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394 of 442 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it...
...and after the sound thrashing the critics gave it, I was not expecting to.
No spoilers, I promise.

Is it worth seeing in the theater?
Did you enjoy the first three?
Then the answer is a resounding yes.
I think the critics were expecting more of a rebirth for the franchise and that's not what this movie is.
It's called part 4 for a...
Published on May 20, 2011 by Brian Nallick

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadfully Slow
I am a big fan of the first three films and they are very good entertainment. But when Gore Verbinski left the director's chair Disney should have left it alone after that. This installment lacks the fun, style and wit of the first three. Very little humor and Johnny Depp looked bored throughout this poorly plotted film. It leaves me dumbstruck reading these 5 star...
Published 12 months ago by Sarah Bensing


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394 of 442 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it..., May 20, 2011
...and after the sound thrashing the critics gave it, I was not expecting to.
No spoilers, I promise.

Is it worth seeing in the theater?
Did you enjoy the first three?
Then the answer is a resounding yes.
I think the critics were expecting more of a rebirth for the franchise and that's not what this movie is.
It's called part 4 for a reason lol.
It's a definite continuation.
It was a little weird not having Orlando and Keira there but the new actors brought a wonderful new dimension to the film that after a few minutes I didn't miss Orlando or Kiera...not that I wouldn't mind seeing them in a future installment.
Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz were wonderful and perfect for this film.

So what was good?
Pretty much everything.
It's a Pirates of the Caribbean movie folks.
It's got action, action, and more action.
I've heard other complaints that it was paced too slowly.
???
Are you kidding, for a two hour plus movie this flew right by me.
The acting was excellent.
The score, pacing, cinematography was perfect.
A lot of people were turned off by the story line in part 3 and yes, it had it's moments of who's on first, who's on second, who is double crossing who in what scene from the next.
"Stranger Tides" does not suffer from this.
The story was interesting and enjoyable but not difficult to follow.

What didn't I like?
The first half of the movie is VERY heavy on action with little bits of dialog in between the chaos...not enough dialog actually.
The second half of the movie cuts back on the action and gives us way more character development and story.
The second half was actually much more enjoyable for me as the first half felt a tad unbalanced.

That minor gripe aside..if you loved 1,2 and 3 of the Pirates franchise, you'll enjoy this.
Not a rebirth but a darn good continuation of a series I love.
The magic has NOT been lost...
Funny.
A great story.
Incredible acting from everyone.
Entertaining.
Action...lots of it.
Can't wait for part 5.
Highly recommended.
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146 of 171 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sequel That's Worthy Of The Series, May 23, 2011
In recent years, we've had franchises return for a fourth installment. Indiana Jones. Die Hard. Rambo. Scream. All of varying worth. Many critics say that these long running franchises returning for a 4th film never live up to the hype or to the series they are a part of. Well, 'Pirates 4' comes along to change all that. It is a sequel, coming 4 years after the last one(which is like 10 years in this generation where last week is old), it is a part 4, and it's wonderful. Critics say otherwise, but this is one movie where the audience has spoken, and they are loving it.

I could go into the story, but why bother? By now, everyone should know that Capt. Jack Sparrow(Johnny Depp)is back, and he is journeying to the famed fountain of youth, along with old foe Barbarossa(the great Geoffrey Rush), evil Pirate Blackbeard(the even better Ian McShane), and old flame Angelica(Penelope Cruz) who may or may not be Blackbeard's daughter. Along the way, our characters run across exciting adventures and scary mermaids.

First of all, people and critics were quite vocal on how the two sequels were too complicated, over-stuffed, and confusing. Thankfully, this latest adventure simplifies the material in a way that harkens back to the wonderful, and now classic, original 2003 film. There is now B and C storylines to dampen down the festivities. Everything is pretty simple and crystal clear and easy to follow along. In fact, the whole movie has such a refreshing air to it, that it really does go back to the original. The immense charm of the original film with Depp's Sparrow and humor is here in full force. The magic is there. The fun time, popcorn blockbuster is there. Part 3 was disappointing and was missing most of this, but it's here in spades with part 4. Also in abundance is the action. Part 3 was so long that the action felt few and far between. Here, there is plenty of action. The movie never slows down and is never boring. Ever. New director Rob Marshall keeps things moving at a fun and brisk pace. It's continuously watchable and gorgeous, like all the others, to look at. It is, without a doubt, the most fun and entertaining movie in the franchise since the first one.

