Gandalf the Gay’s review published on Letterboxd:
I really don't think there's been another movie quite this good that so many people expected to be bad, if not a disaster.
Disney fucks up acquired franchises by consistently churning out vacuous, mediocre product but this series starter earned a well-deserved bounty in (non-cursed) gold. Spectacularly crafted, crowd-pleasing adventures with an iconic lead performance and a director's rare ability to successfully juggle multiple tones at once don't sail by every day. It's not just Disney that got lucky this time: the audience did, too.
The Curse of the Black Pearl gets damn near everything right and it's joyous to experience 21st century blockbuster entertainment that doesn't feel too padded or aimed at the lowest common denominator. I genuinely had fun and enjoyed the artistic merits of a film based on an amusement park ride. Disney rarely lives up to its reputation as a purveyor of "magic" these days but... abracadabra, man. Abracadabra.