Johnny Depp’s 20 Best Movies of All Time

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Johnny Depp is one of the most famous Hollywood actors of this era. We all know him as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. However, despite his popularity, there are still a few movies we didn’t realize starred the actor. A fair share of these movies is from when he was still new in the industry.

Depp made his debut in the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. From then, Depp continued to steal people’s hearts by starring in various films. Here is a list of some of the best movies starring Johnny Depp.

#20 From Hell (2001)

Director: The Hughes Brothers

Box Office Gross:  $74.6 million

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane

Synopsis:

In Whitechapel, the worst slum in the city, the unfortunate poor in 1888 London endure dreadful lives. Mary Kelly and her tiny circle of friends slog through this daily torment of being harassed by gangs and forced to rely on the streets for a living. Their only solace is that things can’t get any worse. 

But when their buddy Ann is taken hostage, something does happen, and they are sucked into a plot with connections to people far higher up than they could have ever imagined. It becomes clear that they are being sought out as the kidnapping is swiftly followed by the gruesome murder of another woman, Polly.

Inspector Fred Abberline, a brilliant but troubled man whose police work is frequently aided by his psychic skills, notices the murder, which is sinister even by Whitechapel standards. Abberline gets personally invested in the case as he and Mary fall in love. But as he nears the truth, Abberline, Mary, and the other girls start to fear for their safety in Whitechapel. Whoever committed the heinous deeds will not readily reveal his identity.

#19 Blow (2001)

Director: Ted Demme

Box Office Gross:  $83.3 million

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente, Rachel Griffiths, Paul Reubens, Jordi Mollà, Ray Liotta

Synopsis:

Depp plays the character of George Jung, the son of a struggling small business owner. George swears he’ll never experience the same fate after watching his family struggle to make ends meet and fail. He relocates to California and launches his marijuana distribution business, where he finds both success and jail time. He meets a cellmate in prison who introduces him to a business partnership in the lucrative new cocaine industry. George Jung, who claimed to control 85% of the supply in the 1970s, swiftly established the rapidly expanding US market for cocaine after his release. But despite the incredible money and influence he attained, the actual costs of his dangerous job eventually catch up with him in ways he could never have anticipated.

#18 Ed Wood (1994)

Director:  Tim Burton

Box Office Gross: $13.8 million

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Bill Murray

Awards:

Boston Society of Film Critics for Best Cinematography

Golden Globes Awards for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

Golden Globes Awards for Best Actor – Comedy or Musical (Johnny Depp) 

London Film Critics’ Circle – Actor of the Year (Johnny Depp) 

Los Angeles Film Critics Association – Best Cinematography & Best Music

Synopsis: 

The film is a biopic of one of Hollywood’s worst directors, Edward D. Wood Jr. Sometimes, he is harshly described as ambitious and troubled, with high dreams for directing despite his lack of talent.

#17 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (2007)

Director:  Tim Burton

Box Office Gross: $13.8 million

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen

Awards:

 Academy Award for Best Art Direction

American Cinema Editors – Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical

Golden Globe Award – Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy & Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Johnny Depp)

Teen Choice Award – Choice Movie: Villain (Johnny Depp)

Synopsis: 

Johnny Depp plays the role of Benjamin Barker, a barber in Victorian London. He is married to a beautiful maiden named Lucy and has one child named Johanna. Unfortunately, Lucy’s beauty caught the eye of the corrupt Judge Turpin, who falsely accuses him of a crime he did not commit. For fifteen years, Barker lived in exile in Australia before going back to London under an assumed identity of Sweeney Todd. He opens a barber shop above Mrs. Lovett’s meat pie shop. But unbeknownst to anyone, he is busy planning and enacting crimes against those who made his life hell. 

#16 The Rum Diary (2011)

Director: Bruce Robinson

Box Office Gross:  $30.1 million

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Amber Heard, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi

Synopsis:

Depp plays the role of Paul Kemp, an aspiring author who hasn’t sold a single book. He accepts a job in a local newspaper in Puerto Rico. Kemp meets Sanderson, a shady businessman who wants to buy an island and turn it into a resort. Sanderson wants to use his expertise to change the mind of the locals about the deal by creating write-ups in favor of Sanderson and his plans. Trials arise when he gets smitten by Chenault, Sanderson’s fiance. His liking of Chenault causes him to have a moral dilemma.

