The 411 Movies Top 5 10.12.12: Week 343 – Top 5 James Bond Movies
Welcome to Week 347 of the Movie Zone Top 5, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have now entered my world.
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With the release this week of the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, we are taking a look at the best James Bond movies in the franchise. This week, we had another reader contributor, and if you want to have your voice heard in a future column, drop me an email at [email protected] and I will get you into the rotation.
This week’s contributors:
Bryan Kristopowitz (read his take on Dredd in The Gratuitous B-Movie Column.)
Michael Weyer (read his recent Shining a Spotlight column.
Chad Webb (Check out his recent Monthly Movies Roundtable.)
Dent McCracken (411mania reader contributor)
John D-Rock Dotson (guest contributor)
Shawn S. Lealos (check out my look at the television series Arrow over at Alternate Takes)
5. Die Another Day (2002)
I know I’m not supposed to like this, the last Pierce Brosnan Bond movie, because it’s filled with over-the-top, ridiculous gadgets and isn’t “realistic” like the Bourne movies. An invisible car? Come on, what kind of hooey is that? Sorry to everyone out there, but Die Another Day is awesome because it’s so ridiculous. The movie doesn’t start out ridiculous and over the top (James Bond can surf. Why is that so weird to believe?). Bond is captured by the evil North Koreans and tortured for several years, then is traded for a valuable North Korean scumbag that ends up having diamonds embedded in his face. Bond ends up going to Cuba, meets the uber hot Halle Berry, hangs out in an ice building for a little while, and then ends up fighting a rich white guy who may not even be a rich white guy. It would be great if the Bond franchise would bring back some of the gadgets and whatnot on display here. If it never happens, at least we have Die Another Day.
4. From Russian With Love (1963)
The second Bond flick is all about the search for a super important Russian encryption device, but who the heck remembers that? From Russian With Love is all about Connery getting better as Bond, the uber hot Daniela Bianchi as the Russian agent that ends up falling for Bond, Robert Shaw kicking fucking ass as Grant, the evil SPECTRE henchman that engages in quite the train car battle with Bond, and Lotte Lenya’s super evil Russian Commie SPECTRE person Rosa Klebb. In short, it’s a movie about characters, personality, and general coolness. The poisoned tipped blade in the shoe is still one of the greatest gadgets in the entire franchise. This movie is also the first time the great Desmond Llewelyn as Q (he’s known as Boothroyd in this flick). And who can forget the final Bond quip, “Horrible, horrible woman. Yes, she had her kicks”? Awesome stuff.
3. Never Say Never Again (1983)
This particular Bond movie isn’t considered an official part of the Bond franchise proper, but it definitely feels like a Bond movie (it is essentially a remake of Thunderball). It’s got Sean Connery playing Bond again, an older Bond that is brought back into action after spending time teaching spies how to be spies. He’s hot on the trail of potentially evil industrialist Largo, brilliantly played by Klaus Maria Brandauer, and his henchwoman Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera). The evil head of SPECTRE is back, Blofeld (Max fucking von Sydow). And the immortal Bernie Casey shows up as Felix Leiter, Bond’s old CIA buddy (the Rowan Atkinson shows up, too, as Bond’s contact in the Bahamas. Hysterical). And who can forget Kim Basinger as Largo’s main squeeze Domino (watch that dance studio exercise scene again. As Joe Bob Briggs might say, yum mee)? The action is well done (the motorcycle chase is excellent) and the final action sequence is about as thrilling as it gets for James Bond. And, of course, there’s the big video game sequence that’s just cheesy enough to work. It’s too bad Connery couldn’t be convinced to do at one more as the older Bond, as I bet it would have been great seeing him take on Blofeld one last time.
2. Goldfinger (1964)
Goldfinger is probably the most popular Bond movie of all time, and it’s easy to see why once you’ve seen it yourself. It has everything a Bond movie needs to be a great Bond movie. Connery kicking ass, a great villain (Auric Goldfinger, as played by Gert Frobe), a killer henchman (Oddjob and his weaponized hat), a brilliantly evil plot (destroying all of the gold in Fort Knox, with the help of the Commie Chinese), and a great Bond girl (Pussy Galore, as played by Honor Blackman). There isn’t a dull moment to be found.
“Do you expect me to talk?”
“No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”
Still classic forty plus years later.
