007 in Action: Ranking the Bond Films

Bond... James Bond. This is how I rank the 007 flicks. (Occasionally updated to reflect additional viewings.) NOTE: The comedy spoof Casino Royale (1967) is not considered a "legitimate" James Bond film for the purposes of this list.
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Casino Royale (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Armed with a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem. (144 mins.)
Director: Martin Campbell
“ The once-moribund franchise gets a fantastic reboot for the 21st Century. A smashing debut by Daniel Craig. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Goldfinger (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve. (110 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
“ Classic Bond. The Template. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
From Russia with Love (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
James Bond willingly falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE. (115 mins.)
Director: Terence Young
“ More espionage than action in this one, but that's a good thing... a Fleming thing. The fight to the death between Sean Connery and Robert Shaw in the Orient Express car is a series highlight. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Skyfall (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. Whilst MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. (143 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ Easily the most character-driven Bond film, action takes a back seat to the drama here. Craig is superb; Bardem's psychotic, sexually ambiguous villain is one of the series' strangest. Loved the reversal of a classic Bond trope during the climax... Instead of 007 assaulting the villain's secret fortress/lair, it's the bad guys who must storm Bond's hideout. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
The Living Daylights (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
James Bond is living on the edge to stop an evil arms dealer from starting another world war. Bond crosses all seven continents in order to stop the evil Whitaker and General Koskov. (130 mins.)
Director: John Glen
“ Timothy Dalton is the 007 of Ian Fleming's original novels in this, Bond's final adventure of the Cold War. Great action and locations, with more emphasis on romance. Dalton was the "Craig-Bond" nearly 20 years before CASINO ROYALE. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Thunderball (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
James Bond heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme. (130 mins.)
Director: Terence Young
“ In the 1960s every guy wanted to be Sean Connery's James Bond. This film and GOLDFINGER are the reasons why. Should be watched via Blu-ray on the largest hi-def TV possible. Features the biggest frogman battle ever filmed, and possibly the hottest bevy of Bond Girls. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Spectre (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. (148 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ Craig's 4th turn at bat successfully pulls off a very tricky feat -- maintaining the grittier feel of 21st Century Bond while at the same time injecting a bit of Roger Moore-style humor. The pre-titles sequence in Mexico City is dynamite. And Blofeld is back! ” - SuperDevilDoctor
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
James Bond woos a mob boss's daughter and goes undercover to uncover the true reason for Blofeld's allergy research in the Swiss Alps that involves beautiful women from around the world. (142 mins.)
Director: Peter Hunt
“ The "One-Shot" Bond. Aussie George Lazenby definitely has the action chops for the part but just seems awkward in some of the dialog scenes... Despite this, it's a pretty good performance for a novice actor in a lead role. Telly Savalas makes a great Blofeld, too, and Diana Rigg a superlative Bond Girl. Probably the best music score of the entire franchise, courtesy of maestro John Barry. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads with the help of a KGB agent whose lover he killed. (125 mins.)
Director: Lewis Gilbert
“ Best of the epic-scale "comic book" Bonds. Roger Moore's light comedy approach to 007 is just right for the material. Graced by some of the hottest Bond Girls ever. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
GoldenEye (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow agent formerly believed to be dead. (130 mins.)
Director: Martin Campbell
“ In his debut, Pierce Brosnan easily holds his own. He might be a "stiff-assed Brit" some of the time, perhaps still not fully comfortable in the part, but he's able to play humor better than Dalton could and is certainly more believable in the action scenes than Moore. Famke Janssen is a sizzlin' hot villainess; Sean Bean's traitorous 006 a worthy opponent. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Licence to Kill (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
James Bond goes rogue and sets off to unleash vengeance on a drug lord who tortured his best friend, a C.I.A. agent, and left him for dead and murdered his bride after he helped capture him. (133 mins.)
Director: John Glen
“ The "Die Hard" Bond. Dalton's 007 is pissed off and grimly determined, on a quest for revenge against a South American drug lord (Robert Davi, essaying one of the strongest main villains in years). Audiences accustomed to the campier Moore films were turned off by this darker entry — it's the most violent Bond pic — but it has since grown to be appreciated. Dalton should've gotten a third Bond film. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Dr. No (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A resourceful British government agent seeks answers in a case involving the disappearance of a colleague and the disruption of the American space program. (110 mins.)
Director: Terence Young
“ The one that started it all. Yes, it's a very dated film, but Connery gets one of the most memorable introductions ("Bond... James Bond") in cinema history — not to mention Ursula Andress. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Quantum of Solace (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country's most valuable resource. All the while, he still tries to seek revenge over the death of his love. (106 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
“ The first direct sequel in the franchise's history. If you haven't seen CASINO ROYALE a lot of it won't make any sense or resonate in the slightest. The rooftop chase/scaffold battle is ruined by much too frantic editing. Otherwise this is a tight, lightning-paced action flick with an art-house sensibility. In terms of visuals this is one of the best looking of the Bonds. Love the quick, brutal car chase that opens the film. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands. (127 mins.)
