The captivating world of piracy is full of adventure, danger, and excitement. For centuries, pirates have sailed the open seas, searching for treasures and battling enemy ships. While they may be remembered as dangerous criminals, many pirate tales have become beloved stories about heroism and courage. From live-action to animated shows, and from adventures on land to epic sea battles, this list of the best pirate TV shows and movies will take you back to the days of Captain Hook, Long John Silver, and Blackbeard.
Best Pirate TV Shows & Movies
- Pirate Islands: The Lost Treasure of Fiji (2007)
- Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama (2014)
- The Buccaneers (1956-1957)
- 12 Paces Without a Head (2009)
- Blackie the Pirate (1971)
- The Lost Pirate Kingdom (2021-)
- Crossbones (2014)
- Pirates (1986)
- Nate and Hayes (1983)
- The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
- Treasure Island (1990)
- The Pirates of Blood River (1962)
- The Crimson Pirate (1952)
- Captain Blood (1935)
- The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (2022)
- Yellowbeard (1983)
- The Black Swan (1942)
- Treasure Planet (2002)
- Captain Phillips (2013)
- Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
- Peter Pan (1953)
- Hook (1991)
- The Goonies (1985)
- Black Sails (2014–2017)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
25. Pirate Islands: The Lost Treasure of Fiji (2007)
- Duration: 1 Season, 13 Episodes
- Cast: John Noble, Kain O’Keeffe, Adelaide Clemens
Pirate Islands: The Lost Treasure of Fiji is an Australian TV show from 2007 that follows the story of Tyler, a gaming champion who is given the chance to star in the presentation for a new unedited version of the game Pirate Islands. He and his brother Marty, along with two other participants, get pulled into the game on a Fijian island.
Throughout their journey, they must battle with the pirates of Captain Blackheart, who are in search of an Egyptian Pharaoh’s treasure. The two brothers must work together to find the treasure and escape the virtual world. Spread over 13 episodes, the show is filled with adventure and surprises, making it a good watch for pirate fans!
24. Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama (2014)
- Duration: 1h 36m
- Cast: Tuva Novotny, Jon Øigarden, Fridtjov Såheim
In this Norwegian pirate movie, Tiny, a young, orphaned boy, wants to be part of Captain Sabertooth’s pirate crew, nicknamed ‘Pasty Face’ by his enemies. With help from a friend of his father’s, Tiny is taken aboard The Dark Lady, though it is soon captured by Captain Bjorn and his crew, who are looking to take the treasure of King Rufus in Lama Rama.
The story follows Tiny’s quest to prove himself worthy of being a deckhand and eventually help King Rufus reclaim his throne. The movie features plenty of thrilling adventures and sword fights, making it an enthralling watch for all ages.
23. The Buccaneers (1956-1957)
- Duration: 1 Season, 39 Episodes
- Cast: Robert Shaw, Paul Hansard, Brian Rawlinson
This classic pirate TV show is an adventure that is sure to entertain. The story follows a band of daring buccaneers who travel the open seas in search of treasure and glory. Along the way, they must battle their enemy, the Spanish privateers, as well as their own personal struggles. When Captain Dan Tempest finds himself in charge of a motley crew, he must use his piracy skills to keep the group safe and outwit their adversaries. If you enjoy classic swashbuckling tales, this is one movie you won’t want to miss.
22. 12 Paces Without a Head (2009)
- Duration: 1h 48m
- Cast: Ronald Zehrfeld, Matthias Schweighöfer, Oliver Bröcker
A pirate’s life on the North and Baltic seas is not an easy one. In this pirate epic movie, we follow the story of Klaus Störtebeker and Gödeke Michels, two fearless high-sea buccaneers who are living legends to their loyal troops.
After a period of no booty, their luck changes when they spot a bulging ship on the horizon and attempt to capture it. What follows next is a series of unexpected events that make this pirate duo realize the importance of life outside their battles and adventures, forcing them to make a difficult decision.
21. Blackie the Pirate (1971)
- Duration: 1h 39m
- Cast: Terence Hill, Silvia Monti, Jorge Martín
Blackie the Pirate is a pirate comedy, full of adventure and suspense. The movie follows the adventures of a group of pirates who plan to find a Spanish ship and its valuable cargo. The action-packed film is full of swashbuckling fun, with plenty of sword fights and daring deeds, making it a must-see for anyone looking for an old-school pirate adventure.
Unfortunately, if you are a fan of the two stars Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, you’ll be a bit disappointed as they play opposite sides. However, this does not take away the charm of Blackie the Pirate, and is still a great addition to any list of pirate movies.
