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"PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL"
(2003) (Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Moderate Extreme *Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Mild Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Minor Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A blacksmith and a pirate form an unlikely alliance to rescue a governor's daughter and retrieve the pirate's ship from his former, mutinous and now cursed crew that has the young woman.
PLOT:
Elizabeth Swann (KEIRA KNIGHTLEY) is a young woman who's been enamored with pirates ever since she found a gold medallion adorned with a pirate emblem on a young boy who was rescued at sea. Now many years later, Will Turner (ORLANDO BLOOM) works as a blacksmith and delivers a new ceremonial sword to her father, Governor Weatherby Swann (JONATHAN PRYCE), so that he can give it to Commodore Norrington (JACK DAVENPORT) for his recent promotion.

Norrington publicly has his sights set on Elizabeth, while Will keeps his love for her secret. Their fondness for her is interrupted, however, by the arrival of Captain Jack Sparrow (JOHNNY DEPP). An opportunistic and unorthodox pirate, Jack wants to commandeer a ship so that he can get his revenge on his former first mate, Barbossa (GEOFFREY RUSH).

He led a mutiny against Jack and took command of his ship, the Black Pearl, but then ran across an eternal curse that left him and the rest of the crew in the state of being undead. Whenever struck by moonlight, they turn into living skeletons and have been searching long and hard for the one last gold medallion that will lift the curse.

They soon kidnap Elizabeth and set sail again, causing Will and Jack to form an unlikely alliance. Upon assembling a ragtag crew including the likes of Joshamee Gibbs (KEVIN R. McNALLY), Jack and Will head off to rescue Elizabeth and return control of the Black Pearl to Jack.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into pirate/high seas films or are fans of someone in the cast, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For action/adventure violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHNNY DEPP plays an unorthodox and somewhat flighty but resourceful pirate who wants back his ship as well as revenge on those who wronged him. He fights various pirates and drinks some (once to the point of passing out).
  • GEOFFREY RUSH plays his former first mate who led a mutiny against him but will now stop at nothing to lift an eternal curse that plagues him and his crew (which includes killing people and destroying property).
  • ORLANDO BLOOM plays a blacksmith who sets out to rescue the woman he secretly loves and forms an unlikely alliance with Jack to do so. He fights various pirates.
  • KEIRA KNIGHTLEY plays the Governor's headstrong daughter whose fondness of pirate lore is challenged when she has various perilous encounters with the real thing. She also drinks with Jack while marooned on an island.
  • JACK DAVENPORT plays the Commodore who wants her hand in marriage, but can't stand Will or Jack.
  • JONATHAN PRYCE plays Elizabeth's father, a somewhat cowardly Governor.
  • KEVIN R. McNALLY plays Jack's old friend who joins his crew and drinks some.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this action/adventure film that's been rated PG-13. Violence consists of various action-based fighting scenes (sword fights, gun battles, hitting, striking, etc.) between humans and undead and occasionally skeletal pirates. Various characters are killed or injured during such moments (via various means), but beyond the occasionally decomposed pirates, most of the material is relatively blood and gore free.

    Such scenes and the sight of the living skeletal figures may be rather unsettling, intense or even scary to younger viewers, but that all depends on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while all of the fighting and stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    Profanity consists of few expletives, while some colorful phrases and brief and non-explicit, sexually related comments are made. Various women show varying degrees of cleavage (including some who are presumably prostitutes), while various characters drink (some to the point of drunkenness and/or passing out).

