James Bond


James Bond news
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Number of Movies: 25
  • Number of Actors: 6
  • Studio: MGM
James Bond Actor News

“Bond, James Bond.” Is there a more iconic line in cinema? Is there a single line we’ve quoted more while trying to sound super cool? Ian Fleming’s spy has become so much more than a movie character, he’s a pop-culture touchstone.

Even if you don’t know the specific films, you know his name, his number, and that he has a license to kill. But which James Bond movie is the best James Bond movie?

We all have our favorite actors and the James Bond movies we hold above others. For simplicity’s sake, we decided to leave it up to the critics and this list is based on the aggregated review rankings.

How many James Bond movies there are is a matter of some discussion. Eon has produced 24 films, soon to be 25. But there are two others often also included—1967’s spoof Casino Royale and 1985’s Never Say Never Again, which saw Sean Connery return to the role he originated in 1962. Just for kicks, we’ll include both of those in our countdown.

Worst James Bond movie

27. Casino Royale (1967)

  • Critical Consensus: 26% Positive

It turns out, the worst-reviewed James Bond movie is also one that many people don’t consider an actual James Bond movie. Loosely, and I mean loosely, based on Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, 1967’s Casino Royale is a spoof of the clichés and tropes of espionage movies—many of which originated with the iconic British secret agent.

It features multiple Bonds, played by the likes of David Niven, Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, and many more. Plagued by production problems and a sprawling cast and script, the film has zany fun moments but is wildly uneven and self-indulgent.


A view to kill

26. A View to a Kill (1985)

  • Critical Consensus: 35% Positive

The worst reviewed of the proper Bond films, 1985’s A View to a Kill holds a special place in my heart—not my first Bond, it was the first I saw in theaters.

Co-starring Christopher Walken and Grace Jones, this was a then-57-year-old Roger Moore’s final time playing 007, and it shows. He hardly seems interested, simply going through the motions, and the story about industrialist Max Zorin (Walken) and his plan to take over the global microchip market by flooding Silicon Valley is far-fetched, even by Bond standards. (And this is after he went to space in Moonraker.)

Like I said, I still love it, but it has major issues.


Best named James Bond movie

25. Octopussy (1983)

  • Critical Consensus: 41% Positive

Probably the most notorious title in the James Bond canon, Octopussy is easily the most blatant when it comes to jumping the double entendre shark.

Moore’s second-to-last film in the franchise, his weariness starts to show, and they were pressing the suspension of disbelief, hard. But what the hell, it has a jewel smuggling cult, renegade Soviets, a fake Faberge egg, and the threat of nuclear war. It was super, super ‘80s. Oh yeah, there’s a scene that hinges on a ragged gorilla costume. It’s all over the board, from a convoluted plot to a tone that’s hard to nail down—are they playing it straight or is this supposed to be winking and tongue-in-cheek?


Golden Gun

24. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

  • Critical Consensus: 44% Positive

Having become the target of an assassination plot, The Man with the Golden Gun pits James Bond against one of his most evenly matched adversaries, Christopher Lee’s Francisco Scaramanga.

The reviews are pretty mixed on this one. Some claim it’s the worst Bond film, and target his female sidekick, Britt Ekland’s Mary Goodnight, as a hindrance. Hinging on the contemporary energy crisis, this was the first Bond film to lean harder into the quippy comedy that frequently pops up in Roger Moore’s run, which was not to the liking of many critics.


Worst James Bond from Brosnan

23. The World is Not Enough (1999)

  • Critical Consensus: 52% Positive

1999’s The World is Not Enough is generally regarded as the low-point in Pierce Brosnan’s Bond tenure.

The plot revolves around an assassinated billionaire, an heiress (Sophie Marceau), and an international terrorist who can’t feel pain (Robert Carlysle). Denise Richards also plays a nuclear physicist named Christmas Jones who is named that primarily for a tacked-on last-minute orgasm joke.

It tries to balance the wry comic tone of the Roger Moore movies with a darker edge, and it’s not always successful. Still, it’s fun and full of big action sequences. It may only be middle-of-the-road Bond, but you can do a lot worse.


