Pirates 4 is a shining example of Hollywood's ten pages and a bang theory.
Julian Roman - MovieWeb
Its one real act of piracy is stealing away your excitement.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Never lives up to - or, for that matter, does anything to deserve - the recent parody tribute offered by Michael Bolton in a "Saturday Night Live" digital short...
A.O. Scott - New York Times
The more sequels spun off, the clearer it becomes that one movie about these swashbucklers would have sufficed.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
"On Stranger Tides" feels as fresh and bracingly exhilarating as the day Jack Sparrow first swashed his buckle, infusing new reckless energy into a franchise that shows no signs of furling its sails.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
I never thought I'd miss the overstuffed craziness of Verbinski's originals - the squiddly extras, the moments of sheer pop surrealism, the Kraken - but "On Stranger Tides'' is like a familiar house where half the furniture has been sold off.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Jack will no doubt live to prance another day, but from Depp's fey bon mots to a cameoing Keith Richards's scraggly visage, his swashbuckling series is showing its age.
Nick Schager - Village Voice
The new captain is Rob Marshall, who scrapes off a few of the barnacles that clung to the last effort. But he can't avoid the feeling that this adventure has run aground.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
The movie was written by "Pirates" stalwarts Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. They're funny guys, and the script might well be funny too, but it's hard to tell from the metronome rhythms set for the actors by the director, Rob Marshall...
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Dead Man's Chest and At World's End meandered so far off course, and took so long to get there, that almost any Act 4 encore would qualify as a quantum leap forward.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
Ian McShane gives Blackbeard as much menace as a goofball romp can handle.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
...at a mere two hours and eight minutes, the fourth and latest installment is the shortest... but by the end one feels as if one has had a full 180-minute meal.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
Depp, grimacing, edges in and out of the action and seems irrelevant and bored most of the time.
David Denby - New Yorker
For me, it's too much of a muchness.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Stranger tides? Stranger than what? What's strange, or fresh, about any of the mechanical diversions on offer here?
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer serves up another five-course meal of cinematic fast food, with all the familiar ingredients in exact measurements and just enough flavor to make them palatable.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
There's little if anything here to keep us emotionally invested, and so the pile-it-on mutinies and sword fights and perilous dives off vertiginous cliffs exist just to wow us.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
This episode feels like the fourth film in a trilogy, wheezing along when it should leap, relying on our affection for recurring characters rather than taking us on a bold new journey of discovery.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It's never quite clear what the relationship between Jack and Angelica is. Sometimes it's love, sometimes it's hate; it probably depended on who was writing the script that day.
Tom Long - Detroit News
The movie is a series of distractions tossed together in the hopes that they will come together in a coherent story. That never really happens.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides serves as a welcome corrective, reviving the fun, feather-light frivolity that any film based on a Disneyland ride ought to exhibit.
Andrew Barker - Variety
Cutlasses flash, music swells, mast sways, critic yawns.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
Pirates 4 struggles to stay afloat but finally sinks under the weight of its computer-rendered fakery, which the addition of 3-D does absolutely nothing to improve.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Remember how fresh and novel Pirates of the Caribbean seemed in 2003? Remember the fun of seeing Johnny Depp's off-the-wall portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow for the first time? It may be It may be hard to think back that far, because the lumbering...
Leonard Maltin - indieWIRE
Ahoy me hearties, No. 4 is surprisingly not bad.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" injects new vigor into a megabucks franchise and makes for a perfectly acceptable night out.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Except for one moment in the climactic Fountain of Youth scene, I never once thought, wow, what a magical place I'm being invited to visit.
Dana Stevens - Slate
For all his faults, Gore Verbinski at least handled the action with panache. Those movies thrummed with derring-do. This one sinks.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Captain Jack Sparrow is back in excellent form for his fourth adventure in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which is more serious in the hands of a new director, Rob Marshall, and thanks to Penelope Cruz it's also a good deal sexier.
