James Bond, as a movie franchise, and as the main character has seen so many iterations over the years and is set for another change going forward. With the lead actor changing every decade or so and the stories differing depending on the tone of the generation, it can cause quite the debate when wondering about the best James Bond movie. Well now, fans and critics have voted and we have a potential winner for the time being. The title might surprise you, but 1995’s GoldenEye has been voted as the best James Bond movie out there. I’m a little confused too.
This contest was put to a group of about 30 James Bond “scholars” and things opened up to folks in social media voting as well. In the end, Pierce Brosnan’s first film in his run, GoldenEye, took home top marks when everyone was included together in the process.
Following it on the list was Casino Royale (Daniel Craig), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (George Lazenby), The Spy Who Loved Me (Roger Moore), and Goldfinger (Sean Connery). In all, the top five is a good representation of the different James Bond actors and tones even if the winner doesn’t necessarily jump out when thinking about the best Bond movies.
When the voting was trimmed down to just scholars of the movies which include actors, writers, and others who’ve been involved in the franchise the list looked only slightly different. In that vote, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service finished first with the rest of the top remaining mostly the same except Goldeneye was swapped out for From Russia With Love (Sean Connery).
GoldenEye was the 17th movie in the James Bond franchise and Pierce Brosnan’s first crack at the character. It offered a slightly new style for the titular secret agent, giving it a more modern feel than Timothy Dalton’s turn in the late 1980s. The film earned $350 million at the box office and has a 78% rating on RottenTomatoes.
Critically and money-wise GoldeEye is far from the top of the James Bond list, but fans might have seen it as resurrecting the franchise. Additionally, it spawned an incredibly popular run of video games behind it which helped keep the movie in the collective consciousness.
There are 24 James Bond movies in total and more on the way. Daniel Craig’s last turn as the character will be in No Time to Die which has faced numerous delays thanks to pandemic-related closings. But it looks like it will finally hit theaters in October of this year. After that, there’s been increasing speculation on who will take up the James Bond mantle. Everyone from Henry Cavill to Tom Hardy, to Idris Elba has been rumored along the way. That being said, there is no definitive word about who or when we will pick things up after Daniel Craig leaves the role.
For now, though, GoldenEye looks like it’s sitting at the top of the James Bond list. Do you agree? Is this, in fact, the best film in the franchise or did fans miss the mark here?