Entertainment

The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film  

Ranker Characters
109.3k votes 13.3k voters 227k views 28 items

They're swashbuckling. They're bold. And they're always on the wrong side of the law. The greatest pirate characters in movies are memorable figures that audiences love – or love to hate. Some good pirate characters search for treasure on the high seas, while other fictional pirates call space their home. A few of the best pirate roles even earned Oscar nominations for the actors who played them.

What roles will you find on this list of the best pirate characters in films? Without a doubt, Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow is one of the most popular pirates to ever hit the silver screen. The actor even earned an Oscar nomination for his instantly iconic performance. His Pirates of the Caribbean co-stars Will Turner and Hector Barbossa are also fan favorites. Captain Hook and Smee keep Never Never Land on alert in all of the Peter Pan movies.

Not all pirates appear in period films. In the 2013 movie Captain Phillips, Abduwali Muse commandeered the MV Maersk Alabama and its crew. Other great roles featured on this top pirate characters in film list include Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy and Morgan Adams from Cutthroat Island.

You decide which pirate character deserves the treasured number-one position on this list. Vote your favorite fictional pirates up to the top and add any good pirate movie roles that are missing.
list ordered by
1
Jack Sparrow is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Johnny Depp
Captain Jack Sparrow is a fictional character and a main protagonist in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. The character was created by screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and is ...more
2
Hector Barbossa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Geoffrey Rush
Hector Barbossa is a fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series partly inspired by Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha. Barbossa is portrayed by Australian actor Geoffrey Rush in all ...more
3
Davy Jones is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Bill Nighy
Davy Jones is a character in the Pirates of the Caribbean feature film series, who first appears in the second film, Dead Man's Chest and returns in the series' third installment, At World's ...more
4
Joshamee Gibbs is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Kevin McNally
Joshamee Hamish Gibbs is a fictional supporting character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. He is portrayed by Kevin McNally and voiced by Steven Jay Blum in video game adaptations.
5
Will Turner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Orlando Bloom
William "Will" Turner, Jr. is a fictional character and the main Protagonist in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films. He appears in The Curse of the Black Pearl and two of ...more
6
Yondu is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Michael Rooker
Yondu is a fictional character, a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe, and a founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy team. Michael Rooker plays the character in the 2014 film ...more
7
Captain Hook is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Jason Isaacs, Danny Kaye, Dustin Hoffman
James Hook is a fictional character from the adventure, fantasy film Neverland.
8
Elizabeth Swann is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Jeff La Bella added Keira Knightley, Lucinda Dryzek
Elizabeth Swann is a fictional protagonist of the first three films and a character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. She appears in The Curse of the Black Pearl and two of its ...more
9
Long John Silver is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Charlton Heston, Tim Curry, Jim Cummings
Long John Silver is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. The most colorful and complex character in the book, he continues to ...more
10
Smee is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Bob Hoskins, Bill Thompson, Richard Briers
Mr. Smee is Captain Hook's bo'sun in J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and the novel Peter and Wendy.
11
Stellan Skarsgård
William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner, Sr., portrayed by Stellan Skarsgaard, is a crewmember on Davy Jones' Flying Dutchman and Will Turner's father. He was once an associate of Jack ...more
12
Captain Flint is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Chriss Anglin, Randy Quaid
Captain J. Flint is a fictional 18th century pirate who features in a number of novels and films. Created by Scottish writer, Robert Louis Stevenson, Flint first appears in a children's magazine ...more
13
Angelica Teach is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Penélope Cruz
Angelica Teach is a fictional character in the 2011 action film Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
14
Riddick is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Vin Diesel
Richard B. Riddick, more commonly known as Riddick, is a fictional character and the antihero of four films in the Riddick series, as well as the two video games The Chronicles of Riddick: ...more
15
Cotton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
David Bailie
Cotton is a fictional character from the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the 2006 film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and the 2007 film Pirates of ...more
16
Ragetti is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Mackenzie Crook
Ragetti is a fictional character from the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the 2006 film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and the 2007 film Pirates of ...more
17
Marty is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Martin Klebba
Marty is a fictional character from the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the 2006 film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and the 2007 film Pirates of ...more
18
Billy Bones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Billy Bones Justin Jones, Patrick McGoohan, Oliver Reed
Billy Bones is a fictional character, in the first section of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island.
19
Peter Blood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Errol Flynn
20
Morgan Adams is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Morgan Adams Geena Davis
Morgan Adams is a fictional character from the 1995 film Cutthroat Island.
21
Sao Feng is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Chow Yun-Fat
22
Abduwali Muse is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Abduwali Muse Barkhad Abdi
Abduwali Muse is a fictional character from the 2013 film Captain Phillips.
23
Monkey D. Luffy is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
nipsizip added Mayumi Tanaka
Monkey D. "Straw Hat" Luffy is a fictional character and the protagonist of the One Piece franchise created by Eiichiro Oda. He is first introduced in the manga chapter "Romance ...more
24
Euron Greyjoy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Ruxandra Elena Ely added Euron Greyjoy
25
Capt. Vallo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film
Capt. Vallo Burt Lancaster