Ray Bennett - Hollywood Reporter
[It] is the shortest in the series. But it still feels overlong and overstuffed: needlessly convoluted yet, at the same time, phoned-in.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Marshall deserves props for putting the "show" back into the Pirates business. But face it, he's polishing a giant turd.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
The franchise is getting tired, but Penelope energizes it...
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
Depp, back again as the swashbuckling miscreant who favors guy-liner and gold, somehow manages to keep this ship of fools afloat. But just barely.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
The fact that Mr. Marshall can't even measure up is more than a bit embarrassing.
Martin Tsai - Critic's Notebook
Did anybody ask for this?
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Precisely the movie this series should be producing now, a generic, harmless spectacle with the added bonus of Johnny Depp goofing off.
Will Leitch - Deadspin
A movie so dark, dank and devoid of coherence that you'd swear it exists only to pillage gullible buckos of their bucks.
Al Alexander - The Patriot Ledger
Great production design and a couple well done action scenes make this one somewhat enjoyable.
Jeff Beck - We Got This Covered
Competent, but joyless.
Roger Moore - Movie Nation
There is fun to be had and it's exciting (for a moment) to see Captain Jack Sparrow on the big screen again but the overall production suffers from franchise burnout.
Ben Kendrick - ScreenRant
The action ... ranges from fun swashbuckling, to tedious parrying, to outright terribly edited, CGI funk that completely defies any kind of physical presence.
Matt Looker - TheShiznit.co.uk
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is not really a bad film, it's more so a disappointing and forgettable one
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
- Dark Horizons
Leonard Maltin - ReelzChannel.com
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
... continues not only the tale of (the Sparrow and Barbossa) rivalry but also why (and how well) they ever worked together to begin with.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
By the end of the film you get the feeling that Depp himself is wondering just how much longer he can fake the funk for a paycheck.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Captain Jack Sparrow is running on fumes in this enjoyable, but middling, forgettable sequel.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
It's not as bad as everyone says. It's just missing the playfulness of the first two films.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
If it had been cut to about 90 minutes, this could have been a bright and breezy adventure that zipped along at a cracking pace. As it is, it's a rather bloated actioner that has one or two great moments.
Laurence Boyce - The Baltic Times
You know the old saying 'less is more?' I present to you exhibit A: 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.'
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Continues to steer the same course as its predecessor sequels, focusing on convoluted storylines that zap all the fun and energy that made the first film so great.
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
An unsteady plot and mostly juvenile humor take over for much of the film's 137 minutes, which though blessedly shorter than installments two and three still feels a little long.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Director Rob Marshall stages slapstick like dance choreography and action like a theme park ride. Which I guess is appropriate...
Sean Axmaker - MSN.com
After four movies, Pirates is beginning to feel a bit like a soggy, waterlogged plank that's been afloat in the salty sea a bit too long.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Saying that less is more with reference to a film that vomits so much over its audience is absurd yet oddly appropriate here.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides suffers from an extraordinary lack of imagination, something that cannot be said of its predecessors, convoluted and impenetrable though they may have certainly been.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
Disney-sanitizer wafts through--there are few bloody, mercenary moments. Some action sequences are cartoonish. And for such a talky picture, the dialogue's not charged enough.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
This is a darker, more soulful entry with some fun set pieces. But it's definitely wearying and no amount of candle-lit exposition can make a slight plot interesting. Time to lay anchor for good?
Andrew Hedley - Flicks.co.nz
Fourth Pirates Loses Map to Plot...
James Verniere - Boston Herald
As far as franchise films go, this one is better than the previous two. On its own, the film still lacks depth, but is at least entertaining.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Pirates 4 a worthy adventure.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
This is junk that will only excite the least demanding audiences... and kids too young to follow storyline
David Poland - Movie City News
The mermaid attack is a worthy blockbuster spectacle but Johnny Depp's once intoxicating originality has all but evaporated; it's more of the tired same.
Nathaniel Rogers - Film Experience
An early sequence in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides showcases its best idea: two Captain Jack Sparrows.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
This installment is better than the last two, in the way that a broken leg is better than a punctured lung.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
It all goes on and on, and becomes excessively complicated without becoming clever, and there's a real sense of arrogant laziness about the whole production.
