like and definitely likable. But it just didn't hit the spot for me. I felt that it was a little too safe and the ambition behind its plot was low with its developments a bit disppointing. Hard movie to dislike, but I have to say this had a huge room for improvement.
More Pirates of the Caribbean: On S... reviews
review by . May 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise have always proven to be profitable, despite its somewhat lackluster sequels. Fans of the original film were a bit disappointed how the sequels didn’t turn out to be as fun. Well, Jerry Bruckheimer and director Rob Marshall tries to return to the sensibilities that made the first film so much fun; taking inspiration from the story “On Stranger Tides” by Tim Powers, Bruckheimer and company seems poised to take back the ’pirate …
review by . May 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I recall when the first Pirates of the Caribbean came out that I thought it would be a terrible movie.  In the first place it was based on a theme park ride.  And in the second place it had a horrible title.  When I saw it, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  I enjoyed the clever and witty dialog and I enjoyed the simple, yet fun story.  And best of all, Johnny Depp played one of the most memorable characters in recent cinema: Jack Sparrow.  It was only a matter of …
review by . July 02, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I skipped this film in theaters last summer because of the bad reviews and negative word of mouth. That was a big mistake. This was the best of the series so far.      Rob Marshall reinvented this series when he took over. There was nothing wrong with the previous storyline, but it had come to its conclusion in At World's End. Keira Knightly's and Orlando Bloom's characters were gracefully written out and the series was ready for something new. Marshall instead of …
review by . May 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   It took me two different screenings to fully absorb Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, one being a midnight screening and the other being a repeat screening with my Dad (it’s one of my favorite traditions). I actually had a chance recently to re-watch the trilogy, and the latter two still stand out as my favorites. I really dug the supernatural parts of the story like Davy Jones and his crew and how things slowly built toward that colossal, one-hour scuffle between …
review by . May 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' 'Two Jews On Film' Say Jump On Board This Ship (Video)
'Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' directed by Rob Marshall is the fourth film of this franchise...And in my opinion, the best.        Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow but this time, except for Geoffrey Rush (Captain Hector Barbossa) and Kevin R. McNally (Joshamee Gibbs) there's a whole new set of characters that may or may not want to do him harm...including the beautiful, enigmatic, Pirate...Angelica (Penelope Cruz).    …
review by . May 20, 2011
Review: Fourth ‘Pirates' Movie Keeps Series Strong
   Usually I find a series to be worn out when they go anywhere beyond a third movie, but Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides changed my opinion on that. Although the 3D scenes made it a little too Disney cheesy, the love and hate banter between Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa, terrifying mermaids, and the new “it” couple made me fall in love all over again with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.      The fourth installment finds Jack, Captain …
review by . May 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio are amazing men. Their screenplays can confuse audiences just as easily as they can entertain. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in the hugely successfully Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer franchise and the first to be released in 3D, is exuberant fun – and damn near impossible to keep track of. Some of the blame rests on the character of Captain Jack Sparrow, a man known for his lies, trickery, …
review by . June 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   One of our beloved characters has returned back to initiate this franchise into a new trilogy. While is taken as the fourth installment, On Stranger Tides is actually the start of a new trilogy because of the new totally different and unconnected story from the first series.      The main story strangely revolves around the duel between Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Blackbeard (Ian McShane) building anticipation for the final stage of their on-going battle. …
review by . May 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Here’s a sequence from the new Pirates of the Caribbean flick: Penelope Cruz is Angelica, and Ian McShane is Blackbeard her father.  Johnny Depp is, of course, Jack Sparrow (there should be a captain in there somewhere.) They are searching for the Fountain of Youth.  Depp leads the way, but they come to a giant, uncrossable chasm.  For some unexplained reason, someone must jump into the chasm.  Cruz volunteers, but McShane says no – Depp must do it.  Depp balks, …
review by . August 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
For number 4 in this series, this bad boy isn't a stinker. I did miss Bloom and Knightley, but Depp is still good/bad ol Cap'n Jack, and Rush is back as well bringing his creepy elements to the whole story. Penelope Cruz adds a little feminine touch as the daughter (? is she or isn't she?)  of the infamous Blackbeard.      And speaking of feminine touch. I will NEVER look at a mermaid quite the same way again. Shudder. Who knew?      If you …
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James ()
I, like so many others, am a film lover with my own blog. Feel free to drop on by and have a read.      Website:      Site Twitter: … more
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About this movie



Director: Rob Marshall
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: May 20, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott
Runtime: USA: 141 min
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
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