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The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film

Updated June 14, 2019 101.8k votes 13.6k voters 230.9k views28 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.
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    Jack Sparrow

    Johnny Depp
    Captain Jack Sparrow is a fictional character and a main protagonist in the Pirates of the...  more

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  • 2
    4,454
    1,585

    Hector Barbossa

    Geoffrey Rush
    Hector Barbossa is a fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series partly...  more

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  • 3
    3,707
    2,016

    Davy Jones

    Bill Nighy
    Davy Jones is a character in the Pirates of the Caribbean feature film series, who first...  more

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    3,394
    1,855

    Joshamee Gibbs

    Kevin McNally
    Joshamee Hamish Gibbs is a fictional supporting character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film...  more
  • 5
    3,602
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    Will Turner

    Orlando Bloom
    William "Will" Turner, Jr. is a fictional character and the main Protagonist in the first...  more
  • 6
    4,057
    2,277

    Captain Hook

    Jason Isaacs, Danny Kaye
    James Hook is a fictional character from the adventure, fantasy film Neverland....  more

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  • 7
    2,376
    1,324

    Elizabeth Swann

    Keira Knightley, Lucinda Dryzek
    Elizabeth Swann is a fictional protagonist of the first three films and a character in the...  more

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  • 8
    3,131
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    Long John Silver

    Charlton Heston, Tim Curry
    Long John Silver is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the novel Treasure Island...  more
  • 9
    4,032
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    Yondu

    Michael Rooker
    Yondu is a fictional character, a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe, and a founding...  more

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  • 10
    2,105
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    Smee

    Bob Hoskins, Bill Thompson
    Mr. Smee is Captain Hook's bo'sun in J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't...  more
  • 11
    2,012
    1,557

    "Bootstrap Bill" Turner

    Stellan Skarsgård
    William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner, Sr., portrayed by Stellan Skarsgaard, is a crewmember on Davy...
  • 12
    1,797
    1,408

    Captain Flint

    Chriss Anglin, Randy Quaid
    Captain J. Flint is a fictional 18th century pirate who features in a number of novels and...  more
  • 13
    2,099
    1,691

    Angelica Teach

    Penélope Cruz
    Angelica Teach is a fictional character in the 2011 action film Pirates Of The Caribbean: On...  more
  • 14
    1,933
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    Riddick

    Vin Diesel
    Richard B. Riddick, more commonly known as Riddick, is a fictional character and the antihero...  more

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  • 15
    1,535
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    Cotton

    David Bailie
    Cotton is a fictional character from the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the...  more
  • 16
    1,497
    1,420

    Ragetti

    Mackenzie Crook
    Ragetti is a fictional character from the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the...
  • 17
    1,478
    1,422

    Marty

    Martin Klebba
    Marty is a fictional character from the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the...  more
  • 18
    1,233
    1,445

    Billy Bones

    Justin Jones, Patrick McGoohan
    Billy Bones is a fictional character, in the first section of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel...  more
  • 19
    1,283
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    Peter Blood

    Errol Flynn
  • 20
    1,289
    1,638

    Morgan Adams

    Geena Davis
    Morgan Adams is a fictional character from the 1995 film Cutthroat Island....
  • 21
    1,055
    1,461

    Sao Feng

    Chow Yun-Fat
  • 22
    850
    1,477

    Abduwali Muse

    Barkhad Abdi
    Abduwali Muse is a fictional character from the 2013 film Captain Phillips....
  • 23
    599
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    Monkey D. Luffy

    Mayumi Tanaka
    Monkey D. "Straw Hat" Luffy is a fictional character and the protagonist of the One Piece...  more

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    Euron Greyjoy

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    Capt. Vallo

    Burt Lancaster