(I apologize for the lack of posts; after graduating, I became a leading source for unpaid labor. I'm back now. Sorry again!)
I went to see the Pirates movie with two things on my mind: excitement, for I deeply enjoy the PotC movies, especially Johnny Depp's acting, and apprehensiveness, because anything that is a 4th sequel has a tremendous possibility of being very, very bad. Thankfully, and surprisingly, the latter was absolved not 10 minutes into the film, when I realized this was not just a quest for more money. This was a movie worthy of the series.
First of all, I count this movie as Johnny Depp's second best appearance as Jack Sparrow, the first being the first movie. He flawlessly pulls of the madness and genius that embodies Sparrow, and has more than his fair share of lines that personify Jack Sparrow.
The storyline itself eclipses "Dead Man's Chest" and "At World's End". It is imaginative, original, humorous, and tells a great pirate story. In my opinion, World's End dragged a bit, sullied down by all of the relations between characters and was simply made to finish the story. Stranger Tides, however, begins a whole new story, based around Jack Sparrow's adventures. It feels fresh and rejuvenated, ready for more films (two more of which are planned, I have heard).
The music is simply divine. It extrapolates on the themes of the earlier movies, but gives it a new feel, just like the storyline. Spanish influences are relied upon, with a mandolin and Spanish guitar playing the main theme many times. It feels like new music.
The special effects were subtle, not over the top as in World's End. It was mostly background images that were computer generated, and a few effects of Blackbeard that I won't reveal. It shows that a good movie can still be made with out heavily relying on green screen and digital models.
All in all, I give this movie a 9.5 out of 10. It was a great tribute to the series, and was surprisingly good for a 4th sequel. I highly recommend this movie to any Pirates fan.