Burl Burlingame - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Welcome to the fourth installment of "Avast and the Furious."
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
It's not the summer's must-see movie, but it's a fun welcome return to form for a series that proves there are still some exciting escapades of Jack Sparrow yet to be told.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
This latest chapter isn't sharp enough to restore the sense of discovery that made that 1st outing so exciting, but it's enough to make up for most of the missteps of the darn arrgh-inducing third one.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
'Aye,' said one scurvy swab, 'Did ye notice that Penelope is dressed like she be commanding the S.S. El Torito?'
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
One of the most exciting sequences in the 'Pirates' franchise features a spectacular pirates/mermaid clash that makes 'On Stranger Tides' something special.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Does pretty much what it sets out to do -- play up and on those things that have worked in the previous films. It's a lot like one of the later Crosby-Hope 'Road' Pictures.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
This film, despite its dazzling special effects, is devoid of originality, character and human values. It is the very embodiment of what is wrong with popular entertainment.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Johnny Depp is always fun to spend time with, but Pirates 4 is Yo ho ho-hum.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
You need two chalices, one with a mermaid's tear in it, which is the one that allows you to drain the years from OH CAN WE JUST SEE PENELOPE CRUZ'S BOOBS ALREADY?.
Pete Vonder Haar - Houston Press
It fails to completely recapture the magic.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
Navigation is slow and predictable. The ending is confused and contrived. Not enough working here to keep Depp and Company from walking the plank. Paul Chambers, CNN.
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
PIRATES of the Caribbean 4 is a welcome return to the fun and frivolous form of the original.
Tim Martain - The Mercury
feels largely unnecessary, especially in the way it forces us to realize that Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, who was such a refreshing breath of subversive air back in 2003, is starting to wear a little thin.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
A total bore, without a memorable action sequence, the film miscalculates from the start...
Brett Michel - Boston Phoenix
Harpoon it; run it through with a saber; let a vampire mermaid take a bite out of it - but please put this franchise (and us) out of its misery.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Doesn't really have any kind of personality or identity on its own. It's just "the fourth Pirates movie".
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Pretty good for the first 45 minutes.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky - Ebert Presents At The Movies
Jack Sparrow is forced into this long-winded story, and never given a real reason to be on this so-called adventure.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
At least On Stranger Tides aspires towards coherence.
Siobhan Synnot - Scotsman
Sadly it's just as dull, convoluted and needlessly extended as the first two sequels were.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
I've never seen a film in which what was actually onscreen seemed so irrelevant.
A poorly scripted film has its forked tongue sticking out of both cheeks.
Rob Marshall should walk the plank.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
The laughs are few and far between, some bad CG effects mar the better sequences, Depp's performance doesn't have the lustre it once had, and the movie's plot doesn't so much defy logic as tie it up and make it walk the plank.
Matt Neal - The Standard
Bears little relationship to the spry, hilarious blockbuster that spawned it. It's a dead-eyed corporate facsimile.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
I don't know who to blame for such an awful looking movie - the Director or Cinematographer. If I have to spend 2 1/2 hours in this world, can they at least make it watchable?"
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
Depp retains his charm as Jack Sparrow, but the movie is too long and sloppy
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
The series has simply run out of steam. Though better than its predecessor, this chapter owes everything to the Herculean strength of Johnny Depp's charm and the presence of Geoffrey Rush and Ian McShane.
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
Captain Jack's roots aren't the only thing that's gone nappy; the 137 minutes of so-so swashbuckling and tired Tarzan-eque rope swinging packs the punch of Tylenol PM and coconut rum.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
There are two choices. One is irritation that nothing really makes sense, including the subtitle. The other is to lower expectations and enjoy Jack Sparrow, who is, after all, the only reason the franchise made it past the first film
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Johnny Depp's alcoholic, asexual, speech-slurring sea captain, flat 3D that darkens the picture considerably, and nonsensical stories are surely passe by now.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
Watching this film in 3D is like trying to eat your dinner with a sheet of plastic wrap over it.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
This ship has sailed, wrecked and sunk right into a Hollywood abyss of nonsense.
