10 best James Bond movies ever, ranked

Because the years wear on and the brand new entries stack up, fans proceed to partake within the regular rating of the 007 oeuvre, taking sides within the endlessly argument of which is one of the best James Bond movie of all time. Some enthusiasts would never hear of anything apart from a title featuring the the OG Bond, Sean Connery, while others cite the more sophisticated modern installments led by Daniel Craig, who only recently retired from the role in last yr’s excellent No Time to Die.

Digital Trends celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise with our picks of the ten best Bond movies of all time. As we wait for the announcement of which Eurocentric white man will next portray the “sexist, misogynist dinosaur and relic of the Cold War” (M’s words, not mine) well into the twenty first century, we have fun one of the best of the geezer’s exploits to date.

10) Goldeneye (1995)

Six years after the second of Timothy Dalton’s two Bond pictures, License to Kill, withered and died under the box office crush of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman, and Lethal Weapon 2, 007 had fallen completely off the cultural radar. It will take a giant splash, especially a half-decade after the tip of the Cold War, to get people interested again. Goldeneye delivered. Sarcastically, despite the M (Judi Dench) line quoted above, the film still played just like the series didn’t know the Cold War was over, with a plot involving satellite weapons and Russian villains, although Goldeneye was not only the primary Bond film to be shot in Russia but in addition to be shown in Russian theaters. With capitalism having so resoundingly taken Soviet Communism to the mat, you’d think there could be no more need for the superspy, which is probably why the film feels a bit in all places attempting to balance the old with the brand new.

Or perhaps it doesn’t, on condition that its only real purpose was to make a variety of money, which it did, launching Bond firmly back into the box office stratosphere. The movie delivered cutting-edge motion and spectacular stunts, and Pierce Brosnan was the right Bond for the blithe ’90s — flinty enough to appear heroic when it mattered, but with that trademark smirking insouciance that allow the audience know we’re still not alleged to take these items seriously. The franchise would look to Daniel Craig for that.

9) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Since the first post-Connery Bond, George Lazenby, only appeared on this one entry, people assume that his short tenure as Bond was a bust. Then they watch the movie, scratch their heads, and say, “Wait a minute…this isn’t bad in any respect.” Actually, it’s considered one of the one movies within the series with real dramatic heft, not least due to ending which — for the uninitiated — I wouldn’t dream of spoiling here. Bond leaves MI6 and goes rogue on this one (truthfully, this happens often enough that it’s a wonder the guy stays employed), which includes a sensational night-time ski chase down the Swiss Alps. There are many ski sequences throughout the franchise, but none that capture the physicality and the danger this viscerally.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service also advantages from surrounding James with multiple woman at a time and having Diana Rigg (so indelible in Game of Thrones as Olenna Tyrell) play his love interest. The film was a box office success, but Lazenby, who was a model and never an actor, had announced his intention to just do one film before production began. Had he not, there might never have been a Roger Moore era.

8) No Time to Die (2021)

Recent Bond adventures are preceded by such an insane amount of hype, there’s often a shade of disappointment seeing the actual movie. How can any mere film live as much as our outsized expectations for it? As such, it sometimes takes a second viewing to start to understand the story, characters, and relationships (for the 007 movies that hassle to have those, I mean).

No Time to Die is such a movie. While spectacular upon first viewing — especially an Italian-set motion sequence and a chase through a misty Norwegian forest — the story is more engrossing once you may properly listen. Like On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Casino Royale, No Time to Die focuses on Bond in love (even playing Louis Armstrong’s “All of the Time within the World,” also utilized in OHMSS, over the closing credits). As with those earlier pictures, Bond not only contemplates settling down with a family but in addition recognizes that fighting for queen and country isn’t as motivating as protecting your family members. For some time, SPECTRE gave the impression to be the last Daniel Craig outing, with the actor famously saying he would “slash his wrists” before he played 007 again. But clearly, he desired to get that bad taste out of his mouth. Thankfully he did, as No Time to Die is a far more emotionally satisfying send-off to the Craig era.

7) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

The Spy Who Loved Me was a soft reboot for a franchise that was flailing. Though the producers kept Roger Moore within the role of 007, much else was reimagined after the dull The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). The Spy Who Loved me took three years to make it to theaters, versus the standard two, and the additional yr of marinating led to a more succulent affair overall. The film features dazzling production design and a more imaginative tackle the whole lot from the automobile (the Lotus Esprit turned submarine is a series highlight); to the henchman (Richard Kiel because the infamous “Jaws,” the hulk with the metal teeth); to the villain’s (Curt Jurgens) underwater lair, which is formed like a frog or an octopus (a frogtopus?).

Stylish, witty, and lavish with a lush Mediterranean flair (the movie was shot in Egypt, Italy, and Malta), The Spy Who Loved Me is the highlight of ’70s-era James Bond.

6) Thunderball (1965)

It’s a bit strange that Thunderball isn’t higher remembered, as not only is it amongst essentially the most spectacular Bond movies, it remains to be (adjusted for inflation) the second-most financially successful of all the films after Skyfall.