The cast is great. Johnny Depp is these movies. People come to see him in this role and he doesn't disappoint in this one. He seems more alive, lively, refrshed, and as amusing as ever. Elsewhere, you will be wondering "Orlando and Keira who?" You won't miss them. Penelope Cruz holds her own as Angelica. Rush is as great as he always is in the other films. And then there is Ian McShane. He is just cool. Blackbeard is a character to be reckoned with, and McShane is so evil and icy cool, that he owns every scene he is in. There are new characters littered throughout the film, but none of them really bring much. I will say though, that the actrss who plays Serena the mermaid, and I don't remember her name, may be one of the loveliest beauties I have seen on the silver screen in some time.

The critics have not been kind. Some have been downright savage, and I cannot understand why. The audienc I saw it with clapped at the end. "On Stranger Tides" may not be so strange, but it delivers what everyone wants and hopes for in a Pirate's movie. Easily the best of the sequels, the movie is great fun. It has a new zest of life and has a sharp script filled with rousing action, some great dialogue, and some great humor. What more can you ask for? I am a huge fan of the franchise. Part 3 was not what everyone wanted, but "On Stranger Tides" does a great job of steering this mighty franchise back on course. Part 5 cannot come fast enough!
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78 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3D Review by a 3D Connoisseur, November 26, 2011
By 
Keith Niemeyer (LaCrosse, WI USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
My ratings are based mainly on the QUALITY OF THE 3D, not the video content.

Not counting the shallower effects, there are about 64 out of screen effects that extend about 10% of the way, from the screen to the viewer but approximately half of them are very quick. 2 effects made it to 20%, 11 around 25% and 5 more at 30%. The majority of the effects are after the first half hour of the film.
Honorable mention effects included swords being thrust through a door (20%) or being pointed towards you (30% 3 times), a boney hand (30%), flakes falling from an explosion (25%), and the grumpy monkey (25%). There is also a real nice 10% sequence involving a water drop.

The 3D in itself is very good but Disney did struggle with scene framing, focusing and lighting, to best benefit a 3D film. I should clarify that the focusing issue is just the blurring of foreground objects to draw the viewers' attention to where the director wants it. This tactic has been used a lot in recent years for normal movies but it is just not conducive to a good 3D viewing experience.

Don't get me wrong, this is a worthy addition to any 3D collection. 3D cartoons are easy to produce but for real life 3D, there is a definite learning curve.

*** Jack and the gang are great in 3D ***

MY 3D RATING = VERY GOOD (poor, fair, good, very good, excellent)

Note: As far as the percentages go, everyone's eyes are different. What I see at 25% you may see at 15% or 35%. To fully realize how far something is out of the screen for you, pause on an effect and direct a partner with an extended finger to the tip of what you are seeing. You may be surprised.

Click on `See all my reviews' for the lowdown on other 3Ds
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray: Not the best PotC film, but still entertaining and looks great on Blu!, December 16, 2011
If there is one thing that is consistent with "Pirates of the Caribbean", you know that this film will make a ton of money in the box office.

And while many thought that the "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" was finished with the third film in the trilogy, "At World's End" would be the last we would see of Jack Sparrow. But the truth is, that no matter how film critics have shown their declining interest in the film, the audience have not.

And with the release of the fourth film "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides", once again, the audience have shown their love for this film as it became the 8th highest grossing film of all time (worldwide), the third highest grossing film of 2011 and following "Dead Man's Chest" and "Toy Story 3', the third highest grossing film for Disney. The film which cost anywhere between $150-$250 million to make, earned over $1 billion in the box office.

VIDEO:

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1). And as one can expect from Disney, the picture quality is fantastic. The majority of the film is shot outdoors, at sea or during day or night and for the most part, detail is high, skin tones are natural and blacks are deep and inky.

And once again, cinematographer Dariusz Wolski should receive credit for his spectacular cinematography, from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films to "Alice in Wonderland", Wolski is an expert in shooting in the darkest of scenes, underwater, in smoke and chaotic sequences and there is no artifacts, banding or any problematic situations in the picture quality at all.

Overall, "On Stranger Tides" is a fantastic looking film and looks absolutely wonderful on Blu-ray!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

What best than to present this film with a lossless English, French and Spanish 7.1 DTS-HD HR presentation. The surround channels are heavily used in Hans Zimmer's wonderful score to the swordfights, the sound of boots walking on the deck, the sound of blasts, the growl of the mermaids and scenery ambiance, and throughout all this immersive sound, dialogue is crystal clear and understandable.

The LFE for the film is wonderful and like the wonderful picture quality of the film, the lossless audio soundtrack is also fantastic!

