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Every Johnny Depp Movie Ranked Worst To Best

With an impressively varied career under his belt, Johnny Depp is one of the most prolific actors of the last 30 years. Starting his career in 1984, Depp appeared in "A Nightmare On Elm Street" before shooting to stardom when he played undercover cop Tommy Hanson in the TV series "21 Jump Street" — a role that led to his memorable cameo in the film of the same name in 2012.

While his early roles saw him typically cast as the "teen heartthrob," it was in the 1990s — and his numerous collaborations with director Tim Burton — that Depp found his niche. Considered to be an acting chameleon, Depp became known for playing idiosyncratic and occasionally dark characters, able to completely inhabit them to the point of becoming almost unrecognizable.

From 2000 to 2010, Johnny Depp's career was at its peak, and he even entered the Guinness World Records in 2012 as the "Highest-Paid Actor," (via ABC News) largely thanks to his appearances in the incredibly popular "Pirates Of The Caribbean" film series. While his career has seen some tumultuous developments in recent years as well as considerable legal troubles, there is no denying that Depp has an impressive portfolio. We've taken the time to look back at the highs and lows of his long and diverse career, ranking his movies from worst to best.

58. Mortdecai

A film with a cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn, and Jeff Goldblum alongside Johnny Depp sounds promising, but there is no denying that 2015's "Mortdecai" is a failure on all fronts. Depp plays the dubious art dealer Charlie Mortdecai, who has to join forces with a former rival when a priceless painting is stolen.

Farcical to the point of annoyance, "Mortdecai" suffers from a one-note performance from Depp and a one-joke concept that is stretched so far that it becomes less and less funny as the film progresses. Audiences agreed, and "Mortdecai" was a box office bomb, making just $47.3 million off a budget of more than $60 million.

57. The Professor

Coming out of the film festival circuit, this 2018 independent film stars Johnny Depp as a terminally ill college professor who decides to live out his remaining days as recklessly as possible. While it tries to push sentiment with its "Dead Poets Society"-inspired "seize the day" message, it offers little nuance beyond the pseudo-self-improvement phrases that the titular educator throws around.

"The Professor" failed to impress the critics, and it currently holds an embarrassingly low rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critic James Berardinelli at ReelViews said that the film's "message is muddled and the means by which it is presented are confused."

56. Private Resort

A precursor to the sex comedies that were particularly prevalent in the 1990s, "Private Resort" is one of Johnny Depp's very earliest film roles, featuring the baby-faced actor when he was just 22 years old. Following his appearance in "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Private Resort" is notable for being Depp's first starring role — and unfortunately, that's all it's notable for, as this lewd and crude comedy is almost completely devoid of laughs.

With Rotten Tomatoes critics lambasting the film at every turn, "Private Resort" was not quite the big breakthrough performance for Depp. Still, superstardom was undoubtedly on the horizon and, hey, everyone has to start somewhere.

55. The Astronaut's Wife

For the most part, Johnny Depp's run of films in the '90s was pretty solid. However, he rounded out the decade with a bit of a clunker in the form of the sci-fi thriller, "The Astronaut's Wife." The titular wife of the film is Jillian (Charlize Theron), whose husband, Commander Spencer Armacost (Depp), returns from a mission not quite the same as he was when he left.

While the premise is admittedly intriguing, the film fails to stick the landing, and "The Astronaut's Wife" bombed at the box office, making just $19 million worldwide off a budget of $75 million. As well as being a commercial flop, it was also panned by critics, with Janet Maslin for The New York Times calling it "ridiculously derivative."

54. Transcendence

Despite the impressive cast that includes Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, and Cillian Murphy, "Transcendence" was a notorious failure when it was released in 2014. Making his directorial debut, Wally Pfister (preferred cinematographer of Christopher Nolan) certainly didn't scrimp on the film's spending, with a production budget of around $100 million. Deadline reported on the disappointing numbers of "Transcendence" after it opened with just $10.8 million domestic gross, and the film's failure — with the considerable talent involved — led to them classing it as "one of those what-the-hell-happened films."

One of the problems with "Transcendence" is that it's never quite sure what film it wants to be, making it difficult to market. It pitches itself as a high-brow sci-fi thriller, however, the story almost seems too clever for its own good and it ends up tying itself in nonsensical knots, riddled with plotholes. Not Johnny Depp's finest work, that's for sure.

53. The Tourist

Throwing together two huge movie stars does not necessarily guarantee a good film, and that is certainly the case with the glossy thriller "The Tourist." Johnny Depp plays Frank Tupelo, a heartbroken math teacher whose vacation to Italy takes an interesting turn when he meets alluring stranger Elise (Angelina Jolie), and a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse ensues.

While it sounds like an interesting idea on paper, the film was decimated by critics. Particularly scathing was Peter Travers for Rolling Stone, who said that the film "fails on every conceivable level" and named it the worst film of 2010. To make matters even worse, "The Tourist" became a laughing stock when it was nominated for three Golden Globes in the best movie, comedy or musical category. "The Tourist" doesn't appear to be shooting for comedy — at least intentionally — so this nomination was seen as a particularly egregious example of the awards group making a cynical play to ensure that A-list celebrities Depp and Jolie would attend the ceremony.