It also set the template for Bond productions sparing no expense in attempting to turn out to be essentially the most extravagant 007 entry yet (these include The Spy Who Loved Me, Goldeneye, and SPECTRE, with its astonishing long take/moving camera opening sequence). After all, the plot about stolen nukes is just an excuse for jetpacks, underwater battles between armies of frogmen, and among the most beautiful Technicolor cinematography you’ll ever see (the 4k restoration is de facto breathtaking on the correct TV). The sequence of the Vulcan bomber landing underwater remains to be as technically impressive as anything shot today.

5) For Your Eyes Only (1981)

The franchise needed to come back back to Earth (literally) after the lunacy of Moonraker (mainly Thunderball in space, but much hokier). As such, For Your Eyes Only is essentially the most subdued of the Roger Moore entries, in addition to essentially the most engrossing at the extent of story and character. Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock, who embarks on a mission to avenge her murdered parents, is one of the crucial compelling women within the franchise (not saying much, I do know). She’s so hellbent on revenge that even Bond is stunned.

The opposite supporting characters are equally well-drawn, and the motion is more grounded, including an exciting sequence wherein the heroes scale a cliff to achieve a mountaintop monastery. As a footnote, For Your Eyes Only features an astonishing scene wherein Bond turns down an invite for sex from a much younger woman.

4) From Russia with Love (1963)

Often considered amongst one of the best of the Bonds by actors who’ve played the character, From Russia with Love is a likewise subdued and chic affair, at the very least by Bond standards. Much of the motion takes place on the Orient Express (yes, that one) and features Bond attempting to outwit and outmuscle the SPECTRE assassin Red Grant (a bleached blonde Robert Shaw), while shaking and stirring up a romance with Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi, also very blonde), who may or might not be a Soviet spy.

From Russia with Love is considered one of the few 007 movies that depend more on plot than motion for its storytelling effects, allowing the train scenes especially to unfold with rare leisure. Like all of the early Bond movies, the movie is shot in glorious Technicolor, which makes the Turkish locations look especially stunning.

3) Skyfall (2012)

The producers of Skyfall, wherein Bond protects his ancestral home from foreign outsiders, took one take a look at how the desultory Quantum of Solace (2008) tarnished the good begin to the Craig era, Casino Royale, and immediately doubled down on the subsequent film’s pedigree. This meant not only adding among the world’s best actors (Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Javier Bardem) and recruiting celebrated cinematographer Roger Deakins to make Skyfall into one of the crucial beautiful movies ever shot, but even having M (Judi Dench) quote Tennyson as Bond rushes through London to avoid wasting (fairly than die) one other day. I mean, why not only write the entire script in iambic pentameter?

Okay, it was the fiftieth anniversary of the franchise, Craig was in his prime, they usually desired to do something special. Also, The Dark Knight with its groundbreaking cinematography and roster of acclaimed thespians (Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, etc), had upped the stakes. But still, the concept what was once considered disposable entertainment — a series that gave the world Moonraker and two gymnast assassins in Diamonds are Ceaselessly named Bambi and Thumper — would pivot all of the solution to prestige status (and, really, why wasn’t Skyfall nominated for Best Picture in a weak yr?) seems preposterous on reflection. But who’s complaining? Audiences got a classic out of the deal.

2) Goldfinger (1964)

Goldfinger was the franchise coalescing into its recognizable form. All of the tropes that leap to mind when considering of Bond take shape on this one: the megalomaniacal villain with the dastardly world-dominating scheme (Goldfinger, played by Gert Frobe, and his plan to destroy the U.S. gold supply); the weirdly distinctive henchman (Oddjob, played by Harold Sakata); and the heavier reliance on gadgets, chases, and one-liners.

More so than the straitlaced Dr. No and the refined From Russia with Love, Goldfinger also leans into the campy weirdness (the laser threatening Bond’s nether regions) and even tastelessness (the unhinged sexism of a reputation like Pussy Galore) that occasionally characterizes Bond movies. It’s also bursting with imagination, wit, and fun, and it gave birth to the immortal exchange. “Do you expect me to speak?” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”

1) Casino Royale (2006)

Not only one of the best Bond film ever made, but likely one of the best Bond film that ever will probably be made. It took the producers 44 years, but they finally got it right. They’ll thank Batman Begins and the primary two Bourne movies (The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy) for paving the best way. The subtle multi-layered storytelling, emotional resonance, deepened character psychology, independent women, and contemporary themes — together with the ever-improving motion and stunts of contemporary movies — raised the stakes for Bond after the Roger Moore-level silliness of Pierce Brosnan’s final entry Die One other Day (Brosnan, to his credit, at all times tried to push for more psychological realism within the character).

Daniel Craig was the important thing. He was the primary post-Connery Bond to channel Connery’s borderline sociopathic coldness when it got here to killing. But unlike Connery’s Bond, who brought roughly the identical attitude to his relationship with women, Craig showed that Bond is also vulnerable. It’s damning with faint praise to say that Eva Green as Vesper Lynd is one of the best Bond girl ever. Green is a force of nature, a striking, beguiling presence. Her inky eyes smolder as if by black magic. When Bond says “I don’t have any armor left. You’ve stripped it from me. Whatever is left of me, whatever I’m, I’m yours,” we consider that he’s utterly smitten. Throw in among the series’ best motion, stunts, and placement photography, and Casino Royale is the plain selection for #1.

You possibly can stream every James Bond film on Prime Video.

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