Halle Berry's best

22. Die Another Day (2002)

  • Critical Consensus: 58% Positive

This is the James Bond movie that may be more known for the scene of Halle Berry walking out of the water than the film itself.

Die Another Day tries really hard to be fresh and topical, broaching subjects like North Korean dictators, gene therapy, conflict diamonds, and solar energy. It hits on some darker psychological moments, like what would become commonplace in the Daniel Craig era, and though often over-the-top, the action is strong and energetic.

However, it definitely leans more on eye candy and flashy attention grabbers than substance. But again, still a pretty damn entertaining ride.


Michelle Yeoh and Bond

21. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

  • Critical Consensus: 57% Positive

You know what all other James Bond movies lack? Michelle Yeoh kicking all kinds of ass. The plot revolves around a global media magnet (Jonathan Pryce) who seeks to start a war between the U.S. and China to reap the benefits of the news coverage, which feels oddly timely 20-plus years later.

Yeoh plays a Chinese agent who teams up with Brosnan’s Bond to stop said global conflict. Tomorrow Never Dies also features something we hadn’t seen a lot up to this point, an earnest emotional attachment to one of 007’s female conquests (Teri Hatcher). She plays a face from his past and in a franchise full of casual sexual encounters, this one hits Bond in the feelings spots.


Best James Bond movie on the moon

20. Moonraker (1979)

  • Critical Consensus: 61% Positive

James Bond in space. You can imagine why Moonraker might be near and dear to our hearts. After a NASA shuttle is hijacked, Bond embarks on an adventure that takes him all over the globe, sees him tussle once again with Jaws, and involves time spent on a space station. Ludicrous, gadget heavy, and strange, it’s also occasionally thrilling, a lot of fun, and features Moore in top form.

Very, very dated from a modern point of view, it’s pure outlandish spectacle in a way we don’t often see from a James Bond movie.


Spectre

19. Spectre (2015)

  • Critical Consensus: 63% Positive

Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as Bond, and his second straight with director Sam Mendes, Spectre is also his weakest installment. It’s not bad, but it’s very paint-by-numbers James Bond.

It opens with an all-timer action scene, one that hangs with the opening in Casino Royale, but the rest of the movie never quite lives up to that. It dusts off a lot of greatest-hits-type moments, like throwing SPECTRE and Blofeld into the mix, and at 148 minutes is way, way too long.

It’s fine, and it’s still a decent James Bond movie, which is a pretty fun watch regardless. But especially coming off of Skyfall, it can’t help but be viewed as a bit of a letdown.


James Bond in space

18. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

  • Critical Consensus: 65% Positive

After George Lazenby’s single outing as Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Sean Connery jumped back into the role for Diamonds Are Forever.

The story involves some classic Bond moments, like tussling with Blofeld, impersonating a diamond smuggler, and a space laser, among others. It also features bouts of weirdness, like Bond piloting a moon buggy and out-of-place villains Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. With an extensive Vegas scene, it feels a lot less exotic than what we’re used to from the globetrotting super-agent.


Quantum of SOlace

17. Quantum of Solace (2008)

  • Critical Consensus: 65% Positive

With Casino Royale, Daniel Craig injected new life into the James Bond franchise. The follow-up, Quantum of Solace, however, fails to measure up in many ways.

Immediately following the events of the previous film, the plot finds Bond fueled by revenge, while uncovering a plot to monopolize Bolivia’s water supply. Full of fast-paced action, many critics dinged Quantum for being overly serious and dour and for being more of a standard action movie than a “James Bond film.” A mixed bag for sure, it has the misfortune of being pinned between two of the best chapters in the saga.


Best Bond movie

16. Live and Let Die (1973)

  • Critical Consensus: 66% Positive

Investigating the deaths of three MI6 agents, which all happen in quick succession, James Bond finds himself in a world of heroin, tropical dictators, and voodoo rituals.