Clay Cane - BET.com
If the first two sequels were fairly agreeable examples of popcorn fare, then Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides represents the grimace-inducing alternative: the unpopped kernel that just sits there, bereft of almost all value.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
There was no need for this movie at all, except, perhaps, to finance paving Bruckheimer's driveway in gold leaf. And really, Johnny, how many chateaux in France do you need?
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Sadly the fourth installment, while showing flashes of originality, fails to reverse the downward trend.
Coco Forsythe - Future Movies UK
While "On Stranger Tides" is the shortest of the four "Pirates" films, its two-hour, 17-minute running time is still far too indulgent.
Alison Gang - San Diego Union-Tribune
I knew this two-hour cruise was in trouble when I found myself resisting the urge to check my email halfway through Jack's first big escape.
Lisa Ann Cockrel - Christianity Today
We can't put much blame on director Rob Marshall, who was handed a series that made a splash from the get-go but sank long before arriving on Stranger Tides.
Radheyan Simonpillai - AskMen.com
Frankly, it doesn't matter how great the film turns out -- it's all about Depp --- Depp playing this loopy pirate, whom I happen to be gaga over.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Playing straight man to Depp may have been a thankless task, but without Will to goad and mock, and without Elizabeth to flirt with and discomfit, Sparrow's roguish schtick palls.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
The rest of the movie has a hard time living up to the opening sequences --- but the absolutely terrific original score by Hans Zimmer makes most of the scenes come alive.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Don't go to see Part Four unless you are really into the series and actually do want more. Tick that box, though, and this should be just a bit of fun.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
You know, there was a time when the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise supplied as many jaw-dropping thrills as the Disney theme park attraction by which it was inspired. But now it provides about as much enjoyment as waiting in line for said ride.
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
Ultimately this franchise is still afloat. Just.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Everything about this installment feels way past its expiration date. I wouldn't be surprised to find there was mold growing on the actual film prints.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
The best thing about the pared-down running time is that it takes the focus off of enormous sea creatures and puts it squarely back on Depp's enormous charm.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Boring, tedious, murky and about as fun to experience as walking the plank (Parental Content Review also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
On Stranger Tides is nearly as fleet-footed and fun as the very first film, released in 2003.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
For all his comments about not minding if he played Jack Sparrow forever, Depp appears weary of this sport. He's too dedicated to phone it in but sameness isn't something he's comfy with.There's less swish in his swashbuckling.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
Severely suffers from simplicity, trying to blanket the brain cramps experienced by those who chose not to keep up with many of the unappreciated intricacies of its predecessors.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
If there is to be a Pirates 5, they should run up the distress flag and get new writers: even if they have to kidnap them.
Julie Rigg - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
It's all very busy, and it's been shot in 3-D, which means every stunt looks like a badly processed visual effect even when it isn't.
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
Remember how fresh and novel Pirates of the Caribbean seemed in 2003? Remember the fun of seeing Johnny Depp's off-the-wall portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow for the first time? It may be hard to think back that far, because...
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
The "stranger tides" of the title are nowhere apparent, it being merely the same clotted, nonsensical to-ing and fro-ing as before.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
Lacking wit and imagination, On Stranger Tides hurls less-than-riveting action.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
This is the shortest movie in the Pirates bunch and it seemed five hours long, and whatever hypnotic spell it used to cast on me isn't effective anymore.
Dave White - Movies.com
A big budgeted, emotionless vehicle that makes one wonder if Depp should seriously take the bandana off Jack Sparrow's head and let him and franchise rest.
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
How do you make Penelope Cruz and mermaids boring?!?!?
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
You'll go, you'll enjoy, and a month from now you won't remember much about it.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
As far as a summer popcorn film, "Stranger Tides" is more of a bridge to the movie that is come.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Daily Film Fix
The film concludes with plenty of expectation for a sequel - indeed, producer Jerry Bruckheimer has said a screenplay is in the works for a fifth Pirates. But it might be time for this franchise to furl its sails.
