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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

Yo Ho Hum Read full review

2.5

Grae Drake Profile

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of HoHum Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    45

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The IMAX print I saw was so murky as to make you give thanks for the few scenes shot in simple sunlight, the 3-D wasn't worth the bother, and never before have I wanted to chloroform an entire orchestra.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Here's how it goes down: 4 is better than 3, about the same as 2 and worse than 1.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    On Stranger Tides isn't nearly strange enough. Its one real act of piracy is stealing away your excitement.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

More swashbuckling + less violence = OK for older tweens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series is actually slightly less violent and creepy than the previous movies. But rum and wine do still flow in a couple of scenes, and there are loads of innuendo-laden comments (most thanks to Johnny Depp's iconic Captain Jack Sparrow) -- as well as all of the swordfighting, explosions, and felled pirates and soldiers that audiences are used to in this franchise. Though there are some deaths, none are bloody/graphic. And although this movie isn't an age-appropriate pick for young kids who might be frightened by some of the pirates and fighting, this shorter-and-simpler edition is fine for older tweens and up.

  • Families can talk about the popularity of the Pirates movies. What makes these stories so compelling? Why are even the youngest moviegoers so drawn to pirates?
  • Even though pirates are technically thieves and "bad guys," it's hard not to root for characters like Captain Jack. Why is that? What would make him a villain?
  • Did you miss any of the characters from the earlier movies who weren't in this one? Why do you think the filmmakers decided not to bring them back?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Despite the fact that pirates are, by definition, thieves, the movie offers several positive messages about how parents should sacrifice for their children and how every being is worthy of being treated with kindness and respect.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Philip the missionary is very moral and helps keep Blackbeard from being sadistic whenever possible. He protects Syrena the mermaid and sacrifices his own safety for her. Angelica is a strong and fierce female character who can hold her own against male pirates. Jack and Barbossa, despite their past rivalries, are able to work together against Blackbeard.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Lots of sword fighting, some of which ends up in death but some of which stops just short of a kill. Also gun use and a brief explosion, and a pirate is punished by being sent on a longboat and then burned. A mermaid is captured and threatened with death; someone is poisoned, a man's throat is slit, and there are other scenes of swashbuckling and violence. But actual blood is minimal, and the body count isn't as high as in the other movies.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Captain Jack makes countless innuendos and jokes with double meanings. (A typical exchange: "What were you doing in a Spanish convent?"/"I thought it was a brothel -- honest mistake.") He whispers something presumably naughty to a woman who begins to swoon. Jack and Angelica dance and roll around on the floor, fighting and flirting. Random, rowdy pub patrons are briefly shown kissing (with one woman leading a man up the stairs), and two other couples kiss in more passionate exchanges

  • language false1

    Language: A couple of uses of "damn" and "my God," plus some pirate insults -- usually directed at Jack.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Nothing in the movie itself, but the Pirates franchise has loads of merchandising and toy deals, including LEGO sets, video and board games, costumes, and collectible figures.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Fewer drunk-pirate scenes than in the previous movies, but there's still a good bit of drinking (rum, wine) and alcohol-related humor.

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