Subtitles are presented in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" comes with the following special features:

Disney Second Screen - Viewers can watch the film simultaneously through their iPad or computer.
Disney Second Screen Bloopers of the Caribbean - (3:25) Outtakes rom the making of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides".
Audio Commentary - Featuring audio commentary by director Rob Marshall and executive producer John DeLuca discuss the cast members, the making of the film and its challenges during production and more.
LEGO Animated Shorts: Captain Jack's Brick Tales - (5:19) Featuring five Lego animated shorts for "Captain Jack's Brick Tales".

EXTRAS:
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" comes with a slip cover case. The Blu-ray release comes with the DVD presented in widescreen 2:40:1 - Enhanced for 16×9 televisions, English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital and subtitles in English SDH, French and Spanish.

JUDGMENT CALL:

When it comes to popcorn action films "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" manages to incorporate the fun, swashbuckling action of Jack Sparrow and Johnny Depp does a wonderful job of playing Jack Sparrow. But one's enjoyment is subjective, especially whether or not you have felt that your passion for the film series is starting to wane a bit.

After the third "Pirates of the Caribbean" film, I have to say that "At World's End" left me feeling bitter because it was not a great film to end the trilogy. But because these films make a tremendous amount of money, there is no way that we are going to see an end to this film series. In fact, a fifth film is being planned and Johnny Depp is returning, so as long as the audience continues to come out to see the films, I don't see why Disney should stop. People still love "Pirates of the Caribbean".

Personally, I enjoyed the film but unlike previous "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, it felt a bit light when it came to Jack Sparrow because there is so much emphasis on other characters. In fact, I found myself enjoying scenes with the Christian Philip (played by Sam Claflin)and the mermaid Syrena (played by Astrid Berges-Frisbey), which for me was the replacement characters for Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann (Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley's characters for the previous films). But unfortunately, where Turner and Swann had staying power for three films, not sure if we are going to see Philip or Syrena ever again.

While "On Stranger Tides" continues to be a fun, adventurous popcorn action film, I did enjoy seeing Penelope Cruz playing the character of Angelica Teach, a compassionate/cutthroat ex-lover of Jack Sparrow and Ian McShane as the legendary dark pirate Blackbeard was quite fun to watch as well. And seeing Barbosa, it was no surprise to see his return to the film as well.

But "On Stranger Tides" tries to showcase many other characters as well and truth be told, aside from Gibbs who has a place in the PotC films, everyone else didn't. For example, in the first film, there was a sympathetic feeling towards Sparrow and his crew, but this time around, you really had no sympathy for anyone's crew. If anything, you just wondered when will Jack Sparrow be back on his ship instead of being Indiana Jones/Blackbeard's grunt. This is one side of Jack Sparrow that we have not seen in previous films and I'm not sure if I like him in such a non-commanding role.

But however one feels about "On Stranger Tides", similar to films like "Transformers", these are popcorn action films that people come to see and have a good time, not for anything deep or mind-blowing. You get action and a ton of special effects and in that sense, "On Stranger Tides" does not disappoint.

But when it comes to this Blu-ray release, one thing that does disappoint is the fact that we are getting far less than the five disc version when it comes to special features. Picture and lossless audio is fantastic but I was surprised to see only three special features including the audio commentary included with this release. But it appears that Disney really is pushing for the 3D 5-disc version which has nine special features over its 2-disc counterpart which has only three minus the second screen.

Overall, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is a fun film and from the crew fight on the Queen Anne's Revenge, Jack Sparrow's escape from British custody to the encounter with the mermaids, there are many fun action scenes in this film. But in terms of story, I still prefer the first original film, but there is no doubt that the visuals and overall production design is much improved in this latest film.