Sharon Hoffmann - Kansas City Star
A simpler, more coherent and amusing adventure that is the most fun in the series - and shortest - since the original.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
It's an improvement over the last two films, but really...a good solid blow to the head would have been an improvement over the last two films.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Founders on the rocks of dull backstory, too many characters and a sense of tiredness.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
...unforgivably, doesn't achieve a single rousing moment- a staple of any successful swashbuckler.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
More swashbuckling + less violence = OK for older tweens.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
The film runs aground courtesy of Marshall's plodding direction and a lifeless script.
Catherine Jones - Liverpool Echo
Since this is a PG-13 Disney production, Depp and Cruz do more swashing than unbuckling here. There is, however, a naughty backstory, something to do with a nunnery mistaken for a brothel.
Glenn Lovell - CinemaDope
It has the feel of a TV drama renewed for one season too many, a last, furtive run at the till before it closes for business.
Christopher Orr - The Atlantic
It is truly strange that a film setting out to be pure entertainment, so full of stars and special effects, should be so mortifyingly dull - although, then again, as Dr Johnson said: "Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment."
David Sexton - This is London
On Stranger Tides is arrgh-uably the best franchise sequel yet. Faint praise, to be sure.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
Just when you thought a Disney theme-park ride couldn't possibly spawn four feature-length films, here we go again.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
This is the fourth movie; it feels like the twentieth.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Diverting, loud, occasionally amusing, instantly forgettable, and less than what we expect from this series.
Small kids won't really appreciate Johnny Depp either, though frankly he's getting to be less fun as the series ages, possibly realizing that what's riskiest in Pirates 4 isn't walking the plank, but jumping the shark.
Bob Mondello - NPR
This fourth film did its job of bringing back a lot of the goofy fun missing from the first two sequels.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
I, for one, get a tremendous kick out of Depp as Captain Jack. The character is smart, unpredictable and a whole lot of fun, which makes me more than willing to climb aboard and tag along no matter how ridiculous or overwrought his adventures get.
Mathew DeKinder - Suburban Journals of St. Louis
The fourth 'Pirates' chronicles a quest for the fabled fountain of youth; the film itself represents a desire for rejuvenation.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
a fun family adventure worthy of the Disney pedigree it boasts
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Depp sleepwalks through action sequences and relies on mannerisms during the dialogue. Perhaps he's saving himself for a string of sequels that will stretch monotonously into eternity.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
On Stranger Tides is not an exceptional summer popcorn movie, but it provides acceptable summer fun.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
With further sequels already in the works, and billions more to be made, I would nevertheless like to point out that the wind went out of these pirate ship sails a long time ago.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
It's competently made and contains some thrills, but you'll probably forget everything about it by the time you get home from the theater.
Stephen Silver - The Trend
The band is back together ... but the rock-n-roll anarchy has faded away. The newcomers don't amount to much more than session musicians asked to keep the same beats that drove the previous three films.
Sean O'Connell - Hollywood News
Barely fresh. On Stranger Tides is 30 minutes too long and could use a little more plot on the poop deck.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Although it tries to give the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise a fresh start, this lackluster fourth installment instead confirms that the series' charms have worn off.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
Not nearly as consistently exhilarating as the first installment, but, with Rob Marshall at the helm, it's less convolute and more thrilling than the last two. Stick around after the end credits for a stinger.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
An underwhelming pirate saga.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
As for the sequel's use of 3D, other than the odd sword being jabbed at you, it's inconsequential.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
Good grief. Another one?
Elias Savada - Film Threat
On Stranger Tides has the faint stink of a phoned-in cash grab, and box office receipts will likely confirm fears that this is not the last we've heard from Jack Sparrow and company.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
A rebound from the third film, with Depp in good form, but a disjointed story.
Rich Heldenfels - Akron Beacon Journal
If you want to burden your movie from the outset, give it a protagonist who can't grow, can't change, can't feel and wants nothing. Then give Depp total license to mug his way out of this confinement.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Stranger Tides at least has a story that is relatively comprehensible and keeps its roster of main characters trimmed to a manageable level.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
For those crusty old barnacles who found the first three films headache-inducing bores, Pirates 4 offers a much more satisfying voyage.
