Fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean rides at Disney theme parks have always known that dead men tell no tales. Amazingly Disney managed to release four Pirates movies without using the memorable catch-phrase as a subtitle. Today sees the release of the fifth and supposedly final entry in the Pirates franchise. So it seems like as good of a time as any to rank the Pirates of the Caribbean movies from Worst to First.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Domestic Box Office: $241,071,802
Worldwide Box Office: $1,045,713,802
RT Score: 32%
Summary: After completing the highly lucrative if not always well-regarded Pirates trilogy, Disney lured Johnny Depp back for a fourth installment in the series. Geoffrey Rush was the only other major player to return. The love story between Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s had been wrapped up to no one’s satisfaction in the previous movie. The movie introduced a new couple portrayed by Sam Claflin and Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, but you’ll be forgiven if you don’t remember them.
In every movie since the original, Depp’s part continued to grow. On Stranger Tides pushed Jack Sparrow into the central role. Unfortunately, the movie confirmed what most fans of the first film already knew; Jack Sparrow works best in moderate doses. Penélope Cruz joined the cast as a love interest for Depp and Ian McShane played the villainous Blackbeard. Gore Verbinski, who directed the first three movies in the series, was replaced by Rob Marshall (best known for directing Chicago).
The plots to these movies are besides the point. But this one involved Jack searching for the Fountain of Youth and mermaids who were more dangerous than Ariel. By this point in the series, American audiences were growing tired of Depp’s eccentric characters. It probably didn’t help that he was also getting bad press for allegations of domestic abuse. But the Pirates movies translate well overseas, so despite a weak performance in the US On Stranger Tides managed to make enough money to justify a follow-up.
I haven’t seen the new movie and I’m in no real hurry to do so. Based on the reviews, it’s pretty much in line with the last one. Some day when I see it, I will update the article to include my ranking of Dead Men Tell No Tales. But for now, let’s just assume it’s slumming at the bottom of the list alongside On Stranger Tides.
Next: At World’s End