1. Licence to Kill (1989)
I almost didn’t put this movie as number one, mostly because, when it comes to Bond movies, most people think of Goldfinger, and Goldfinger is fucking awesome. However, Licence to Kill features probably the most intense Bond performance of all time, with Timothy Dalton kicking ass and taking names as a Bond is need of serious revenge. The incredibly evil drug kingpin Sanchez, brilliantly played by the Robert Davi, takes out Bond’s best buddy Felix Leiter and kills Leiter’s wife on their honeymoon. Bond’s “licence to kill” is revoked by MI6 in the aftermath, so he ends up going solo (Q ends up helping him later on). The opening action bit is freaking insane, the bit with the sharks is hysterical (the oxygen chamber thing is also quite funny), and the final quarter of the movie, with Bond discretely infiltrating Sanchez’s drug lab with Bond girl Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) in tow is as exciting as it gets. And check out that action sequence at the end with the tanker trucks. Awesome shit. Dalton didn’t get to make another Bond movie after this one, but at least he got to go out on top.
With the daunting task of trying to match the wild success of Goldfinger, the fourth Bond movie managed to achieve that nicely. The plot is great as SPECTRE uses a surgically altered agent to steal nuclear warheads to blackmail the British and U.S. We see the inner workings of SPECTRE as their unseen mastermind disposes of a cheating underling and the eyepatch-wearing Emilio Largo is a great Bond nemesis. We also get the evil scorcher Fiona Volpe and the lovely Domino to add to the “Bond Girl” litany as well as gorgeous locations in Bermuda and Jamaica along with a fun cameo by Q. Thrills include Bond escaping a castle via jet-pack and tangling with a shark in a pool along with a surprisingly tense scene on a dance floor. Plus, one of the all-time best Bond battle scenes they don’t do anymore as a squad of SEALS tangle with SPECTRE underwater as Bond uses a special jet tank to take them down. With that amazing musical score and exotic locales, it’s pure Bond that we love and blows you away every time.
After a delay of several years, the franchise roared back to life with Pierce Brosnan in the lead role. The producers did a wonderful job showing how Bond was still needed in a post-Cold War world, addressing his past but allowing a new future as well. The addition of Judi Dench as a female M was a great touch as well the return of Q, still annoyed at Bond’s antics. Sean Bean was great as a former friend turned bad with a unique plan and of course Famke Jannsen stole the film as the lethal Xenia Onnatop. It didn’t skip on the action such as a chase where Bond (in a tank) manages to do more damage to St. Petersburg in five minutes than the entire German army in WWII. The long absence helped win people over but Brosnan sealed the deal as a perfect Bond, charming but deadly too with a wry humor and adapting to a changed world in a good style. Any doubts Bond could work for the 21st century were pushed aside as this put the franchise back on track and stands with any of the Connery films as among the best of the bunch.
3. The Spy Who Loved Me
Roger Moore’s run as Bond is often derided for over the top jokes and too much big-budget stuff. But after two lackluster films, Moore proved himself in this, the best of his run of Bond films. It opens with one of the best pre-credit scenes ever, Bond escaping KGB agents skiing down a mountain, flying off a cliff, just dead air for ten seconds before a Union Jack parachute opens and the classic theme kicks in. The plot is perfect Bond, a warped millionaire stealing subs to set off WWIII in hopes of building a new undersea community. Bond is matched by Barbara Bach’s wonderful Agent XXX who keeps up with him in fights, their chemistry fun with the added element of Bond having killed her former lover. Of course, we get the metal-mouthed Jaws, truly a terrifying presence in his debut and a good train fight. What makes it stand out is Stromberg’s lair, a ship so huge that the Pinewood Studios were built just for it and home to a fantastic battle scene. Plus, more of Q’s lab and a hilarious final line that puts the capper on one movie where Moore truly shows himself as a great Bond before things got a bit too silly.
2. From Russia With Love
In many ways, this was the true first Bond film. Connery was sliding into the role well with Bond on a mission to seduce a Russian defector, unaware it’s a SPECTRE plot to trap him. The elements are great from the battle at the gypsy camp to the wonderful ally of Kerim Bey. It’s home to three great Bond antagonists: The arrogant Kronsteen, the brutal Rosa Klebb with her knife shoe and Robert Shaw’s fantastic Red Grant, a cold killer whose fight with Bond in a train cabin is a highlight of the series. We get great stuff of a boat chase and also the cool air of Connery’s Bond, suave with seduction yet brutal in a fight, shining in a film that truly brought the series into its own.
