Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 499 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Crossing paths with the enigmatic Angelica, Captain Jack Sparrow is not sure if it's love—or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the "Queen Anne's Revenge," the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard, Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know whom to fear more: Blackbeard or Angelica, with whom he shares a mysterious past. (Walt Disney Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 39
  2. Negative: 7 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    May 13, 2011
    This is the perfect summer movie and perhaps the best Pirates of them all.
  2. Reviewed by: Ray Bennett
    May 12, 2011
    Captain Jack Sparrow is back in excellent form for his fourth adventure in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which is more serious in the hands of a new director, Rob Marshall, and thanks to Penelope Cruz it's also a good deal sexier.
  3. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    May 20, 2011
    Judi Dench is much more of a challenge. Drenched in powder and pomp, the grand old Dame pops up in a London carriage. She's there in a flash and then, as quickly, gone, and her fleeting presence is exactly like the fleeting merit of this fourth galleon in the portly franchise: It prompts stirrings, not quite all the way to feelings.
  4. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    May 18, 2011
    On Stranger Tides isn't nearly strange enough. Its one real act of piracy is stealing away your excitement.
  5. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    May 19, 2011
    Apart from Cruz, who throws herself lustily into her tough-seductress role, the actors give negligible performances, with McShane, Rush, and Keith Richards in a repeat cameo all playing nigh-identical smug glowerers.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    May 19, 2011
    Despite Sparrow's ongoing flashes of charm, Depp himself seems to know he's coasting.
  7. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 19, 2011
    Even the most forgiving moviegoer will recognize this movie as the blatant cash-grab that it is.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 171
  1. May 20, 2011
    When I first saw PotC 1, I was overwhelmed by the magic of the story and the characters. Then came the 2nd and the 3rd movie and I was a bit disappointed with those two. It all suddenly seemed to be all about Elizabeth and Wills love story and the other characters were pushed into the background. So when I heard that there was going to be a 4th PotC movie with my two favorite captains - Barbossa and Sparrow - and almost a whole new cast, I was once again excited, and the movie did not disappointed me. It was fun, witty, had lots of action and adventure. And after seeing it, I had that same magical feeling that I experienced after seeing PotC 1. I simply love this movie and I hope there will be a 5th and a 6th one! Expand
  2. May 30, 2011
    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a stunning new movie. I didn't think POTC 4 was going to be as good as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, but my thoughts were wrong. POTC 4 is the best chapter in the Pirates Franchise. This new part is much different to any of the first three films, infact it feels like a new triliogy. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 brings amazing new special effects and new characters, and will leave you satisfied as you walk out of the cinemas. Johnny Depp brings amazing new escape tactics. Despite being the shortest film in the series running at-137 minutes.(POTC1=139 minutes, POTC2=145 minutes, POTC3= 162 minutes), POTC 4 fills in every thing needed to make a good movie. Ian McShane plays evil ruthless pirate captain of the Queen Anne's Revenge. Blackbeard almost meets the level of Davy Jones(played by Bill Nighy).

    Captain Jack Sparrow crosses paths with a woman from his past (Angelica) and is forced among the ship 'Queen Anne's Revenge'. Angelica's father Blackbeard is also in search of the Fountain of Youth.
    The spaniards, King George II's men and Blackbeard's crew race to the Fountain of youth.

    Watch POTC 4 soon...

    My Pirates Order:
    1.POTC4. I give it 10/10
    2.POTC3: 9.8/10
    3.POTC1: 9.2
    4.POTC2: 8.8/10
  3. May 27, 2011
    I'm one of fans of this series who has enjoyed all 3 of the previous films, even the overly convoluted At World's End. But still, I knew that this franchise was in need of a reboot or better yet, a trip back to it's roots. I think it pulls both off really well. Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow will never get stale, and he's in fine form yet again in this installment. Ian McShane as Blackbeard also did an amazing job! There's nothing better than an epic movie with equally epic acting and setting. The new additions combined with the nods back to the past 3 movies blended together amazingly well. Lots of good cameo appearances that I thought added to the story and were not thrown in just for fan service. All in all, I have to say this chapter ranks up there as one of the best in the series. I was not disappointed! Expand
  4. May 26, 2011
    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is indeed an okay film. It has an unbelievable amount of potential, yet there are elements that lead it to fall just short of greatness. The most irritating of these elements was the introduction of Philip the missionary. He is a weak and uninteresting character whose love story somehow manages to seem more unrealistic than any special effect or CGI character. One of my favourite additions to the Pirates saga however, were the mermaids. Their mythology was thoroughly interesting and their introductory scene was spine-tingling. I just wished they'd built the story of the lead mermaid Syrena up a little more instead of wasting time on the Spanish soldiers and their arbitrary appearance and disappearance towards the film's climax. Johnny Depp and Geoffry Rush give solid performances as Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa, and it is truly phenomenal to see them back in anew adventure. Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane are invaluable contributions to the Pirates saga as the vivacious Angelica and the menacing Blackbeard.
    Overall the film was an enjoyable experience and I left the theatre happy, however, when you look back on it it is easy to spot areas where it could have been improved.
  5. Dec 21, 2011
    AS always as the main story of Pirates of the Caribbean gets stronger the worse it is told. Penelope Cruz spices it up with Johnny Depp almost enough to get through but since it has less action and humor it loses me. I give this movie 57%. Expand
  6. Jun 19, 2011
    While this is not as highly entertaining as the first 3 films of the pirates saga, it is still a fun installment even though the 3D was useless. The story could have been better. After the last 2 had so much story to them it just feels like they were trying to make it too simple. I would say this would be a great rental on a friday night. 5/10 Expand
  7. Jul 7, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First off, I want to make it clear that I highly enjoyed every PoTC film, even the sequels up to AWE. Even with all their flaws, they still kept the charm of the franchise. This film, however, takes all that away.

