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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Swashbuckler set in the Caribbean during the 17th century, with Johnny Depp as gentleman pirate Jack Sparrow. He teams up with a young blacksmith (Orlando Bloom) and a governor's daughter (Keira Knightley) to stop a band of dastardly zombie pirates led by Geoffrey Rush from reversing an ancient curse. Also with Orlando Bloom, Jack Davenport and Jonathan Pryce. Directed by Gore Verbinski. [2:23]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man and a woman kiss. A man bandaging a woman's wounded hand leans over to kiss her but does not. A man removes a woman's dress and cuts off her corset, while saving her from drowning. A man admires a woman and looks at her longingly. A port city is shown with women (presumably prostitutes) interacting with drunken men. Two men talk about "finding a woman." As a woman straps on a man's belt and gun he flinches and says to her "easy on the goods." A woman's dress is sheer and we see a hint of her nipples when the dress gets wet. Women wear dresses that are low-cut, exposing cleavage. Two men tell a woman that she has been ordered to "dine with the crew and naked." Men are bare-chested in several scenes.

VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - In several scenes we see men turn into gruesome, decaying skeletons when they are hit by moonlight. A man is shot in the chest and blood soaks his shirt. A man is shot in the chest and he falls back to the floor dead. A man catches a cannonball in the stomach and is thrown back through a door. A man is hit by a large sign that swings loose and knocks him back through a window. Pirates come on shore and begin pillaging and plundering at a port city, and fights ensue: we see people being slashed with knives and swords, people being shot, one man is hit in the back with a hatchet which is then retrieved by the man who threw it, cannons continue to fire and fires burn. Pirates board a ship and they fight with the crew; we see people being stabbed, shot and thrown overboard. Pirates board a ship and kill many of the crew; we see one having his throat slashed (there's no blood or gore), another stabbed, one is stabbed repeatedly, and one is shot. A woman stabs a man in the chest with a dinner knife, he pulls it out (no blood), the woman screams and runs when she sees him and other men as skeletons; she hits one and his head breaks off (he puts it back on). Two men stab each other (we hear a squish). A woman is held over a chest and we are led to believe that she is going to be killed but her hand is cut with a knife (we see blood on her hand and a coin). A man breaks a man's arm off (it's skeletal) and the arm continues to move, it chases the man and lunges for his throat. Three men (skeletal) are tethered together on a pole and an explosive is put in the rib cage of one. A man holds a gun to his head and chin threatening to kill himself. A port city is bombarded by cannon fire from a ship: we see people being thrown by the explosions, and people run and scream in fear. Two ships fire their cannons on each other (one uses cutlery instead of cannon balls). A woman is held and pawed at by men, and we see one pulling her hair. A woman walks a plank and falls into the sea, and a man jumps off a plank. Two men fight with swords: one throws a sword into a door near the other man's head as he tries to leave, one man grabs a hot sword out of coals and continues to fight, one man with chains on his wrists is pinned by a sword to a beam overhead, one man is shoved off a cart and onto the ground, the other is catapulted off the cart, one is hit on the head with a bottle and falls unconscious, and one is covered with sand when a bag is opened over his head. A man opens his mouth revealing that his tongue has been cut out. A hatch below a man's feet opens and he nearly hangs. A man holds a sword on another man, who causes a boom to swing, hitting the man with the sword and forcing him to dangle over the sea. Two men are shot at as they sail away. Two men fight off many guards with punches, kicks and shoving. A woman is hit in the face and falls over a small incline. A man is hit in the face by a hot bed warmer, another man is burned by the hot coals inside the bed warmer, and a man is hit on the head and falls unconscious. A woman is chased by two men until they discover her hiding in a closet. Men are held at swordpoint, knifepoint and gunpoint in many scenes. A ship runs over a small boat splintering it just after its occupants jump out. A man who is handcuffed holds the chain across a woman's neck, holds a gun to her head and threatens to harm her. Three skeletal bodies hang on a stone archway as a warning to pirates. An unconscious boy floats on a plank of wood in the sea and in the distance we see the remains of two ships in flames and dead bodies floating in the water. A man is trapped in the hold of a ship as it fills with water and the ship explodes. A woman faints, falls over a stone wall and into the sea below where she remains unconscious and sinks to the bottom before being pulled out. A man falls over a high wall and into the sea below (he is unharmed). A man being threatened by armed guards is pulled up by a rope that sends a cannon crashing through the pier below causing men to fall into the sea, and the guards fire at him as he runs away. A ship and the people onboard are tossed around when they go through a storm that sends large waves crashing down on them. A man is shoved into a cell. A man burns a donkey with a hot iron (we hear the sizzle and hear the donkey cry). A man slams a hatchet into a table in anger. Two women slap a man hard in the face, and a woman hits a man hard twice in the face. There is a running joke about a man whose eye is artificial and made of wood: we see him putting the eye in the socket several times, we hear it creak when he rubs it and he complains of splinters, he is hit in the eye with a fork and another man pulls the fork out with the eye attached, and his eye pops out and he scrambles along the floor to get it, etc. A girl stands on the deck of a ship that sails through a dense, eerie fog and people warn her about pirates. A ship sails through a ships' graveyard and we see sharks swimming under the surface, and a small boat sails through a passage where we see human skulls. We hear stories of a curse being placed on anyone who disturbs a treasure. A man stands with a rope around his neck and we hear him being sentenced to "hang by the neck." We hear about a man being tied to a cannon and dropped into the sea to die. There is talk of a man getting a "short drop and a sudden stop" (i.e. being hanged), a man imitates the act with a scarf around his neck, and a man talks about pirates who "rape, pillage and plunder." A man spits on another man, a man has a scar on his face, and a man has decorative scarring on his body. A man (skeleton) drinks wine and we see it pouring through what would be his throat and around his ribs, coloring them red. A bird defecates on a man's coat.

PROFANITY 3 - 8 mild obscenities. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Pirates, the supernatural, curses, propriety, betrayal, loyalty, cunning, greed, mutiny, freedom.

MESSAGE - Not all pirates are bad people.

(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol and one man sleeps after getting drunk.)

Special Keywords: S3 - V5 - P3 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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