It looks to be all change for Pirates of the Caribbean when it eventually does return to the big screen – whenever that may be.
Johnny Depp is apparently out as Jack Sparrow with a new lead actor and character being eyed for what looks to be a reboot – Karen Gillan is one name in the mix to head up the new movie.
But if you’ve got a hankering to rewatch the original movies, or you’re a newbie looking to experience them for the first time, the good news is that Pirates is a pretty accessible franchise, with the five movies so far all being released in chronological order.
Here’s the correct order in which to watch them all, and where you can stream them, if you feel in the mood for some rum loving pirate action.
How to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in order
The Curse of the Black Pearl
The original and still the best, The Curse of the Black Pearl introduced us to the character that would forever be linked to Johnny Depp – Jack Sparrow. The swashbuckling pirate epic was a joy from start to finish with a great cast, a strong story and one of the more fun blockbusters of the era. It was just as inevitable that sequels would follow as it was that they would never be able to match the height of the one that started it all – it set the bar very high.
Dead Man’s Chest
Dead Man’s Chest, while a step down from The Curse of the Black Pearl, is still a great deal of fun at times with some truly exceptional moments sprinkled throughout the bloated running time. But the fun is certainly not as consistent as what came before and a lot of the time it feels like a movie that is lacking purpose. Still, Bill Nighy as Davy Jones makes it all worthwhile in a performance that even rivals Depp’s.
At World’s End
The conclusion of what was then a trilogy is not the finest hour in the Pirates series. The running time for At World’s End is approaching three hours and it feels it, and despite having some truly great action sequences, it feels even more padded and lost in its own story than Dead Man’s Chest did. It is worth watching and Jack Sparrow remains an entertaining centrepiece, but it’s fortunate that more movies followed as this would have ended things on a bit of a dud note…
On Stranger Tides
With many growing frustrated with the direction Pirates of the Caribbean had taken by the end of the third film, hope was high that the fourth, On Stranger Tides, would set things right. Most of the cast had been jettisoned for a fresh start and while there are some that thought this was the revamp the series needed, the general consensus is that it did not do enough of a course correction and as such was still greeted with a lukewarm reception when it was released.
Dead Men Tell No Tales / Salazar’s Revenge
The final movie in the original series with a reboot now seemingly on the way, the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film (which has a different name depending on where you are in the world) did not do much to reignite the love that casual fans of the series once had. A lacklustre plot that has been frequently described as incoherent is the main issue many have with Dead Men Tell No Tales but given that it now looks certain that this was the swansong for Jack Sparrow, it remains worth a watch if you want to experience the whole adventure.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing is a post-credits scene that saw the return of some familiar faces that indicated a return to the franchise’s roots for the sixth movie that we will now likely never see.
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