#15 Donnie Brasco (1997)

Director: Mike Newell

Box Office Gross:   $124.9 million

Starring: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, Anne Heche

Synopsis:

Infiltrating the New York mafia is the film’s subject based on a real story about FBI agent Joe Pistone. Pistone, posing as Donnie Brasco, can join a mafia group headed by Sonny Black by making friends with Lefty Ruggiero. As the crew obtains money for “the bosses,” Ruggiero and Pistone grow close. When Black himself rises to power, the organization eventually achieves greatness, and Pistone continues to gather proof. But Pistone can no longer handle the difficulties of the covert operation. To top it all off, the mafia suspects a mole in the group. His marriage falls apart. Pistone is in a big pickle since he knows Ruggiero will be punished if he leaves the mob.

#14 A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Director: Wes Craven

Box Office Gross:  $245.5 million

Starring:   Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, Bella Heathcote

Synopsis:

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the best horror films ever produced. It is a supernatural slasher movie from America. The iconic Freddy Krueger, a deformed guy with a glove with a blade attached, is the main antagonist in this story.

Freddy Krueger stalks his victims in their dreams. His victims would have plans for him, and whatever occurred in the dream would occur. He was an invisible force who murdered his victims as they slept and had nightmares.

He terrorizes a group of friends in the film. Later in the plot, Freddy Krueger’s identity is clarified. This information is critical to the plot. Freddy Krueger, a child killer, slew twenty children. Sadly, the victims’ relatives did not receive the justice they wanted.

The retaliatory parents handled the situation on their own. They carried out vigilante justice by burning Freddy Krueger alive. He became a spiteful ghost who terrorizes people in their nightmares due to his deed.

#13 Public Enemies (2009)

Director: Michael Mann

Box Office Gross:  $214.1 million

Starring: Johnny Depp,  Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff, Stephen Lang

Synopsis:

As Public Enemy No. 1 in 1933, the fourth year of the Great Depression, bank robber John Dillinger defied the authorities with his gang. Edgar Hoover asked Congress for funding for the CIA and designated Agent Melvin Purvis to be in charge of the Chicago area. Melvin fails to catch Dillinger using technology, so Hoover orders the employment of harsh interrogation techniques, and the agents utilize torture, threats, and extortion to accomplish their goal. While this is happening, Melvin and his men stake out Billie Frechette to apprehend Dillinger, who has fallen in love with her.

#12 Dark Shadows (2012)

Director: Tim Burton

Box Office Gross:  $214.1 million

Starring: Johnny Depp,  Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff, Stephen Lang

Awards: 

Kid’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor (Johnny Depp)

BMI Film & TV Awards for Best Film Music

Synopsis:

Joshua and Naomi Collins left Liverpool, England, in 1972 with their young son Barnabas to begin a new life in America. Twenty years pass, and Collinsport, Maine, is at Barnabas’ feet. Everything changes when he makes a terrible mistake by destroying the heart of Angelique Bouchard, a witch. Angelique condemns him to a life worse than death by transforming him into a vampire and burying him alive. 

Barnabas accidentally escapes from his tomb after two centuries and finds himself in the drastically altered world of 1972. He goes to his mansion to see it all in ruins. The fragmented survivors of the Collins family haven’t fared much better. 

#11 Cry-Baby (1990)

Director: John Waters

Box Office Gross: $8.3 million

Starring: Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrrell, Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords

Synopsis:

Johnny Depp plays the role of Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker, a member of the Drapes. Though raised by delinquents, Cry-Baby is polite and well-mannered, causing the excellent girl Allison Vernon-Williams to fall madly in love with him.

#10 Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Box Office Gross: $352.8 million

Starring: Johnny Depp, Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley

Synopsis:

It’s 1934 wintertime. Hercule Poirot, a famous but eccentric Belgian investigator, manages to get a last-minute seat in First Class on the Orient Express from Istanbul to Paris despite First Class being sold out, which is unusual for this time of year. Poirot is in the Middle East on a mixed business and pleasure vacation. 

His friend Bouc, a train employee and the nephew of one of the line’s leaders, agreed to secure the cabin as a favor. When Poirot learns of a case requiring him to return to London immediately, he decides to rearrange his plans at the last minute. Hector MacQueen, Edward Ratchett’s American business partner’s assistant, and he will initially share a cabin.

As soon as he gets on board, Poirot turns down Ratchett’s offer to work for him as his bodyguard for the length of the voyage since Ratchett thinks someone is trying to assassinate him. Ratchett also admits that his business practices aren’t entirely ethical. Ratchett is found dead, having been stabbed twelve times, in his cabin while the train is temporarily stuck in the Yugoslav mountains. 

Despite not wanting to get involved, Poirot cannot refuse Bouc’s request that he look into the case until the Yugoslav police show up to take over, if only to protect those most vulnerable. Poirot concludes from the preliminary evidence that one of the roughly twelve individuals traveling in or working on the Calais First Class car must be the murderer.

During his inquiry, Poirot learns that Ratchett, a fictitious name, had previously been connected to a kidnapping case involving children in the United States, an issue with which Poirot is quite familiar. As a result, rather than his shady business practices, Ratchett’s murder may have been connected to that occurrence. Poirot also notices that many First Class passengers don’t seem to be speaking the whole truth, and he must determine which lies are intended to cover up murderous activity.

#9 Secret Window

Director: David Koepp

Box Office Gross: $92.9 million

Starring: Johnny DeppJohn Turturro, Maria Bello, Timothy Hutton, Charles S. Dutton

Synopsis:

Successful author Mort Rainey moved into a remote cabin on the shores of Tashmore Lake in upstate New York after divorcing his wife, Amy Rainey. They split up because Amy had an affair with Ted Milner, to who she is now engaged, even though Amy and Ted claim that Mort and Amy’s marriage was already in trouble when Ted entered the picture. 

Mort is hesitant to sign the final divorce papers, even though he and Amy are not concerned about how their assets will be divided. One day, a man named Shooter comes to Mort’s cabin and accuses him of stealing the manuscript for his published story, Secret Window. Shooter has a draft that almost exactly matches the text.

Mort is given a three-day deadline to prove he wrote the story. The Shooter appears to be just as worried about Mort not “getting the conclusion right” as he is about the authorship. Mort employs Ken Karsch, a private investigator, to defend himself from the ostensibly deadly Shooter. Mort believes that Karsch will be able to contain and neutralize Shooter. An incident makes Mort assume that Ted hired Shooter to harass him as Karsch conducts his investigation. 

#8 Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Director: Tim Burton

Box Office Gross: $207 million

Starring: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones

Synopsis:

Young Police Detective Ichabod Crane, portrayed by Johnny Depp, is dispatched from New York City to the little town of Sleepy Hollow in 1799 to investigate a string of murders. Crane learns that three of the murderers are among the most prominent individuals in the community after being contacted by the town council. 

The Hessian Horseman, whose head has inexplicably been severed off, is blamed by the council for the killings. With the aid of a juvenile sidekick and the stunning Katrina Van Tassel, Crane’s inquiry leads him deeper into the foreboding woods where additional killings have occurred. Crane is unaware that the mysterious Horseman is being influenced by someone in a diabolical scheme to murder the most suited candidate.

#7 Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Director:  Tim Burton

Box Office Gross:  

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Mia Wasikowska, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall

Awards:

83rd Academy Awards- Best Art Direction

64th British Academy Film Awards- Best Makeup and Hair

15th Annual Satellite Awards – Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design

37th Saturn Awards – Best Costume and Best Fantasy Film

Synopsis: 

Alice Kingsleigh is a free-spirited nineteen-year-old girl betrothed to an English nobleman. She was in their estate’s garden when an unusually familiar rabbit caught her attention. Following the rabbit brings her to a magical land resembling the place in her nightmares when she was still a child. 

Staying in the place, she reconnects with the friends she once had as a child. Growing up, she had already forgotten Wonderland, a place she visited when she was only a little girl. However, Wonderland now is very different from before. In her return, she will learn of her true destiny: to stop the Red Queen’s reign of terror. 

Johnny Depp plays the role of the Mad Hatter in this film. Depp’s character is the mayor of Wonderland. He is also the leader of the resistance against the reign of the Red Queen (Iracebeth). 

#6 Finding Neverland (2004)

Director:  Marc Forster

Box Office Gross: $116.8 million

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Radha Mitchell, Dustin Hoffman

Synopsis:

Finding Neverland is a movie about the author who created the highly acclaimed book Peter Pan. Set in 1903 London, the film details J.M. Barrie’s struggles before coming up with his masterpiece. He attributes his creation to his platonic relationship with a widower named Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Sylvia and her four boys inspired Barrie to create Peter Pan. 

#5 Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Director:  David Yates

Box Office Gross: $654.9 million Starring:  Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Jude Law

Synopsis:

Depp plays the role of Gellert Grindelwald, one of Dumbledore’s best friends turned enemy. 

The formidable evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald is being transported from the Magical of the United States of America (MACUSA), the highest security prison in the country, to London in 1927 so that he might stand trial for his atrocities committed in Europe. With the aid of his adherent and MACUSA employee Abernathy, Grindelwald manages to flee during the transfer. Three months later, in London, Newt Scamander requests the Ministry of Magic to have his privileges to travel internationally, which were suspended after his mishap in New York City, reinstated. 

At the ministry, he was offered restoration of his travel rights if he agreed to assist his brother Theseus in locating Credence Barebone. Grindelwald believes that Credence can kill Dumbledore. 

#4 What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

Director: Lasse Hallström

Box Office Gross: $10 million

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen, Leonardo DiCaprio, John C. Reilly

Synopsis:

This movie depicts the tale of Gilbert Grape, who works at a grocery shop and is stressed out by the demands of his family. He takes care of his mother, who is extremely obese, and his brother, a young adult with intellectual disabilities. Since their father’s demise, the Grape family has gotten worse, and Gilbert is bearing the burden of a struggling, impoverished American family. Gilbert has numerous perilous relationships in this story, making things more difficult. The struggles of a barely functioning family in the American mid-west are depicted in this film in a more realistic manner. 

#3 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Director:  Tim Burton

Box Office Gross:  $475 million

Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor, Missi Pyle, James Fox, Deep Roy, Christopher Lee

Awards: 

British Academy Children’s Awards- BAFTA Kids’ Vote for Best Film

People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Family Movie

People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Motion Picture Actor (Johnny Depp)

Synopsis:

Being from a low-income family, Charlie Bucket spends most of his time daydreaming about the chocolate he adores but frequently cannot buy it due to his lack of financial capability.   When Willy Wonka, owner of the well-known Wonka Chocolate empire, announces a competition in which five gold tickets have been distributed around the country in chocolate bars, everything changes. 

The children who discover the tickets will be given a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and have a special look at its delights. Charlie miraculously discovers a ticket along with four other kids who are far more naughty than he is. This group will experience quite a few surprises during the plant tour.

#2 Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Director:  Tim Burton

Box Office Gross:  $86 million

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Vincent Price

Synopsis:

Edward is almost an ordinary young man except for the fact that he has no hands. Instead of a pair of hands, Edward has Scissorhands. But do not get fooled because, despite his appearance, he is harmless. Edward is an invention of a scientist. However, he dies before he can finish building Edward, leaving him lonely on his estate. 

Peg, a saleswoman, discovers his existence and takes him in. Ed’s talent is harnessed in her care, but he still gets outcasted because of his appearance, but he learns to fall in love with Peg’s teenage daughter. 

#1 Pirates of the Caribbean (2003-2017)

Director:  Tim Burton

Box Office Gross: $4.524 billion (For 5 Films)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally

Awards:

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

  • MTV Movie Awards for Best Male Performance (Johnny Depp)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Chemistry (Orlando Bloom & Keira Knightley)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Choice Movie: Fight/Action Sequence (Johnny Depp vs. Geoffrey Rush)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Choice Movie: Liar (Johnny Depp)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Choice Movie: Liplock (Orlando Bloom & Keira Knightley)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

  • Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
  • MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance (Johnny Depp)
  • MTV Movie Award for Best Movie
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Liplock (Orlando Bloom & Keira Knightley)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Actor: Johnny Depp 
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Summer Movie
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Scream (Keira Knightley)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Rumble (Orlando Bloom & Jack Davenport
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Hissy Fit (Keira Knightley)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Villain (Bill Nighy

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

  • MTV Movie Awards for Best Comedic Performance (Johnny Depp)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Actor (Johnny Depp)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Rumble (Orlando Bloom)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Actress (Keira Knightley)
  • Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Villain (Bill Nighy)

Synopsis: 

The Pirates of the Caribbeans is set in an era of villainous pirates that rule the seas. It follows the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow. 

There are five films comprising the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, each with different storylines. 

The first installment of the film franchise is Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. It follows the journey of Captain Jack Sparrow and the blacksmith, Will Turner, as they navigate the seas in search of the Black Pearl. The Black Pearl was Jack’s ship before Captain Barbossa had staged a mutiny. Sparrow tries to reclaim his boat while rescuing Elizabeth Swann, a governor’s daughter, and Will’s lover. Swann was taken hostage by Barbossa, who was cursed to neither die nor live unless a blood sacrifice was to be made. 

Following the Curse of the Black Pearl is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. The movie takes on Sparrow’s plight to recover the heart of Davvy Jones from the Flying Dutchman to not be a servant to him. Will and Elizabeth get a death sentence after communicating with Jack Sparrow. 

The third installment of the film franchise is Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. In this part of the .film series, Jack Sparrow is rescued from the Land of the dead. 

Fourth in the film series is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Captain Jack Sparrow finds out that Angelica, a woman he once seduced, is posing as him in London. Angelica abducts Jack to force him to find the legendary Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth. The said fountain is the only thing that can save the life of Angelica’s father, the pirate Blackbeard, who was cursed. Sparrow is the only one who knows where the fountain is and Angelica’s only hope. Meanwhile, Captain Salazar is recruited by King George to lead the British Naval Crew. 

The last film is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales. In this part, Captain Jack Sparrow is being hunted down by his arch-enemy, Captain Salazar. At the same time, he helps Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann’s son to find the Trident of Poseidon. 

What do you think?