“Shocking. Truly shocking.” The naked corpse covered in gold. The golf game. The ejector seat. “I never joke about my work, 007!” Oddjob and his razor-rimmed bowler hat. The laser beam slowly inching up. “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” Pussy Galore. “Man has achieved miracles in every field of human endeavor. Except crime!” Operation Grand Slam. “I apologize, Goldfinger, it’s an inspired scheme.” The car compactor. The roll in the hay. The battle in the gold vault. “He’s playing his golden harp.” No other Bond movie imbues every facet of the franchise’s themes like this one. It still holds up today with brilliance, smooth and evenly paced with a fantastic feel that makes you remember why Bond remains the best and is truly the gold standard by which every other Bond film is measured.
Honorable Mention: The Spy Who Loved Me
5. License to Kill (1989)
Because there are 6 Bonds, I could not include them all on this list, so the pinnacle of Roger Moore’s stint had to get bumped. In the 80’s when Bond had a lot of competition in the action genre, it was tougher for the public to connect with Timothy Dalton as 007. After the annoying humor from Moore, Dalton eliminated the comedy and played Bond as a gritty, serious, no-nonsense kind of spy. The Living Daylights was a weak effort for him to start on, but Licence to Kill is very engaging, action-packed, and a lot of fun. Bond goes rogue in this adventure and faces off with Robert f’n Davi. Director John Glen chose a non-traditional approach to the franchise here and that is one of many reasons the public rejected it, but I thought Bond adapted well with the times (a consistent strength of the series). It has a couple of stand-out action sequences and handles plot development rather adeptly. It also mentions that Bond had a wife if you’re a fan of continuity. This is a gripping, underrated picture.
4. Casino Royale (2006)
I must admit that I was one of the detractors when it was announced that a “blonde Bond” was hired. I didn’t think it would work, but it did and I was glad to be proven wrong. There was a lot of pressure on the Bond reboot, but Daniel Craig re-invented the role triumphantly. He is a tough, magnetic, and human version of 007, and perhaps the most vulnerable of all the Bond portrayals, in this story at least. Director Martin Campbell constructs the picture in three acts, with the pace and momentum flowing briskly and intensely. The acting is magnificent from top to bottom: Judi Dench, Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Jeffrey Wright, and Giancarlo Giannini. Even if there are similarities to Bourne in some instances, just about everything in this film clicks properly. The cinematography, score, theme, and more are all faithful to what we’ve come to expect from the franchise, albeit with a new skin and fresh attitude.
3. GoldenEye (1995)
This has the honor of being the first Bond film I saw. I was more fascinated 007’s competitors like Schwarzenegger and Stallone during the 80’s, but once Remington Steele’s Pierce Brosnan took over the role in the mid-1990’s I was more than ready to dive into the world of James Bond. His first outing is by far his best, though I do think Tomorrow Never Dies is satisfactory as well. Brosnan brought back some of the comedy, but he was also sufficiently debonair and believable for the action. In many respects I think he possessed the perfect mixture of all the necessary Bond traits. It speaks volumes for director Martin Campbell’s prowess and understanding of this universe that he is responsible for 2 of the best entries in the franchise. Throughout Brosnan’s run, the action and stunts were constantly pushed to the line between awesome and absurd, but GoldenEye blended the high-profile with the suspenseful and creative. Nothing was outlandish to the point of eye-rolling as in Die Another Day. The locations were fabulous, Tina Turner nailed the theme, and the visual effects were spot-on. The acting was also top-notch with Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker, and Robbie Coltrane handing in superlative supporting turns. This is probably the Bond flick I end up watching the most.
2. On Her majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
This is easily the most underrated Bond offering, and could be on a general list of most under appreciated movies. It is easy to grasp why it has received that status if you’re only viewing it on the surface. George Lazenby only completed one Bond film, during the hiatus of the man who carved the role into history, Sean Connery. Lazenby is a bit stiff as 007, but he’s not horrid either. The first time I watched On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, I dismissed it. This was not my idea of what a Bond film should be I said to myself. But as the years went by, I kept seeing articles that placed this in the top 5 for the series and I wondered why that placement was so common. I decided to give it another try and my fondness for it grew immensely. Until Casino Royale hit theaters, this was the only Bond film where you formed a sincere emotional attachment to the story. Bond is humanized more than ever here, and the startling conclusion leaves a hefty impact. This also sports some of the greatest action sequences of all 23 films, such as the ski pursuit, a car chase through a stock car race, a helicopter raid, and more. Peter R. Hunt, who had served as editor on 3 previous Bonds, was promoted to director. He had a knack for action scenes and pacing. This movie takes its time, spaces out the action and we get to know the characters better. John Barry’s score is probably his best, and Louis Armstrong’s theme “We Have All The Time in the World” is ideal for the romantic arc. Diana Rigg is among my top 3 favorite Bond girls, and I think we voted her the best on the Movie-Zone podcast years back. Telly Savalas takes on the role of Blofeld masterfully. It is upsetting to contemplate that this could have been the only flawless Bond film had Connery remained on. Still, I love it and if you haven’t watched it a second time, you should, trust me.
