Let’s be honest, every guy who’s seen James Bond has wanted to be him – he just seems like the coolest guy ever, and he’s been in some of the most suave and action-packed films ever. They haven’t all been zingers, though, so how would I rank them all?
N.B. If you’re reading this in the future, “No Time To Die” hasn’t come out yet so you won’t see that in this list.
You can check out some of my other lists below:
24 – Die Another Day
The only “bad” film in the franchise, but to be fair there are still some fun moments of non-sensical spy shenanigans.
It doesn’t help that the story is lacking, Madonna’s theme song is the worst of the bunch, and Brosnan riding that wave might be the worst moment of the franchise.
23 – Diamonds Are Forever
I’d consider every film beyond this point to be a fairly fun time, but “Diamonds Are Forever” is definitely a weak film.
Connery comes back to the role, but he really should have just left it alone. The villains are some of the weakest of the franchise, and other than the car stunt that sees it drive on two wheels (they even got the continuity wrong for that, watch the clip back and you’ll see the car flips sides!), there isn’t much I can remember from this.
22 – Dr. No
It almost feels like heresy to claim the first film in the franchise – the iconic film that set the standard for all the future films in the franchise – is only a “Meh” tier film.
I guess it’s still an “OK” film objectively, but it’s far from what I want from a Bond film, and it’s quite boring in retrospect. Later films in the franchise would improve on this one in every way, but you have to start somewhere.
21 – Moonraker
The franchise tried to capitalise on the Star Wars mania of the late 70s, and what we got was a silly, unrealistic mess of a movie.
There are some dumb moments in this, but the worst part has to be this film’s treatment of an iconic villain like Jaws – why did he even come back in the first place?!?
20 – A View To A Kill
This should have been a great movie – Christopher Walken was a great high-profile actor to have as the baddie, and he killed it in the role – but the problem with this film is that Roger Moore has overstayed his welcome.
He’s just too old to play the role of Bond, and the scenes where he has to seduce the young co-stars are just too awkward and uncomfortable. I’m glad this was his last outing as the famous spy, but “A View To A Kill” tarnished his legacy a little.
19 – The Living Daylights
Timothy Dalton’s first outing as 007 wasn’t bad at all, but it wasn’t exactly the most scintillating addition to the Bond series. At least the theme song by A-Ha is pretty good, but the rest is completely forgettable.
18 – Octopussy
Roger Moore’s final few outings as Bond yielded diminishing returns, and there are some really silly moments in this. Some of the plane stunts were cool, but the general circus and Eastern stereotypes let it down.
17 -Tomorrow Never Dies
Riding high after “Goldeneye”, this film was a bit of a disappointment. It didn’t even come close to capturing what made its predecessor so good, and what we got was an extremely forgettable media-mogul takeover story. I have to mention the carpark sequence though, that was amazing.
16 – Quantum of Solace
I feel like Quantum of Solace gets too much hate – it’s definitely the worst of the Craig Bond films, but it still has some good moments. It’s a shame they tried to capitalise on the Bourne film technique of too many camera cuts, and that almost ruins some of the action scenes.
15 – The World Is Not Enough
On a slightly off-topic note, those have to be two of the hottest Bond girls ever.
Alright, back to the film. This is a decent outing from the famous spy, but all of Brosnan’s Bond films since “Goldeneye” just felt like an old married couple trying and failing to rekindle the love you felt in the first place.
14 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
It’s easy to hate the Black Sheep of the franchise, but I thought it was pretty decent. Lazenby does an alright job in Connery’s absence, and that final scene is a gut-wrencher that I’ll never forget.
13 – Live and Let Die
Roger Moore’s first outing as the famous spy was certainly a memorable one, though I feel he was only just beginning to hit his stride. The crocodile scene is the stand-out for me, although it is slightly far-fetched (but that’s why we love this series so much!).
12 – Thunderball
Coming after Goldfinger was always going to be tough, but Thunderball still managed to make a lotta dough at the box office. I quite like the silliness of this one, from the general underwater premise to the ridiculous gadgets like the jetpack.
11 – Spectre
This film got a lot of slack on its release, but it is nowhere as near as underwhelming as Quantum of Solace. If anything, Spectre is a little bit disappointing as a follow-up to the exceptional Skyfall, and it will be interesting to see how “No Time To Die” continues the story.
