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...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...
A great story.
Incredible acting from everyone.
Action...lots of it.
Can't wait for part 5.
Highly recommended.
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on November 26, 2011
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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on 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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on February 5, 2014
ORIGINAL REVIEW: 1/5: "Rating is for Disney, not the movie itself. While other studios are generous with digital copies being of HD quality, Disney continues to be unbelievably cheap with SD quality digital copies (as was the case with the digital code for this movie). Unless a Disney movie states clearly that the digital code is HD, I will not purchase it. Also, in protest, I will NEVER purchase a digital copy of a Disney movie on iTunes or anywhere else. Disney is obviously hoping you will buy the same movie in several different formats just to make their cash register ring. How greedy can you get. Good thing Disney lags almost all major studios these days on the quality of their movie offerings. If it wasn't for Marvel movies, Disney would be stone dead in the business world of quality movie production."

UPDATED REVIEW AS OF FEB. 25, 2014: 5/5: "Today, Disney launched DisneyMoviesAnywhere. When I registered at that site and linked that site with my iTunes account, it not only gave me "The Incredibles" in HD for free, but it also upgraded to HD the following Disney digital movies which I had in my iTunes account in SD format: (1) this movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; (2) Marvel's Iron Man 2; and (3) Marvel's The Avengers. Also, when I entered the Disney Movie Rewards codes for Alice in Wonderland, Tron: Legacy and the Lone Ranger on Disney's new site, it automatically gave me the HD versions of those movies, whereas, before, I was unable to redeem such codes using iTunes (the digital codes for the first two movies had expired long ago and the digital code for The Lone Ranger was redeemed on vudu.com and did not work on iTunes). The bottom line is that Ultraviolet has really taken off and UV digital codes very frequently redeem in full HD, not SD like Disney previously did through iTunes. Disney and Apple apparently have teamed up and have decided to jointly promote an aggressive alternative to UV. We customers are the beneficiaries of this competition. Since I now have this Disney movie in HD in iTunes, I am once again a happy customer and, for that reason, revised my rating accordingly. HINT: You may need to "sign out" of your iTunes account on your iPad and then sign back in for your linked "SD" Disney movies to appear in iTunes in an upgraded HD format."
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on September 5, 2011
I'm living in South Korea. Here they just released the 3D Blu-Ray of "Pirates of Caribbean 4' ahead of States.
Guess I don't need to babble about the movie itself . What I did care only was the 3D effects with my Sony
3D A/V systems. Conclusion: Getting better everyday nowadays. Can't go back to 2D Dayz anymore.
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on March 27, 2014
watching all these pirate of the caribbean movies really makes me want to be a pirate and live on some fantasy island somewhere far away and spend my days drinking rum! this movie was not as awesome as its predecessors but it was still a great movie with lots of action and emotion! johnny's performance on all these movies was perfect! loved it!
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on December 13, 2011
This dvd/blu-ray combo comes with both versions of this movie.This 4th installment of pirates;on stranger tides is an epic adventure,or so many fans think.A tale of swashbuckling piratey goodness,Jack Sparrow has returned.This time,he's in search of the fountain of youth,witch,in the 3rd pirates movie they alluded to when Jack stole the fountain part of the map from captain Barbosa.This movie includes love and betrayal in the package of a female con artist linked to the infamous Blackbeard,aboard a ship that Jack doesn't want to be on.This woman from his past,the mermaids,and other action sequences are,in my opinion worth waiting for.Arrgh you gonna look forward to another pirates movie if one ever is made? Arrgh,this reviewer is.Although,I missed Will and Elizabeth since their storyline ended in the 3rd pirates movie. Go pirates! Swoon! Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)
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on February 12, 2014
I give this 5 stars but I love Depp and all the Pirate movies. This movie only disappoints because it is missing some characters from the past. But the feel of the movie is still there and I can watch this move over and over. chances of me watching this movie again....100 percent
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on April 27, 2016
I remember not thinking too much of this film when I first saw it in theaters. The story seemed to go nowhere. The characters had worn out their welcome. The "Pirates" brand was all but burned out.

Upon recent repeat viewings my opinion has somewhat changed. Ian McShane does a pretty good job with Blackbeard, and the dynamic with his daughter is fairly believable. In fact his introduction upon Queen Anne's Revenge is the highlight of the film. Johnny Depp does... What Depp does best: method acting ad infinitum. Geoffrey Rush continues to chew up the scenery in just about every scene he's in. You could argue it's just as much his movie as it is Depp's.

The special effects are pretty good and the movie looks good in 3d (I'm watching with active 3D). I think the movie tends to suffer in its third act where there is a lull where not much is accomplished. Also the music is pretty enjoyable, as is with most of the film's in the series. I think the movie could have benefitted with some more emphasis on the Inquisition but that's just me.

Overall not a terrible film but not great either. This is a solid Blu ray however with good audio/visual quality. I can't comment on the supplements. It's worth a watch if you enjoyed the other movies.
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on August 14, 2015
This film was confusing, bloated, dragged on - it just felt like a waste of effort - could have been a fabulous film but it felt like the director lost sight of the story or tried to pile in too much.
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