The definitive line-up of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films – all nicely ranked.

Following the success of our first ‘ranking’ article (where we sorted out the long-raging debate over the Speed movies), we figure the expensive internet consultants were right. The internet loves it when people put things in order to be argued about, and thus, after consuming their bodyweight in Pret-bought pastries, said consultants have told us to do more.

We’re still idealists at heart, and believe there’s room on the internet to talk about films without everything having to be in some kind of arbitrary league table. But you can’t argue with the stats, chums! There’s clearly a reason why other websites are awesome and we are not, and we’re damned if we’re not going to try!

As such, we’re going ambitious. Here, then, is our essential countdown of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films, in order of quality. The best of them first.

1. The First One

This was the one that earned Johnny Depp an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Remember that? Not entirely comfortable saluting the work of Depp these days if that’s all the same, but Gore Verbinski – not a man known for short films – keeps this one running fast and furious. His supporting cast is brilliant, the script – from Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio – is solid. And we love that bloke from This Life being a dick. This is also notable for being the only one of the films in the series that is Not Very Bad.

2. Staining a fence

To do a good job of treating a wooden fence, you’re no longer allowed to use Creosote, for good reasons. Instead, you need to clean it with water and a broom to get any mess off. Then put a plastic cloth on the floor, pick your treatment product from the many available, and use a good roller to work from the end of the fence to the other. Do then make sure you maintain the fence well, and if you spend a couple of hours on the job, then that should see you right.

3. Descaling the kettle

You need to allow around an hour and a half for this, and beautifully, you don’t need anything expensive. Fill the kettle half and half with water and vinegar and let it all soak in. You’ll need to leave it all for around an hour or so, before you then need to boil said kettle. Empty the boiled water, rinse the kettle out, and you should be good to go. All at your own risk, of course.

4. Rearranging a newsagent’s shelf to hide copies of the Daily Mail

Mixing in world service with a degree of peril, do note that not every newsagent is amenable to this most cinematic of activities. But protecting the earth from badness is, as every movie hero knows, a task that comes with downsides. Thus, be prepared to run at speed should the shop owner leap out from behind the counter, brandishing a rolling pin.

5. Taking those trousers back to Next

Few things are more frustrating than buying some clothes, and then realising they don’t quite fit. We’ve used Next as an example, but substitute your retailer of choice instead. Thing is, some people can’t be bothered to return the clothes, and thus they either go to waste, or struggle on with them, Yet this is where a proper, rounded character choice needs to be made. Against all odds, to go back to the store, with the receipt, to stand in the long queue, to explain to the friendly assistant, to emerge triumphant in a final act victory with appropriate clothing.

6. Going to the dentist

There are few things less fun than sitting in a chair and having your head hammered with instruments and then getting charged for the privilege. But panic not, you can put off the seventh entry on this list by going for that long overdue dental checkup. As an added bonus, they tend to these days throw in a 20 minutes longer than expected wait in a bland room, where you can catch up on back issues of Woman’s Own from 2013.

7. The rest of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films

Taking clear inspiration from classic boxsets such as Police Academy, The Hangover and Men In Black, Pirates Of The Caribbean is a movie franchise that endeavours to make sure that every single sequel is really quite shit.

It’s an admirable ambition, and in spite of occasional flickers to the contrary, the steadfast determination to warble on long past any reasonable running time for the stories they want to tell is something to witness with a degree of awe. Not entertainment, obviously, just awe. The third one is just nuts and all over the shop in particular, and earns extra WTF points for opening with a pretty brutal hanging scene in a jolly Disney Live Action Entertainment production. Sadly, by the time the film’s extended running time is complete, you will have missed three birthdays of close relatives.

A caveat: there are some excellent people working on the films. There are moments in some of them that spark. But still, we paid our money to see every one of these sequels, and the key word that always spring to mind was ‘refund’.

Let that then, friends, put all arguments to bed once and for all. That’s the Speed and Pirates Of The Caribbean franchises licked, and our consultants happy. May our public service long continue.

Next time: which Police Academy film was most unfairly overlooked by the Oscars?

Images: BigStock, Disney

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