20. The Lost Pirate Kingdom (2021-)
- Duration: 1 Season, 6 Episodes
- Cast: Derek Jacobi, James Oliver Wheatley, Sam Callis
The Lost Pirate Kingdom is a docuseries made by Netflix that chronicles the history of the early-18th century pirate republic in Nassau, Bahamas. After the War of the Spanish Succession, Benjamin Hornigold (Sam Callis) and Henry Jennings (Mark Gillis) found themselves in Nassau where they quickly began to plunder Spanish trade ships.
When a Spanish armada carrying millions of pesos of gold and silver was destroyed by a storm, Jennings managed to get permission from the governor of Jamaica to invade the camp and take the treasure. Meanwhile, in Cape Cod, Samuel Bellamy (Evan Milton) falls in love with Mary Hallett (Sinead MacInnes) and decides to take up an offer to lead a crew of pirates down to the Bahamas.
If you are looking for a captivating story about pirates, then The Lost Pirate Kingdom is definitely the best pirate documentary series you could watch.
19. Crossbones (2014)
- Duration: 1 Season, 9 Episodes
- Cast: John Malkovich, Richard Coyle, Claire Foy
Crossbones is a 2014 television series that aired on NBC. The show is set in the late 18th century and follows the adventures of the infamous pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. This pirate TV show features a mix of historical facts and fictional elements and centers around Blackbeard’s efforts to gain control of the New World and his conflicts with the British naval authorities who are determined to stop him.
The series also explores Blackbeard’s relationships with other historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin and his crew of pirates. The show had only one season and unfortunately got canceled due to low ratings. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent show for any history or pirate fan and is definitely worth taking the time to watch.
18. Pirates (1986)
- Duration: 2h 1m
- Cast: Walter Matthau, Cris Campion, Damien Thomas
Pirates (1986) is a swashbuckling adventure movie directed by Roman Polanski, set in the Caribbean Sea in the late 1700s, during the golden age of piracy. The story centers around Captain Red (Matthau) and his crew, who are on the hunt for a treasure that is said to be worth millions. Along the way, they encounter a variety of obstacles and challenges, including rival pirate crews and treacherous storms.
The film is filled with action, adventure, and comedy, and features a memorable soundtrack by composer Philippe Sarde, which is perfect for capturing both the excitement and danger of life on the high seas, making it a thrilling and entertaining experience for audiences of all ages.
17. Nate and Hayes (1983)
- Duration: 1h 39m
- Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Michael O’Keefe, Max Phipps
Nate and Hayes (also known as Savage Islands) is an epic pirate movie made in 1983 and directed by Ferdinand Fairfax. Tommy Lee Jones stars as the notorious Captain Bully Hayes and Michael O’Keefe plays Nate, a missionary who becomes Hayes’ unlikely partner-in-crime. The movie is set in the South Pacific in the late 19th century and follows the adventures of Hayes and Nate as they navigate the dangerous waters of the Pacific on their daring escapades.
Along the way, they also must deal with a powerful and vengeful British captain who is determined to capture Hayes and bring him to justice. The movie features action, adventure, and a bit of romance as well as a lot of swashbuckling and sea battles. Despite mixed reviews, the movie is considered a cult classic by pirate genre fans.
16. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
- Duration: 1h 28m
- Cast: Hugh Grant (voice), Salma Hayek (voice), Jeremy Piven (voice)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits is a 2012 stop-motion animated film produced by Aardman Animations. The movie follows the adventures of Pirate Captain, a bumbling but enthusiastic pirate who dreams of winning the Pirate of the Year award.
Along with his crew of misfit pirates, Pirate Captain sets out on a series of comical and chaotic adventures, including a journey to London to win the award and encounter Charles Darwin. The animated pirate movie has received positive reviews for its humor and heartwarming scenes that make it an enjoyable watch for all ages.
15. Treasure Island (1990)
- Duration: 2h 12m
- Cast: Charlton Heston, Christian Bale, Oliver Reed
Treasure Island is a 1990 adventure movie directed by Fraser Clarke Heston and based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic 1883 novel of the same name. The story follows a young cabin boy named Jim Hawkins who stumbles upon a treasure map and sets out to find the treasure with a group of sailors.
However, one of the sailors, Long John Silver, turns out to be a notorious pirate and the leader of a mutiny. The movie follows Jim’s journey and adventure as he tries to outsmart Long John Silver and his crew, while also trying to find the treasure. Treasure Island is a thrilling adventure that is full of action and danger, making it a perfect watch for those who love classic pirate stories.
