James Bond is the quintessential spy lovers movie franchise. With a whopping 20+ films in the series, watching them back to back is a good few days of cheesy and adrenaline-fuelled viewing. But if you want a shortcut to the best Bond movies from the recent Daniel Craig collection, we’re here to help you out.
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Without further ado, let’s move to the list:
5th – Quantum of Solace
The second outing for Daniel Craig as Bond, Quantum of Solace leaves many Bond fans with derision. It’s often seen as the weakest of his films and that’s for a few reasons. There is no doubt a great Bond film in here somewhere – it’s just buried deep beneath its veneer.
The film had a few issues with the production right from the get-go. The directors got switched right before filming began, there was a writers’ strike and on top of those, the studio wanted the film to be rushed.
Craig still excels as a more ruthless and cold-hearted Bond, just like he’s portrayed in the original books by Ian Fleming. It’s worth a watch for his performance alone, just don’t be expecting a tour de force in direction.
4th – Spectre
The fourth movie in the Craig era of the franchise saw Bond pitted against his most fearsome foe yet – Christoph Waltz’s Ernest Stavro Blofeld (complete with cat and scar). The plot was much thicker than the aforementioned Quantum of Solace, with a great lead line that sees numerous action-packed sequences.
The film loses points though thanks to its third act. There are twists and turns, with a big secret being revealed. But the chemistry between Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux just isn’t there. You don’t really feel Bond’s pain when bad things start happening to this woman he’s supposedly in love with.
There is a stellar cast though, with Ralph Fiennes, Ben Grimshaw and Naomi Harris all returning to keep things spicy. Direction from Sam Mendes also helps, with the shots being tight, focused and never wasteful.
3rd – No Time to Die
Craigs’ final outing saw him really go out with a bang. There’s everything you could want in the film, with Craig showing his full range of Bond emotions thanks to some heartbreaking scenes.
The film perfectly ties up many of the loose ends that the previous films created and you’ve got subtle nods to many of the previous characters of the franchise, including minor characters.
The main gripes people have are the story and the villain. The story is very bare-bones. Whilst it does make sense, it just leaves you feeling like something is missing. You finish the film and think ‘Is that it? Is that how this bond is going to end?’.
Villain-wise, Rami Malek plays a maniacal, doll-faced megalomaniac who’s out for revenge whilst also trying to get Bond’s girl. Malek himself is an incredibly strong actor and he’s not used anywhere near as much as he should be. His lack of screen time proved a major disappointment.
In the end, No Time To Die is a film that strives to be remembered as great but misses the mark, unfortunately.
2nd – Casino Royale
Craig’s first ever film as James Bond – and what a performance. He was coming hot off of the heels of Pierce Brosnan, who had carried the Bond mantle with his own form of charm and charisma. With big shoes to fill, Craig strapped in and gave this new Bond his own twist.
Arguably one of the best films in the entire Bond film series – not just the Craig era – Casino Royale is a masterclass. Perfectly paced, has a brilliant story, plenty of action and of course, the menacing Le Chiffre played by Mads Mikkelsen.
You can feel the palpable terror during the casino game. You move about in your seat as Bond meets his new challenge. And who can forget the excruciating chair scene? All of this is wrapped up with a brilliant cliffhanger that leaves you hanging on for the next film. Just a shame it was Quantum of Solace.
1st – Skyfall
Skyfall is just brilliant.
Taking a long-awaited look back into Bonds roots, Sam Mendes took up the mantle of Director and the highly esteemed Roger Deakins came in as cinematographer. With a combo as good as these two, you know you’re in for an absolute treat of a film.
There’s not a lot to really say about this film, it needs to be experienced to get its full impact. One of the underappreciated aspects of Skyfall is Javier Bardem as Silva. He’s absolutely brilliant and really channels the same character as he did in No Country for Old Men.
If you had to watch just one bond film, make it Skyfall. It exemplifies not just everything good about James Bond, but the cinema industry as a whole.