There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who would argue to the death that Sean Connery is the only real James Bond and everyone else.

I fall into the latter camp. There are six actors who have played Ian Fleming’s legendary spy onscreen, and they’ve each brought something unique to the role.

Everyone knows the James Bond movies. They’re a cultural touchstone and have been for decades.

It’s been 50 years since the first film — Dr. No — was released in 1962, and only six actors have played the role of the debonair MI6 agent.

But which are the best? Which are worth your time, and which aren’t? Over the course of his career, 007 has had a lot of ups and downs

Best James Bond Movies

Let’s jump right into our guide to the best Jame Bond films.

Die Another Day (2002)

‘Die Another Day’ is one of the most controversial Bond films ever made.

While it had some spectacular action set pieces and some iconic moments, many fans were disappointed by the overall direction of the movie.

Some felt that it was a bit too campy and too outlandish in its approach to Bond’s world.

Others felt that it didn’t have enough action sequences and tried to focus on other elements such as a love story between Jinx (Halle Berry) and Bond (Pierce Brosnan).

Regardless of what you think about ‘Die Another Day,’ however, there’s no denying that it did have some amazing moments that really helped to propel the movie forward.

In terms of being an action movie, ‘Die Another Day’

Die Another Day
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Pierce Brosnan, Toby Stephens (Gustav Graves), Halle Berry (Jinx) (Actors)
  • Lee Tamahori (Director) - Neal Purvis (Writer) (Writer) - Barbara Broccoli (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Licence To Kill (1989)

“Licence to Kill” is the fourteenth entry in the James Bond series and was released in 1989. The film is directed by John Glen and it stars Timothy Dalton as agent 007. This installment sees 007 face off against a drug lord named Sanchez.

Synopsis:

In Licence To Kill, James Bond (Timothy Dalton) must track down a drug kingpin who uses terrorist tactics to instill fear in his business rivals. On his mission, Bond finds himself pitted against Sanchez (Robert Davi), an assassin who has left the world of drug trafficking for good.

But after his girlfriend is killed by one of Sanchez’s men, Bond turns against his former employer M (Judi Dench) and sets out on a personal vendetta to bring Sanchez down before he kills again.

Positives:

The best thing about “Licence To Kill” is its action sequences. The opening scene features Bond fighting two men while riding a speedboat through rough waters. It is thrilling and exciting, but also features some excellent stunt work to make it even better.

Later in the film, we get a great car chase that takes place on winding mountain roads. This sequence may not be as impressive as the boat chase, but it is still very fun to

Licence to Kill
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Timothy Dalton (James Bond), Robert Davi (Franz Sanchez), Carey Lowell (Pam Bouvier) (Actors)
  • John Glen (Director) - Richard Maibaum (Screenplay) (Writer) - Albert R. Broccoli (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Quantum Of Solace (2008)

Quantum of Solace is the second Bond film to be directed by Marc Forster, who was previously responsible for the hugely successful World War II drama, ‘Monster’s Ball’. In his first outing as a big-screen director Forster’s presence was felt throughout, as he strived (and succeeded) to make Bond feel more like a realistic character than a larger than life superhero.

In keeping with this idea, Quantum Of Solace sees Bond in a darker and more brooding mood than before. The character has been severely shaken by Vesper Lynd’s betrayal and the murder of his boss M, which inspired him to take up drinking again.

In fact, there’s no doubt that Daniel Craig gives the darkest portrayal of Bond yet in this film. He actually looks rather frightening and downtrodden during much of the running time. A lot of this is down to Craig himself though – he really does seem to have more passion for this role than any other actor who has portrayed 007 before him.

The opening scenes also help to establish an uneasy atmosphere as we witness Bond being shot in the shoulder and kidnapped by a group of men in Bolivia. This is where we learn that Quantum Of Solace is not just about action, but there is also an underlying political thriller

Quantum of Solace
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric (Actors)
  • Marc Forster (Director) - Paul Haggis (Writer) (Writer) - Barbara Broccoli (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

 

Best James Bond Movies

Who Is James Bond?

The James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond, 007, who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming.

It is one of the longest continually-running film series in history.

James Bond is the literary character who first appeared in a 1953 novel written by Ian Fleming — and who Fleming named after an American ornithologist — is one of the most recognizable characters in all of pop culture, and probably the longest-lasting.

Bond has evolved over the years, both in the novels and on the big screen, but while some aspects of his character have changed, other things remain constant.

He’s still a British spy, he still works for MI6, and he still drives cool cars and drinks martinis (shaken, not stirred). And he’ll always be a bit of a dashing rogue who gets into trouble with women.

 

 

The World Is Not Enough (1999)

The World Is Not Enough is a 1999 spy film, the 19th in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. It was directed by Michael Apted, with the original story and screenplay written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Bruce Feirstein.

The film was retitled to avoid confusion with the 1965 television episode of the same name starring Roger Moore. The plot follows Bond’s attempts to stop a terrorist arms dealer from starting a global nuclear war, while he deals with a betrayal by his American colleague, Christmas Jones.

Purvis and Wade began writing the script in summer 1996, wanting to follow up GoldenEye with a better-written story. During production, numerous writers worked on different aspects of the script, including Feirstein (who wrote a draft), John Hopkins and Steven Paul.