1. Goldfinger (1964)
Ranking the Bond films is hard for me. I enjoy each one of my top 5 relatively equally. My top 2 could be interchangeable, yet while On Her Majesty’s Secret Service may be my favorite by hair, Goldfinger is the quintessential James Bond adventure. If I had to recommend one title from this franchise to someone who had never seen or heard of the character, this is the film I would urge them to watch. It has everything we have come to associate with Bond: elevated action, gadgets, beautiful women, one-liners, and a memorable villain. From Russia With Love is terrific, but Goldfinger has the track record of being the most enduring. Different Bonds come and go, but Goldfinger is always named as one of the best of the series. Sean Connery is in peak form and has a worthy opponent in Gert Frube’s titular foe. Honor Blackman’s Pussy Galore is certainly an unforgettable Bond girl and rightly so. She makes an impression in more ways than one. Jaws may be the #1 evil henchman of the canon, but Harold Sakata’s Oddjob deserves credit also here. The fights, shootouts, and chases are first-rate. Goldfinger is saturated with iconic moments and dialogue. For example: “Do you expect me to talk?” asks Bond. Goldfinger responds: “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” Goldfinger is the benchmark of the series. It paved the road for all subsequent entries. It has warranted the top spot.
HM: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
This one does not receive much attention, mostly due to the fact that it was “The George Lazenby movie”. However it is a wonderfully underrated Bond film. This is the 2nd Bond film with Blofeld (played very well by the always talented Terry Savalas), and to me it is the best of the Blofeld trilogy. It has good action, hot ladies, and probably the most tragic ending in a Bond Film. Ian Fleming once said that of all the Bonds, Lazenby was probably the closest to his novel interpretation of Bond. If you ever thought about watching this one, please do so as you won’t be disappointed.
By the mid-90s, the James Bond movies had lost relevance. It had been 6 years since the rather generic License to Kill had been released and fans were skeptical that a modern Bond was possible. Then Pierce Brosnan was cast as the new Bond and suddenly we had the modern Bond. His first (and in my opinion, his best Bond movie) movie was Goldeneye and in an instant Bond was cool again. Goldeneye told the story of Bond facing a renegade former 00-agent whom he thought was dead. The rouge agent, Trevelyan, played by the awesome Sean Bean was a great villain and really felt like Bonds equal. The final battle on the satellite cradle was one of best finales in Bond history. I have not even mentioned the video game yet, but really what could I say that hasn’t already said? It made FPS games a console possibility, since (with the exception of Doom) FPS games were PC centered. Modernizing the Bond franchise and the awesome game alone would make Goldeneye a high entry on my list. However it was awesome on its own merits and deserves to be in the top 5 Bond movie list regardless.
4. For Your Eyes Only
After the Bond movies of the 70s, the series took a more realistic turn. In this movie Bond faces villians mainly in Greece, with the help of his Greek female friend Melina Havelock. Havelock is really an interesting character as her main reason for helping Bond is to take revenge for her parents’ murders. Bond also faces a pair of criminal rivals named Kristatos and Columbo, both of which try to manipulate Bond to eliminate the other. One sequence I really loved was the mountain climb near the end of the film. It was done so well, it still amazes me to this day. Another aspect I liked was the character of Bibi, the young figure skater. She (like most women) falls for Bond on sight, and tries to seduce him. She is still a bit too young even for Bond though, and he must fend her off. It’s really funny, which is something a bit out of place in Bond movies, but it tends to happen in Roger Moore’s Bond films. Add in a wonderful snow-laden area (which the Bond movies always do well), a more realistic edge, and a clever ending make this one of my favorites. This was originally going to be Roger Moore’s swansong to the Bonds, so he went all out in this one. After the movies success, they convinced him to do two more. Even though he did two more Bond movies, this was his last great Bond film in my opinion. One more thing, the opening theme is just wonderful. Go ahead, look it up as it is one of the best Bond themes ever. This one is definitely worth the watch, and its #4 in my book.