Released in 1973, Live and Let Die features a number of hallmarks of Blacksploitation films, like pimps and gangsters. It also features the first African American Bond Girl, Rosie Carver (Gloria Hendry).

The film won acclaim for its use of exotic locations and for strong action, though some derided the villains as rote and not particularly interesting. They do leave something to be desired, but at the end of the day, it’s James Bond versus Voodoo, and that’s pretty damn fun.


Connery as Bond

15. Never Say Never Again (1983)

  • Critical Consensus: 67% Positive

12 years after Sean Connery reprised his role the first time in Diamonds are Forever, he did it once more in Never Say Never Again.

Though it’s based on Ian Fleming’s novel Thunderball, this is the second not-really-a-James-Bond-movie. The legal battle over the rights is too long and complicated to get into here, but Eon films did not produce this film, thus its outside-of-cannon status according to many.

The story features an aging Bond pulled back into service to find two nuclear weapons stolen by SPECTRE. Contemporary critics praised the over-the-hill hero aspect of the film, a more human element than other installments, and called it one of the best of the bunch. More modern reviews, however, generally take a different stance, saying it’s one of the weakest.


Moore's best james bond movie

14. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

  • Critical Consensus: 71% Positive

After James Bond’s journey to space in Moonraker, 1981’s For Your Eyes Only kept things far more Earth-bound. Roger Moore’s fifth Bond film, the super spy is assigned to locate a missing espionage vessel and keep cutting-edge weapons encryption technology from falling into nefarious hands. In true not-so-subtle Bond form, the tech’s acronym is ATAC.

Critics noted that while the action was solid, the bits stitching those sequences together are a bit on the thin side. More modern reviews, however, have been more kind, celebrating it for hearkening back to the Sean Connery era of James Bond.


The Living Daylings

13. The Living Daylights (1987)

  • Critical Consensus: 72% Positive

Timothy Dalton’s time as Bond gets a bad rap in many circles, but while his James Bond movies are often cheesy and silly, he’s better than he often gets credit for.

A kind of proto-Daniel Craig, Dalton’s Bond is something of a course correction from the sly quippy cartoon Roger Moore had become. We start to see a darker, more self-reflexive version of the character rather than the dashing, shallow playboy. Dalton’s first time in the role sees him battling KGB agents, protecting a beautiful cello player, and generally saving the world.


007

12. You Only Live Twice (1967)

  • Critical Consensus: 73% Positive

Ninjas, spaceships, and secret lairs, You Only Live Twice has damn near everything you could want out of a movie. Throw James Bond into the mix and you’ve got something.

Some elements, like Bond going undercover as a Japanese fisherman, have not aged super well, but the film walks the line between near-self-caricature and total awesomeness in a really fun way. It has a good, if underutilized, villain, and though it pushes the bounds of absurdity, this is still a damn fine time.


Dalton's Best Bond

11. License to Kill (1989)

  • Critical Consensus: 76% Positive

James Bond has long had a license to kill, but it took us until 1989 for us to get a movie of that same name.

The story even revolves around the titular item, primarily M revoking Bond’s authorization to murder people. Going rogue, the spy embarks on an unsanctioned mission of revenge against a drug lord who targets his BFF, Felix Leiter, and his wife.

Timothy Dalton’s second and final turn in the role, License to Kill doubles down on the darker, grittier tone, which didn’t sit well with some critics and audiences—looking back, it’s hard not to see this take as ahead of its time.


Brosnan's best Bond

10. GoldenEye (1995)

  • Critical Consensus: 78% Positive

Pierce Brosnan’s first go-round as James Bond, GoldenEye is also considered by most to be his best offering in the role.

A ghost from Bond’s past comes back to haunt him. In the 1990s, electromagnetic pulse weapons were all the rage, and this is the James Bond franchise’s attempt to be timely on that front. This brings 007 into the current (at the time) world. He’s more tech-savvy than before, less of an overt misogynist, and though he’s still the urbane, worldly super-spy, this incarnation also feels a bit more like a real, complete human being with feelings and emotions and that sort of psychological complexity.