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Gibbs drinks from a flask.
  • Miscellaneous people drink wine or champagne.
  • A blacksmith is drunk and passed out.
  • Miscellaneous people drink on the streets (and appear to be drunk), while Jack and Gibbs drink.
  • Barbossa and Elizabeth have wine (and some of that pours down, over and through Barbossa's chest when he turns into a living skeleton).
  • Gibbs drinks from a flask.
  • A person drinks from a flask.
  • Jack finds a flask and tries to drink from it, but it's empty.
  • There's talk of rum runners and Jack then opens a compartment on an island filled with bottles of rum. Elizabeth comments on his last stay on the island consisting of lying on the beach and drinking rum and he replies, "Welcome to the Caribbean." We then later see him and Elizabeth and both are drunk. Both drink some more, with him guzzling his down and then passing out. When he wakes up the next morning, she's burning the rum (as a rescue signal).
  • Hearing that there's to be a wedding, Jack states that he loves them since they include drinks all around.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A pirate's hand turns skeletal as it's struck by moonlight. Other pirates turn skeletal and/or look partially decomposed in various scenes.
  • Elizabeth stabs a dinner knife into Barbossa's chest, but since he's undead, it doesn't hurt him (although there's some blood on the knife blade).
  • Cannons from two ships open fire on each other (one with an assortment of unusual objects). During this, a fork lands in a pirate's fake eye (which is then removed via the fork).
  • Jack shoots a pirate in the chest (and we then see some blood run out from the wound).
  • Bird excrement lands on a man's shoulder.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Barbossa and his crew obviously have both types of attitudes for attacking and killing others and kidnapping Elizabeth. We also learn that he led a mutiny against Jack in the past.
  • Jack is an opportunistic pirate who steals for his own good.
  • Norrington automatically doesn't like Jack (due to him being a pirate).
  • Jack steals a man's coin purse.
  • Will and Jack commandeer a ship (stealing it, but do so to rescue Elizabeth).
  • There's an implied rape threat from Barbossa (regarding his crew) toward Elizabeth.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling, suspenseful or even scary to some younger viewers (but that depends on their age, etc.). The same holds true for the various sights of pirates that turn (completely or partially) into living skeletons (and partially decomposed bodies) when moonlight hits them.
  • Elizabeth spots an unconscious (and possibly dead) young Will drifting on flotsam (he's rescued and is okay).
  • We see the skeletons of three pirates hanging above the water.
  • Due to a tight corset, Elizabeth passes out, tumbles over a ledge and falls a great distance into the water. Jack then jumps in and saves her as she sinks to the bottom.
  • Elizabeth tries to hide from two pirates who are after her.
  • Elizabeth flees onto the deck of the Black Pearl only to discover that the entire crew is living skeletons (their partially decomposed appearance may frighten younger viewers). She also encounters a scary looking skeletal monkey (that's alive).
  • Jack and his crew sail through a perilous passage filled with many shipwrecks of ships that didn't make it.
  • Barbossa prepares to sacrifice Elizabeth (by cutting her throat) to lift a curse, but is interrupted before doing so.
  • Will finds himself trapped below deck as flood waters eventually leave him completely underwater.
  • Elizabeth is made to walk the plank (and is bounced into the water from it).
  • A knife is held to Will's throat as he's prepared for sacrifice (but Jack makes a deal and saves his life).
  • Skeletons walk along the bottom of the sea surface and then climb aboard a ship.
  • Various skeletal arms blast through windows and try to grab Governor Swann. He then bashes one arm with a mallet and the severed skeletal arm keeps coming after him.
  • A man is nearly hanged (the trapdoor is opened, but the victim precariously stands on a sword that's been thrown into the support beam below him).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles/Pistols/Knives/Swords/Cannons/Other Explosives: Carried/seen and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Strumpet," "Bloody" (adjective), "Scalawag," "Idiot," "Bastard," "Blast the bejesus out of them" and "Shut up."
  • All of the swordplay, fighting and stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Jack has a tattoo on his arm.
  • A guy spits.
  • Will and Jack travel underwater in a small and upside down boat (breathing the air trapped inside it).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Young Will suddenly comes to (which may jolt some viewers).
  • A skeletal monkey suddenly surprises Elizabeth.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 damn, 2 uses of "God forsaken" and 1 use of "Mary, mother of God" as exclamations. There are also various uses of "damned" as adjectives and Hell as the place.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Elizabeth shows period-style cleavage in various scenes (in low-cut dresses).
  • Jack asks Will, "You're not a eunuch, are you?" (About Will seemingly not having a woman in his life).
  • Miscellaneous women show cleavage in various scenes (including from some who are presumably prostitutes).
  • A pirate tells Elizabeth that if she doesn't dine with the Captain, she'll do so with the crew and will be naked (she picks the former).
  • Barbossa states that it's been a long time since he felt the warmth of a woman's flesh.
  • Elizabeth takes Will's hand and runs it down her chest (somewhat seductively, but only does so to show him the medallion on her necklace).
  • Barbossa makes Elizabeth remove her dress (she's in a bodice beneath that) before walking the plank, thus exciting his crew (nothing explicit is seen).