Jim Schembri - The Age (Australia)
While it's hilarious fun, it's also so meandering that it's a bit dull.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
This fourth episode is being pitched as a reboot of the franchise. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
It's like the last season of a TV show that's gone on too long, except there are still more seasons/movies to come. Plank, I'm ready when you are.
Matt Pais - RedEye
There's enough of Jack doing his wild hand gestures and lucking his way into the story that Depp fans will dig it. These Stranger Tides lead to a shallow pool, but sometimes a nice wading session might be all you require.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
...part action flick and part vaudeville act, On Stranger Tides suggests a pirate movie made by Buster Keaton.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
...a movie for which the term "dire mess" seems entirely insufficient.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
On Stranger Tides may not quite be the spectacular return to form Disney had hoped for, but it's a strong indication that there's life in the old sea dog yet.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
It defies criticism, since quality is clearly irrelevant to its success or otherwise. It is loud, bombastic - and extravagantly boring.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
As usual, when the filmmakers get in over their heads it's Depp who must wade in and get them out of trouble.
Stella Papamichael - Digital Spy
resigned to regurgitating its bird's dinner into the mouths of a nation of idiot babies
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Depp retains the ability to rise above the nonsense with his customary sly humour.
Stella Papamichael - Radio Times
The quest for the Fountain of Youth is weightless filler that means nothing, with little broader ramifications.
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
A youthful revival this film is not. But a slick, swashbuckin' romp though the South Seas with a ship full of familiar scallywags it is.
Francesca Steele - Sky Movies
Never amounts to more than a bunch of noisy action scenes loosely strung together by a lackluster plot with no sense of excitement or adventure.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Though this movie ends with a clear indication of more possibilities ahead, I'm more than ready to let Captain Jack Sparrow rest in rum-soaked peace.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Seems to share Blackbeard's mercenary dedication to finding its own Fountain of Youth, to keep "Pirates" alive beyond its natural point of expiration. Which was 2006.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Serves as a reminder of how much fun the first Pirates movie was and how desperately the franchise has been working to recapture that feeling ever since.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
...now, Captain Jack is more of a punch line with his mincing totter, fluttering wrists and gold-toothed lushy mush mouth...the film's still too long and not exhilarating enough to remedy "Pirates" fatigue.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
I wouldn't call "On Stranger Tides" a disaster, but it does take everything that was charming about the first film and remixes it far less carefully and at a slower pitch, rendering it mildly diverting and shockingly sludgy.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
A real stinker.
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
Far better than Verbinski's last two Pirates films, incoming director Rob Marshall keeps the subplots to a minimum, the action the max, and Depp onscreen virtually throughout. Summer has arrived: More grog, please.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
POTC was never about nuance, and now it's even less so: It's about watching Depp fall into peril and wriggle his way out, over and over, for hours.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
This Pirates comes closer than ever to the whimsy and sparkle of the first film, giving the audience what it wants and keeping the monkey business to a minimum.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
The problem with attempting to replicate the 'magic,' such as it was, of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is you get something very close to a replica, minus the novelty.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Depp's woozy, ribald - but this time, disappointingly less gonzo - Jack Sparrow remains one of the most endearing and enduring caricatures in modern film.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
No matter how much Cruz and Depp squabble during the quest to find the Fountain of Youth, no real sparks fly.
Randy Myers - Contra Costa Times
Played with the same menace he showed in HBO's "Deadwood" by the great Ian McShane, Blackbeard is to Jack Sparrow what Robert Shaw's Red Grant was to James Bond in "From Russia With Love:" the baddest mother in the movie.
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
a joyless, mediocre exercise which drowns this once-interesting franchise in cynical, repetitious audience pandering.