C’mon, you knew that there would be at least one Sean Connery Bond film in my top 5. Thunderball maybe an odd choice (compared to From Russia with Love and Goldfinger), but to me it is a wonderful Bond movie. Bond has to face femme fatales, imposters, a hydrofoil yacht, and a shark in human form named Largo, the dreaded #2 of SPECTRE. This was the first Bond movie to go for the underwater feel, as Bond takes part in several diving operations. Largo steals two nuclear bombs from NATO, and it is up to Bond to stop him. I loved the Bond girl in this one, Domino, as she was just enchanting to watch. Largo was a great villain and I liked the scene where SPECTRE is having a meeting, and then Blofeld accuses a member of stealing funds. Then as the thief is eliminated, Largo just looks up for a second and goes right on with business. I also really enjoyed Fiona Volpe, the female SPECTRE agent, she was pretty scary and she was an insane adrenaline hound. Some may have found the numerous underwater scenes to be redundant, but for the time they were groundbreaking. This one tends to be forgotten when compared to the earlier Bond films, but this holds a special charm that makes it the dreaded #3 on my list.
2. The Living Daylights
Yes this my controversial pick of the bunch, I admit that. However, I did not put this one at #2 for a prank. I really enjoyed it and it is my 2nd favorite Bond movie. This was the first Timothy Dalton movie, and it really blew my mind how good this was. The story went back to a more realistic tale like For Your Eyes Only did. Bond is charged with finding a KGB defector, and must rescue him before he is slain. He meets a cello-playing spy whom doubles as a lethal lady sniper. Together they join forces to save the defector, help Afghanistan against the Soviets, and fight an insane military buff named Whitaker. This one of only 2 Dalton Bond films, but Dalton fits likes a glove on Bond. I really liked Whitaker as well; he plays the military buff perfectly. He plays with battlefield models as he plots with his minions, as well as talk randomly about famous battles like Gettysburg or Waterloo. While the whole Soviet-Afghan thing kind off dates the movie, that’s the only real flaw to me. Dalton is perfect as Bond; he plays Bond like he was born to play him. This was also the last Bond film to use any of Ian Flemings works as inspiration. After this they had to start writing original stories for Bond, this caused License to Kill to be received rather poorly though they redeemed themselves with Goldeneye. Still this is my favorite Bond movie of the 80s, and should at least be seen once by fellow Bond fans. Some might feel that this movie doesn’t stand out compared to the other Bond movies, but to me it all adds up to a great Bond film.
1. The Spy Who Loved Me
This is my favorite Bond movie ever. This was the Bond movie that hooked me into the Bond series. This was easily Roger Moore’s best Bond movie, and it is still a thrill to this day. I go ahead and admit that Roger Moore is my favorite Bond actor. I know most prefer Connery, but Moore was my favorite. You have Bond facing off against a mad shipping tycoon who wishes to nuke the world. This is also the first appearance of the signature villain of the Bond series, the invincible Jaws. He was so cool because he killed a shark BY BITING IT. He withstands electrical attacks, falling out of planes, and exploding submarines. It would be a cool move if they brought Jaws back to face Bond once more. Also I loved Anya Amasova, the beautiful Soviet agent (played by the beautiful Barbara Bach). She is basically the female version of James Bond, and is treated as such. I have to mention the opening scene. This is also my favorite Bond opening, due to its iconic image. You have Bond skiing in the Swedish Alps avoiding some assassins. He leaps off the top of a cliff, and opens the Union-Jack parachute. Which leads into my favorite Bond theme ever….”Nobody Does it Better” by Carly Simon. I love that song and when I think of Bond music, I think of that theme. If you want to see Roger Moore at his best, facing the baddies with the help of a lovely agent, watch this. This is #1 for me, no questions asked.
I’m a sucker for the Terence Young directed films. This would mark the 3rd time that Connery and Young collaborated for the franchise and the 2nd time that Bond faced the mysterious villain known as Spectre. The writing was not as top notch as it was with the first couple of entries, but the spy adventure feel still remains. This is also the last 007 film that I particularly enjoyed from the Connery era. Claudine Auger portrayed one of the hottest Bond girls ever, and I do mean EVER. For its time, the cinematography displays impressively with stellar underwater sequences, and the use of sharks in this movie is actually done pretty well. It’s not the best of the series, but it’s definitely worthy of making the list.