14. The Pirates of Blood River (1962)
- Duration: 1h 27m
- Cast: Kerwin Mathews, Glenn Corbett, Christopher Lee
Directed by John Gilling, The Pirates of Blood River tells the story of a group of French Huguenot settlers who are attacked by a band of ruthless pirates in the 17th century. The settlers are led by a man named Jonathon Standing, who is determined to protect his people and their new home.
With the help of a mysterious stranger, Standing sets out to take on the pirates and reclaim the colony. The film features action-packed battles, swashbuckling sword fights, and plenty of suspense, a perfect combination for a classic pirate movie.
13. The Crimson Pirate (1952)
- Duration: 1h 45m
- Cast: Burt Lancaster, Nick Cravat, Eva Bartok
The Crimson Pirate is a 1952 American swashbuckling adventure film produced by Robert Siodmak and starring Burt Lancaster and Nick Cravat. Set in the Caribbean during the 1700s, the movie tells the story of a notorious pirate captain named Vallo, who is hired by a group of rebels to help them overthrow the tyrannical governor of a Caribbean island.
Along their journey, they come across many dangerous obstacles and encounter a variety of colorful characters, including a beautiful noblewoman and a ruthless pirate leader. The film is known for its spectacular action sequences, witty humor, and dynamic performances by Lancaster and Cravat. It is considered a classic of the swashbuckler genre and is still widely regarded as one of the best pirate movies ever made.
12. Captain Blood (1935)
- Duration: 1h 59m
- Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill
Captain Blood is a swashbuckling adventure film from 1935 starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The film follows the story of Dr. Peter Blood (Flynn), a young Irish doctor who is falsely convicted of treason against King James and exiled to the Caribbean as a slave where he becomes a pirate leader.
Along the way, he falls in love with a woman named Arabella Bishop, who is the ward of the governor of Jamaica. With its romantic storyline, exciting action sequences, and superior direction, Captain Blood is widely considered one of the best pirate movies ever made. It’s a timeless classic that should be seen by every movie enthusiast.
11. The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (2022)
- Duration: 2h 6m
- Cast: Kang Ha-neul, Jason Her (voice), Han Hyo-joo
The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure is a medieval comedy and adventure film set in 14th-century Korea. Led by their female captain Hae-Rang, a brave crew of pirates and bandits search for the lost royal gold before their rivals do. The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure is not officially considered a sequel to the 2014 Korean film The Pirates but both movies are connected by an event known as the Wihwado Retreat.
The movie is full of thrilling sword fights, huge ships firing cannons, and funny pirate farces. It does a great job of weaving together history and fiction, making it an enjoyable watch for pirate fans and those interested in Korean history alike.
10. Yellowbeard (1983)
- Duration: 1h 36m
- Cast: Graham Chapman, Peter Boyle, Cheech Marin
Yellowbeard 1983 is a comedic pirate film directed by Mel Damski. The film tells the story of Yellowbeard, a notorious pirate who has been imprisoned for 20 years and escapes with a map leading to his long-buried treasure.
Along with his son, who was raised in an English boarding school, and a motley crew of shipmates, Yellowbeard sets out to find the treasure, with the British Navy and a rival pirate hot on their heels. The film is a satire of pirate films and features a comedic cast of characters and a variety of slapstick and visual gags. It’s an enjoyable watch for fans of pirate movies and a great way to pass the time on a rainy day.
9. The Black Swan (1942)
- Duration: 1h 27m
- Cast: Tyrone Power, Maureen O’Hara, Laird Cregar
Set in the Caribbean during the late 17th century The Black Swan follows the story of Jamie Waring (Power), a notorious pirate captain who is tasked with capturing the infamous Black Swan, a Spanish ship carrying valuable cargo.
Along the way, Jamie faces formidable foes as he struggles to complete his mission and win the heart of the beautiful governor’s daughter (O’Hara). This swashbuckling adventure film is filled with thrilling action and romance that makes The Black Swan an unforgettable classic of Hollywood cinema.
8. Treasure Planet (2002)
- Duration: 1h 35m
- Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (voice), Emma Thompson (voice), Martin Short (voice)
Treasure Planet is a 2002 animated science fiction film produced by Walt Disney. The film is a retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island, set in outer space. The story follows Jim Hawkins, a young orphan who discovers a map leading to a legendary treasure planet.
Along with a crew of space pirates, Jim sets out on a journey to find the treasure, but soon discovers that the planet is also home to a dangerous and sinister force. With its visually stunning animation and memorable characters, Treasure Planet is a great choice for anyone looking for an entertaining and exciting adventure animated movie.
