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

3 stars

The magic in the kingdom is still there, mateys. Yo ho! Directed by Norwegians Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki) and written by Jeff Nathanson, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales moves swiftly, energized by the new blood involved in the project. The Black Pearl might still be trapped within a bottle, but this flick shoots as quickly and as straightforward as lightning across the sky. It is indeed a seaworthy tale.

The latest Pirates of the Caribbean tale, starring Johnny Depp as the scoundrel Captain Jack Sparrow, is also more grounded and a wee bit more emotional than expected, but Dead Men Tell No Tales remains a swashbuckling affair that makes no apologies in its reach for the starry skies above our heads. Let that soak in for a bit. Go ahead and gaze above us. Avast ye! It’s a big world out there and we are so small indeed. In the grand scheme of things, this film – good ol’ number 5 in the series – is a pretty harmless good time.

You might have guessed it already, bucko. This is a positive review of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. If you want a hate-spewing review or an anti-Depp, anti-Disney tantrum, do another search. There are plenty of reviews telling you just how worthless this swashbuckling adventure is and how 2.5 hours of your time would be better spent mowing your and your neighbor’s yard. Pay it forward. Whatever. Click on those articles. Read those words. Shake your head and get confirmation upon all you thought you already knew about this movie.  

The newest chapter in the ongoing saga stars Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar, Brenton Thwaites as young Henry Turner, Kaya Scodelario as a plucky self-taught astronomer named Carina Smyth, Orlando Bloom as Will Turner (Captain of The Flying Dutchman, remember?), Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann, Kevin McNally as Mr. Gibbs, Sir Paul McCartney as Jack’s uncle, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

With a zippy storyline that never feels bloated, it features bank robbing (as in the entire bank), strange reunions, outlandish locations, a new spooky crew of villains, and a rum-drenched pirate by the name of Sparrow; all in search of Poseidon’s spell-breaking trident. So grab hold of Jacob’s ladder. Plant your boots on some hollow wood. We set sail soon.

Ultimately, Dead Men Tell No Tales is a fun, summer flick – with a whooping cliffhanger of an ending – that sets into motion the beginning arc of a grand finale that I honestly hope we get to see realized. We’ve been told one more is on the way and, while we get a good look at Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan’s son (last seen at the closing credits of At World’s End), a brief glimpse at a younger Captain Jack in a very spirited flashback, and enough hijinks on the high seas to keep them waterlogged for months after the film’s opening weekend, I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a bit more to Sparrow legacy, savvy?

Will Dead Men Tell No Tales be a hit over Memorial Day weekend? I certainly hope so, but I also understand (and accept) that it might not be and that’s okay, too. I just want you to know that, and this is no exception, most of these films are unnecessary. They do; however, remain a hell of a lot of fun. They are perfectly harmless and that alone is reason enough for me to see Dead Men Tell No Tales – like I did the previous one – twice.

So don’t hornswaggle me out of that pleasure, ye fat bastards. Yo ho, yo ho! It’s a pirate’s life for me!


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

MPAA Rating: R.
129 mins
: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Jeff Nathanson
Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem
: Action | Fantasy
Dead Men Tell no Tales.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You would've seen a lot more if you kept your cakehole shut."
Theatrical Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site: http://pirates.disney.com/pirates-of-the-caribbean-dead-men-tell-no-tales
Release Date:
May 26, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Available on blu-ray, DVD, and digital download - October 3, 2017.
Synopsis: Captain Jack Sparrow is pursued by an old rival, Armando Salazar, who along with his crew of ghost pirates has escaped from the Devil's Triangle, and is determined to kill every pirate at sea. Jack seeks the Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that grants its possessor total control over the seas, in order to defeat Salazar.


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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Disney / Buena Vista
Available on Blu-ray - October 3, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); iTunes digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Disney's 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer – presented in both Blu-ray/DVD and a HD download code – gets a workout on ship, land, and at sea and it delivers the goods with black levels that are never inky or blotchy and a bit of gold-tinged splendor in the lighted scenes. From the bank heist scene to the rippling shores of an island that shouldn’t be there, the imagery is crisp. The photography is – by design – dark and full of magical smoky settings and the undersea Trident scenes are blistering with fine details. The color palette is warm and vibrant and darkly bold with earth tones and blazing reds. The muscled Dolby Atmos surround track shows its chiseled abs in moments full of soundtrack vibrato and heroics.



  • None

Special Features:

Walt Disney loads their release of Dead Men Tell No Tales with a lot of content that might otherwise sink lesser titles. Bonus material includes a collection of behind-the-scenes, making-of stories, including a conversation with directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg; a sit-down with the two young newcomers who play Henry and Carina; the secrets behind the menacing new villain, Salazar, and his ferocious ghost sharks; an on-set visit with Jack’s first mate from all five films; a chat with Sir Paul McCartney who appears as Uncle Jack; and a discussion about the franchise’s legacy; along with hilarious bloopers, deleted scenes and memories from producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s photo diary.    

  • Dead Men Tell More Tales: The Making of a New Adventure
  • A Return to the Sea
  • Telling Tales: A Sit-down with Brenton & Kaya
  • The Matador & The Bull: Secrets of Salazar & The Silent Mary
  • First Mate Confidential
  • Deconstructing the Ghost Sharks
  • Wings Over the Caribbean
  • An Enduring Legacy
  • Bloopers of the Caribbean
  • Jerry Bruckheimer Photo Diary
  • Deleted Scenes


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dead men tell no tales poster