French director Apted was hired to direct to take over from Maurice Binder, who died before filming began. Filming took place in France, Turkey and the Czech Republic for 105 days; mostly around London and Prague with further filming in Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

While shooting in Turkey the crew came under gunfire which resulted in an extra being injured and another kidnapped and released after negotiations between 20th Century Fox and local militants.

The film was released on November

The World Is Not Enough
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Pierce Brosnan (James Bond), Sophie Marceau (Elektra King), Robert Carlyle (Renard) (Actors)
  • Michael Apted (Director) - Neal Purvis (Story and Screenplay) (Writer) - Barbara Broccoli (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Live And Let Die (1973)

Paul Live and Let Die is a 1973 British spy film, the first of three to be produced independently by Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli’s Eon Productions, and the eighth installment of the James Bond series, starring Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond.

The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, a partnership that had already produced five Bond films, including Thunderball (1965), which was also adapted for television in 1965). Following Sean Connery’s decision to retire from the role after You Only Live Twice (1967), Broccoli and Saltzman were initially reluctant to continue financing Eon’s production of Bond films long-term; however, they agreed after being enticed by 1969’s The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

Live And Let Die was a commercial success, with a worldwide box office gross of $116 million; observers have praised it as the best of the Bond movies starring Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond.

The film received mixed reviews upon release; criticism focused on its humourless tone, though it has since been recognised for its camp value.The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Live and Let Die”, written by Paul McCartney and Linda

Live And Let Die
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Roger Moore (James Bond), Jane Seymour (Solitaire/Simone Latrelle), Yaphet Kotto (Kananga/Mr. Big)...
  • Guy Hamilton (Director) - Tom Mankiewicz (Screenplay) (Writer) - Harry Saltzman (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

A View To A Kill (1985)

When I was a kid, the summer blockbuster meant something different. It meant a big-budget Hollywood production with a special effects budget that made today’s look like chump change. It meant seeing a movie on opening night and spending the next week trying to convince all your friends how you knew in advance that the blonde would die in the end.

It meant spending two hours of your life wondering why Christopher Walken and Grace Jones were dressed like they were extras from Saturday Night Live. And it meant getting one hell of a thrill when the James Bond movie finally hit theaters and you got to see Roger Moore ride a white horse through L.A., shooting lasers out of his wrists, doing stunts that would make Jackie Chan jealous, and all without breaking a sweat.

I remember going to see A View To A Kill with my dad on opening night at one of those old-fashioned cineplexes you don’t see anymore (the ones with balconies). And I remember being absolutely blown away by the opening credits sequence, which featured the song “A View To A Kill” performed by Duran Duran over an animation sequence so stunningly gorgeous that it was considered groundbreaking for its time (and yeah, I’m about to do that thing where I use words like “g

A View To A Kill
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Roger Moore (James Bond), Christopher Walken (Max Zorin), Tanya Roberts (Stacey Sutton) (Actors)
  • John Glen (Director) - Richard Maibaum (Screenplay) (Writer) - Albert R. Broccoli (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Moonraker (1979)

Movie Synopsis:

James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to investigate the hijacking of an American space shuttle, which is being held in orbit by a gang of criminals led by the villainous Drax (Michael Lonsdale), who intends to set off a deadly laser beam on Earth and destroy it.

The only way to stop Drax is to shut down his huge space station, which involves Bond joining forces with the beautiful Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) and her scientist accomplice (himself a former NASA employee). Meanwhile, Bond’s arch enemy Blofeld (Charles Gray) returns, along with Jaws (Richard Kiel), to plague Bond once again.

Moonraker was the first Bond film to be produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson after the death of Cubby Broccoli in December 1984. It was made at Pinewood Studios with sets constructed at Bray Studios and was filmed in France, England and Holland between July 1978 and January 1979.

Richard Maibaum co-wrote the script with director Lewis Gilbert and producer Michael G. Wilson from a story by Maibaum, Wilson and Broccoli.

The film was originally going to be called Moonraker (1979) is a science fiction film, the eleventh in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond.

Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba), a Japanese secret service chief, comes to London to inform Bond that the Japanese billionaire shipping magnate Sir Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) is preparing to attack a Soviet space station.

Moonraker
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Roger Moore (James Bond), Lois Chiles (Dr. Holly Goodhead), Richard Kiel (Jaws) (Actors)
  • Lewis Gilbert (Director) - Christopher Wood (Screenplay) (Writer) - Albert R. Broccoli (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Never Say Never Again (1983)

Never Say Never Again is a 1983 American spy film produced by and starring Sean Connery, who also served as the film’s director. It is the first non-Eon Bond film and the only one not to involve Ian Fleming directly.

The film was directed by Irvin Kershner, who replaced Connery with Peter Hunt as the film’s director. The screenplay was written by Lorenzo Semple Jr., who had worked on Thunderball (1965) and its 1967 remake You Only Live Twice (1967). The soundtrack was composed by Michel Legrand.

A 1965 draft of the script was originally known as Thunderball II, but when EON Productions relocated its offices from London to Pinewood Studios in 1977 they discovered that the Thunderball trademarks had already been registered by an unrelated undertaking, forcing them to produce the new movie under a different title.*

Years later, after original series producer Albert R. Broccoli’s death in 1996, the character of James Bond would be reintroduced in a more modern setting with a new actor through a series of films using only limited elements from those produced by Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.

Though EON Productions remains responsible for every live-action film in the series, their rights over all characters except for Bond himself expired in 2002.
 

Ready to learn about some other Film Movements & Film History?