Every James Bond Film Ranked
Here we rank all of the 007 movies!
Ranking The James Bond 007 Films!
Bond is back in just two years with the untitled 25th Bond film set for release on November 8, 2019. So, we decided to take a look back at all 24 movies starring 007 and rank them from worst to best. Like any long-running film series, this one has plenty of ups and downs with every actor starring in both good and bad ones (except one and done Bond actor George Lazenby). Now let's take a look at each one of these spy films and see which ones are the worst and which are the best in this over 50-year-old film franchise based on the books by Ian Fleming.
24. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
The worst James Bond movie is On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This is what happens when a studio tries to capitalize on a popular franchise without getting all the pieces in place first, namely it's star. They rushed the production of this film after Sean Connery, the first Bond actor, bowed out of the franchise to take a break. Horribly miscast, male model George Lazenby takes over the lead role and the film suffers because of his inexperience. Bond faces his arch-enemy Blofeld who is planning to hold the world ransom by the threat of sterilizing the world's food supply through a group of brainwashed women, and along the way Bond falls in love with a femme fatale. It's a fine love story, but they change up the character of 007 too much and make him ready to settle down too early. I'm glad Lazenby stopped playing the part after this one movie.
This is by far Roger Moore's worst outing as the character as Bond is assigned the task of following a general who is stealing jewels and relics from the Soviet government leading him to a wealthy Afghan prince, Kamal Khan, and his associate, Octopussy, and the discovery of a plot to force disarmament in Western Europe with the use of a nuclear weapon. It's another fine storyline but it's almost totally dull and boring from beginning to end. You can tell by watching that Moore is almost ready to quit playing the role.
More ridiculous but still somehow better than his worst entry, Roger Moore delivers as Bond in this space-set 007 adventure. When Hugo Drax steals a space shuttle, Bond, along with space scientist Dr. Holly Goodhead, follows the trail from California to Venice, Rio de Janeiro to the Amazon, and finally to outer space to prevent a plot to wipe out the world population and re-create humanity. This one is still far more boring than it should be, but it features the return of villainous henchman Jaws who has his own oddly compelling love story in this one.
21. Die Another Day
Pierce Brosnan is a great Bond, but he delivers his worst performance ever here. He’s clearly failed by director Lee Tamahori who lets down not only his leading man, but also his leading lady. It’s hard to stress just how terrible Halle Berry is in this movie as an assassin named Jinx. Most of all he let's down the audience because (with the exception of a cool car chase on a frozen lake) just about every action scene is done on a green-screen which takes all the thrill out of one of the core foundations of this franchise: the epic stunt. It's got a fine plot which has 007 betrayed, captured, and on the hunt for a British mole, but it's all executed horribly.
20. The World Is Not Enough
It's unfortunate that Brosnan didn't get to make better 007 films as he's good in the role, but the script for this one is really bad. After the assassination of billionaire Sir Robert King by the terrorist Renard, and Bond's subsequent assignment to protect King's daughter Elektra, who had previously been held for ransom by Renard, Bond unravels a scheme to increase petroleum prices by triggering a nuclear meltdown. Sophie Marceau is good as Elektra, but when Denise Richards shows up as nuclear physicist Christmas Jones, it's so evident that she’s badly miscast that it derails a somewhat interesting premise. There’s a lot more intrigue and double-crossing going on in this one than your typical Bond film and the bad guy can’t feel any pain which does give him an edge that they have a little fun with.
19. You Only Live Twice
By far Sean Connery's worst outing as the super-spy, this one has Bond dispatched to Japan after American and Soviet manned spacecraft disappear mysteriously in orbit. There he encounters Ernest Savro Blofeld, head of the global criminal organization known as SPECTRE, working to provoke World War III. It's another by-the-numbers plot with not much going on outside of the unique setting. At least Blofeld is finally revealed after being in the shadows for the first four films, although it's not handled well enough to be interesting. This one was so bad it caused Connery to leave the role for a few years.