  • As Jack puts his hand on Elizabeth's shoulder, he says that the company and sights (meaning her) are better this time on an island than the last, but she informs him that they haven't had enough rum for talk like that.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear talk of Will's father dying by drowning (caused by other pirates).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Pirates.
  • There's talk of raping, pillaging and plundering (as what pirates do). Later, there's an implied rape threat from Barbossa (regarding his crew) toward Elizabeth.
  • Revenge.
  • Helping others and making sacrifices.
  • Corsets.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see a burning ship in the water (the result of pirates).
  • Jack briefly wraps his chain handcuffs around Elizabeth's neck and then holds a pistol to her head as a means of escaping from Norrington and his men.
  • A cannon falls through a dock, smashing it.
  • Various men shoot at Jack as he swings around on a structure, and then shoot at him again as he flees on the ground.
  • Jack and Will get into a swordfight (played for action/adventure rather than graphic violence). During that, Will throws his sword (seemingly at Jack, but really to impale and thus close the door near him). The two get onto what turns into a seesaw of sorts and Jack causes a board to hit Will in the face (in turn, Will sends Jack flying up into the air where the two then continue their swordfight in the rafters). The fight ends with Jack holding a pistol to Will's face and another man then hitting Jack over the head with a bottle, knocking him out.
  • Barbossa's crew opens fire on a town with gunfire and cannon-fire, resulting in all sorts of property damage and people being knocked to the ground and through the air (but without any blood or gore). The pirates then descend upon the town and fight with its inhabitants (stabbing and shooting them, but without blood or gore). During this, Will throws a hatchet that lands in a pirate's back, while a pirate shoots a man in the face point blank (we don't see the impact, but do see his body fall to the floor).
  • Elizabeth hits one pirate on the head with a metal fireplace object and then sends its hot ashes onto another pirate's head.
  • A cannon ball hits a man and blasts him back through a door or wall. A falling sign slams another man back through a window.
  • The pirates attack and loot a town.
  • Will is knocked out as more fighting continues.
  • A pirate grabs Jack by the throat.
  • A pirate slaps Elizabeth.
  • A gun is held to a person's face.
  • Military men shoot at Will and Jack as they commandeer a ship.
  • An out of control ship runs over a small rowboat (its occupants jump to safety).
  • Jack sends a ship's spar (horizontal sail beam) into Will (hitting him, but he hangs onto it above the sea).
  • We see various miscellaneous people fighting (punching, etc.) on the streets.
  • Various women slap Jack.
  • Elizabeth stabs a dinner knife into Barbossa's chest, but since he's undead, it doesn't hurt him (although there's some blood on the knife blade).
  • A female crewmember slaps Jack.
  • One pirate whacks another with something.
  • Barbossa prepares to sacrifice Elizabeth (by cutting her throat) to lift a curse, but is interrupted before doing so.
  • Will hits Jack with a board and knocks him out (to keep him from messing up his rescue plans).
  • Barbossa shoots one of his crewmembers as a test to see if the curse was lifted (it wasn't and the undead pirate is not harmed).
  • Barbossa backhands Elizabeth and knocks her unconscious.
  • Barbossa may have cut Elizabeth's hand (Will later bandages it for her).
  • Cannons from two ships open fire on each other (one with cannonballs, the other with an assortment of unusual objects), while guns are also fired. During this, a fork lands in a pirate's fake eye (which is then removed via the fork), while both ships are damaged and people are hit and/or fall from the ships (with no blood or gore). Hand to hand combat follows (hitting, punching, etc.) with various non-graphic shootings and stabbings on both sides.
  • Kegs of gunpowder explode on a ship, resulting in its destruction.
  • Will holds a pistol on Barbossa and then himself.
  • A knife is held to Will's throat as he's prepared for sacrifice (but Jack makes a deal and saves his life).
  • Skeletal pirates attack those onboard another ship, slitting one's throat (we don't see the impact, but do see various bodies falling to the deck). A sword and gun battle then breaks out between the humans and the undead pirates (with repeated stabbings, but no impact or blood/gore).
  • A swordfight occurs in a cave.
  • We hear the sounds of Elizabeth hitting a skeletal monkey and then see it falling into the sea.
  • Cannons are fired at approaching longboats (no one is hurt).
  • Various skeletal arms blast through windows and try to grab Governor Swann. He then bashes one arm with a mallet and the severed skeletal arm keeps coming after him.
  • Two men end up stabbing each other, causing one to turn into a living skeleton when moonlight hits him.
  • More sword fighting continues, with various skeletons impaled but otherwise unharmed.
  • A boat slams into two skeletons.
  • Elizabeth clocks several pirates with a long pole and is then joined by Will who does the same.
  • Three skeletal pirates are impaled together and an explosive is place in the middle one, with the explosion destroying all three.
  • Jack shoots a pirate in the chest (and we then see some blood run out from the wound).
  • Will gets into a sword fight with another man. More fighting ensues with two people clothes-lining three others with a rope, and punching and hitting ensues.
  • A person falls a long distance into the sea, but is okay.



  • Reviewed July 7, 2003 / Posted July 9, 2003

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