Luk Reviews’s review published on Letterboxd:
So supposedly, this is the best one of the franchise. Come next week, it’s likely I’ll be disagreeing with that, but let’s just stick with Curse of the Black Pearl for now. Apparently this movie was “based” on a ride at Disneyland, having never been to Disneyland, I know nothing about said ride, but I doubt it’s even close to what this movie is. Because what this movie is, is a superb example of a great action adventure movie, which delivers a TON of fun. And the reason why it works so well comes down to a few factors. Perhaps the main being Gore Verbinski. The tone, atmosphere and style that the movie has, there’s no other way of putting it, unique. No other franchise is “similar” to Pirates of the Caribbean, and the style that this first film put into place would be a large part of the success of this film, and the rest of the franchise. Another strength, also arguably the movie’s best is the characters. I could probably write a whole essay about how Captain Jack Sparrow is one of the greatest characters in cinematic history, but I’ll just say this, that he is easily the most memorable part of this film and the very first thing people associate with this film and franchise. Not to say he’s the only great character. Will and Elizabeth serve as great main characters and their romance, albeit a little cliche, works very well and it’s easy to invest into. As for the “villains”, Barbossa and Norrington each have their own strengths and are both great adversaries to Jack. Really there isn’t a bad character in this movie. Everyone is perfectly cast and they all fit together in a really great fashion. Frankly it’s one of the best character ensembles ever. As for what REALLY makes this movie stick, the score. I’ve already said this in my story, but I think these movies have the BEST film scores of all time and Curse of the Black Pearl made sure to “warn” us of that. So while it doesn’t quite reach levels of “incredible” on my scale, maybe that’s due to this being the first one, that they didn’t quite go all out for it and didn’t want to take too many risks, but it’s still very very awesome. Looking forward to the next 2 films (not so much 4 and 5).