10 – The Man With The Golden Gun
Christopher Lee is always a compelling movie baddie, and the sequences involving the titular Golden Gun are intense (and the Golden Gun made for an excellent videogame weapon).
9 – For Your Eyes Only
The opening with Blofeld is a bit naff, but otherwise this is quite an underrated Bond outing. The ski and car chases are camp and silly, but they make for entertaining viewing.
8 – You Only Live Twice
I found out the other day that apparently Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay for this? How did that happen?!?
The racial stereotypes are a little dated (or a lot dated), but I can look past that when the movie itself is awesome. The stuff with the helicopter is fantastic, and the final battle in the bunker is definitely one of the best Bond showdowns in the franchise.
7 – License To Kill
Garnering a “15” age rating for the first time, I’m not surprised this film didn’t go down well with audiences. It’s gritty, real, and hard to watch at times.
I love everything about this movie, from Dalton’s commanding performance to the awesome truck chase to cap it all off.
6 – From Russia With Love
The follow-up to Dr No, and I felt this was the moment that the James Bond franchise was truly born.
The story itself is leagues above the first, and I was genuinely intrigued to see where the plot would go. The train sequence at the end is definitely the stand-out, and overall this is probably the most underrated film in the series.
5 – The Spy Who Loved Me
Roger Moore’s spotlight moment as the iconic spy came in “The Spy Who Loved Me”, and this is 70s Bond at its best.
The gadgets are iconic, the Bond Girl is one of the greatest (and married to Ringo Starr now, which is kinda funny), and Jaws is one of cinema’s great henchmen. It’s a shame Moore had so many dud films, as movies like this are why he’s held is such high regard by most fans.
4 – Skyfall
Now we get onto the best of the best, the films that have gone down in history as not only some of the best Bond films, but some of the greatest action / thriller / spy movies of all time.
Skyfall had a tough job on its hands – “Quantum of Solace” was a bit of a let down critically, and 2012 lined up with the 50th anniversary of the franchise, so this film had to both rescue a franchise whilst celebrating its history.
What we got was a completely iconic film from start to finish, with exotic locations, beautiful Bond Girls, and arguably the most intimidating Bond Villain of the lot. This was a huge improvement from Quantum Of Solace, and proof that Craig’s Bond was – and still is – one of the best.
3 – GoldenEye
Other than spawning one of the greatest and most beloved games of the era, “GoldenEye” did a perfect job reviving a semi-dead franchise and shot Bond back into superstardom worldwide.
Sean Bean does an excellent job of playing the villain and then dying, Brosnan brings together all of the best aspects of the previous Bonds, and the action and stakes are at an all-time high. One of the best action films of the 90s, and a great way to reboot the series.
2 – Goldfinger
I think if we were talking pure, objective Bond goodness, “Goldfinger” has to come out on top. It has everything: an iconic villain and henchman, amazing gadgets, the most famous Bond Girl, and a show-stopping finale at Fort Knox that blew my Fort Sox off.
This is also the Bond film with the most memorable scene in the franchise, and one of the most iconic in film history – Bond tied up to a table, laser about to cut him in half, Goldfinger saying “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to diiieee” – what’s not to love?
As I said, any normal person would objectively put this in the top spot, but I think there’s one other film in the franchise that I love just a little bit more …
1 – Casino Royale
If I had to pick a favourite, however controversial and blasphemous as it may be, I would have to choose “Casino Royale”. Sure, it’s not as solid as “Goldfinger”, but it’s damn close.
I’m a simple man, so if an action film has a heap of crazy visuals and epic showdowns, it’ll always be more memorable to me. There are loads of moments in this that have become some of my favourite movie scenes over the years, from the jaw-dropping parkour opening to the tense and thrilling Le Chiffre confrontations (Mads Mikkelsen, what an actor!).
Craig is easily my favourite Bond, and “Casino Royale” doesn’t have any competition as far as I’m concerned for greatest Bond outing of them all.
Aaand that’s my list. I’ve just hit 10,000 total views on my posts, so thanks a bunch for taking time out of your day to read these! It really means a lot, and it’s kinda daunting knowing this silly little side-hobby of mine is garnering a fair bit of views – but I won’t let the fame get to me! If you want to pump those numbers up even more, you can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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