A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Fight for what you believe in. Save your friends in situations of danger. Every man has a price. Eternal damnation is something to be avoided. Even the most amoral among us may someday reveal a scrap of decency underneath.
Positive Role Models
Jack Sparrow appears to be a deceitful, selfish coward without a conscience, but in the darkest, most perilous moments he shows honor and selflessness. William is noble, honorable, and brave. Elizabeth displays uncommon courage and adventurousness. Beckett is callous. William's father abandoned his child to run off to sea, but he still cares deeply enough for his son to sacrifice himself.
Violence & Scariness
Characters are chased, stabbed, flogged, shot at, trampled, roasted, and rolled down hills. A sea monster uses its giant tentacles to pluck screaming sailors off ships and swallow up the vessels whole. Davy Jones is an evil, devilish character whose head is a noseless mass of Medusa-like squirming serpents and whose hands are lobster claws. He steals souls of sailors and condemns them to decades of hard labor. Sword fights, shootings, stabbings, and deaths-by-tentacle are rife. Jack wears a necklace of human fingers and toes. Cannibals tie Jack to a stake and suspend him over a fire, but he escapes. Men are caged and hung over an abyss. A severed beating heart is shown in a box. Men are put in cages so their eyes can be plucked out by birds. Elizabeth and William are threatened with hanging. It's implied that cannibals might eat a dog. Davy Jones' crew members are grotesque, scary, and filthy, wearing makeup that makes them look as if they've been left to rot.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Innuendoes and double meanings are rampant, notably involving a compass, swords, and fighting. A voodoo woman acts sultrily, sashaying her hips and giving men come-hither looks. Jack and Elizabeth kiss. Elizabeth says she would like to "have" her fiancé, William.
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"Damn," "ass," "bloody."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink throughout the movie, and Jack refers to alcohol in a positive way ("If this were a dream, there'd be rum").
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest contains a lot of peril and action-violence. Characters are shot at, chased, dragged, trampled, rolled down hills, and nearly roasted over an open fire. A severed beating heart is shown in a box. Men are put in cages so that their eyes can be plucked out by birds. Elizabeth and William are threatened with hanging. It's implied that cannibals might eat a dog. In one disturbing scene, Will is tied to a mast and flogged by Bootstrap Bill. Also, the grotesque pirates and CGI sea creatures are menacing and downright scary. And there's lots and lots of rum. Profanity includes "damn," "ass," and "bloody." Innuendoes and double meanings are rampant, notably involving a compass, swords, and fighting. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is all about Johnny Depp, who camps it up from one action-packed scene to the next. Let's see: There's a giant sea monster, a voodoo princess, barnacle-encrusted pirates, a desert island, hungry cannibals, buried treasure, a ghost ship, an insane sword fight, and every other pirate cliché you can think of. Really, it gets a little exhausting, and after the first hour or two, the whole thing starts to wear on your psyche -- even Depp's drunken pirate schtick, which seemed so fresh and fun in the first movie. The storyline puts Will and Elizabeth's romance on the back burner, and that's what helped to give the first movie some depth. Still, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is a lot of fun, moves along fairly well, and ends with a great cliffhanger. It would have been better if they'd chopped off about 30 minutes in the middle.
Kudos to Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting), who gives a hearteending performance as Bootstrap Bill, and to Bill Nighy (Love Actually), who deserves a "best villain" award for bringing Davy Jones to life in all his tentacled glory.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.