Producer Jerry Bruckheimer serves up another five-course meal of cinematic fast food, with all the familiar ingredients in exact measurements and just enough flavor to make them palatable. In this fourth installment of the franchise Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz generate some enjoyable chemistry as pirate rivals who were once lovers, and the "stranger tides" of the title—ebbing through a South Seas lagoon that contains the Fountain of Youth—encompass such clever digital imagery as mermaid armies and waters that flow upward. This is eye-catching and forgettable in the patented Bruckheimer manner, which means you should be entertained if you're not expecting anything new. Director Rob Marshall (Chicago) keeps the movie on an even keel, demonstrating a sure sense of pace and almost no personality. With Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, and, all too briefly, Keith Richards.
Director: Rob Marshall
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Barry Waldman, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio and John DeLuca
Cast: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Sam Claflin, Kevin McNally, Stephen Graham, Gemma Ward, Greg Ellis, Damian O'Hare, Keith Richards, Christopher Fairbank, Yuki Matsuzaki and Richard Griffiths
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides