Throughout the years, the Bond series has provided us with innumerable thrills and a few groans. If you started watching at a different point in time, you can have different personal favorites.
Pierce Brosnan in the ’90s? Roger Moore in the ’70s? Even though the 007 series began in 1962 and most people haven’t watched it since then, the early Sean Connery adventures have kept up well in the eyes of the general public.
From Sean Connery and Roger Moore to Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton to George Lazenby, we’ve got it all when it comes to performers that have played James Bond in the official series.
Take a look at our recommendations and overview of the big-screen adventures of James Bond if you aren’t sure where to begin.
10. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
When it comes to OHMSS, you’ll probably get your money’s worth out of it in a matter of seconds. 007, played by George Lazenby, saves Diana Rigg’s Tracy from a suicide attempt and remarks with a smirk, “This never happened to that other fellow,” as she speeds off.
Unfortunately, Lazenby forges his own legacy as Bond in an exciting journey that sees him once again clash with Blofeld, despite the film’s excessive self-awareness. Blofeld and Bond play cat-and-mouse here, with terrible consequences, as Bond goes full spy mode by pretending to be a genealogy.
We’d have a hard time finding a better Bond film than this one in many categories. Best Bond score, best Bond lady, and one of the best Bond villains are all on the list. In addition, it has one of the best Bond endings ever. When you know what’s coming, it’s even more devastating.
Blofeld’s shooter brutally robs 007 of wedded joy as he leaves for his honeymoon. Lazenby’s solo excursion, in which he cradles Tracy in his arms while singing “We Have All The Time in the World,” is complete with the appropriate capper.
9. Dr. No (1963)
To Adam’s credit, in Dial M for Murder, an unnamed Dr. No gives a fatal tarantula to Professor Dent, who is otherwise unintentionally killed by Grace Kelly’s scissors.
On a tight budget, it was put together in record time. We need Dr. Strangelove’s War Room, Goldfinger’s Rumpus Room, and Fort Knox’s Interior to bring Adam to prominence.
However, there are two things that make Dr. No a beloved character. The first time we met Bond was at the Les Ambassadeurs nightclub in London, where he was playing cards, lighting a cigarette, and introducing himself as “Bond, James Bond.”
Also, a scene where Bond is surprised to see Goya’s picture of the Duke of Wellington in Dr. No’s opulent living room was invented on the set. It’s one of the funniest scenes in any Bond film and a classic cinematic art joke.
8. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The opening ski chase sums up this film, and Roger Moore‘s output as a whole: While avoiding hostile agents who can’t shoot straight, Bond has a large duffel bag slung to his back. However, as he free-falls over a cliff and pops a Union Jack parachute, it all makes sense.
To prevent a wicked mastermind from wiping out humanity and creating an underwater civilization, Bond negotiates an amicable truce (hint, wink) with a female Soviet agent.
Even the unkillable behemoth Jaws with metal fangs is so unforgettable that he reappears for Moonraker—after one-upping his blockbuster namesake by biting a shark—and Barbara Bach is one of the most seductive Bond Girls ever!
7. Skyfall (2012)
In addition to being the highest-grossing James Bond picture to date, this 2012 film has been hailed as the best Daniel Craig 007 flick by critics—and that’s not all.
One of the greatest Bond films ever made, according to James Adams of Toronto’s Globe and Mail, “Skyfall is one of the greatest Bond films ever made.” It was the first time since Goldfinger in 1964 that a film in the series won both best picture and best sound editing awards at the Oscars.
Skyfall is a fantastic action film. It’s in that sweet spot between Bond’s invisible automobile in Die Another Day, where I think the imaginary line from extravagance to reality runs.
With 007 and Eve, played by Naomie Harris, chasing each other around Istanbul, we begin the film with a raucous chase sequence. While the pre-title song from Adele, Basseying those vocal cords terribly, conveys the comic combination of Bond’s machismo and odd and ludicrous tenderness, this interlude also serves to liven up the picture.
6. GoldenEye (1997)
In GoldenEye, there isn’t a second wasted. Unlike some of the other Bond films, which tend to drag at times, Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as 007 is quick and efficient. Scenes and action set-pieces all contribute to the overall story.
006 Alec Trevelyan sends Brosnan along on a mission that goes horribly wrong. For years, 006 is thought to have been dead, and it isn’t until some time later, with Brosnan’s agent dismissed by M as a “relic of the Cold War” that Bond discovers the truth about his double life.
It has everything: the beginning assault, the tank chase through Moscow, and the heartbreaking “For England” at the end to make a great video game. The greatest achievement of GoldenEye, though, is saving Bond. For commercial and critical reasons, a return to the Moore era would have been disastrous.
Six years after the last film, Brosnan provided the much-needed blend of debonair attitude and serious aptitude for explosive one-liners that the franchise had been lacking in recent years, with No Time to Die’s six-year break.
5. You Only Live Twice (1967)
Japan is the setting for this near-epic tale. One of the best Bond films of the Cold War is the result of combining British flair with Asian dynamism. Sean Connery has stated that this is his final performance as James Bond.
His confrontation with Spectre leader Blofeld to start World War III is just the right thing for him to do. 007 undergoes training from gorgeous female ninjas, pilots a heavily armed mini copter, fires a cigarette-propelled rocket, travels a secret subway across Tokyo, and otherwise cranks all Bondian cliches to 11.
John Barry’s most dramatic soundtrack serves as the climax of the film’s storyline. Despite all of the minor characters and plot twists, the theme tune lingers in the mind long after they’ve faded into the background.
4. From Russia With Love (1964)
When it comes to Bond escapades, you don’t have to rely on war-level destruction and over-the-top gadgetry to make Elon Musk blush. That’s why Skyfall is one of Thinking Man’s favorite Bond films.
Since Dr. No is determined to avenge himself, the plot of From Russia with Love centers on the theft of a device that can decipher coded messages and the subsequent blackmail of Bond for his involvement in a romance with an agent.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced, classic Cold War thriller, go no farther than “The Night of the Hunters.” Finally, in a cramped railway carriage, Bond unravels the plot of his hostile mirror, the blonde, brawny Red Grant.
This is the show-stopping moment of the film. There’s a certain joie de vivre to be found in the way Bond outmaneuvers his enemies in From Russia with Love, even though many of his adversaries have been dealt with more brutally in the past.
3. Thunderball (1965)
By the time this fourth Bond film was released, the series had become a global phenomenon. The 007 roles fit Sean Connery like a well-tailored tuxedo.
This time, Bond is donning an eye patch as the SPECTRE villain Emilio Largo prepares to vaporize Miami with NATO nukes while chasing after leads and bikini-clad vixens in the Bahamas. There are many twists and turns in this plot, but not a penny of the budget, which is more than the previous three films combined put to waste, is wasted.
To the delight of the audience, Thunderball became the highest-grossing Bond film to date.
2. Goldfinger (1965)
According to critics, this 1964 film starring Sean Connery is among the greatest James Bond film ever made. Oddjob and his hat, enormous set pieces with elaborate action, and Bond in a dinner jacket were all there.
Ian Freer of Empire dubbed Goldfinger the “quintessential James Bond movie,” writing, “Larger than life, slightly silly, absolutely cool.” The movie made $124.9 million worldwide, a record for the franchise at the time, and it was the first in the series to win an Academy Award for sound effects.
The combined Metascore of Sean Connery’s seven 007 films is 71.4, making it clear that he is the indisputable king of the Bond films.
1. Casino Royale (2006)
Action is in spades in Casino Royale. At first glance, Craig’s 007 appears to be an unforgiving piece of kit. The most gripping start of the series is his monochrome recall of how he obtained his permit to kill. You are certain that Craig is capable of murdering a human being.
The iconic card game at the Casino Royale is loaded with charm. It didn’t take Craig long to dispel any early concerns that he didn’t fit the role due to, ironically, the color of his hair.
The depth of his relationship with Vesper Lynd also lets her death function as something more than a story device for the first time since OHMSS. Craig, who emerges from the sea in the Bahamas, serves as a nod to Dr. No.
In spite of the dryness of Craig’s Bond, you’re likely to laugh at his poisonous jokes, with the ball-tickling one at Le Chiffre an all-time favorite. This gritty reimagining is a Swiss Army knife that stands tall as the best Bond movie ever filmed, even if there aren’t enough gadgets to go around.
These are some of the best James Bond movies ranked in descending order. Do let us know in the comment section about more such awesome movies.