At some point, "from the Academy Award-winning director of 'Chicago'" meant something. But Rob Marshall was woefully ill-suited to make a "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie and that, combined with whoever's terrible idea it was to have Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as the main lead, spelled doom for this horrifically awful experience.
4. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales"
Pretty much just an attempt to rehash the original movie, though it's less satisfying in every way. It's not horrible, and it does have the decency to be the shortest of the five movies. But its incoherence undoes most of the goodwill granted by the occasional clever dialogue.
3. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
Lots of folks may have been mad about the cliffhanger at the time, but the second "Pirates" movie was still a delight. Even though it wasn't quite as good as the first, the incredible Kraken didn't quite make up for the absence of Geoffrey Rush's Captain Barbossa. "Dead Man's Chest" remains a great example of a sequel that recaptures the magic of the original.
2. "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"
Get's the edge over "Dead Man's Chest" entirely by virtue of being so weird. This is a movie where our heroes sail their pirate ship through space to the afterlife to rescue Jack, for one thing. And the final battle takes place in a giant whirlpool in the middle of the ocean. Good times.
1. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"
The movie that started it all may seem (relatively) mundane by the standards of this weird franchise, but it's also the funniest, most coherent and complete picture of them all by a long shot. It's no contest, really.