The latest Pirates of the Caribbean film is setting sail with positive reviews on its side.
Premiering nearly 14 years after director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp launched the blockbuster franchise with The Curse of the Black Pearl back in 2003, the series’ fifth installment - subtitled Dead Men Tell No Tales - has seemingly rubbed industry professionals the right way at the annual CinemaCon trade show.
Screening as part of Disney’s 2017 showcase for theater owners and journalists on Tuesday night at the Las Vegas-based convention, Pirates 5 garnered glowing notices for its special effects in particular, with The Playlist contributor Gregory Ellwood calling it “impressive” while also noting the picture “has [the] most heart since [the] first movie.”
Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Takes has most heart since first movie. (1) #CinemaCon2017- Gregory Ellwood (@TheGregoryE) March 29, 2017
Pirates 5 not as funny or epic as first 3 (yes) but way better than 4. Great ending. You may cry. Impressive visual effects. #CinemaCon2017- Gregory Ellwood (@TheGregoryE) March 29, 2017
Helmed by Norwegian filmmakers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, the epic swashbuckler sees Depp - who’s appeared in every Pirates film to date - reprising the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, which previously earned him an Oscar nod for best actor in 2004. Depp’s performance in Dead Men Tell No Tales was well-received by CinemaCon attendees as well.
“You [didn’t] think you [needed] more Jack Sparrow and then you realize you needed more Jack Sparrow,” Fandango managing editor, Erik Davis, tweeted after the screening, referencing Depp’s quirky portrayal of the seafaring hero, who returns to the ocean here in search of Poseidon’s mythical trident.
Over the years, a revolving door of A-list stars docked in the series’ waters, including Penelope Cruz, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana, Naomie Harris, Bill Nighy, and Keith Richards, among others. Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush also return to the Pirates universe in Dead Men Tell No Tales alongside new cast members like Oscar winner Javier Bardem and The Maze Runner actress Kaya Scodelario, whom The Salt Lake Tribune writer Sean P. Means indicates plays “the strongest female character” in Pirates history.
A handful of viewers also called the film an improvement from Pirates last outing, 2011’s On Stranger Tides, which went on to gross over $1 billion at the worldwide box office despite poor critical reviews.
“The new Pirates of the Caribbean is a big step up from the lifeless [On Stranger Tides],” Ain’t It Cool News Eric Vespe said, noting the film sees the series going “back to the fun myth building,” though Verbinski’s directorial hand is noticeably absent.
The new Pirates of the Caribbean is a big step up from the lifeless 4. Back to the fun myth building, still miss Verbinski39;s imprint.- Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) March 29, 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is set for nationwide release on May 26. Check out more early reactions from the film’s CinemaCon premiere below.
Fans of #PiratesoftheCaribbean will not be disappointed. Pirates 5 is a very fun, action packed adventure w subtle nods to the ride itself.- Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) March 29, 2017
New "Pirates of the Caribbean" has good pacing, solid action and a menacing villain in Javier Bardem. #CinemaCon2017- Sean P. Means (@moviecricket) March 29, 2017
We39;ve seen Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales! Here39;s our reaction. https://t.co/zJQANWf1Qo- Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) March 29, 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a pleasant surprise. Continues the legacy, focuses on the characters and the world.- Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) March 29, 2017
Very impressed reaction from exhbitors to "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" at CinemaCon #cinemacon- Dave McNary (@Variety_DMcNary) March 29, 2017
You might be surprised to hear me say this but I really dug the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Action set pieces are a lot of fun. pic.twitter.com/mluWwqyU8r- Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) March 29, 2017
Also the action scenes are really well staged and easy to follow. So much better than the last one. #PiratesoftheCaribbean- Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) March 29, 2017
Also new Pirates of the Caribbean the VFX are *really* well done. Had no ending credits so not sure if it has after credits scene.- Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) March 29, 2017
Pirates 5 is definitely the best one since the first. Admittedly, that isn39;t saying much but it does occasionally capture that magic.- Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) March 29, 2017