Director: John Glen
“ Chapter 1 of the Grandpa Bond Trilogy. A welcome return to earth for 007, nonetheless, after the outer space silliness of MOONRAKER. The aging Moore gives a good performance in this more serious espionage/action yarn; this should've been his last turn at bat. Unfortunately marred by goofy comic "bookend" sequences and a terrible score by Bill Conti (which already sounded dated when the film premiered). Sheena Easton's title song was a big radio hit but it's still schmaltzy pop poo. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
James Bond heads to stop a media mogul's plan to induce war between China and the UK in order to obtain exclusive global media coverage. (119 mins.)
“ Bond as brainless action flick... but it at least succeeds as such. Nearly wall-to-wall gunplay, vehicle chases and explosions, some of it quite thrilling, paper over a very thin plot — although the idea of a Rupert Murdoch-like media mogul becoming a criminal supervillain (willing to start a war for profits) is kind of intriguing. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
You Only Live Twice (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war is provoked. (117 mins.)
Director: Lewis Gilbert
“ Yes, the plot is ridiculous. Connery looks bored half the time. Donald Pleasence's Blofeld comes off like some sort of malevolent gnome. But the sets are absolutely incredible; Barry's lush score is one of the series' all-time best. And it's got ninjas. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Live and Let Die (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader. (121 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
“ Bond films just don't get any more "Seventies" than this. Moore's debut is a nearly plotless chase caper flavored with Blaxploitation elements, including a groovy, funkadelic score. The very young Jane Seymour is stunningly beautiful. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
James Bond is led to believe that he is targeted by the world's most expensive assassin while he attempts to recover sensitive solar cell technology that is being sold to the highest bidder. (125 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
“ Christopher Lee's portrayal of Scaramanga, the title villain, totally makes this movie. He's the "dark side" of Bond, a sort of anti-007, with even cooler gadgets than Bond has! This guy isn't plotting to take over the world or destroy London; he just enjoys the good life... and killing people for fun and profit. Too bad the rest of the movie isn't as good as Lee is. (Although Brit Ekland and Maud Adams make for some delicious eye candy, it must be said.) The reappearance of Sheriff Pepper (from LIVE AND LET DIE) is especially stupid, one of the most boneheaded decisions of the entire franchise. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A diamond smuggling investigation leads James Bond to Las Vegas, where he uncovers an evil plot involving a rich business tycoon. (120 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
“ Bond in Vegas, baby! The serious tone of OHMSS is tossed out the window as Connery returns to go through the motions — and pick up a hefty check. The world-threatening Blofeld is reduced to a fey quipster (although he is pretty funny) who even appears in drag during one scene. Feels a lot like the Moore films that followed instead of the Connery pics that preceded it. Another nice John Barry score. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can't feel pain. (128 mins.)
Director: Michael Apted
“ Tries to play things a bit more seriously while simultaneously undermining itself with fumbling attempts at Roger Moore-style humor. Some of the action scenes are curiously flat or feel like pure padding. And while she does, indeed, have a glorious posterior, Denise Richards is disastrously miscast as a nuclear physicist. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
A View to a Kill (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
An investigation of a horse-racing scam leads 007 to a mad industrialist who plans to create a worldwide microchip monopoly by destroying California's Silicon Valley. (131 mins.)
Director: John Glen
“ Chapter 3 of the Grandpa Bond Trilogy. The nearly 60-year old Roger Moore is totally unbelievable as an action hero in this flabby GOLDFINGER retread. The love scene between him and "amazon" Grace Jones is more horrifying than anything in CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. The Good Stuff: John Barry's score, a cackling, psychotic Christopher Walken and the thrilling old school combat atop the Golden Gate Bridge. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Octopussy (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A fake Fabergé egg and a fellow agent's death lead James Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. forces. (131 mins.)
Director: John Glen
“ Chapter 2 of the Grandpa Bond Trilogy. Setting a 007 adventure in India is pretty cool (locations don't get more "exotic" than that) but Moore is really looking long-in-the-tooth here... His (obvious) stuntman gets almost as much screen time as he does. Louis Jourdan makes a fine villain, balancing Steven Berkoff's over the top scenery chewing as the power-mad Soviet general. Unfortunately things just get too campy and a tad convoluted. ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Moonraker (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
James Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle and discovers a plot to commit global genocide. (126 mins.)
Director: Lewis Gilbert
“ What seemed like good, silly fun some four decades ago now just comes off as ludicrous cheese. Riddled with humongous plot holes, it alternately plays like a Dean Martin/Matt Helm movie (albeit one with vastly superior production values) and a Roadrunner cartoon. Bond in... space? Really? ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Die Another Day (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
James Bond is sent to investigate the connection between a North Korean terrorist and a diamond mogul who is funding the development of an international space weapon. (133 mins.)
Director: Lee Tamahori
“ The "Video Game" Bond... A bitter disappointment for the franchise's 40th anniversary. Poorest dialog of the entire series. Weak and/or silly villains. Halle Berry is absolutely gorgeous but just not a very good actress in this. The unnecessary Madonna cameo is positively cringeworthy. (My least-watched Bond.) ” - SuperDevilDoctor
Never Say Never Again (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated. (134 mins.)
Director: Irvin Kershner
“ The "rogue" Bond film that needn't ever have been made, a pointless remake of THUNDERBALL. The action is flat and Connery looks like a wax mannequin of himself. Michel Legrande's score is dreadful. ” - SuperDevilDoctor