18. For Your Eyes Only
As Bond attempts to locate a missile command system while becoming tangled in a web of deception spun by rival Greek businessmen, he's joined by a woman seeking to avenge the murder of her parents. After going crazy with his space-centric outing, Roger Moore's 007 goes back to Bond basics in this movie. It's a much more solid, but still kinda dull story. There is a great action sequence where Bond and his girl are dragged behind a boat through shark infested waters. Yeah, it's pretty intense. On the whole however, this is a very forgettable Bond film.
17. Tomorrow Never Dies
One of the better Brosnan Bond flicks, this one features 007 on a mission to stop Elliot Carver, a power-mad media mogul from engineering world events to initiate the third World War. As the villain, Jonathan Pryce delivers an unhinged and zany performance, Michelle Yoeh is a wonderful Bond girl who can hold her own, and Teri Hatcher plays a seductive trophy wife who has a history with James. There's a lot to like here as a fun action movie, but, unfortunately, there are too many silly, over-the-top moments from making this one a good 007 film.
16. The Living Daylights
Timothy Dalton’s first outing as the titular character, establishing a radically different 007, this movie brings a steely seriousness to the character and the world he's in. This one is a great palate cleanser after the stale, silly Roger Moore run. It's also an exceedingly ’80s movie with The Cold War front and center. A good chunk of the action takes place in Afghanistan as the insurgents help Bond and his allies fight the Russians, which makes itan interesting historical artifact in today’s world. It's not bad, but it's also not great, making for a fine entry, but not a particularly memorable one.
15. Diamonds Are Forever
This film marks the return of Sean Connery as Bond after George Lazenby gave it a shot and failed miserably. The plot has Bond impersonating a diamond smuggler to infiltrate a smuggling ring, and soon uncovering a plot by his old nemesis Blofeld to use the diamonds to build a space-based laser weapon as he plans on destroying Washington D.C. and extorting the world with nuclear supremacy. While this isn’t his worst Bond movie, you can tell that Connery took it as a payday and isn’t fully invested. This one does have a couple of really bizarre hitmen, fun action, and a serviceable story, but it's so important because it saved the franchise from an early death.
14. A View To A Kill
In this outing Roger Moore returns with Christopher Walken playing the villain who helps elevate Moore’s final outing as 007 playing the eclectic businessman who plots to wipe Silicon Valley off the map by setting off earthquakes with explosives on the fault lines of California. It helps that this film has ditched the soap-opera feel and over-the-top silliness of the previous few entries. It’s not the most exciting Bond film, but the finale on the Golden Gate Bridge is very memorable as is Grace Jones, who may not be the greatest actress in the world, but is incredibly striking as Walken’s personal assassin May Day. They give her a lot to do and she has real a character arc and depth which is rare for the token henchman. It's Moore's final hurrah, and while it's not his best, it's not his worst either.
13. Quantum of Solace
Daniel Craig always delivers great performances as Bond, but this script just didn't quite live up to the others. It was made during a writer's strike which didn't help the hurried production. This film was clearly rushed but all things considered they made a good action film and continued the story from Casino Royale in a logical way that made sense. It threw some audience members off as it was a direct sequel to the 2006 reboot, but that helps set it apart and gives it more emotional weight. This is a revenge story as 007 uncovers a global criminal organization responsible for killing someone he loves. Also, Gemma Arterton and Ogla Kurylenko play two very different Bond girls who both add to the journey James is on.
12. License To Kill
Here is Timothy Dalton's best Bond entry. In this story we find 007 going rogue to get revenge on a drug kingpin who killed his American partner. This is the most violent and gory film of the series, and also one of the most entertaining Bond movies period. Plus, you have Wayne Newton as a slimey televangelist, and an early unhinged appearance by Benicio del Toro as a psychotic henchman. It's got plenty of thrills and a good story with a younger, colder, and deadlier Bond than we've ever seen before.