    Something I want to mention first, that no one here seems to have done, is that Penelope Cruz's character is such a blatant Mary-Sue. For anyone familiar with bad fan-fiction or books, that's how this character feels the entire time. She's the one woman Jack Sparrow ever 'had feelings for', she's just as good of a swordsman as him, and she's not only Blackbeard's first mate but also his daughter. She begins as Jack Sparrow's impersonator, then after a sword fight with him, he claims that 'only one other person knows that move' when they both do a tactic that negates each other. Then he pulls her into his arms and kisses her.

    That's another severe issue of this film. This is the one time I've ever seen Capt. Sparrow act so out of character. He isn't the same, sarcastic, get-my-own-way person. They've exhausted his character to the point that he's been forced to be something he's not supposed to be. He's now cowardly and bumbling, almost like either Pintel or Ragetti from the first three films.

    Then there's Blackbeard. He's apparently not only a pirate, the most infamous and horrifying pirate in existence, but a wizard. Yeah, he can control ropes on his ship to wrangle his crew, steer his ship with a gesture of his sword and stores ships of his victims in tiny bottles on his shelves. Now, I don't mind the mysticism if done well, like with characters like Barbossa and his immortality from the curse, or Davy Jones and his curse to ferry the dead. But at least they were both fictional and given a proper back story. Blackbeard was a real pirate, and a damn frightening one. But he was anything but a wizard. And he wasn't given any back story as to how he could do everything he did.

    Next, there's Barbossa, or whatever's left of him. In between the third film and this one, he lost his leg and became a Captain in the Navy. When in history has ANY Captain of a pirate ship and crew managed to become a member of the Navy, especially with such ill intent as Barbossa? And the whole 'prophecy' at the beginning about a one-legged man leading to the downfall of Blackbeard was made so painfully obvious, I felt a physical pain in my head.

    Then there's the mermaid subplot. Alright, I have to admit, I like the lore of mermaids being vicious vixens of the sea. But even that lore gets brushed under the carpet almost immediately with the mermaid they capture. They need a mermaid's tear to make the Fountain of Youth (a point I'll get to next) work. The one they capture acts fierce at first, but then falls for the priest on the ship because 'he's different from the others'. First off, at one point, the priest gets angry that they don't call her by her name, but then he thinks it's ok for him to give her a name instead of properly ask her what hers really is. Second, at one point, he's threatened with his life when the mermaid doesn't cry. Instead of telling her not to do it, a cliche but a noble one, he says, and I quote, "If you could produce a tear, I would be grateful". A bit of a douchy move, and he still gets his throat slit. But it's ok, because she REVIVES him shortly after. Vicious vixen you are not.

    Now for the Fountain of Youth. In the film, it requires a sacrifice, where one person must give his/her remaining years to another. It also requires two goblets, the mermaid tear being in the life giving one. Ok, that's a nice take on it, if it wasn't already used hundreds of times before. And the whole switchero with Blackbeard and Cruz was the most predictable thing I've ever seen. If it was the Jack Sparrow from the first film, he would have tricked them both into sacrificing their combined years so that HE could get extra life.

    I can't really say how the film's 3D effects were, because I only watched a TV film version. But from the scenes where it was obviously made for 3D (a spear up close to the camera or a skeleton hand reaching forward), I can tell, they're unimpressive. The whole gimmick of 3D is a waste of money, time and vision. Some of the scenes that could have been enhanced by it, like the Fountain of Youth or the scenes at sea were either so foggy or so shaky that 3D would have made it worse than better. Once again, I can't speak from experience, that's just how it felt watching it in 2D and wondering how it must have been for those who shelled out the extra $5 for blurry, cross-eyed inducing glasses.

    I'm running out of characters, so I'll make my final thoughts brief. I do not consider this a PoTC film. I consider it Live Action PoTC Fan Fiction. From self-inserts to out of character moments to plot inconsistencies, that's exactly how it felt for me. Perhaps if it was made separately, without Capt. Jack or the few recurring PoTC characters, it could have worked. Otherwise, it's just a mess.

See all 171 User Reviews

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