007: Goldfinger (1964)
Considered the best Bond film by critics like Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers. I agree that everything that defines a Bond film is here, but it’s not my favorite of the franchise. It’s still great and hard to top Goldfinger as a villain though. Who can forget Jill Masterson painted in gold either. I guess because it’s so predictable and by the numbers that I don’t enjoy it as much as other film critics. Still, this film is fantastic. And I agree with Travers that if you want to expose someone to a classic Bond film, this is the one to pick.
006: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
A great tragic Bond film. George Lazenby does a great job, and it’s a shame he didn’t play 007 more. If he did Diamonds are Forever might have turned out as stellar as this film. While I have some issues with the film, like the silly plot. It involves Blofield brainwashing women through mind control. Which sounds like what Dr. Evil would do in an Austin Powers film. Also, Bond dressing up in a kilt is just silly. Equally disappointing is that this film acts like You Only Live Twice didn’t happen. Blofield can’t seem to remember that the last time he saw Bond he was destroying his volcanic lair.
On with the good, though. After a slow first half, the action ramps up. The ski chase, car sequence and toboggan run are all exciting. Diana Rigg is a fantastic Bond girl and gives Eva Green’s Vesper a run for her money as best in show. Telly Savalas is the best Blofield and Lazenby does an admirable job as his first time as Bond. The downer ending hurts the film a bit, but we all know Bond isn’t meant to live happily ever after either.
005: From Russia With Love (1963)
A great Bond film that resembles the character Ian Fleming created in the book the most accurately. With each film viewing it grows on me. At first, I thought it was kind of dull. However, like On her Majesty’s Secret Service once the film gets going it’s hard to stop watching. The train sequence still holds up, and Grant is a great villain. Tatyana while a bit ditzy is a likable Bond girl and compliment’s 007 well. Goldfinger might get all the buzz, but I personally like From Russia with Love better.
004: Skyfall (2012)
My first Bond movie in Imax and it was worth the wait. You really notice a difference in production quality by having an Oscar director like Sam Mendes take over and guide the film. The cinematography is fantastic too. The scenes shot in Shanghai stand out most in my mind. Javier Bardem is great and what I like about Skyfall best is that it injects humor back in the Bond films. I can see why people complain about the Home Alone ending of the film, but I didn’t mind it.
003: Casino Royale (2006)
A strong reboot and it’s refreshing to see a vulnerable 007. The parkour scene is great and a very memorable pre-title opening sequence. Even though the film delivers with its impressive action set pieces the best part of the moves are watching Daniel Craig act. He makes mistakes and is not some superhero here. With Spectre likely closing the Craig story arc I’m excited to see if Bond 25 will be as revolutionary as this film.
002: Dr.No (1962)
Love this movie and my favorite of the Sean Connery era. While it doesn’t have as dramatic of a plot as From Russia With Love or Goldfinger, I think it’s more enjoyable. Sean Connery is most likable here, and I like the pacing and tone of the film too. Crab Key is a great location and who can forget Honey Ryder, the tarantula scene and the revealing of Dr. No. Maybe not the most exciting Bond film, but it’s one of the best Bond films.
001: Goldeneye (1995)
The game was fantastic, but I wasn’t expecting the movie to be either. Glad I was wrong. In my opinion, this is the best Bond film and a strong reboot for the 90s. Alec Trevelyan is a great Bond villain and its fun to see a bad guy that resembles 007 so closely. Natalya is one of the smartest Bond girls and who could forget the supporting cast. Xenia Onatopp, General Ourumov, KGB Valentin Zukovsky and computer programmer Boris Grishenko are all memorable. The exploding pen may be silly, but I think it’s a cool Bond gadget. Fun fact, director Martin Campbell also directed Casino Royale.
There you have it my favorite Bond movies. Thanks for reading and here’s hoping to 54 more years of Bond films.