Todd Gilchrist - Hollywood News
Shows all the symptoms of a franchise that has passed its sell-by date.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
If this standard is maintained, I can't wait to walk the plank for a fifth time.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
Johnny Depp and director Rob Marshall attempt to steer the soggy franchise back on course with this goof of an installment.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Some might find their enthusiasm for the Pirates films sinking. I have to say that mine is still there, just about.
"You haven't changed," Cruz says to Depp. "I haven't found the need," he replies. And that pretty much sums up the enterprise.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
A long, slow voyage through shallow water.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
This franchise, like many of the "arrgh!"-spouting pirates who have come before Captain Jack Sparrow, is dead in the water.
Just terrible. A by-the-numbers, paycheck film if ever there was one.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Mostly, Marshall works to keep the computer graphics from completely overwhelming the action, and staying out of the way of his cast.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Not as clever as the first, as fun as the second or as epic as the third, On Stranger Tides is still a decently fun swashbuckler it just isn't a very good one.
Matthew Razak - Flixist.com
seems like an apt live-action candidate for the Disney direct-to-DVD library
Jason McKiernan - Filmcritic.com
There's no other way to put it : "On Stranger Tides" is the best "Pirates" film since the original
Clint Morris - Moviehole
Apostando em zumbis que nao sao realmente zumbis, sereias que nao sao realmente sereias e piratas que parecem mais interessados em fazer graca do que soarem ameacadores, Piratas do Caribe 4 e uma experiencia longa, chata e previsivel.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
A nonsensical contraption designed simply to take your money. Don't give it up so easily.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
I don't usually like to review a movie through the prism of its budget, but, after spending a reported $200 million, shouldn't this one be more of a wow?
Joanna Langfield - The Movie Minute
Isn't quite as bad as the last movie in the series, but it's still a lumbering mess lacking any of the charm of the initial installment.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
If you've seen one swordfight, you've seen them all, and the convoluted screenplay makes the whole overlong affair feel like more of the same.
Scott A. Mantz - Access Hollywood
I dread the inevitable next instalment.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
Depp's caricature is so far past its expiration date that it forces speculation about the actor's own movie stardom.
Armond White - New York Press
After those last two sequels, the script's obesity and deadly pace of On Stranger Tides makes absolutely no sense to me. Perhaps unconscious is truly how the general public prefers their Jack Sparrow adventures.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
The pirates of the Caribbean are back, and this time they've given up on the doubloons and galleons to plunder something really precious. Our time.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
It's alright. But you could probably have more fun with a Pirates Of The Caribbean Lego set.
Michael Bonner - Uncut Magazine [UK]
Extremely (eye) patchy, much too long and so slow that it's practically becalmed, but its good moments are just about enough to make it worthwhile.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Disney has finally arrived at ocean's bottom: an automated money-minter that hardly requires its audience to stay awake.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
We just can't get enough of Sparrow himself, though there's an immense sense of deja vu and predictability to events throughout this latest film.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
It may not leave you wanting more of the pirate's life, but when you've got cameos from Dame Judi Dench and Keith Richards you must be doing something right.
Anthony Morris - The Vine
Returning to the thematic and narrative simplicity of the franchise's first film, the latest instalment is a rollicking and surprisingly enjoyable ride.
Jack Sargeant - FILMINK (Australia)
On Stranger Tides is more in tune with the Chronicles of Narnia movies than the other Pirates... films, with religious ethic mixing very well with box office spectacle, which should please both secular and Christian audiences.
Matthew Pejkovic - Trespass
The Sparrow character is a never-again-to-be-retrieved fortune-making bit of originality that barely fills the sails of what I suspect is the final voyage.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
So much happens, and so little of it means a thing.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
The film is as mechanical as the ride from which it is based.