In his most recent outing as 007, Daniel Craig delivers another solid performance as the character. While it's criticized as his worst yet, I disagree completely. I know it's not nearly as strong as his two other outings in the role, but I like the way they incorporated everything long-time fans enjoy about the long-running series in this new modern world which gave us a fresh take on the characters and connected the complex story of Craig's four-film run. Christoph Waltz is excellent as a smart, creepy Blofeld and the decision to tie Blofeld’s backstory in with Bond’s makes their relationship meaningful which helps tell the story of this new 007. Bond girls Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci are wonderful in their roles, as is Dave Bautista as the silent henchman Mr. Hinx. Also, the action is excellent from the intense opening in Mexico on The Day of the Dad to the chilling finale in the streets of London.
10. Live and Let Die
Roger Moore’s first time as Bond is commonly referred to as one of the worst James Bond movies, but I think it gets a bit of a bad rap. In this film, 007 runs on alligators, fights Voodoo priests armed with venomous snakes, and seduces a fortune teller. How can you not like that? The plot has Bond investigating the deaths of three British agents, leading him to Dr. Kananga, a corrupt Caribbean dictator and secret Harlem drug lord also known as Mr. Big, who plans on distributing two tons of heroin for free to put rival drug barons out of business. All of this fun, craziness is elevated by Paul McCartney's all-timer title song which is still one of the top three best Bond songs ever, up there with Adele's Skyfall and Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger.
This entry has Connery back for the fourth time, and it contains some of the most iconic Bond moments. Here they raise the stakes considerably, and cap things off with a massive underwater scuba fight with spearguns and hungry sharks. This one’s unforgettable and a lot of fun. 007 seeks two NATO atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE, as they hold the world to ransom for £100 million in diamonds in exchange for not destroying an unspecified major city in either England or the United States. Finding the stolen weaponry in the Bahamas, James Bond teams-up with CIA agent Felix Leiter and the villain's mistress, where he encounters a card-playing, eye patch-wearing SPECTRE Number Two, Emilio Largo. This one might be just a bit over-the-top, but never gets campy, and Connery's having a blast every step o the way.
8. The Man With The Golden Gun
There’s something charming about the smaller scope of this film, which pits 007 against a man named Scaramanga, played by the late, great Christopher Lee, who is known to be the best assassin in the world. There’s a larger threat too, as the titular villain plans to use solar power to build a laser called the Solex Agitator capable of destroying entire cities. Christopher Lee elevates the material just by his very presence and Roger Moore finally gets a bad guy that you’re not sure he can beat. It's a tense movie with some fantastic performances, a solid script, and awesome action.
Pierce Brosnan’s first foray into the world of 007 was his best as it brings Bond into the modern movie-making era with style. Brosnan falls somewhere between Connery’s rogue charm, Moore’s sophistication, and Dalton’s brutality being perhaps the best combination of elements ever to fit into a tux for this franchise. Sadly, he only got one great movie and this is it. I don’t know why it took the series so long to pit Bond against another Double-O, but this one does it and does it well. The movie has fun with the gadgets and theatricality you want from a Bond film, but it doesn’t turn into a cartoon like the other Brosnan Bond films did. Plus it spawned the best movie video game adaptation ever made, so bonus points. The excellent plot has Bond fighting to prevent an ex-MI6 agent, gone rogue, from using a satellite against London to cause a global financial meltdown. Also, Sean Bean and Famke Janssen make from two vastly different but equally great villains.
6. The Spy Who Loved Me
In Roger Moore's best outing as James Bond, 007 joins forces with a Russian secret agent code named Triple X, played brilliantly by Barbara Bach, to stop a reclusive megalomaniac named Karl Stromberg, who plans to destroy the world and create a new civilization under the sea. Bond and Triple X spend just as much time fighting with each other as they do alongside each other which makes his relationship this Bond girl one of the most fun. This film introduces one of the series’ most recognizable bad guys played by Richard Kiel, the metal-mouthed henchman known as Jaws. This installment opens with a giant stunt as Bond skis off a cliff and opens a British Flag parachute, setting a new standard for this franchise.