9. No Time To Die (2021)

  • Critical Consensus: 78% Positive

The final movie in the Daniel Craig run of the franchise was a fitting end for the character. He comes to grips with his own mortality in a way we haven’t really seen before and also wrestles mightily with what exactly the James Bond mission really is after all. Daniel Craig’s turn as the iconic character was overwhelmingly positive from a critical standpoint, and he brought a certain sad stoicism to the role, something we hadn’t really seen before.


Spy who loved me

8. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

  • Critical Consensus: 79% Positive

According to movies, especially James Bond movies, the late 1970s and early ‘80s was prime time for bad guys hijacking nuclear weapons. The Spy Who Loved Me has perhaps the most Bond villain ever, a reclusive megalomaniac who steals nuclear submarines and wants to kick off World War III and start a new civilization underwater.

Yeah, it’s pretty fantastic. And we haven’t even mentioned the inclusion of a character named Agent XXX or the fact that it introduced us to Richard Kiel’s heavy Jaws. Roger Moore claims it’s his favorite Bond film, and many critics also hold it as one of the best of his lengthy run. And yes, there is a submarine car.


Best James Bond movie

7. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

  • Critical Consensus: 80% Positive

George Lazenby only played James Bond for one movie, 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but it certainly left an impression.

Sure, 007 has to once again tangle with Blofeld (played by Telly Savalas this time around), but the movie may be most known as the one where James Bond gets married only to *spoiler* lose his wife to an assassin. It shows an emotional, romantic side of James Bond we don’t often see, giving him an air of both cynicism and tragedy.

Critics praised the film and it’s only grown in estimation over the years, even being voted by fans as the greatest James Bond movie.


Best jetpack movie

6. Thunderball (1965)

  • Critical Consensus: 88% Positive

Again with the weapons of mass destruction. This time around, James Bond has to go to the Bahamas to retrieve a pair of warheads stolen by the fiends at SPECTRE.

Connery operates near the peak of his considerable charm and charisma, there’s a great femme fatale, and strong action sequences, including a banger of an underwater scene. The pace wavers a bit here and there, and it’s a touch overlong, but that doesn’t make the other elements more than compensate for Thunderball’s shortcomings. And, you know, we’re suckers for a good jetpack.


Biggest James Bond movie

5. Skyfall (2012)

  • Critical Consensus: 92% Positive

With a global box office take north of $1 billion, 2012’s Skyfall is not only the highest-grossing James Bond movie, but it’s also one of the best James Bond movies.

Bond must track down a madman (Javier Bardem) bent on destroying MI6, and specifically Judi Dench’s M. Along the way, the plot digs into the shadowy spy’s past like never before, stripping him down both mentally and physically and laying him bare.

The most intimate, personal Bond film since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, this is also a gorgeous film from Academy Award-winners, director Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins. It re-set the bar for what a James Bond movie can achieve.


Best James Bond outing

4. From Russia With Love (1964)

  • Critical Consensus: 95% Positive

The second James Bond movie, From Russia With Love, finds 007 involved in an assassination attempt and trying to track down an encryption device, and wooing a lovely lady. A sharp, brisk Cold War espionage thriller, this is also where Connery’s Bond becomes the character we know. It features gadgets and gizmos, Bond being smooth and suave, and kickass action, and there’s none of the bloated absurdity that plagues some of the later installments.

Bond hadn’t yet become the cultural phenomenon he would, so it feels grounded and fresh in a way some of the later films don’t. It also skews closer to the Ian Fleming source material than many.


Sean Connery

3. Dr. No (1962)

  • Critical Consensus: 95% Positive

Of course, the first Bond film has to be close to the top of the list. Dr. No is the one that started it all and introduced the world to a character who would thrill us for almost 60 years running.

While he tracks down a missing colleague and searches for the cause behind disruptions in the space program, the film gives us many of the franchise beats that would become iconic. There’s killer action, beautiful love interests, intrigue, espionage, and James Bond being cool as all hell.