52. Yoga Hosers

The second installment in Kevin Smith's "True North" trilogy is a story about two yoga enthusiasts and convenience store clerks — played by Smith's daughter Harley Quinn Smith and Johnny Depp's daughter Lily-Rose Depp — who team up with a legendary man-hunter (Depp) to fight the evil presence threatening their party plans. Worth mentioning, this evil force is a collection of miniature Nazi sausages, and yes, you absolutely did read that correctly.

With much of the cast reprising their roles from the equally maligned (although occasionally defended) cult film "Tusk," "Yoga Hosers" is the film almost no one needed and critics agreed with Nigel M. Smith for The Guardian saying it "aims for inspired lunacy but misses the mark by a mile."

51. Sherlock Gnomes

If you've ever found yourself wondering, "What would happen if you took the legendary literary detective Sherlock Holmes, but made him a sentient garden ornament?", this 2018 animated film has got you covered. Where the previous film "Gnomeo And Juliet" besmirched William Shakespeare's tragic play, "Sherlock Gnomes" transforms Arthur Conan Doyle's creation beyond recognition, with Johnny Depp as the titular sleuth tasked with investigating the mysterious disappearance of several garden gnomes.

Depp's vocal performance is actually pretty solid in this film, with an impeccable English accent effectively bringing Sherlock to life, even if the script doesn't give him much to work with. Still, "Sherlock Gnomes" failed to close the case with critics. Keith Watson, critic for Slant Magazine, said the film was, "weirdly incoherent, a bunch of disparate elements awkwardly bundled together without any overarching aesthetic vision."

50. Alice Through The Looking Glass

Sequels can be a tricky business even when expectations are low, to say nothing of the pressure from attempting to follow Tim Burton's hugely successful "Alice In Wonderland." With James Bobin replacing Burton as director, "Alice Through The Looking Glass" sees the now 22-year-old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returning to Wonderland, where she encounters her old friend, The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), who is madder than ever, and not in a fun, quirky way. It isn't long before the plot becomes distractingly convoluted, particularly when time manipulation comes into play.

Despite the plot revolving around saving Hatter, he is frustratingly inconsequential in the story, and the limited time he is on screen feels very one-note. While it made decent money at the box office, it didn't fare as well with the critics, with the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes being predominantly negative.

49. Dark Shadows

Taking the prize as the worst Burton-Depp collaboration is this dismal dark horror-comedy from 2012. Johnny Depp plays Barnabas Collins, an 18th century vampire who is awoken in the 1970s to find his ancestral home — now occupied by his dysfunctional descendants — fallen into disrepair. Where "Dark Shadows" occasionally works is in its fish-out-of-water story, with Depp hamming it up in a role perfectly suited to his talents.

The film otherwise suffers from being tonally inconsistent, and never certain of whether it wants to be an outright comedy or a subversive horror. Burton-Depp films are usually guaranteed to pull in audiences, and while "Dark Shadows" wasn't a flop, the reviews leaned on the negative side with critic Anthony Lane for The New Yorker calling it, "not so much a coherent movie as a long, expensive joke in search of a purpose."

48. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

While "Pirates of the Caribbean" continued to be a box office behemoth, there is no denying that it dwindled in quality as the films went on, and while this fifth installment isn't without merit, it is easily the weakest of the bunch. Also subtitled "Salazar's Revenge" in some territories, the film focuses on Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), who has a personal vendetta against the swaggering Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).

While the film attempts to capture the old magic with the introduction of plucky youngsters Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), it can't shake the feeling that it is retreading old ground. These films will always be a big draw, however, and despite not being as good as the previous films in the series, it still made more than $794.8 million at the box office.

47. The Lone Ranger

"The Lone Ranger" may have heavily marketed itself as being produced by the creative talent behind "Pirates Of The Caribbean," but this couldn't prevent it from ending up as one of Disney's biggest box office failures. In addition to the production budget of $215 million, the film had marketing costs of a whopping $150 million, and when it failed to perform commercially and critically, the full weight of its catastrophe was realized.

Telling the story of the Native American Tonto (Depp), and his adventures with John Reid (Armie Hammer) — also known as the Lone Ranger — the film ran into some controversy over the casting of Depp. Native American playwright and professor, Hanay Geiogamah, criticized the casting in the Los Angeles Times saying, "this represents a major setback in our efforts to combat stereotyping of our image."

46. Tusk

Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 as part of their "Midnight Madness" platform, "Tusk" initially screened to a receptive audience, since this program is reserved for underground and cult films. Kevin Smith's bizarre horror-comedy tells the story of podcast host Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) who travels to Canada to interview a guest, and in the process finds Howard Howe, (Michael Parks) a man whose disturbing fondness for walruses leads Wallace to become the subject for a deeply disturbing experiment. Depp comes into the picture as Guy Lapointe, an inspector who has been trying to track Howard down.

"Tusk" may have been low budget, with production costs of around $3 million, however, it still tanked at the box office, making just $1.8 million worldwide. While some critics defended it, others vehemently detested it, including the critic for The Seattle Times, Erik Lundegaard, who called it "the most disgusting and pointless movie I've seen."

45. The Brave

With an established acting career, Johnny Depp moved behind the camera for the first and only time in 1997 with his feature directorial debut, "The Brave." Also starring in the film alongside screen legend Marlon Brando, Depp plays an American Indian who, in order to make some money for his impoverished family, agrees to appear in a snuff film in which he will be tortured and killed on camera.

Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997, "The Brave" received largely negative reviews, including Godfrey Cheshire for Variety, who said that it "wastes its handsome mounting and capable cast on a plodding tale that eludes either psychological or allegorical sense." The film performed so poorly, in fact, that Depp pulled its theatrical and home media release in the US — something that ended up being incredibly costly to him, as he had fronted nearly $2 million of the film's budget himself.

44. Nick Of Time

Six years before the TV series "24" brought us its "real-time" drama concept, there was "Nick of Time," a thriller also starring Christopher Walken. Johnny Depp plays Gene Watson, an unassuming average Joe who is forced into a nightmare scenario when he is told he has to assassinate a prominent politician, otherwise his daughter will be killed. "Nick Of Time" is a forgettable and cheesy '90s action flick, but it's also easy to become invested in its breezy 90-minute runtime.

As was occasionally the case with "24," the narrative device of using "real-time" immediately opens the story up to plot holes, inconsistencies, and ludicrous leaps of logic that can negatively impact the film. Still, it makes for a pleasant change to see Depp in a role where ordinariness is his defining character trait.

43. The Libertine

In this 2004 period drama, Depp plays legendary rogue John Wilmott, a famous poet in the time of King Charles II's reign who earned a reputation for his debauchery, womanizing, and heavy drinking. While the film itself is a mixed bag, Depp's performance as the divisive cad is the highlight, with the actor seemingly born to play a handsome scoundrel. Depp adds some real nuances to the character, finding a darker edge and a hint of sadness that adds a human quality in spite of his frequently detestable behavior.

While the film had a mixed critical response, Depp's performance was fairly consistently praised, with The Sydney Morning Herald's critic Sandra Hall commenting, "I enjoyed it — or much of it — for reasons that have everything to do with Johnny Depp."

42. The Man Who Cried

Also featuring Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, and John Turturro, "The Man Who Cried" is about a Russian Jewish girl (Ricci) who flees persecution in her homeland and travels to Paris with a performing troupe that includes the dashing horseman, Cesar (Johnny Depp). The story has tremendous potential, but it couldn't capture the attention of audiences, making just $1.8 million worldwide.

Written and directed by Sally Potter, "The Man Who Cried" is at least a very well-made film, with a nuanced story that doesn't make light of its heavy themes. However, the characters feel a little flat, and it fails to avoid melodramatic cliches. Critics responded with mostly mixed to negative reviews, with Marc Savlov for The Austin Chronicle quipping, "a better title might have been The Audience Who Yawned."

41. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

To paraphrase the famous "Wizard Of Oz" quote: Mermaids, and zombies, and Blackbeard ... oh my. "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" throws in everything that hasn't already been used in the series, but unfortunately, very little of it sticks. Even with Penelope Cruz adding some spice as a feisty female swashbuckler, and a cameo from Keith Richards — who Depp based his characterization of Jack Sparrow on — it lacks the fresh, adventurous spirit that made the first three films so enjoyable.

While it may have been commercially successful — making over $1 billion at the box office and becoming the third highest-grossing film of 2011 — it didn't hit the same sweet spot with critics. Christopher Orr, a critic for The Atlantic, also felt the film's formula was becoming tiresome saying it, "has the feel of a TV drama renewed for one season too many, a last, furtive run at the till before it closes for business."

40. Waiting For The Barbarians

An adaptation of JM Coetzee's novel of the same name, "Waiting For The Barbarians" is a drama that tells the story of a colonial magistrate (Mark Rylance) who calmly keeps the peace, until Colonel Joll (Johnny Depp) arrives, and his sadistic interrogation tactics threaten to unsettle the delicate balance. You'd be forgiven if you have never heard of this film, as it arrived with little fanfare amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. With prestigious talent such as Rylance, Depp, Robert Pattinson, and with some positive reviews following its premiere at Venice Film Festival in 2019, "Waiting For The Barbarians" may well have been a victim of unfortunate circumstances.

The performances in the film — particularly from Rylance and Depp — are pretty solid for the most part. However, the film suffers from not knowing how to manage its weighty themes, and the glacial pacing doesn't help what would've otherwise been a very affecting drama.

39. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Following the big reveal at the end of "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them," this sequel sees the dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in a much more prominent role, as the unassuming hero Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and legendary wizard Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) attempt to bring him down in a magical world that is becoming increasingly divided. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Depp spoke about how he'd read the books and watched the films with his kids when they were smaller, and that he found the character of Gellert Grindelwald "fascinating and complex."

While Depp brings a certain gravitas to this complex character, he decided to step down from the sequel — partly due to the allegations made about him by his ex-wife and ongoing court proceedings — with Mads Mikkelsen taking up the role of Grindelwald.

38. The Rum Diary

While he may be better known for a different Hunter S. Thompson adaptation, Depp also stars in this 2011 film based on Thompson's book of the same name. In "The Rum Diary," Depp plays an unconventional journalist, who takes a job in Puerto Rico and quickly becomes immersed in island culture that includes copious quantities of rum. Thompson and Depp famously enjoyed an unlikely friendship, and it was partly down to Depp that "The Rum Diary" was even published after he stumbled across the manuscripts at Thompson's house.

Despite this being a somewhat personal project for Depp, "The Rum Diary" did not resonate with audiences at the box office, or with critics, as the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes summarized, "It's colorful and amiable enough, and Depp's heart is clearly in the right place, but 'The Rum Diary' fails to add sufficient focus to its rambling source material."