If you are a fan of the series and own the trilogy on Blu-ray, or you are just a big fan of the film or its talent, you're definitely going to want this film in your collection. But if you are wanting the best version of this film released on Blu-ray, you may want to look into the 5-disc version over this 2-disc combo pack as Disney chose to include most of the bonus features on the 5-disc release.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadfully Slow, March 27, 2013
I am a big fan of the first three films and they are very good entertainment. But when Gore Verbinski left the director's chair Disney should have left it alone after that. This installment lacks the fun, style and wit of the first three. Very little humor and Johnny Depp looked bored throughout this poorly plotted film. It leaves me dumbstruck reading these 5 star reviews saying this is the best entry of the series let alone saying this is as good as the first movie. I don't see how Depp can see any value in this film unless he is locked into a contract with Disney for so many films and he just wants to get it over with. In my humble opinion this is the worst of the series and i would hope that looking for a seasoned director will do the next movie better, I hope.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware - disappointing, January 13, 2012
By 
All - I absolutely enjoyed the first movie in the serious - almost groundbreaking in it's storytelling and character development. This is the 4th (and hopefully final) movie in the serious and I found it to be very dull. I love the history of Blackbeard, but the way he is portrayed here in this movie is almost comical, which is completely not what he was in real life. Penelope Cruz does as good or better job in the leader female character role and shines, but the rest of the movie is very lackluster. Save your money and re-rent the first - you have been warned.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to LOVE??, September 28, 2011
I am a big fan of the Pirates movies and Johnny Depp. The third one was my least fav but have watched it over and over. This movie was fantastic contrary to what the critics said. What is wrong with them??? Maybe they didn't see the same movie?? All the actors were fantastic, the storyline was great and fresh and the humor was at times rib splitting for me. The bed scene with Barbossa, Jack and the skeleton of Ponce de Leon is hysterical. Penelope Cruz did a great job as a pirate both going up against and laying down with our Jack Sparrow!! Lucky girl!! The story was new and different------but still had the same magic of the pirates and some of the old familiar faces and fall backs to the other movies and of course Jack's humor and tricks but added new faces and different locations. I loved it and highly recommend it! Can't wait till #5 comes out!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, not great, but viewable., October 24, 2011
By 
This review is from: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
Let's get the obvious thing out of the way first. None of the sequels will ever be able to hold a candle to the first one. It's hard to say where I'd rate this compared to 2-3 because I've only viewed it twice, and it might end up being a movie that is stronger with more viewings. Part 3 to me is a bit weaker with subsequent viewings because I can't stand the lame, uninspired "me too" speech Elizabeth gives. Not every damn movie has to have a speech before battle, and if it is lame it makes it all the worse. And I can't help but feel there was so much potential for the final battle, ruined by the fact that there were 100s of ships and only 2 get stuck in some maelstrom in the worst waste of potential I have ever seen.

Anyway let's get to some strong points about this movie

-Filmed in 3D, 3D is strong and has incredible depth, a high quality 3D experience
-Depp and Rush are great in this film.
-Astrid Bergès-Frisbey is a cutie and the sweet yet small love story was so cute.
-seemed slow at first but after about half way it actually started to feel like a good ol Pirate movie again.
-Pretty satisfying ending

Low points
-Penélope Cruz is not attractive, can't play any character other than a Brazilian since she can't act past her own natural accent.
-Ian McShane's character isn't all that interesting, sure he's ok. But it's hard to top such magical characters as Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa. I found Astrid Bergès-Frisbey's Serena a more interesting character, and would have preffered more of that story arc. Too bad they focused on the wrong characters I think.
-Rageti and Pintel were such a funny duo, they are sorely missed here.

Overall the positives outweigh the negatives. And if you have a 3D set up, it's deffinatly an enjoyable movie with high quality 3D for you to check out. I would probably put this as my #2 favorite just behind the 1st film in the series.
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90 of 126 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved the movie, but I have some complaints about the Blu Ray releases...., August 16, 2011
This review is from: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
Let me start this review by saying the 3 Stars is not for the movie itself, or necessarily the package, because I am sure it will be great. I myself, maybe I might be overrating it, but I loved this movie. I thought it was much closer to the fun and surprise of the first movie, and not the bad dialogue and pacing issues of the second and third. Depp was great as usual, the new villain was awesome, and the movie was so much fun! It wasn't flawless, but it was really good.

Now as for this package, I would be more than happy to buy it. However, Disney really did a good job of ripping off the buyers who don't have a 3D TV.

This is not the only edition of the movie on Blu-Ray, but this is the best one to buy. The five disc set consists of The 3D Blu Ray disc of the movie, a standard Blu Ray edition, a special features disc on a REGULAR blu-ray, a DVD copy, and a Digital Copy of the film. So what's the problem? Well me myself, I do not own a 3D player, but I love special features on Blu-Ray discs and for DVD's, so I like to buy the edition where I can have all of my special features.

However, what Disney did with this release is they put the standard Blu-Ray disc with all of the special features ONLY IN THIS RELEASE! In the other Blu Ray release of this film, it only includes the movie on Blu-Ray and the Movie on DVD. No special Features Disc to be found, but it is in this version.

This is really scummy by Disney because not only do standard people who don't want a copy of it in 3D get ripped off of special features, but also us who like our features will have to dig out some more money to pay for it. This edition is about 5-10 dollars more expensive than the standard Blu Ray and not only because of the extra disc, but because of the 3D!

It really makes me annoyed because I love special features, and I thought this movie was really good! But I am going to have a tough decision to make whether to buy this edition or not. I don't know, what do you guys think? Me myself? I might not even end up buying the movie because of this. Darn shame, I was looking forward to getting it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, Light on features, January 8, 2012
By 
David Robinson (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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Love the movie, but I wish there were more "special features." For a Blu-Ray, it seemed very light on extras.
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