Johnny Depp may never win an Academy Award (tm), but he deserves an award for saving "Pirates of the Caribbean." If ever there was a shipwreck waiting to happen, it is with this movie, based on an amusement park ride and written by committee. So much could go wrong and some did, but without Depp turning his character into one of his trademark charismatic oddballs, Pirates wouldn’t be worth seeing. The rest of the large cast, with the exception of Geoffrey Rush, played it straight – and flat.
I’m recommending "Pirates of the Caribbean" because it is whimsical and fun, and you can almost sense how much fun the cast had being straight men for Johnny Depp. Plus, how can you not like a good pirate movie?
[2009: A little harsh, I admit, for a movie that is somewhat beloved today, yet I pretty much called it like it was. And of all places for me to have discipline - Keira Knightley in a movie and I don't mention it? How unlike me.]