37. City Of Lies

Based on the book "LAbyrinth" by Randall Sullivan, "City Of Lies" examines the high-profile murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., with Johnny Depp playing the LAPD Detective Russell Poole. The film examines the hot button topic of police corruption, and it had real potential, as well as a chance for Depp to show his serious acting chops outside of playing a kooky character.

The film had a rocky road to release, something that ultimately affected its numbers at the box office. Originally scheduled to be released in September 2018, the film was pulled following controversy when the film's location manager accused Depp "of assault and battery on the set in April 2017" (via Deadline), and was finally pushed onto VOD to a muted critical response in March 2021.

36. The Ninth Gate

Directed by Roman Polanski, "The Ninth Gate" sees Johnny Depp plays Dean Corso, a man with expertise in rare books who acquires an ancient text called The Nine Gates, purportedly written by Satan himself. Not dissimilar to Ron Howard's "The Da Vinci Code," the film does veer into ludicrous territory quite frequently, but thanks to Polanski's direction, it is atmospheric and filled with striking imagery.

However, the potential of the plot doesn't seem as fully realized as it could be, and the film drags its heels as it lumbers to the conclusion — one that leaves us with a frustrating number of unanswered questions. "The Ninth Gate" had a mixed response from critics, with Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert saying he "kept hoping Polanski would take the plot by the neck and shake life into it, but no."

35. Secret Window

An underrated chiller based on the novella by acclaimed horror writer Stephen King, "Secret Window" had a mixed response from critics when it was released, but has since gone on to become a cult favorite with audiences. Depp plays Mort Rainey, a writer who holes up in an isolated lakeside cabin to avoid finalizing the divorce with his wife Amy (Maria Bello). Soon, he is terrorized by a man called John Shooter (John Turturro) who alleges that Mort plagiarized his novel.

Throughout the film, Mort reiterates that "the only thing that matters is the ending," and although the ending of "Secret Window" might be one you'll see coming, it gives Depp ample opportunity to show his range and closes the book in a satisfyingly twisted manner. "Secret Window" is certainly one of the better films in Johnny Depp's career, and thanks to his star power, it also ended up being a moderate success at the box office, earning $92 million off a budget of $40 million.

34. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End

After two wildly successful movies in the series, the third installment did see a drop in quality, but by this point, audiences were lapping up every new "Pirates Of The Caribbean" film. The third swashbuckling adventure sees Captain Jack Sparrow marooned in Davy Jones' Locker while war is brewing, leaving the other heroes to mount a daring rescue to retrieve him and unite against Davy Jones (Bill Nighy).

Where "At World's End" fails is in its storytelling, which is often directionless and convoluted in a weighty 168-minute runtime. There are a host of memorable scenes, however, with the spectacular maelstrom battle being the highlight. Although this film wouldn't serve as the end of the story, it very much feels as though it should, effectively concluding the narrative that began with "The Curse Of The Black Pearl."

33. Alice In Wonderland

Audiences have now come to anticipate a new Disney remake of their treasured animated classics into live-action movies, but back in 2010, "Alice In Wonderland" marked one of the first major films to go down this route. As Deadline reported, Disney's live-action division was floundering with "pricey flops like 'John Carter' and 'The Lone Ranger.'" However, with the success of "Pirates Of The Caribbean" films, the studio was on a hot streak that only continued with the huge success of "Alice In Wonderland," which grossed over $1 billion.

With Tim Burton at the helm, and the director's regulars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter on board, all the pieces were in place. While the film does have its shortcomings, it never feels like a carbon copy of the animated version, successfully carving out its own unique visual identity — and crucially giving Depp's inspired Mad Hatter much more to do than just host an insane tea party.

32. Once Upon A Time In Mexico

The third and final film in Robert Rodriguez's "Mexico Trilogy" sees the return of Antonio Banderas as the legendary hitman El Mariachi, out for revenge after the death of his wife. This time, his path crosses with renegade CIA Agent Sands (Johnny Depp), who tasks him killing the corrupt General Marquez, the man responsible for his wife's death. Full of trashy, violent, and fun action sequences, Robert Rodriguez's film is inspired by spaghetti westerns — including the one that inspired its name — and this can be seen in his stylistic approach.

Despite the film centering around El Mariachi's story, many critics felt that Johnny Depp stole the show in this film, including Michael O'Sullivan in The Washington Post who said, "Depp, a mere two months after his scene-stealing turn in "Pirates of the Caribbean," once again is the best thing about a very silly movie."

31. Into The Woods

Adapted from the Broadway musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, "Into The Woods" delivers a whimsical, dark, and twisted reimagining of familiar fairy tales. While Johnny Depp's role in the film is short, he makes a memorably campy entrance as the Big Bad Wolf. He tries to entice Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) in the song "Hello Little Girl," dialing the creepiness all the way up in a part that clearly allows him to have tremendous fun.

"Into The Woods" ended up being immensely successful, making $212.9 million at the box office, and receiving recognition at the Oscars with three nominations. The film had a somewhat less enthusiastic response from critics, although many praised the way it respects the source material, while also acknowledging its shortcomings. Empire critic Angie Errigo summed it up well by saying "there are brilliant, bewitching moments ... just not enough of them in what veers, at length, between the clever, the terrifying, and the bit tiring."

