The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Cast: Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Johnny Depp
Pure escapism: A spirited high-seas and swashbuckling adventure that combines pirates, majestic ships, supernatural curses, gold medallions, tropical paradises, and feisty heroes. There are enough chills and thrilling special effects to make the movie popcorn-perfect. Some scenes -- such as pirates morphing into the undead of skulls and bones -- may be too intense and scary for children.
What Parents Like: Depp's performance as Captain Jack Sparrow is part swagger, and all black-tooth charm. Sharp-eyed veterans of the Disney ride will recognize familiar tableaux: a pirate trying to dangle a bone so the dog will give him the keys to his cell, or being forced to walk the plank.
What Kids Like: The dashing feats of derring-do and the revelation that even dirty, rascally pirates can be silly and charming.