How to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order

Here's the right way to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order - from Curse of the Black Pearl to Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order

How do you watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order? Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for us, with the blockbuster adventure movies led by Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. Since the original in 2003, these Disney movies have become a phenomenon for the House of Mouse.

Set during the Golden Age of Piracy, from 1630 to 1730, the fantasy movies take us out on the high seas for Jack’s eccentric, over-the-top hijinks that continually tend to put his friends in danger. For most instalments, that’s Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), but they do get some reprieve later on.

Sailing the seven seas has uncovered quite a few ancient myths thus far, and understanding how to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order can be tricky in all the maelstrom. Have no fear, though, because we have a map with all the requisite exes marked for you. If it’s treasure you’re after, step aboard, just be careful of Davy Jones, and anyone asking for Captain Jack and – just stay quiet and enjoy the ride.

What’s the right order to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies?

  • Tales of the Code: Wedlocked (2011)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order: Tales of the Code: Wedlocked

Tales of the Code: Wedlocked (2011)

You might not even know this Pirates of the Caribbean short exists, because it was confined to home media boxsets for the first four movies. Two women, played by Vanessa Branch and Lauren Maher, believed themselves to be Jack Sparrow’s one-and-only, except they’ve both been traded to an auctioneer.

It’s a daft preamble to The Curse of the Black Pearl that explains why Jack’s boat is sinking, and why the women hate him, if such questions were burning in your mind. Somewhat impressive for being put together in a couple of days before sets were taken down.

Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order: Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

The first proper instalment is The Curse of the Black Pearl, a classic pirate’s tale in blockbuster form. Will Turner, a blacksmith, needs to save Elizabeth Swann, his partner, from the crew of the Black Pearl, a cursed ship.

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He begrudgingly enlists the help of Jack Sparrow, who knows the captain of the Black Pearl. Hilarity ensues! Later sequels become unruly and convoluted, but director Gore Verbinski captures the energy of the theme park ride with the original Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order: Dead Man's Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

Soon after The Curse of the Black Pearl, Will and Elizabeth’s wedding is interrupted by someone who’s mad at Jack Sparrow, because of course it is. Lord Cutler Beckett strikes a deal with Will for Elizabeth’s freedom: find the heart of Davy Jones and the Dead Man’s Chest.

Needless to say, neither are as easy as following a map to an X. Meanwhile, Jack is actually stuck working for the Disney villain Davy, and needs the chest to get out of his servitude. Notable for the tentacled effects work on Davy Jones.

Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order: At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

Piracy is on the way out, so the remaining crew of the Black Pearl save Jack from Davy Jones’s Locker, while Will sets out to get his father off the Flying Dutchman. They all rally together to stop Cutler from putting an end to pirate trade.

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The war against Cutler’s regime has its costs, and by the end, Will is condemned to guide souls lost at sea. He leaves Elizabeth with a locker containing his heart, and a post-credits scene has him returning ten years later to meet her and his grown son. Jack, on the other hand, is off to find the Fountain of Youth. A bit of a mess, this one.

Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order: On Stranger Tides

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Ian McShane as Blackbeard? An inspired addition to the Pirates of the Caribbean cast. Penelope Cruz stars as Angelica opposite Depp’s Jack Sparrow for this misadventure, picking up after At World’s End with the search for the Fountain of Youth.

Angelica is Blackbeard’s daughter, hinting at the films moving into a new era. Their journey is made difficult by Barbossa, another captain Jack’s managed to piss off to a supreme degree. The only sequel without Will or Elizabeth.

Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

The baton is passed to Will’s son Henry, now 13-years-old, who sets out for Poseidon’s Trident to free his father from the Flying Dutchman. He’d like Jack Sparrow to help, but the legendary adventurer is a tricky one to track down (for once).

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Javier Bardem shows up as an undead captain intent on killing every pirate he can find. Lot of zombification and curses back in the late 1600s to early 1700s, eh? Silly fun, as has been the general MO.

Pirates of the Caribbean movies in release order

How do you watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in release order?

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
  • Tales of the Code: Wedlocked (2011)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in release order is almost identical to following in chronological order. You’ve got The Curse of the Black Pearl first, then Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End.

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On Stranger Tides, from 2011, follows, and then we have the one blip. Takes of the Code: Wedlocked came out the same year as On Stranger Tides, with Blu-ray and DVD sets that combined the first four Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It still hasn’t made its way to Disney Plus and YouTube, leaving you to search out one of these bundles if you’d like to see it.

After that, you just have Dead Men Tell No Tales. For now, that’s all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but a sixth is on the horizon. Captain Jack Sparrow may ride again, and if he does, keep all your treasured possessions close.

For more misadventures, check out our guides to the Jurassic Park movies in order and the Harry Potter movies in order.