30. Lucky Them

While Johnny Depp's actual screentime in the dramedy "Lucky Them" is very limited, the character he plays is the MacGuffin of the entire film. Toni Collette plays Ellie Klug, a 40-something music critic tasked with tracking down ex-boyfriend and rock star Matthew Smith (Depp), who disappeared 10 years previously. With a personal connection to Smith, and her career riding on this assignment, there is a lot at stake for Ellie, and Toni Collette really sells this performance.

Johnny Depp's background was in music before he took up acting, so playing a faded and now reclusive rock star was a great fit for him. "Lucky Them" is not just underrated, but underseen as well, with a very limited release in 2014 — a shame, given that this film is surprisingly sweet, with a genuine and heartfelt quality to it.

29. Murder On The Orient Express

As the victim of the titular crime, naturally Johnny Depp's screentime is limited. But not only does he receive high billing on this very impressive cast list, but he is the character who the entire plot revolves around. Celebrated mustachioed detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh), who just happens to be traveling on the Orient Express when the murder takes place, is tasked with solving it. In "Murder On The Orient Express," every single person is a suspect, and the confinement of the train means nobody can hide.

As the suave American businessman Edward Ratchett — later revealed to be the con artist and killer John Cassetti — Depp is perfectly cast, oozing the charm and sophistication required to successfully manipulate the other passengers into believing a lie. The film proved to be a huge success at the box office, making more than $352 million off a budget of $55 million.

28. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

There has always been an unusual air about the famed chocolatier Willy Wonka, but in Tim Burton's candy-colored visual feast, Johnny Depp dials the eccentricities all the way up. Burton's 2005 retelling of the Roald Dahl story gives us more backstory about Wonka than we need – it might've been better if the character had remained an enigma. The fine line that exists in Wonka, separating the sadistic from the sweet, is what makes him so intriguing in the first place. It does at least distinguish this film from the 1971 film and gives Depp even more opportunities to make the character his own.

Depp's performance proved to be divisive, however, with Ann Hornaday for The Washington Post saying he, "seems to be straining so hard for weirdness that the entire enterprise begins to feel like those excruciating occasions when your parents tried to be hip."

27. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Immediately dispelling the naysayers who perhaps wondered how far Disney could stretch their ride-turned-movie concept, "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is a worthy sequel with plenty of fun action sequences and the introduction of the villainous Davy Jones (Billy Nighy), who would go on to play a particularly important part in the third film. The impressive tentacle effects used for Davy Jones helped to earn the film an Oscar, winning for best achievement in visual effects.

Bolstered by the success of the first film, "Dead Man's Chest" is bigger, bolder, and funnier than the original, and with the characters well-established already, there is a comforting sense of familiarity. This film proved that Depp was born to play Captain Jack Sparrow, and it remains the highest-grossing "Pirates of the Caribbean" film, taking in more than $1 billion at the box office.

26. From Hell

Always willing to try on a new accent, Depp showcases his best East London dialect in this dark, gothic-tinged story about notorious serial killer Jack The Ripper. In the film, Depp plays the clairvoyant Inspector Frederick Abberline, tasked with leading the investigation into the grisly murders of prostitutes on the streets of Whitechapel, playing a cat-and-mouse game with the killer as the bodies continue to pile up.

Given the subject matter, the film is a little light on horror and gore, but it succeeds in creating a chilly and atmospheric sense of dread. "From Hell" performed well at the box office, making around $74.5 million worldwide. However, the reaction from critics was mixed, with the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes summarizing it as, "visually impressive, but ... dull and far from scary."

25. Cry-Baby

If you're familiar with John Waters, you may be expecting something entirely different from this 1990 musical comedy. However, the director plays it surprisingly straight in a hugely entertaining homage to the teen films of the '50s and '60s. Depp plays Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker, the too-cool-for-school James Dean-esque teen rebel with a soft side, who falls in love with the "square," Allison Vernon-Williams (Amy Locane).

While toned down compared to something like "Pink Flamingoes," Waters brings a subversive style to the film which offsets the intentional genre cliches. In his youth, Depp had the perfect bad boy, teen heartthrob look that made him absolutely perfect for this character. The film also marked a huge turning point for Depp's career, with "Edward Scissorhands" following "Cry-Baby" in the same year.

24. Chocolat

Opening up a chocolate shop right at the beginning of Lent might not seem like the smartest business move, but in this charming romantic drama, it isn't long before Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche) enchants the austere locals with her confectionary creations, coaxing them out from behind their stern facades and long-standing traditions. With Vianne dedicating her life to helping others find their happiness, she soon finds her own when Roux (Johnny Depp), a handsome Romani, arrives in town.

As a film, "Chocolat" is almost as delectable as the sweet treat it shares its name with, and Vianne and Roux's relationship as two lost souls who end up finding each other is incredibly endearing. While some critics felt the film was a little too saccharine, it never shies away from its sweet core, and feels like a wonderful indulgence.

23. Dead Man

A western unlike any other, "Dead Man" features Johnny Depp as William Blake, an accountant-turned-gunslinger who finds himself with a bounty on his head after arriving to take up a job in a new town. On the run, he meets a strange Native American spirit guide called "Nobody," who believes Blake to be the reincarnated version of the English poet of the same name.

If "Dead Man" sounds a bit strange, that's because it is, with Jonathan Rosenbaum for Chicago Reader dubbing it as an "acid western." Despite its period setting, there is much about "Dead Man" that feels ahead of its time, and has only improved over the years. In 2018, the film was added to the Criterion Collection, which called it "a profound and unique revision of the western genre."

