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Licence to Kill (1989)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  14 July 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 67,868 users  
Reviews: 301 user | 106 critic

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.


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Title: Licence to Kill (1989)

Licence to Kill (1989) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
President Hector Lopez (as Pedro Armendariz)


James Bond is on possibly his most brutal mission yet. Bond's good friend, Felix Leiter, is left near death, by drug baron Franz Sanchez. Bond sets off on the hunt for Sanchez, but not everyone is happy. MI6 does not feel Sanchez is their problem and strips Bond of his license to kill making Bond more dangerous than ever. Bond gains the aid of one of Leiter's friends, known as Pam Bouvier and sneaks his way into the drug factories, which Sanchez owns. Will Bond be able to keep his identity secret, or will Sanchez see Bond's true intentions? Written by simon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


James Bond is out on his own and out for revenge. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for action violence and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


| |



Release Date:

14 July 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

License to Kill  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)


$34,667,015 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Governor Bob Martinez of the state of Florida presented Albert R. Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and head of marketing Charles Juroe each with the Great Seal of the State of Florida during a month's filming at Key West. The Governor also won a walk-on part in the film as a customs officer at the Key West airport. See more »


After Bond pushes the tanker against the cliff walls, Sanchez's henchmen take aim with the Stinger rocket launcher. We see a) the henchman's POV taking aim through the viewfinder - Bond's tanker in straight road with no cliffs and no second tanker in background, then b) Stinger fired, c) crashed tanker's driver reacts to Stinger launch (so evidently sees it), d) Bond getting the tanker he's driving up on one side with ramp (no background tanker nor close cliffs in sight), e) Stinger missing Bond, f) Stinger colliding and blowing up crashed tanker near cliff walls (which was nowhere in sight when POV was from Stinger launcher sights) - evidently henchmen and crashed tanker not on same line of fire. See more »


[first lines]
AWACS radar operator: We have a mid-course deviation. Target heading 036, 126 miles, bearing 062, Havana VOR.
Voice of DEA agent: He's landing at Cray Key. Advise Key West Drug Enforcement.
AWACS radar operator: Roger, sir. AWACS to Key West. Key West Drug Enforcement, please come in.
Voice of DEA agent: If they hurry, they just might be able to grab the bastard.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the tail end of the credits: "James Bond Will Return" See more »


Spoofed in The Simpsons: We're on the Road to D'owhere (2006) See more »


Für Elise
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Arranged by Michael Kamen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A different Bond, and a very good one!
20 December 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Goldfinger is the benchmark of great Bond films, and while this one doesn't come anywhere near that - you still can't really ask much more of a Bond film. Licence to Kill, the last of the eighties bond films, stands out because director John Glen seems keen to make it as little like the rest of the series as possible. Most Bond films feature the popular spy on a mission and answering to MI6 - but here he's acting out a personal vendetta, and we get to see a different side to Ian Flemings' character. The film opens with a rather over the top wedding sequence, in which James Bonds' friend and ally Felix Leighter gets married to a pretty blonde woman. However, just before this we watched Bond and Felix apprehend a drug dealer, and not taking to being caught very kindly - the dealer decides to use some of his cronies to maim Felix and kill his wife. Bond then decides to go after the drug dealer, much to the dismay of MI6 who promptly take away his licence to kill. This doesn't stop Bond, however, as along with a few allies - he sets out to get revenge on those responsible...

Many people say that Timothy Dalton was the worst of the Bonds, but I disagree. While he doesn't fit the role as well as Sean Connery, and isn't quite manly enough for my liking - his suave style goes brilliantly with the James Bond character, and he is perfect for exploring the darker side of the character in this film. The film has that eighties style that often seems tacky nowadays, but it's not laid on thick until the very end, and this doesn't hinder the film. The stunts are the best thing about Licence to Kill, as the director constantly succeeds at delivering memorable and exciting action scenes, the best of which is saved until the end. The fact that this film takes in the theme of 'the war on drugs' means it stands out from a lot of the rest of the series as world domination is never mentioned. Robert Davi gets to play the Bond villain, and for me is one of the best of the entire series. He manages to be evil without ever looking comical, and that can't be easy in a series known for being completely overblown. Overall, Licence to Kill is undoubtedly one of my favourite Bond films, and it therefore comes highly recommended!

26 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why Did People Not Accept the 'Angry Bond' in '89 ? mistermycroft
'He was married once...' starbond8
Surprised no one noticed... phultra
Was Felix high on painkillers... scarlet_symon
Poor Caroline Bliss genuis_of_the_year2002
Why did Bond attack the Secret Service agents? sn939
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