Daniel Hubschman - Hollywood.com
The fourth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise proves that there is still much fun to be had with Captain Jack Sparrow and a new bunch of supporting characters.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
This is not a good movie. It's empty calories. But I scarfed it down anyway.... I'm not embarrassed to admit that I wallowed in On Stranger Tides and let the grease of it stain my fangirl fingers...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides feels a little bit like Captain Jack Sparrow fan fiction, although if it really were fan fiction I suspect we'd see a lot more of star Johnny Depp shirtless; bedding fair maidens on land and at sea.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
The characters extricate themselves far too easily from difficult situations and there's no sense of excitement.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
The film's tonal signature: it's called the kitchen sink syndrome, in which farce and escapism sit side by uncomfortable side with odd moments of human drama, adventure and sheer silliness
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
The potency of the film's vibrant characters brought to life by a splendid cast drowns in a convoluted, overlong plot, leaving us feeling as though we have witnessed fantastic film craft, but the story is rather boring
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Sure, it corrects many of the mistakes that made the last film god-awful, but a step up from god-awful is just awful without as much blasphemy.
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
One can't help but feel that the Disney-Depp partnership has taken the series as far as it can go in this form, and short of a large-scale overhaul of the franchise, it may be best to set these particular Pirates adrift for good.
Chris Tilly - IGN Movies
Screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio fixed all their own sequel problems by simplifying the story.
Fred Topel - Screen Junkies
[VIDEO] Depp is clearly having fun. And so are we.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Jack Sparrow really has become a parody of his former self. He may get some decent gags and Depp still plays him with admirable relish, but he's simply going through the motions.
Richard Edwards - SFX Magazine
I was going to make some lame joke about Pirates swashbuckling under the pressure but, in reality, it hasn't; it's played it safe, it's stuck to the series' guns; to the film's detriment but probably to the box office's delight.
Martin Roberts - Fan The Fire
If there's a retirement home for pirates, Jack Sparrow might want to go on a quest to find it.
Matt Bochenski - Little White Lies
There's nothing strange or in any way extraordinary about this dim-witted bore.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
Adventurous and action-packed, it splashes with spectacular fun for the entire family.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
While not as execrably dull or insufferably long as the third entry, On Stranger Tides lacks even a basic sense of invention and is keen simply to milk the cash cow for another round...
Shaun Munro - What Culture
'On Stranger Tides' is simply lifeless, a reductive, insulting moneymaking exercise with as much charm and depth as a slot machine.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
There's nothing 'Stranger' about the tides of commercial appeal on which this entry in the franchise floats. Still, it looks nice.
Catherine Bray - Film4
Despite quality set-pieces and the best efforts of the cast, this is dull and crossbones.
Helen OHara - Empire Magazine
Pirates 4 is the epitome of lazy filmmaking, a movie without a single clever moment, without the least bit of inspiration. It's a paint by numbers film, charmless and witless.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
This saturated saga is dead in the water.
Chris Laverty - Clothes on Film
On Stranger Tides is good "for a Pirates film."
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
Exhausting, confusing and repetitious
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
On this evidence, Jack Sparrow and his merry band can carry on sailing for a few years to come.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
The picture is cluttered and convoluted and big, and Marshall - taking over the reins from Gore Verbinski - doesn't seem to grasp how exhausting nonstop action can be.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
On Stranger Tides is neither the best nor worst way to keep the Pirates of the Caribbean money flowing, but it always feels like a franchised product.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Yo ho ho and a bottle of sleeping tablets.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
This is a naked cash grab, as ugly and hollow and callous as big-budget filmmaking gets.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
The perfect summer movie and perhaps the best Pirates of them all.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
The narrative leaves much to be desired, but compared to the previous 2 chapters, at least it offers some thrills, sporadic humor and fun, not to mention Spanish spitfire Penelope Cruz.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
A new director and some key cast changes do little to right the ship for the oversized fourth installment in this decreasingly entertaining franchise.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
It clomps along, doing all the baseline things you expect from it, and nothing besides.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
This is more like the fun original, with jokes hitting the mark. It breaths new life into the Caribbean series, but even Captain Jack's attraction cannot be eternal. Can it?
Grant Rollings - Sun Online
Not as incomprehensible, or interminable, or rubbish as At World's End, but no amount of flash and filigree can conceal a disappointingly soulless, directionless adventure-by-numbers.
- Total Film
It's a succession of ever-escalating action sequences and grand settings. At first they're stunning, then they're routine, then they're wearying.