22. Don Juan DeMarco

Branding himself as "the world's greatest lover," Depp excels as the suave Don Juan, a man who is admitted for psychiatric treatment, as the doctors believe that this identity is a result of grandiose delusions. Marlon Brando stars alongside Depp as the man assigned to treat him, Dr. Jack Mickler, in a much more palatable film than their other pairing — 1997's "The Brave."

"Don Juan DeMarco" is surprisingly heartfelt, with the character's influence soon impacting the love lives of those around him, particularly Dr. Mickler and his wife's (Faye Dunaway) dwindling romantic spark. More than anything, "Don Juan DeMarco" is a celebration of love, and while it could've veered into the ridiculous, the committed performances from Depp and Brando ensure that the sentiment remains at the forefront.

21. The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus

There is an unavoidable sadness surrounding Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," as it is the last screen performance from Heath Ledger, who tragically died halfway through shooting. His untimely death left the film in turmoil but, determined to finish the project, Gilliam called in actors who he knew to be friends of Ledger's to finish the film in tribute to him. One of these was Johnny Depp, with whom Gilliam had previously worked. In an interview with CNN, Gilliam recounts a conversation he had with Depp on the future of the film, to which Depp responded, "whatever you decide to do, I'll be there."

With him on board, the film shifted so that the three actors who replaced Ledger — Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell — would play the character of Tony when he passed through a mirror into magical, fantasy worlds. While this decision was forced by the tragic circumstances, the film miraculously emerges as a fantastical tale where the lines between the surreal and the real are constantly blurred. Depp spoke highly of Gilliam's film to HitFix, saying, "it was an honor to represent Heath."

20. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Given the fact that "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" revolves largely around characters who have taken an unreasonable amount of drugs, it isn't surprising at all that Terry Gilliam's adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's novel is a complete trip of a film. The purpose of Duke (Depp) and Gonzo's (Benicio Del Toro) visit to Sin City is tangential to what the film ends up being about: A series of drug-fuelled, psychotic, and psychedelic escapades with little to connect them apart from the madcap performances of Depp and Del Toro.

Speaking to the fanzine Dreams in 1997, Gilliam said of the film, "I hope it makes a noise – I don't want it to go unnoticed," and it certainly achieved this with an incredibly polarizing reaction from critics. The film is now widely revered as a cult classic, and Scott Tobias in his retrospective review for The AV Club said, "it'd be tempting to call it one of the most subversive studio films of the '90s."

19. Public Enemies

In addition to his oddball characters, Johnny Depp is particularly great at playing outlaws — something that is demonstrated in "Public Enemies" where he takes on the role of legendary bank robber John Dillinger, dubbed by the F.B.I. as "Public Enemy No. 1" following his string of crimes. The film focuses on his final years as he is hunted down by F.B.I. agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale).

While he plays a crook, Depp manages to channel something relatable and human in this character, which makes him distinctly likable. Depp described the character to CBS News, saying, "to me, he was kind of a man of the people ... there is a Robin Hood edge to John Dillinger." The film opened to positive reviews from critics, including Ian Nathan for Empire, who awarded it five stars and said of Depp's performance, "there is this kind of magical undercurrent, an intoxicating compound of angel and demon."

18. Sleepy Hollow

The tale of Ichabod Crane may have been told many times, but there is an eerie, gothic, and supremely stylish edge to this 1999 retelling from Tim Burton. With his preferred leading man of Johnny Depp as Crane, Burton weaves the familiar story into a dark and spooky fairytale that makes for a perfect Halloween watch. As a character, Ichabod Crane isn't short of eccentricities — in fact, they form an intrinsic component of his investigative techniques — but Depp dials these back just enough so that they don't overwhelm the rest of the story.

While rightly recognized for his unique visual style, Burton is also a master storyteller, and it is in these dark fairytales that he is at his best. With the film permanently shrouded in mist and just the right amount of gore, "Sleepy Hollow" is a wonderfully atmospheric film with a commanding lead performance from Johnny Depp.

17. Before Night Falls

"Before Night Falls" is a biopic of Cuban novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (Javier Bardem), and while this is undoubtedly Bardem's film, Johnny Depp has a notable dual role that is an excellent demonstration of his range. The film is fragmented and episodic, with Reinaldo narrating his own story, from his childhood to the persecution he experienced as a gay man in Fidel Castro's Cuba.

While Depp's screentime only amounts to a few minutes, his scenes are memorable enough to make an impact on audiences. In the first role, he plays the sadistic prison warden Lt. Víctor who taunts (and flirts with) Reinaldo. And in the second, he plays Bon Bon, a cross-dressing inmate who helps Reinaldo smuggle his novel out of prison. Time even included it in their Top 10 Cross-Dressing Movie Performances saying, "his pure physical presence as the flamboyant Bon Bon, is enough to sear the image of a blond-wigged red-lipsticked Depp into your cinematic memory bank forever."

16. Blow

Directed by Ted Demme, "Blow" charts the rise and fall of George Jung (Depp), the man credited with being the first person to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. on a large scale, before losing almost his entire fortune when he trusted the wrong people. Also starring Penelope Cruz, the film is a fairly run-of-the-mill crime drama, elevated by Depp's excellent performance.

