#241 at time of writing.
This film swashes every single buckle out there. You might think you've seen a hundred pirate films before, but when you actually try and recall them you will realize you haven't. Peter Pan pretty much fixed the genre in our heads, and nothing since has really captured the full potential of swashbuckling buccaneers on the high seas.
Right from the off, this film makes you want to use words like "rollicking" and "rip-roaring". Becorseted breasts, roguish heroes and flamboyant villains abound, me hearties. Johnny Depp's wonderfully comic performance and Geoffrey Rush's extravagant gravitas steal the show. You can watch this again and again (indeed, I have) and you'll enjoy it every time.
It has to be the first film ever based on a theme park ride. It captures the atmosphere of the Disneyland ride, and even homages entire segments: the skeletal pirates, the jail scenes with the key-dog, the burning town with the red-headed prostitute (who slaps Captain Jack), and of course the song "(Yo Ho, Yo Ho) A Pirate's Life for Me" - among many others.
It was brought to life by screenwriting duo Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Terry Rossio is a bit of a hero of mine, thanks to the inspirational columns on his website, Wordplay. He admits that this is the first live-action film where everyone involved seemed to believe in what he and his writing partner were doing, right from the start - which was a truly great experience. And all it took was "10 produced features, three #1 films of the summer, $4 billion in overall worldwide sales, and an Academy Award® nomination."
Forgive the cheesy ending, and bring on the sequels! Arrrr...