CrustyChalupa’s review published on Letterboxd:
This was destined to fail. You couldn't just give a budget of $140 million dollars to help make an adaptation of a Disneyland ride. Cutthroat Island was a huge box office failure. Nobody was interested in pirates at the time. Gore Verbinski directed The Ring, but can he direct a big action-adventure film?
All of those questions and what happened in 2003 when the first POTC film was released?
Everything was defied. It was a massive hit. Johnny Depp received massive acclaim and was nominated for many awards. Orlando Bloom continued the success of the Lord of the Rings films. Keira Knightley put her career into the 4th gear because of this movie. And Geoffrey Rush was fucking awesome.
POTC: The Curse of the Black Pearl was the first entry that created a new franchise for Disney (the company of franchises). It was fun. It was swashbuckling excitement like never before. The special effects....have aged....but well. The music was great fun, but it only took Hans Zimmer to really work out the kinks.
Black Pearl is lots of fun film-making. If only those last two were as fun as the first three.