The Pierce Brosnan series brought the franchise back with a bang. The opening sequence to Goldeneye reveals one of the best filmed stunt sequences in the whole franchise and serves as one of the best character reintroductions. The film presented us a pretty slick antagonist with Sean Bean as Bond’s opposition. Not to mention, Famke Jannsen (who played Jean Grey in the X-Men films) was incredibly awesome as a sexy Russian femme fatale who can crush you with her thighs…Yes please! Just like the Terence Young 007 films, Martin Campbell knows how to bring both a sense of prestige to Bond’s character while still providing great spectacle.
3. Dr. No
One cannot make a Bond list without bringing up the one that started them all. Terence Young was truly one of the best directors to handle 007. The direction always had balance in character and story. Also, the level of awesome that Connery gave to the first outing of Bond cannot be measured. I found myself laughing nonstop as he sleeps with an Asian femme fatale right before turning her over to the authorities just moments after. As if to say, “okay I got what I needed”. Not even Han Solo was that much of a charming asshole. I wasn’t nuts on how the film ended, but Sean Connery made the film so enjoyable that it didn’t matter. He will always be the best Bond ever.
2. Casino Royale
Words cannot express my love for Casino Royale, but we’ll try it anyway. After the disaster of Die Another Day, the Bond series needed a facelift in the best way imaginable. Martin Campbell tackled the franchise once more with a fresh new blonde Bond. Daniel Craig handles the role with such ease and he brings back the charismatic charm that was once sparkled through with Connery. This film also gave Bond more of a challenge, making things uneasy for the character at every turn. This film represents one of the best versions of Bond, but then again, we haven’t been blessed with Skyfall yet.
1. From Russia with Love
This is truly a remarkable film and undeniably the best possible follow up you could ask for to Dr. No. Sean Connery turns up the charm to eleven and never turns it down until the credits roll. He is also confronted with a smarter villain known as Grant, played exceptionally by Robert Shaw. The two men have the best cat and mouse game going on throughout the film until the landmark train-fight sequence. This is undeniably my favorite of the films because of how well it flows and how grounded the action is. From Russia with Love is smarter, more suspenseful, and in this writer’s opinion, is the best film of the franchise ever.
5. Live and Let Die
I know this is maybe not a popular choice, but I really like this movie for a few reasons. After years of Sean Connery’s serious (and fantastic) James Bond performances, the franchise went all out with this addition, similar to what Steven Spielberg did with Temple of Doom. And it was all more fun than I never imagined it could be, with voodoo, a wild boat chase, hopscotch across alligators and a crazy ending with a voodoo priest laughing directly into the camera. It can’t always be serious, and out of all the crazy Bond’s this might be the best.
First of all, I love the trailer that I linked above. One thing that the James Bond franchise had to do when they finally got Peirce Brosnan, the Bond they always wanted, was to figure out how to move the franchise forward despite the demise of the Cold War and the Soviet threat. Well, the choice was obvious. They made the villain someone within M16, and Sean Bean was a perfect choice for that villain. Sure, the Brosnan movies got a little crazy by the end (which says a lot after Roger Moore went into space), but damn he was a great James Bond.
I’m sure I’ll hear a lot about not having Sean Connery in the first or second spot. That’s just how my list works, but if you want the best Bond movie prior to Daniel Craig taking over, look no further than Goldfinger. The bad guy was great and the death by gold was spectacular. Pussy Galore is one of the best Bond girls, while Connery turned in one of his best performances as Bond in this movie. If you want a movie that sets up the Bond franchise for the next forty years, this is the movie that succeeded in that.
2. Casino Royale
The James Bond franchise was almost dead when Peirce Brosnan’s movies became too cartoony. I think he could have carried the new franchise, but Daniel Craig is a much better option for the secret service agent in Casino Royale. This movie completely changed the James Bond franchise, and in my eyes, Daniel Craig became the perfect James Bond. Sure, they took the franchise in a direction that Bourne already did, but I don’t care. Casino Royale was a perfect refreshing of the stale franchise and made James Bond exciting again.
I’ll admit that this isn’t fair since the movie hasn’t been seen by most people yet, but Skyfall is the best James Bond movie ever made. It is even better for people who are fans of Connery and Moore Bond movies, because there are so many winks in this movie for those fans (ejector seats, exploding pens, an Astin Martin, as well as a SPECTACULAR final scene that ties the entire franchise together). Daniel Craig is back on form and the movie more than makes up for the lighter Quantum of Solace. The acting is great (Javier Bardem is amazing), the chase scenes are ridiculous (maybe the craziest since the New Orleans boat chase), the violence is harrowing, the story is solid and it all just falls together perfectly. Skyfall is a James Bond masterpiece.
What is your favorite James Bond movie?
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