For a franchise that started with a movie based on a Disney theme park ride Pirates of the Caribbean has shown remarkable staying power and has raked in mighty booty of more than 3 billion at the box office.

Next year we will getting a fifth installment called Dead Men Tell No Tales which will see everyone’s favourite rum loving pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) reuniting with blacksmith-turned-pirate-turned-ocean lord Will Turner (Orlando Bloom).

In the trailer (linked above) we meet the ghostly pirate Captain Salazar and his ghost crew and guess what – he has a bone to pick with Jack Sparrow. Salazar is played by Javier Bardem who has done a brilliant job of playing villains in flicks like No Country for Old Men and Skyfall. No sign of Sparrow or Turner but I like the dark tone of the teaser. The film is scheduled to drop in May 2017.

With a new film on the horizon it felt like a good time to rank the other four Pirates films. So yo ho ho and shiver me timbers! Here are the Top 4 Pirates of the Caribbean flicks:

#4 At World’s End (2007)

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Pirate King council meeting. Yay?

Time traveling note to director Gore Verbinski – a Pirates film does not need to be THREE HOURS and eight minutes. You are not Lord of the Rings and a really long run time does not automatically equal an epic film.

For some inexplicable reason the decision was made to move away from the fun and light adventure of the first two films and make the third installment a protracted, bloated, overly complicated mess. I kept watching my watch throughout this film wondering when World’s End would end.

Sure there are a few fun moments in there but there were too many plot points – including that waste of time stuff with the goddess Calypso – and it all went on so long that it sucked out any enjoyment that was experienced. And then the final scene with the pirate fleet facing off against the navy was such a let down. This one sunk to the bottom because it was unnecessarily overloaded.

#3 Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

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Man Seaworld has gone to the dogs

When I watched Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for the first time I got the feeling that this was the movie George Lucas really wanted to make and the other two were kind of filler. Dead Man’s Chest is a filler movie waiting for At World’s End and if you read above you would see that did not turn out well at all.

With Dead Man’s Chest we return to Captain Jack off on another kooky adventure and see him reunited with Will and his darling Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley). We meet evil ocean lord Davy Jones (a tentacled Bill Nighy) and his motley band of sea men and see our heroes face off against the dreaded Kraken. But Jones was more spectacle than scary and the love triangle between Jack, Will and Liz fell flat. I will give the film props for keeping things light and fun, even if they were just marking time for the next film.

#2 On Stranger Tides (2011)

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The Little Mermaid 2: Pirates Cove

This movie gets its share of flack but I had a fun time with it and found On Stranger Tides to be a return to form. Verbinski bowed out for this one and Bloom and Knightley were also missing for this entry. In their place we had Chicago director Rob Marshall and Penélope Cruz as pirate Blackbeard’s daughter, a spicy, devious and energetic lass. We also had the wonderful Geoffrey Rush as foe-turned-ally Captain Barbossa front and center.

On Stranger Tides is a light little adventure featuring deadly mermaids and the search for the fountain of youth. And after three films it felt fresh and new and that is something you need for a franchise more than a decade old.

#1 The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

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Trust me Orlando. We’ll make a franchise out of this thing

Pirates follows the pattern of franchises like The Matrix and Die Hard where no sequel is able to match or even surpass the brilliance of the original. And my goodness gracious me The Curse of the Black Pearl is a wonderful fantasy adventure.

Depp gives his best Sparrow performance, Bloom has a great hero’s arc, Knightley is sweet and spunky, the ghost pirates are genuinely creepy and Barbossa is a terrific villain. There are lots of laughs and a ship load’s worth of fantastic action sequences. This is a movie you can pop on repeatedly and enjoy every single time. And that is why it is the best of all the Pirates flicks.

So which is your favourite Pirates of the Caribbean film? And what did you think of the Dead Men Tell No Tales trailer? Feel free to comment below and if you enjoyed this you can share with your peeps. Sharing is caring. 

For more Johnny D you can check out my review of Dark Shadows here and for my Top 4 Underworld films you can click here. And for more adventurous movie lists you can follow me on Twitter @suprememango012 for updates.

Avast ye land lubbers and other pirate-related jargon. l8rs