5. From Russia With Love
This is such a great movie and one of the best the 007 series has to offer. Robert Shaw‘s assassin villain Red Grant is one of the scariest and most formidable foes 007 ever has faced. The assassin's plan is to kill Bond in retaliation for the death of one of the key members of SPECTRE as 007 brings a Soviet defector back to the United Kingdom. Shaw's performance is a highlight here and his character is wickedly smart, ruthless, cold-blooded, and incredibly strong. His conversation with Bond and their fight on the train is maybe my favorite sequence in any James Bond movie. However, Daniel Bianchi should not be overlooked as she delivers a wonderful performance as a real, normal (yet stunningly beautiful) Bond girl. The finale also establishes the giant spectacle we come to expect from this series.
4. Casino Royale
Daniel Craig began his term as 007 with a bang in this movie which marks the first time the series seriously tried to reboot itself. Opening with Bond earning his Double-O status is a bold move as it's an intense and gritty sequence. Mads Mikkelsen's Le Chiffre is one of the creepiest, smartest, and most sinister villains 007 goes up against, as he plays a high stakes poker game to get info on a planned terrorist attack involving an experimental aircraft. However, the reason this is one of the best Bond films is because of his relationship with Eva Green's Vesper Lynd. It’s so effective and so complex as Bond opens his heart for the first time to this woman early in his career and gets hit for it. Did he get blindsided by true love or was he deceived by a cunning femme fatale? Which would be worse for a man like James Bond? These questions are brought up at the end of the movie and puts our new, tougher 007 into a very interesting, opaque, spot as a character.
3. Dr. No
The one that started it all is still one of the best of them all. On assignment in Jamaica, 007 searches for a missing British agent and discovers the mysterious Dr. No is planning to disrupt an American space launch with a radio beam weapon. Looking back on it now it’s a bit tamer and smaller in scope than what people are used to with this franchise, but all the building blocks are there. Sean Connery’s charm is on full display, SPECTRE is revealed, and the definition of “Bond Girl” is forever set in stone when Ursula Andreas‘ Honey Ryder steps out of the ocean in a white bikini with a knife in her hand. While it may not be the most exciting entry into the Bond cannon, it’s beautifully shot and definitely one of the classiest films the series has produced. There’s a purity to it being a spy movie first and foremost with the trademark Bond silliness, gadgets, and giant stunts not yet front and center.
This is where the Bond that you know and love really took form. Bond uncovers a gold smuggling ring and learns that Auric Goldfinger is planning to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve. Goldfinger himself is hands down the best and flashiest Bond villain. Goldfinger’s ambitions are much grander than most villains and more recognizable as he's a rich man who wants make himself richer even if it means destroying the rest of the world in the process. Connery’s at his best as Bond here while he’s in his constant game of wits with Goldfinger. For my money, this is the best of the Connery Bonds and is, pardon the pun, the gold standard all Bond films are held to.
The best James Bond movie is Skyfall. Craig’s Bond goes through a lot of changes and we learn a lot about his past in this epic, yet personal and intimate, spy thriller. 007 is up against my favorite of his villains in the form of Javier Bardem‘s broken, brilliant, and revenge-bent Silva, a man with a giant plan for something very simple: destroy 007's boss M and everything she has built. A good 007 movie has to have a good villain and Silva might not be trying to blow up the world or steal Russian nukes, but he is colorful and filled with rage. Also, like all the great Bond villains, he’s devilishly intelligent. Craig gives his best performance here as an aging and shattered Bond, Judi Dench gives it her all in this installment, Berenice Lim Marlohe is superb as the anti-heroic Bond girl, and the new actors playing franchise-favorite characters introduced here in the modern world are all perfectly cast including Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, and Ralph Fiennes as M. This film is a blast from it's shocking opening to it's heartbreaking finale.