You won't need a bottle of rum to enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of the Black Pearl, especially if you've experienced the Disneyland theme-park ride that inspired it. There's a galleon's worth of fun in watching Johnny Depp's androgynous performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, a roguish pirate who could pass for the illegitimate spawn of rockers Keith Richards and Chrissie Hynde.
Depp gets all the good lines and steals the show, recruiting Orlando Bloom (a blacksmith and expert swordsman) and Keira Knightley (a lovely governor's daughter) on an adventurous quest to recapture the notorious Black Pearl, a ghost ship commandeered by Jack's nemesis Capt. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), a mutineer desperate to reverse the curse that left him and his (literally) skeleton crew in a state of eternal, undead damnation. Director Gore Verbinski (The Ring) repeats the redundant mayhem that marred his debut film Mouse Hunt, but with the writers of Shrek he's made Pirates into a special-effects thrill-ride that plays like a Halloween party on the open seas. Aye, matey, we've come a long way since Jason and the Argonauts! --Jeff Shannon
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