5. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Director Tim Burton brings his unique vision and sensibility to Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story in this lavish screen interpretation. Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) is the secretive and wildly imaginative man behind the world’s most celebrated candy company, and while the Wonka factory is famously closed to visitors, the reclusive candy man decides to give five lucky children a chance to see the inside of his operation by placing “golden tickets” in five randomly selected chocolate bars. Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore), whose poor but loving family lives literally in the shadow of the Wonka factory, is lucky enough to obtain one of the tickets.
4. ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Director Tim Burton and screenwriter Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King) team up to deliver this visually dazzling take on the classic Lewis Carroll tale. Nineteen-year-old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is attending party at a lavish country estate when she sees a white rabbit with a pocket watch dart into the bushes. Curious, she follows the rabbit to an enormous tree, and tumbles down a hole that takes her to Underland, a strange world inhabited by anthropomorphic creatures in search of someone to save them from the dreaded Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), who has assumed control of the kingdom by decapitating anyone who dares disagree with her. According to a scroll detailing a historical timeline of Underland — including events that have not yet taken place — it is Alice who will set the kingdom free by defeating the Jabberwocky, a powerful dragon-like creature under the control of the Red Queen.
3. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END
Director Gore Verbinski and the crew set sail once again for this, the third chapter in the swashbuckling Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is hopelessly trapped in Davy Jones’ locker after a harrowing encounter with the dreaded Kracken, and now Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) must align themselves with the nefarious Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) if they hold out any hope of saving their old friend from a fate worse than death. The East India Trading Company and its fearsome leader, Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), have taken control of the ghostly Flying Dutchman and its captain, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), and now the baleful Admiral Norrington (Jack Davenport) has taken the helm in a relentless bid to destroy every pirate ship in his path and bring the Age of Piracy to a violent close.
2. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL
Following his surprise-hit American remake of The Ring in 2002, director Gore Verbinski took on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the second of recent films to be based upon Disney theme-park rides (the first being The Country Bears). When Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), the daughter of Governor Swann (Jonathan Pryce) is kidnapped by a group of pirates led by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and taken aboard their ship, The Black Pearl, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), the young man who loves Elizabeth despite the fact that she is promised to another, sets out to rescue her.
1. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) returns to the screen for another round of supernatural adventures on the high seas in this spirited sequel to the 2003 Disney hit, which re-teams original director Gore Verbinski with original screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. As Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) prepare to exchange vows at the altar, their wedding plans hit rough waters with the arrival of sea-bound scallywag Jack Sparrow. It seems that Sparrow owes a substantial blood debt to half-octopus sea captain Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), and that the only way for the flamboyant sea rover to elude the wrath of his otherworldly pursuer is to seek the aid of mysterious and powerful voodoo priestess Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris), whose ability to resurrect the dead and gaze into the future may provide just the advantage needed to avoid a waterlogged fate in the locker of his legendary nemesis.