Believe it or not, it was exactly ten years ago today that Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl opened in movie theaters across North America, and the public got its first glimpse of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Critics were predisposed to sneer at a movie inspired by a theme-park ride — was there even one review that failed to highlight that fact, or to mention that the pirate movie was a dead genre? — but ecstatic word-of-mouth soon made the pundits and past history irrelevant. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl eventually claimed box-office booty of $654 million worldwide, lodged its colorful characters permanently in the popular imagination, and launched three fantastically successful sequels. Now Captain Jack Sparrow’s boast is true around the world: everyone has heard of him. Huzzah!
Johnny Depp’s performance in The Curse of the Black Pearl earned him an Oscar nomination and a SAG Award as Best Actor. “His performance is original in its every atom,” wrote Roger Ebert in his review. “There has never been a pirate, or for that matter a human being, like this in any other movie.” Critic Emmanuel Levy has called Captain Jack Sparrow “the only iconic screen character to have yet emerged in the new millenium.”
The Zone congratulates and thanks all of the dedicated artists who worked on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; you have given us more hours of pleasure and pure entertainment than we could possibly count. Thanks, above all, to Johnny Depp . . . the best pirate we’ve ever seen.