We’re on the FIFTH Pirates of the Caribbean movie  —  can you believe it? While it may seem like yesterday that we first met the perpetually inebriated Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), his inaugural sail on the silver screen was actually a full fourteen years ago in 2003. Shiver me timbers!

This latest installment of Captain Jack’s adventures is subtitled Dead Men Tell No Tales, which fans of the Disney theme park ride the franchise is based on will fondly remember as the haunting warning that’s chanted over and over again as boats float through a heavy wall of mist.

In POTC5 it’s referring to Sparrow’s undead tormentor, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), who’s on a revenge mission to capture Jack after Jack tricked him and his crew into sailing through the cursed Devil’s Triangle. . . which turned them all into zombies.

Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), who is Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann’s (Keira Knightley) now-grown son, learns about Salazar’s plan and decides to help Sparrow in exchange for information that might free his father Will from a similar curse.

As with almost any franchise that has multiple sequels, it’s really hard to compare later films to the original installment. The excitement and magic of learning about a new world and new characters is difficult to recreate. Having said that, I did find that POTCS was much more enjoyable than the last two movies in the series, and was especially wowed by the film’s opening scene.

Other highlights were seeing another side of Sparrow’s old nemesis Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and meeting a fiery new character, Carina Smyth (Kara Scodelario), whose astronomy skills might be able to help Henry save his father. Oh, and did I mention that Paul McCartney (as in, Paul McCartney from The Beatles) has a cameo as Jack’s uncle? For real.

The best parts of POTC5 were the quieter ones, and most of those moments revolved around Carina. The ending was also great — and the after-credits scene ensures that we WILL get a sixth film that reunites many of the original cast members. And to that I say, “Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!”


By: Redbox writer, Erika Olson