The Culture Movies

With low expectations, 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' is amusing

Some of the movie gets oppressive, but Javier Bardem is scary-funny as the phantasmal pirate-hunter Captain Salazar and a stormy sea-parting finale is impressive.

'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' stars Johnny Depp (l.) and Kaya Scodelario (r.).
Peter Mountain/Disney/AP
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  • Peter Rainer
    Film critic

Maybe it’s because my expectations for it were so abysmally low, but I sort of enjoyed parts of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” I say this as someone who tolerated the first installment and groaned through the subsequent three episodes.

There’s still way too much unfunny yo-ho-ho-ing going on here, and the barnacled grodiness of it all gets oppressive, but Javier Bardem is scary-funny as the phantasmal pirate-hunter Captain Salazar and Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow still has a few amusing twirls in his arsenal. (When, oh when, will he take on a role that challenges him?)

Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg work up a stormy sea-parting finale that is better than anything in “The Ten Commandments.” Again, the trick to enjoying this film is to expect nothing. Grade: B- (Rated PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence and some suggestive content.)