(Movie Review) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean Theater Poster (Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Johnny Depp retrieves his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, a rum-loving, womanizing pirate with a passion for treasure in the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.  Yet, there is a difference.  Captain Sparrow seems older, drunker than ever, and surprisingly wiser. The best part of Sparrow is still his sarcastic humor. It hasn’t changed at all.

Henry Turner, played by Brenton Thwaites, is the newest upcoming pirate. He is the son of Will Turner, played by Orlando Bloom, and Elizabeth Swan, played by Keira Knightley. Turner is determined to save his father from his watery fate.

Backstories were included for Captains Sparrow and Hector Barbossa, played by Geoffrey Rush. Golshifteh Farahani gives an impressive performance as the witch Haifaa Meni. Legendary musician Paul McCarthy makes a cameo. For those who wait, something good comes after the credits.

The true star of the movie was Kaya Scodelario as Carina Symth. Symth was refreshing as an intellectual academic with a fondness for astronomy and horology. The struggled of being a woman fighting against societal and piracy norms add a refreshing aspect to the saga of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Hopefully, this isn’t the last of Symth.

Despite the perfectly timed quips, there were moments that the storyline slowed with murkiness and needed more explosive action. Also, a backstory of Barbossa was jammed into the storyline in an awkward way.  Interesting characters like the witch Meni were under-developed. It would’ve been nice to learn more about her. Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem, unlike past enemies of Sparrow, was an unredeemable character, which made him hard to like.

For viewers watching the Pirates of the Caribbean for the first time, he or she is left with no wow moments.  For those who love the saga, it was predictable. Sparrow appears worn out, maybe in need of a vacation.  One wonders if Depp wasn’t tired. Fourteen years as a particular movie character is a long time for any actor. According to celebrity news, the last two years Depp had a lot going on in his personal life. The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales was more of a side adventure. The producers owe it to the fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean to do better in the sixth installment. Despite the shortcomings, Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is an enjoyable movie experience.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

  • Writers: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay), Jeff Nathanson (Story)
  • Producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Director(s): Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem
  • Studio: Walt Disney Pictures (Jerry Bruckheimer Films)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 2h 09m
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • U.S.A. Premiere: May 26, 2017


C. C. J. Vann
C. C. J. Vann is a geek cultural freelance journalist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her blog is at ccjvann.com.