7. Captain Phillips (2013)
- Duration: 2h 14m
- Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman
Captain Phillips is a 2013 biographical survival drama film directed by Paul Greengrass, based on the true story of Richard Phillips, who was held hostage and taken captive by Somali pirates in 2009. The film follows the events leading up to the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, an American cargo ship. It is an intense and emotional story that showcases Phillips’ courage and resilience in the face of danger, while also highlighting the brutality of modern-day piracy.
6. Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
- Duration: 2h 6m
- Cast: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur
Swiss Family Robinson is a classic adventure film based on the novel of the same name by Johann David Wyss. The movie tells the story of the Robinson family, who, while on a ship voyage to New Guinea, are shipwrecked on an uninhabited island.
The Robinsons, a family consisting of a father, mother, three sons, and two energetic dogs, must now adapt to their new environment by building a treehouse and exploring the island for resources, and dealing with pirates amongst other obstacles. The movie is a heartwarming tale of family, perseverance, and adventure, and it is a timeless pirate classic tale that continues to be loved by audiences of all ages.
5. Peter Pan (1953)
- Duration: 1h 17m
- Cast: Bobby Driscoll (voice), Kathryn Beaumont (voice), Hans Conried (voice)
Peter Pan (1953) is a classic Disney animated movie based on the play by J.M. Barrie. The story follows the story of a mischievous young boy named Peter Pan who lives in the enchanted Neverland, a place where children never grow up. Peter and his fairy friend Tinker Bell take Wendy, John, and Michael Darling on a magical adventure to Neverland, where they encounter pirates, mermaids, and the notorious Captain Hook.
With its captivating characters, stunning animation, and memorable music, it’s no wonder why Peter Pan remains one of the best pirate animations ever made, a classic that continues to enrapture viewers of all ages.
4. Hook (1991)
- Duration: 2h 22m
- Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Hook is a fantasy adventure film that tells the story of Peter Pan as an adult, played by Robin Williams, who has forgotten his childhood and the magical world of Neverland. When Captain Hook kidnaps his children, Peter is forced to return to Neverland and confront his past.
Along the way, he reconnects with his old friends, the Lost Boys, and rediscovers the joy and wonder of his youth. The film also features an all-star cast, including Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, and Bob Hoskins as Smee. Hook is a thrilling and heartwarming tale that explores the power of imagination, which makes it one of the best fantasy pirate movies ever made.
3. The Goonies (1985)
- Duration: 1h 54m
- Cast: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen
The Goonies is a 1985 adventure movie, which tells the story of a group of friends, known as the “Goonies,” who set out on a treasure hunt to save their homes from being demolished. With the help of a mysterious map, they go in search of long-lost pirate treasure and battle against ruthless criminals including Mama Fratelli and her sons Jake and Francis.
With its classic blend of adventure, iconic characters, comedy, and heartwarming story, The Goonies is a must-watch movie for fans of classic pirate movies.
2. Black Sails (2014–2017)
- Duration: 4 Season, 38 Episodes
- Cast: Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens, Hannah New
Black Sails is an American historical adventure television series that aired on Starz from 2014 to 2017. The story takes place in the 18th century during the Golden Age of Piracy and follows the adventures of Captain James Flint, a notorious pirate who is determined to become the most powerful pirate in the Caribbean.
The series explores the political and power struggles within the pirate community, as well as the relationships between the characters. The show also dives into themes such as fidelity, greed, loyalty, class struggles, and moral ambiguity. Black Sails is a thrilling and action-packed series that combines historical accuracy with exciting storytelling and stands out as one of the best pirate series in recent history.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
- Duration: 2h 49m
- Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley
The number one spot on our list of the best pirate movies ever made goes to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. This epic medieval fantasy movie is the third installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. This time, we follow Captain Jack Sparrow as he searches for the legendary “Brethren Court”, a group of pirate leaders who have the power to release him from his debt to the powerful Davy Jones.
Along the way, Jack is joined by his friends Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, as well as new allies like Captain Barbossa and Chinese pirate Captain Sao Feng. Together, they must navigate treacherous seas and battle powerful enemies in order to free Jack and save the world from the evil Lord Cutler Beckett.
Overall, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is a thrilling adventure that captures all of the swashbuckling fun from its two predecessors with a few unexpected twists. I highly recommend watching all five of the Pirates of the Caribbean films for an epic journey full of action and adventure, perfect for a pirate-marathon weekend.