BLUF: It's about time.
After the descending spiral of craptacity of II, then the truly abysmal III, and the shamefully unfulfilled promise of IV (squandering Ian McShane as Blackbeard was a mortal sin, hear me God), Disney/Bruckheimer finally found someone who could write a screenplay worthy of the original, and POTC V: DMTNT is it.
It pays off numerous leads from the prior three mostly forgettable placeholders, forges new ground of its own, comes with any number of rousing set pieces and flashbacks, and ties the entire series thus far into a wonderfully satisfying and well-tied ribbon bow.
It's not the best movie ever made, but it's worth seeing first-run if you're a fan of the series, and seeing at all if you just like a good flick. If it fails anywhere, it's that despite its running length of 2:33:00, I would have been happier with more (any way you'd care to parse that word) of the talented and truly delightful Kaya Scodelario.
Beyond that, with a budget of $230M, and the talents of Oscar winners Geoffrey Rush and Javier Bardem, it's hard to screw up any movie so talent-heavy with a decent script.
It is, and they didn't.
If anything, they burned out a lot of fan love from the fantastic and nigh-untoppable original film with the prior three mediocre sequels, and this flick is still financially sucking wind after a pack-leading (but still disappointing) box office last weekend.
Ignore that: this one is another pirate ghost story for which it's worth shelling out your doubloons, or at least a matinee rate of a few pieces of eight.
If they can keep writing them this good going forward, and they manage to trim the budget back down a bit closer to reality, they could pull this series back from the pit, and get it back on course.
And I'd probably get to see more of Kaya Scodelario.
That'd definitely be a two-fer.
My rating: Two hooks up! Set sail on this nearly three hour tour. It's buried treasure, for the taking.