Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Theatrical Release: July 11, 2003
DVD Release: December 2, 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl


With swashbuckling pirates brandishing swords, swinging from the masts of huge clipper ships and battling to recover hidden treasures, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” will spark the imagination of youngsters. The idea for the film originated from Disneyland’s popular theme-park ride of the same name. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), former captain of the legendary pirate ship Black Pearl, is overthrown by the villainous Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Jack reappears to rescue the beautiful Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley), kidnapped by the pirates. She has the gold medallion that can break the curse of the ghostly Black Pearl crewed by the damned, who are said to be “so evil hell spit them out.” Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), a talented blacksmith who longs for Elizabeth, teams up with Jack to fight Barbossa and save Elizabeth.

Dove Review

This film is a captivating pirate story but It is certainly too intense for younger children. In fact, although this feature includes a lot of fantasy violence, there is a lot of it and some blood is included as characters cut themselves to bleed to end a curse. In addition, the language just hits a three in our content listing which prevents us from awarding it our Dove Seal. There is non-stop fighting and action and it comes close to receiving our Seal but is ultimately a near-miss. There is good vs. evil in the story and ultimately the good prevails which is one of its nice themes. Too bad it steps one foot over our line of acceptability.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: Simply, there is a clear tale of good against evil, and good prevailing; strong encouragement of female main character
Sex: Kissing by a couple.
Language: Beje*us-1; H (as a place)-4; D-1; Bloody-3
Violence: There is a lot of swashbuckling violence in this film; not all of it is graphic but there are sword fights and stabbings and the sound of stabbing; characters cut hands in order to bleed to end a curse and this is shown; pirates attack the British Navy and there are scary skeletons with some flesh still on them; man puts chain around woman's throat; soldiers shoot at characters; a character is hit by a bottle; explosions; ships shoot cannons at each other; fires; a man slaps a woman; a man is hit with a hatchet in the back but it is not gratuitous; man hit in head with pan; two women slap a character; guns held on characters; a man hits a woman; skull is seen; living skeletons sword fight; a fork hits a man in his wooden eye;
Drugs: Several scenes of drinking and comments like "Drinks all around".
Nudity: Cleavage.
Other: A curse must be dealt with; the death of some characters; betrayal.


Company: Disney
Writer: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio
Director: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action
Runtime: 135 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Starring: Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter