By Mandi Bierly
Updated May 25, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

The reviews are in — and it’s Jack who turns in the best performance in the new Pirates movie. The character is antic and hilarious, and the film livens up whenever he’s on screen. The critics, who have little nice to say about this summer’s latest money-making machine, have nothing but praise for Jack.Take Robert W. Butler, of the Kansas City Star, for instance. He admits, “I was actually quite taken with Jack the Monkey, a member of the Black Pearl’s crew who runs circles around his human co-stars when it comes to acrobatic stunts and generating laughs.” Moira Macdonald, of the Seattle Times, is equally smitten: “The attention to detail is impressive (watch the nuances in the performance of a tiny costumed monkey)…”Well, who did you think we were talking about?

The one good thing about the movie being 2 hrs. and 47 mins. long is that Jack the Monkey finally gets the screen time he deserves!Who else loves him — and where does he fall on your list of great movie animals? He’s no Hooch, but he’s not that poor Golden Retriever who had to hump everything in Because I Said So, either.

P.S. I actually enjoyed Pirates (after the fourth time I mouthed “What’s happening?” to the person sitting next to me). You may be ready to bolt, but stay through the credits. There’s a final scene that’s worth watching… even if it doesn’t include Jack.