The wedding of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann is crashed by Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company, who has arrest warrants for the couple along with Commodore James Norrington, for allowing Captain Jack Sparrow to escape custody. Norrington resigned after his crew died in a typhoon. Elizabeth is imprisoned, but Beckett promises to free her if Will tracks down Jack and brings him his magic compass which points to whatever the holder wants most. Shortly after, Governor Swann tries to escape Port Royal with Elizabeth but is captured. Elizabeth negotiates with Beckett to let her escape to find the compass herself.
After a failed attempt to rescue his first mate, Joshamee Gibbs, in London, Captain Jack Sparrow is brought before King George II, who wants Jack to guide an expedition to the Fountain of Youth before King Ferdinand and the Spanish Navy can locate it. Heading the expedition is Jack's old nemesis, Captain Hector Barbossa, now a privateer in service to the British Navy after losing his leg and ship, the Black Pearl, which he believes to be sunk.
To control the oceans, Lord Cutler Beckett executes anyone associated with piracy and uses Davy Jones to destroy pirate ships. Condemned prisoners sing “Hoist the Colours” to compel the nine Pirate Lords to convene at Shipwreck Cove to hold the Brethren Court. However, Captain Jack Sparrow, one of the Lords, never named a successor. Captain Barbossa, along with Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Tia Dalma, and the crew of the Black Pearl, plot to rescue Jack from Davy Jones’ Locker. Travelling to Singapore, the crew meet Sao Feng who owns navigational charts to the Locker. Beckett’s soldiers invade, but the crew escape, Feng and Turner making a deal to give Jack to Feng so he in turn can use the Pearl to rescue his father Bootstrap Bill from the Flying Dutchman. The crew successfully rescue Jack, but find themselves trapped in the Locker, encountering dead souls, including Elizabeth’s murdered father Governor Swann. They learn the Dutchman must have a captain, and their heart must be cut out to captain the vessel.
Sailing to Port Royal, Governor Weatherby Swann, his daughter Elizabeth, and Lieutenant James Norrington encounter a burning shipwreck and recover a young boy Will Turner. Elizabeth hides a golden medallion owned by Will, and sees a ghost ship vanishing into the fog. Eight years on, Norrington is promoted to the rank of Commodore and proposes to Elizabeth, but her tight corset causes her to faint and fall into the sea. She is rescued by Captain Jack Sparrow, who Norrington identifies as a pirate who intends on commandeering a ship. Jack attempts to escape but runs into Will, now a blacksmith and a talented swordsman. They engage in a sword fight but Jack is captured by Norrington’s men and imprisoned.
Robin of Locksley (Costner), an English nobleman who joined Richard the Lionheart, King of England in the Third Crusade, is imprisoned in Jerusalem along with his comrade Peter. After witnessing an amputation at the hand of the Ayyubid prison guards, Robin escapes, saving the life of a Moor named Azeem (Freeman) in the process, Robin, Peter and Azeem escape through a sewer and climb up into a alley but Peter is shot by an archer while escaping and has Robin swear to protect his sister Marian (Mastrantonio). Peter then grabs a scimitar and attacks an Ayyubid patrol giving Robin and Azeem enough time to to run down a small closed market. Azeem then grabs a fruit from one of the market stands and gives half of it to Robin and after nearly being spotted by a Ayyubid soldier and with the whole town on a lookout for them Robin and Azeem escape. Robin returns to England with Azeem, who has vowed to accompany him until the debt of saving his life is repaid.
In the royal city of Nasaf, the king Sharaman rules the nation of Persia with the help of his brother Nizam. The king goes on to have two sons named Tus and Garsiv. One day in the marketplace, an orphan boy named Dastan protects his friend, Bis, from being executed by Persian soldiers. The king sees Dastan's bravery and adopts him, making him a prince of Persia. Years later, Dastan is a grown man and is still up to his rebellious ways. However, he remains faithful to the empire. When Nizam receives proof that the city of Alamut is supplying weapons to Persian enemies, he and Tus plan to attack with Garsiv leading the siege. Ignoring Tus’ command, Dastan and Bis breech Alamut on their own, and destroy most of the city. Meanwhile, the princess of Alamut, Tamina, orders her servant Asoka to take a special dagger out of the city and protect it at all costs. During the battle, Dastan and Asoka cross paths and fight; Dastan ultimately wins. He then finds the dagger and keeps it.
