Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate Captain Jack Sparrow to save Turner's love, Elizabeth Swann, from cursed pirates led by Jack's mutinous former first mate, Captain Barbossa. Jack wants revenge against Barbossa, who left him stranded on an island before stealing his ship, the Black Pearl, along with 882 pieces of cursed Aztec Gold.
Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company arrests Will and Elizabeth for aiding Captain Jack Sparrow in the previous film. Beckett offers clemency if Will agrees to search for Jack's compass in a bid to find the Dead Man's Chest – and inside, the heart of villainous Davy Jones – which would give Beckett control of the seas. However, Jack wants the Chest to escape from an unpaid debt with Jones, who made Jack captain of the Black Pearl for 13 years in exchange for 100 years of service aboard Jones' ship, the Flying Dutchman.
Lord Beckett gains power over Davy Jones and, with the help of the Flying Dutchman, he is now executing his plans to extinguish piracy forever. To stand against the East India Trading Co., Will, Elizabeth, Barbossa, and the crew of the Black Pearl set out to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' Locker. As one of the Nine Pirate Lords, Jack is needed in order to summon an ancient goddess with the power to defeat Beckett's forces.
Captain Jack Sparrow is on a quest to find the fabled Fountain of Youth and crosses paths with a former lover, Angelica. She forces Jack aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, a ship captained by the infamous pirate Blackbeard, Angelica's father. Both are also in search of the Fountain; Angelica to save her father's soul, Blackbeard to escape a prophecy of his demise at the hands of a one-legged man. Joining the hunt is former pirate captain Barbossa, now a privateer in King George II's Navy, who is in a race against the Spanish for the Fountain of Youth.
Ghost Spanish Royal Navy soldiers led by Jack Sparrow's old nemesis, Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle, with the goal of killing every pirate at sea, including him. To survive, Jack seeks out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact whose owner can control the seas.