Critically panned on release for being silly and violent and vulgar, it was a huge box office hit, kicked off a global phenomenon of spy movies, and has become heralded as one of the best in the franchise.


Daniel Craig as James Bond

2. Casino Royale (2006)

  • Critical Consensus: 95% Positive

Daniel Craig’s first time playing Bond basically reinvented how we look at the legendary international man of mystery. (And the fact that he’s blond caused quite the ruckus.)

This version of the iconic spy is suave and sophisticated, but he’s also dark and vicious and brutal in a way we’d never seen before. This version skews gritty and violent, more akin to the character in the books, and displays many of the less-than-ideal characteristics and personality traits a person would need to really do this job. And it’s a banger of an action movie. The early chase scene in Uganda is one of the high points of the franchise, and given its history, that’s saying something.


Best James Bond movie

1. Goldfinger (1964)

  • Critical Consensus: 97% Positive

And sitting in the number one slot as the best James Bond movie, we have Goldfinger. Yes, the one about a wealthy gold dealer who kills people by painting them.

While on a well-earned vacation, Bond foils a card cheat only to become embroiled in a far-reaching plot that involves smuggling and plans to rob Fort Knox. We get classics like Oddjob, the vicious, near-silent henchman, and the most Bond-Girl-name ever, Pussy Galore.

After the success of the first two films, this one had a much higher budget and made use of it. Much like the Fast and Furious movies, though many called it ridiculous, many also hailed it as funny, exciting, tense, and one of Connery’s best turns as the legendary martini enthusiast. One review even called it “garbage from the gods,” aka, a massive popcorn spectacle.  



James Bond Trivia



Halle Berry Nearly Died Filming Die Another Day

Halle Berry was one of the real highlights of James Bond’s Die Another Day. At one point during the movie, her character is supposed to do a sexy love scene with Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond involving a fig… and it almost killed her.

As Berry tells, “I am supposed to be trying to be all sexy with a fig — and then I end up choking on it.” Luckily Brosnan was on the alert and he leaped up “And he had to get up and do the Heimlich [maneuver].”

As you’d imagine anyone would be when someone saves their life, Halle has nothing but good vibes for Pierce Brosnan as a result. She says, “So not sexy, so not sexy. James Bond knows how to Heimlich. He was there for me and he will always be one of my favorite people in the whole world.”

Watch the full Tonight Show interview where she talks about her Die Another Day experience below…

Latest James Bond News


Iconic James Bond Actress Dead At 80

British actress Pamela Salem, who appeared in Sean Connery’s final outing as James Bond, Never Say Never Again, died at …

6 days ago

Christopher Nolan Speaks About Next James Bond Movie

The Golden Globe Awards are always something to behold, and this year’s was no exception. In its glamorous aftermath, in …

1 month ago

sean connery

James Bond Movies Given Trigger Warnings

News about forthcoming James Bond movies—including who will play the iconic superspy next—is scarce. So, to tide fans over until …

2 months ago

The James Bond Story Zack Snyder Wants To Make And It’s Perfect

More often than not, prequels are an unnecessary way for a studio to exploit an existing IP for more money. …

2 months ago

Jason Statham Is Openly Gunning For James Bond

Jason Statham is one of the most consistent action stars working today, but could he don the suit of the …

3 months ago

Quentin Tarantino Based Kill Bill On Iconic James Bond Villain

When it comes to storytelling on film, famed auteur Quentin Tarantino is often considered a master. Over the course of …

3 months ago

james bond daniel craig

James Bond Villain Actor Admits He Wasn’t Good

Andrew Scott has been having a pretty big year: previously, the actor was best known for playing Moriarty in the …

4 months ago

james bond

Brian Cox Compares James Bond To Shakespeare, Defends Character From Being Canceled

Brian Cox, everyone’s least favorite Hannibal Lecter, has an opinion on the future of the James Bond franchise. According to …

4 months ago

James Bond Fans Are Not Going To Be Happy With Franchise Timeline

It may be quite a while indeed before fans of the venerable James Bond franchise will have any idea who …