In 1199 A.D., Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is a common archer in the army of King Richard the Lionheart (Danny Huston). A veteran of Richard's crusade, he now takes part in the siege of Chalus Castle. Disillusioned and war-weary, he believes the King when invited to give an honest view of the war; after Robin gives a frank but unflattering appraisal of the King's conduct, Robin and his comrades – archers Allan A'Dayle (Alan Doyle) and Will Scarlett (Scott Grimes) and soldier Little John (Kevin Durand) – find themselves in the stocks.
After the sudden death of John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a former American Civil War Confederate Army captain, Carter's nephew, Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara), attends the funeral. Per Carter's instructions, the body is put in a tomb that can be unlocked only from the inside. His attorney hands Burroughs Carter's journal, which Burroughs reads in the hope of finding clues to Carter's cause of death.
France is under the reign of a cruel and self-centered version of King Louis XIV (DiCaprio), who spends his time declaring a war against the Dutch, distributing rotten food to the rioting citizens of Paris, and seducing women trying in vain to win his heart and become queen.
"Before the time of the pyramids," a horde from the East invades the ancient world, led by the ruthless Memnon, who by their law, is king for being their greatest warrior. His many victories come from the help of a sorcerer who predicts the outcomes of battles, leaving only a few free tribes to oppose him.
In 1850 (nine years after the events of the first film), California is voting on whether to join the United States of America as a state. A wild gunman with wooden teeth, Jacob McGivens, attempts to steal some ballots, but Zorro chases after him and recaptures the votes. In their scuffle, McGivens pulls off Zorro's mask. A pair of Pinkerton agents recognize him as Don Alejandro de la Vega. Zorro fashions a makeshift mask from his costume and rides off on his stallion, Tornado, to deliver the votes to the governor. Upon returning to his mansion, Alejandro is greeted by his loving wife, Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Elena believes that Alejandro can now up give his alter ego, but Alejandro is sure that the people will still need him. The next day, after sending their son Joaquin to school, Elena is confronted by the Pinkertons, who disclose their knowledge of Zorro's identity. Soon after, Elena is forced to have Alejandro served with divorce papers.
In Venice at the beginning of the 17th century, the Three Musketeers, Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and Aramis (Luke Evans), with the help of Athos' longtime lover, Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich), steal airship blueprints made by Leonardo da Vinci. However, they are betrayed by Milady, who gives the blueprints to the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). Upon returning to France, the Musketeers are forced to disband by Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz) for their failure, and they end up on the streets of Paris.
In 1625 France, following in his late father's footsteps, D'Artagnan (Chris O'Donnell) sets off to Paris in hopes of becoming a member of the Musketeers, a band of men sworn to serve and protect the King of France. D'Artagnan is pursued by Gérard and his brothers, who accuse him of blemishing their sister's honor. Gérard saw his sister kissing d'Artagnan goodbye or as d'Artagnan put it "she wanted to give me something to remember her by!" At Musketeer Headquarters, Captain Rochefort (Michael Wincott) and the cardinal's guards have disbanded the musketeers as per the orders of Cardinal Richelieu (Tim Curry), the King's minister, ostensibly to help fight in an impending war with England. Rochefort confides to the Cardinal that there are three musketeers that have refused to relinquish their duties: Athos (Kiefer Sutherland), Porthos (Oliver Platt), and Aramis (Charlie Sheen).
A young woman tearfully leaves her son (Eugene Simon) to live with his grandmother and promises to return for him someday. Several years later, in 1753, in Venice, Casanova (Heath Ledger), is notorious for his promiscuity with women, his adventures being represented in puppet theatres around the city. The Doge, the ruler of the city, is sympathetic to Casanova, but cannot be too lenient on him as to avoid trouble with the church. He warns Casanova that he must soon marry or he will be exiled from the city.
In Scotland, 1713, Rob Roy MacGregor (Liam Neeson) is the Chief of Clan MacGregor. By selling the Lowland gentry protection against cattle rustling, he barely manages to feed his people. Longing to alleviate their poverty, MacGregor borrows £1000 from James Graham, 1st Duke of Montrose (John Hurt), with the intent of buying and selling Highland cattle. Impoverished London aristocrat Archibald Cunningham (Tim Roth) has been sent to stay with Montrose, who is implied to be related to him. Cunningham's mother hopes that the cold Scottish climate will, "cool the fever in his blood". Heavily in debt, Cunningham learns about the loan from Montrose's factor, Killearn (Brian Cox), who has been charged with looking after him. Killearn first converts the credit to cash without the knowledge of Montrose or MacGregor.