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The Greatest Pirate Characters in Film

Updated June 14, 2019 99.5k votes 13.6k voters 231.0k 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

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Pirates of the Caribbean 5

    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

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    #201 of 3,517 The Best Movie Characters Of All Time#14 of 72 The Best Fictional Characters You'd Leave Your Man For

  • 2
    4,364
    1,546

    Hector Barbossa

    Geoffrey Rush

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

    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 the...  more

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    #6 of 12 12 Movie Villains Who Couldn't Stay Villains Because They Were Too Cool#34 of 96 The Most Likable Movie Antiheroes

  • 3
    3,631
    1,968

    Davy Jones

    Bill Nighy

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    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 End. He...  more

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  • 4
    3,325
    1,811

    Joshamee Gibbs

    Kevin McNally

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

    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....  more
  • 5
    3,529
    1,953

    Will Turner

    Orlando Bloom

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    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 its sequels, Dead...  more
  • 6
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    2,223

    Captain Hook

    Jason Isaacs, Danny Kaye

    FilmPeter Pan, Peter Pan, Hook, Peter Pan, Disney's Halloween Treat

    James Hook is a fictional character from the adventure, fantasy film Neverland....  more

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  • 7
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    1,276

    Elizabeth Swann

    Keira Knightley, Lucinda Dryzek

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    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 sequels,...  more

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  • 8
    3,079
    1,736

    Long John Silver

    Charlton Heston, Tim Curry

    FilmTreasure Island, Muppet Treasure Island, The Pagemaster, Treasure Planet, Treasure Island

    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 appear...  more
  • 9
    3,950
    2,243

    Yondu

    Michael Rooker

    FilmGuardians of the Galaxy

    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

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  • 10
    2,061
    1,589

    Smee

    Bob Hoskins, Bill Thompson

    FilmNeverland, Peter Pan, Peter Pan, Hook

    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....  more
  • 11
    1,973
    1,521

    "Bootstrap Bill" Turner

    Stellan Skarsgård

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    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 Sparrow's who...
  • 12
    1,757
    1,377

    Captain Flint

    Chriss Anglin, Randy Quaid

    FilmPirates of Treasure Island, Treasure Island Kids: The Pirates of Treasure Island

    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 in...  more
  • 13
    2,058
    1,651

    Angelica Teach

    Penélope Cruz

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

    Angelica Teach is a fictional character in the 2011 action film Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides....  more
  • 14
    1,892
    1,694

    Riddick

    Vin Diesel

    FilmThe Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, Untitled Chronicles of Riddick Sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick, Pitch Black

    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: Escape...  more

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  • 15
    1,504
    1,415

    Cotton

    David Bailie

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    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 the...  more
  • 16
    1,470
    1,382

    Ragetti

    Mackenzie Crook

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    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 the...
  • 17
    1,449
    1,388

    Marty

    Martin Klebba

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    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 the...  more
  • 18
    1,206
    1,413

    Billy Bones

    Justin Jones, Patrick McGoohan

    FilmPirates of Treasure Island, Treasure Planet, Treasure Island, Treasure Island, Treasure Island

    Billy Bones is a fictional character, in the first section of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island....  more
  • 19
    1,256
    1,541

    Peter Blood

    Errol Flynn

    FilmCaptain Blood

  • 20
    1,264
    1,599

    Morgan Adams

    Geena Davis

    FilmCutthroat Island

    Morgan Adams is a fictional character from the 1995 film Cutthroat Island....
  • 21
    1,033
    1,427

    Sao Feng

    Chow Yun-Fat

    FilmPirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

  • 22
    831
    1,449

    Abduwali Muse

    Barkhad Abdi

    FilmCaptain Phillips

    Abduwali Muse is a fictional character from the 2013 film Captain Phillips....
  • 23
    578
    1,112

    Monkey D. Luffy

    Mayumi Tanaka

    FilmOne Piece

    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 Dawn", first...  more

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    437

    Euron Greyjoy

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    Capt. Vallo

    Burt Lancaster

    FilmThe Crimson Pirate