'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' review roundup: A mixed bag

johnny-depp-on-stranger-tides.jpgWhat will undoubtedly be one of the summer's biggest movies opens Friday (May 20): In "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," Johnny Depp returns to reprise his role as the swashbuckling and somewhat dissipated Captain Jack Sparrow for a fourth time. This time, though, former "Pirates" co-stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley have been traded out for Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane and 3D. Geoffrey Rush is back, too, as the former zombie pirate captain Barbossa.

But is it worth a visit to the multiplex on the opening weekend? Below a quick roundup of "Pirates" reviews. And, we'll be honest, it's a mixed bag:


"Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow is back in excellent form for his fourth adventure in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which is more serious in the hands of a new director, Rob Marshall, and thanks to Penelope Cruz it's also a good deal sexier." -- The Hollywood Reporter

"[Director Rob] Marshall deserves props for putting the "show" back into the Pirates business. But face it, he's polishing a giant turd." -- Rolling Stone

"The emphasis here is on age and weatherbeaten experience. Of course, it is difficult to discern this or anything else clearly, given that the plot itself is so chaotic. There is sometimes a sense that what you are watching is a kaleidoscopic, two-hour-plus trailer." -- The Guardian

"'On Stranger Tides' feels as fresh and bracingly exhilarating as the day Jack Sparrow first swashed his buckle, infusing new reckless energy into a franchise that shows no signs of furling its sails." -- The Washington Post

"Small kids won't really appreciate Johnny Depp, either, though frankly he's getting to be less fun as the series ages, possibly realizing that what's riskiest in 'Pirates 4' isn't walking the plank, but jumping the shark." -- NPR
Photo/Video credit: Disney