What is perhaps most remarkable about Depp in "Blow" is witnessing him transform from a small-town American dweeb — with an awkward bob hairstyle to match — into a wealthy drug lord with ties to the notorious Pablo Escobar. Depp's performance was praised by critics, including Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers, who said, "Depp steps up to a once-in-a-lifetime role and bats it out of the park."

15. Black Mass

By this point in his career, Johnny Depp could play crime bosses or shady characters in his sleep, and in "Black Mass," he acts behind a mask of prosthetics as the infamous Boston mobster, James "Whitey" Bulger. With almost no redeeming qualities, Whitey Bulger is a monstrous character, and Depp plays him with such quiet malice that it is quite unnerving to watch.

After a string of flops including "The Lone Ranger" and "Mortdecai," "Black Mass" represented a real return to form for Depp, proving that he could still put in a great performance. The film earned him a Screen Actors Guild nomination, and most critics agreed it was one of his best recent roles, with the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes stating that it, "spins a gripping yarn out of its fact-based story — and leaves audiences with one of Johnny Depp's most compelling performances in years."

14. Minamata

With almost two years between its premiere at Berlin International Film Festival and its US release in February 2022, "Minamata" is a film that feels like it has been perpetually on the cusp of coming out for ages. In the film, Depp plays W. Eugene Smith, a real-life war photographer who documented the effects of mercury poisoning on the residents of the coastal Japanese town, Minamata. Depp is almost unrecognizable in the role, demonstrating his ability to completely transform into the character he is playing.

For fans of investigative films such as "Dark Waters," "Minamata" follows a similar motif, focusing on the quest to uncover the truth about the potentially life-threatening side-effects of corporate greed on ordinary people. The film is a little uneven in places, but Depp's performance is wonderfully restrained, and it helps to shine a light on an important story.

13. Benny & Joon

In this quirky 1993 romantic comedy, Johnny Depp channels his inner silent movie star, and even at this early point in his career, it's clear that he was born to play misfits. As Sam, the love interest of the titular Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), Depp nails the physicality required for the comedic scenes in the film — with one particular highlight being his recreation of Charlie Chaplin's "bread roll dance" in a diner.

The film is perhaps a little too kooky for some, but as an exhibition of what Depp would be capable of as an actor, it is an absolute tour de force. The performance even earned Depp a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in the comedy or musical category.

12. Finding Neverland

In one of his most charming performances, Depp plays playwright J.M. Barrie, most famous for being the creator of "Peter Pan." With his career at a crossroads, Barrie meets the widowed Sylvia (Kate Winslet), and her spirited young boys provide the inspiration he needs to create his beloved childhood classic.

"Finding Neverland" is a highly imaginative biographical drama, sprinkled with just enough fairy dust and magical realism to evoke the feeling of Barrie's most well-known creation. While the film wasn't necessarily striving for total accuracy when it came to its portrayal of Barrie, it did prove to be a hit at the box office and with critics. It also earned seven Oscar nominations, including Depp's second acting nod, and went away with one statue for original score.

11. Corpse Bride

With an elegant English accent, Depp is almost unrecognizable as the voice behind the stuttering protagonist, Victor Van Dort, in Tim Burton's fantastical stop-motion animated film "Corpse Bride." While it was Burton's third foray into stop-motion, following his contributions to "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "James And The Giant Peach," it was the first that he had directed himself.

Burton's worlds are always a visual treat, but there is something particularly wonderful about the "Corpse Bride," with the monotone and dreary "land of the living" contrasting beautifully with the rich color and vibrancy of the "land of the dead." This mirrors the differences between Victor, and the corpse he accidentally ends up marrying (voiced by Helena Bonham Carter) — with the two unexpected partners literally worlds apart. "Corpse Bride" is an enchanting and ghoulish romance that demonstrates not just Burton's proficiency with stop-motion, but also Depp's abilities as a voice actor.

10. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Based on their track record, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp make the perfect duo to translate Stephen Sondheim's macabre musical from the Broadway stage to the big screen. Set in the 1800s, "Sweeney Todd" is a slasher movie with singing, almost every word set to music. Depp's musical background prepared him for this moment, and his singing voice gives the demon barber extra bite.

The film's trailer cleverly masked just how many songs it contained, leading many people to be surprised when they sat down in theaters to a full-fledged musical. Some disgruntled filmgoers reportedly even took their grievances to the Advertising Standards Authority. But audiences who could get on board with "Sweeney Todd" had very positive reviews, and the film received praise from critics as well as Oscar recognition, with Depp earning his third nomination.

9. Arizona Dream

This obscure film from the early period of Johnny Depp's career is well worth seeking out. While it is an odd little film, Depp is completely captivating as Axel Blackmar, a young man with a head full of dreams. Coaxed away from New York and back to Arizona to attend an uncle's wedding, Axel experiences a series of surreal encounters, including an infatuation with the older Elaine (Faye Dunaway), who he helps to build a flying machine.

"Arizona Dream" is completely bizarre yet utterly entrancing, seemingly about everything and nothing at all. It cross-examines and deconstructs the idea of the American Dream through the uniquely European lens of director Emir Kusturica.

8. Donnie Brasco

Under the alias of Donnie Brasco, F.B.I. agent Joe Pistone (Depp) infiltrates the Bonanno crime family, working alongside aging hitman Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino) in this gritty gangster drama. Lefty's life is falling apart, so he takes Donnie under his wing and hopes to train him not to make the same mistakes. But the further Donnie gets into the criminal organization, the more it begins to impact his own life, as the lines between undercover agent and gangster become increasingly blurred.