4 months ago

The Most Iconic James Bond Villains, Ranked

They say a hero is only as good as his villains, and that’s certainly true when it comes to James …

5 months ago

The Boys Creator Is Taking Over James Bond

Our era increasingly feels ripe for experimentation—creators lending their unique sensibilities to storied projects and franchises. In that spirit, SlashFilm …

5 months ago

sean connery

The Best James Bond Solves Murders In Streaming Thriller

In 1986, Sean Connery was a few years out from his last turn as James Bond, and his follow-up film, …

5 months ago

idris elba

There’s A Real-Life James Bond Contest Going On With Huge Prizes

In celebration of James Bond Day (today, October 5), Amazon Prime Video has unveiled an exciting new reality show that …

5 months ago

christopher nolan

Christopher Nolan Finally Directing His Passion Project?

Let’s be honest: Christopher Nolan makes some really good movies. Take the recently released Oppenheimer or The Dark Knight trilogy …

5 months ago

king's man poster

James Bond Deserves A Prequel More Than Kingsman

Now that Kingsman: The Secret Service has gotten a prequel, we can’t help but feel a little disappointed: The King’s …

5 months ago

henry cavill superman

Does Hollywood Hate Henry Cavill?

Henry Cavill is one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood working today — at least by the fans. It …

7 months ago

idris elba

Christopher Nolan Directing The Next James Bond Film?

Most of the discussions surrounding the James Bond franchise revolve around the next actor to play the iconic super spy. …

7 months ago

matthew vaughn

Exclusive: Matthew Vaughn Top Choice For James Bond Reboot

From Kingsman to MI6? It seems likely. Our trusted and proven sources tell us that filmmaker Matthew Vaughn has emerged …

7 months ago

sean connery

The Embarrassing Prop Sean Connery Was Forced To Use For James Bond

Sean Connery was known as a “ladies’ man” when he was cast as James Bond in 1962’s Dr. No. The actor was …

8 months ago

daniel craig star wars

Daniel Craig’s Best James Bond Film Is Leaving Netflix

The name’s Craig, Daniel Craig and from 2006 until 2021 he was the face of the James Bond franchise. Over …

8 months ago

idris elba

Idris Elba Doesn’t Want To Play James Bond Because Of Racism

Idris Elba says the racist backlash to the fan-casting of him as James Bond turned him off to the possibility.

8 months ago

henry cavill

Henry Cavill Gave A Tremendous James Bond Audition

Casino Royale director Martin Campbell says Henry Cavill gave a “tremendous” James Bond audition years ago, but he was simply too young for the part.

8 months ago

henry cavill

First Superman, Now Henry Cavill Is Losing Out On Another Iconic Role Says Director

James Bond director Martin Campbell says Henry Cavill is almost certainly out of the running for James Bond.

8 months ago

indiana jones

10 Movie And TV Characters That Need Animated Remakes

From Indiana Jones to Harry Potter, these beloved characters would work great in animated remakes.

9 months ago

henry cavill

Henry Cavill’s James Bond-Like Movie Finally Gets Release Date

Argylle has a release date of February 2, 2024.

9 months ago

Quentin Tarantino Reveals Why James Bond Producers Shut Down His Movie

After Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino wanted to direct a James Bond movie.

9 months ago

keanu reeves the matrix

10 Mind-Blowing Movie Theories You Never Thought Of

We compiled a list of our favorite movie theories that made us rethink everything we know.

9 months ago

James Bond Is A Horrible Spy, Burn Notice’s Michael Weston Is Better

James Bond is a horrible spy, but Burn Notice explains what real spycraft is like.

10 months ago

james bond

James Bond Fans Think Richard Madden Has Been Cast As 007

An Instagram video posted by Richard Madden has fans suspecting his preference for martinis means he’s been cast as 007.

10 months ago

The Most Iconic Cars Ever Put On Screen

The most iconic cars include the Ecto-1, Herbie, and the Aston Martin DB5.

10 months ago