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Parents' Guide to

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Rip-roaring fun for kids who don't mind skeletons.

Movie PG-13 2003 135 minutes
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 46 parent reviews

age 7+

Spooky and Suggestive, but Safe

I would call this a pretty mild PG-13. It will probably be too spooky for an early elementary school child. There are scenes of ghouls and skeletons taking over ships and terrorizing people. There are battle scenes where people die. It is mostly A-Team style explosions that send people flying, but there are some scenes where people are killed in cold blood. None of it seems gratuitous though. It is not the sort of thing that I suspect would whittle away at one's value of human life, unlike the other movies in the series which cross that line big time. There are also several scenes that are sexually suggestive. For example, Jack Sparrow tears off Elizabeth Swan's corset to allow her to breath and save her life. An onlooker says "I didn't know you could do that", and Sparrow replies "you've clearly never been to Singapore." A 7-year-old would have no idea what that means. But if they ask about it, you'll have to answer somehow. After reviewing this movie over the weekend, I'll be letting my 8-year-old watch, but not my 6-year-old. It's just too spooky for her yet.

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
4 people found this helpful.
age 9+

Family action & adventure

This is an action adventure movie for the family. It was the first time my kids got a glimpse of an anti-hero. They began to see how captain Jack Sparrow flip flops on what is right and wrong and that characters, like regular people, can be flawed. As long as you talk to your kids about what is happening in the movie, the drinking and pirate behaviors are not too extreme.
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (46 ):
Kids say (195 ):

Just like the theme park ride that inspired it, this movie's greatest strengths are its atmosphere and art direction. The production design of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl skillfully incorporates elements of classic book illustrations with popular pirate themes and seems to get the essence of every detail right, from the curve of the sail to a pirate's pet monkey. The film's action sequences are energetic and entertaining. The script has some creepy twists and saucy lines to keep audiences well entertained.

The film also escapes the terrible pirate curse. Not the curse about pieces of gold that turn people into the walking undead, but the one about pirate movies, a genre better known for overacting and overblown budgets that empty movie studios' bank accounts faster than real-life pirates robbed their victims. Although this movie's origins as a Disneyland ride didn't seem promising, the film ends up being surprisingly enjoyable. There's enough swashbuckling, rope-swinging double-crossing (and colorful sidekicks) to keep you entertained, if that all sounds like fun.

Movie Details

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