With a stellar cast that also includes Michael Madsen, "Donnie Brasco" is a stark exploration of what it is like to play both sides in the world of organized crime, and the delicate power balances that can be the difference between life or death. Based on the 1988 book "Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia" by the real Joe Pistone, the film went on to be nominated for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

7. Platoon

While Johnny Depp's part in Oliver Stone's Vietnam war epic "Platoon" is small, it is nonetheless significant. He plays the character of Lerner, assigned to the company to act as an interpreter. With the language of violence spoken so frequently in this brutal film, he is crucial in the sense that he is one of the few who can actually talk to and understand the other side.

More than anything, the baby-faced Depp is a reminder of just how young these soldiers were, and while he does make it out alive, there are many that don't, a harsh reminder of the impact of the Vietnam War. The film itself received huge acclaim and was nominated for eight Oscars, winning four of them, including best director for Stone, and the coveted best picture award.

6. A Nightmare On Elm Street

While it has spawned numerous sequels, spin-offs, and remakes, nothing compares to the original 1984 version of "A Nightmare On Elm Street" from legendary horror director Wes Craven. The film is also notable, of course, for being Johnny Depp's first-ever film role, playing Glen Lantz, one of the teenagers terrorized by the nightmarish Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).

For a first role, it doesn't get much better than this — particularly as Glen is dispatched in a gloriously over-the-top way, making Depp's appearance even more memorable. The film was a massive success, making more than $25.5 million off a budget of just $1.2 million. More important than that is the legacy of "A Nightmare On Elm Street": The iconic Freddy Krueger made AFI's list of the 100 greatest villains, and in 2021 the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

5. What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Starring a young Johnny Depp as Gilbert and an even younger Leonardo DiCaprio as his brother Arnie, "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" is a sentimental story about a young man's desire to have his own life, feeling trapped in his hometown. Gilbert is the main caregiver for both his brother Arnie, who is intellectually disabled, and his severely obese mother (Darlene Cates).

The relationship between Gilbert and Arnie is perhaps the most touching part of the film, and Depp and DiCaprio have a wonderfully believable brotherly dynamic. It is also refreshingly honest in depicting Gilbert's struggle, and while he is completely devoted to his brother, he also sometimes wishes he could be free of him. The performances in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" are incredibly sincere, and while Depp didn't receive a nod, DiCaprio picked up an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor at just 19 years old.

4. Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

Almost 20 years into his film career, Depp landed arguably his most famous role as the swaggering swashbuckler Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney's big-screen adaptation of one of their popular theme park rides. With its rousing score, swordfights, and a horde of undead pirates, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl" has everything you need from an epic blockbuster adventure.

The film proved to be a rollicking success, delighting audiences and critics alike, including Nick Schager for Slant Magazine who said, "Depp commands the screen." It was this commanding performance that earned Depp his first Oscar nomination for best actor, and while he didn't win, it marked the start of a very successful period for the actor as one of Hollywood's most bankable stars.

3. Rango

Often described as an acting chameleon, in the animated movie "Rango," Johnny Depp gets to voice an actual chameleon. He has a tremendous amount of fun playing a former pet undergoing an identity crisis when he winds up in the Old West town of Dirt. Just as the real-life creature can blend into its surroundings, Rango is adept at spinning yarns to acclimate himself, posturing as a brave hero who later finds his claims tested when he is appointed sheriff.

With references to classic Westerns such as "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly," and even an Easter Egg for "Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas," "Rango" often feels like a film that has more for adults than it does children. With just his voice, "Rango" really gives Depp a chance to create a character that feels like it could've only been played by him.

2. Edward Scissorhands

The first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton is also one of their very best, in this dark and melancholic fairytale about embracing those who look different. "Edward Scissorhands" proved to be the start of a very profitable relationship for the duo, and gave Depp the chance he had been looking for to break away from the teen heartthrob roles he was being cast in after his star-making turn on the TV procedural "21 Jump Street."

Edward couldn't be further from some of Depp's other early roles, and while he does prove himself to be incredibly lovable, his outward appearance at least is a huge departure from his other 1990 film, "Cry-Baby." It demonstrated early in his career that he was a formidable talent, with a particular proficiency for playing dark and unusual characters. Depp's performance also impressed critics, including Marc Lee for The Telegraph, who said he was, "sensational in the lead role, summoning anxiety, melancholy, and innocence with heartbreaking conviction."

1. Ed Wood

"Ed Wood" is one of those rare films that seems to work on every level, with Tim Burton playing homage to the kind of cinema he loves, and the strength and power of misfits. Considered by some to be the worst director of all time, Ed Wood made his movies with a fervent and giddy enthusiasm that Depp perfectly conveys.

In the wrong hands, "Ed Wood" could've been mocking in tone, but Burton's intent is to celebrate the director instead, and regardless of the quality of Wood's movies, the film is never sneering or condescending to him. Wood is a lively and eccentric character that is perfectly suited to Depp's talents. While it was considered to be a flop at the box office — something that seems oddly in keeping with the subject matter — "Ed Wood" was highly praised by critics, and it won two Oscars, including best supporting actor for Martin Landau's heartbreaking performance as Bela Lugosi.