The Best Bond films in order

by houseofjames | created - 14 Jul 2012 | updated - 17 Feb 2017 | Public

A rundown of the best to worst James Bond films.

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1. From Russia with Love (1963)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

85 Metascore

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.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Lotte Lenya, Daniela Bianchi

Votes: 99,497 | Gross: $24.80M

The absolute pinacle of the series. Connery has never been better, the action never more exciting or the plot ever so twisting. A fantastic spy film.

2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

PG | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

61 Metascore

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.

Director: Peter R. Hunt | Stars: George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Gabriele Ferzetti

Votes: 67,239 | Gross: $22.80M

George Lazenby makes a game attempt at filling Connery's venerable shoes. Action scenes are the best in the series. Diana Rigg is a classy and very lovely Bond girl. The shattering ending sequence is still unsurpassed in its power and eloquence.

3. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

55 Metascore

James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads, with the help of a K.G.B. Agent, whose lover he killed.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curd Jürgens, Richard Kiel

Votes: 84,585 | Gross: $46.80M

Roger Moore's best Bond film by far. A rollercoaster ride of awesome set pieces and stunts. Richard Kiel as the henchman Jaws is one of the most terrifying and entertaining villains in screen history. Nuff said!

4. GoldenEye (1995)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

65 Metascore

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.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen

Votes: 214,035 | Gross: $106.60M

Brosnan relaunches the franchise after a 6 year hiatus. Full of jaw-dropping stunts, lush sex scenes and nonstop action. A winner all the way.

5. The Living Daylights (1987)

PG | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

60 Metascore

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.

Director: John Glen | Stars: Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Jeroen Krabbé, Joe Don Baker

Votes: 76,369 | Gross: $51.19M

Timothy Dalton pulls the character of Bond out of the depths of self-parody. After Roger Moore's tiresome final film, Dalton and director John Glen brought everything back to basics with a new, dark interpretation of the character. Dalton is simply fantastic as Bond and is still the closest to the original Ian Fleming character. Lame villains and a typically predictable plot are drawbacks.

6. Dr. No (1962)

PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

78 Metascore

A resourceful British government agent seeks answers in a case involving the disappearance of a colleague and the disruption of the American space program.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Bernard Lee, Joseph Wiseman

Votes: 127,442 | Gross: $16.07M

The first and still one of the best. Connery makes a few changes from Ian Flemings original character, but the result is simply explosive. A well developed, intricate plot help propel this right through to the entertaining finale. Ursula Andress is iconic and gorgeous (though her voice was dubbed in the final film).

7. Licence to Kill (1989)

PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

58 Metascore

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.

Director: John Glen | Stars: Timothy Dalton, Robert Davi, Carey Lowell, Talisa Soto

Votes: 81,346 | Gross: $34.67M

Dalton's final go as Bond is different from all the others. Apeing ideas from the Lethal Weapon and Die Hard films, this one is considerable more violent and brutal than any of the others. Good villains, a sexy Bond girl (Carey Lowell) and big, large scale action scenes make this a grabber!

8. Casino Royale (2006)

PG-13 | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

80 Metascore

Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007, and must defeat a private banker to terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro, but things are not what they seem.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 515,388 | Gross: $167.45M

Bond returns, this time portrayed by the one-man battering ram known as Daniel Craig. While the film purports to return Bond to basics, with very little gadgets, it also begins to strip the character of his identity amongst screen heroes. Bond now just seems like a slightly more indestructible version of Jason Bourne. Still, this is a worthwhile entry with awesome stunts and a more thoughtful, intriguing plot than any of the films before it.

9. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

54 Metascore

Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

Director: John Glen | Stars: Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson

Votes: 79,388 | Gross: $62.30M

After Moonraker practically sank all respect the franchise ever had, this one-shot return to old school spy/espionage minimalism came along. Moore has never been better or more honest as Bond. Fantastic stunts and chases punctuate a decent script that is more thoughtful than you would expect. One major debit: Lynn Holly Johnson is horrendous as Bibi Dahl, the jail bait figure skater useless tacked onto the plot. Highlight: a fantastic sequence where Bond and leading lady Carole Bouquet are dragged over a coral reef to attract sharks.

10. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

52 Metascore

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.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher

Votes: 161,295 | Gross: $125.33M

A satisfying entry in the series, the Brosnan settling comfortably into the role. The film has more action than probably any other Bond film. In fact, there's so much action it actually starts to get boring by the end. Vincent Pryce is less than stellar as the villain Elliot Carver. Michelle Yeoh is outstanding in the action scenes, but is rather unexceptional acting-wise.

11. Goldfinger (1964)

PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

87 Metascore

Investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton

Votes: 151,358 | Gross: $51.08M

Some consider this the best Bond film, and while it is true that many of the best elements of the series began with this one, it has not aged as well as the other older films of the series. Incredibly sexist (even for a 60s Bond film), not as well photographed or acted as Dr. No or From Russia with Love. Goldfinger and Oddjob are classic villains.

12. The World Is Not Enough (1999)

PG-13 | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

57 Metascore

James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can't feel pain.

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards

Votes: 168,838 | Gross: $126.94M

A spicy, relatively well crafted modern Bond film. Definately Brosnan's best performance as Bond, with some strong portent and allusions to his tragic past. Sophie Marceau has my vote as the best female character (not name Moneypenny) in the series. One practically fatal flaw: Denise Richards. Would you believe her as a nuclear physicist? In hot pants no less?

13. Octopussy (1983)

PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

63 Metascore

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.

Director: John Glen | Stars: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Kristina Wayborn

Votes: 82,018 | Gross: $67.90M

Moore returns to Spy Who Loved Me territory with this go-for-broke Bond film. Tons of gadgets and chases help take your mind off the silly plot and overall goofy tone of the film. Lots of gags, puns and double entendres. Offers Bond a chance for a mature romance with beautiful leading lady Maud Adams.

14. Live and Let Die (1973)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

55 Metascore

007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour, Clifton James

Votes: 82,913 | Gross: $35.38M

Pretty forgettable entry in the series. Moore is less then interesting in his first go around as Bond. Also has a weird blaxpoitation feel to everything that is just out of place. Film is almost pathetically dated by todays standards. Some great stunts and action help keep things occasionally interesting, but really adds nothing of interest to the Bond mythos. No Q either.

15. Die Another Day (2002)

PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

56 Metascore

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.

Director: Lee Tamahori | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike, Toby Stephens

Votes: 183,401 | Gross: $160.94M

Definitely the least of the Brosnan films. Cheesy special effects and a ludicrous plot pretty much derail things from the start. Good villains and some unique and fun gadgetry keep things fairly lively. John Cleese makes an all too brief first appearance as the new gadget master Q. Still nice to see Bond driving a trusty Aston Martin again.

16. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

43 Metascore

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.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams

Votes: 81,799 | Gross: $20.97M

Pretty much the perfect bad Bond film, this one is pretty useless. The only real standout is Christopher Lee as Scaramanga, one of the best villains in the series (Lee is actually Ian Fleming's cousin in real life).

17. Thunderball (1965)

PG | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

64 Metascore

James Bond heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi, Luciana Paluzzi

Votes: 90,267 | Gross: $63.60M

Not bad, not great, par for the course entry. Film seems to be trying to up all the ones before it by throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. Plenty if iconic gadgetry and some mind boggling action scenes are almost done away with by the film's awkward and very sluggish pacing. Adolpho Celi is a fearsome villain and Claudine Auger is a lovely Bond girl.

18. Moonraker (1979)

PG | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

James Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle, and discovers a plot to commit global genocide.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel

Votes: 77,331 | Gross: $70.31M

Uggh! Pretty much just a rehash of The Spy Who Loved Me, but without the class or wit. Now Bond takes his game to space with very predictable results. Michael Lonsdale is a droll and entertaining villain. Jaws returns, but this time is almost completely played for laughs. Silly, comic book plot should only appeal to children. Good score by series staple John Barry.

19. You Only Live Twice (1967)

PG | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

61 Metascore

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.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi, Mie Hama, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 83,267 | Gross: $43.08M

Big, opulent production has effects and set design to knock your socks off, but plot and characters are extremely two-dimensional. First glimpse of arch-villain Ernst Blofeld is actually kind of laughable looking back at it with the foreknowledge of Dr. Evil. Location filming in Japan is the only real highlight.

20. A View to a Kill (1985)

PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

40 Metascore

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.

Director: John Glen | Stars: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones

Votes: 75,834 | Gross: $50.33M

The less said about this entry the better. Big, long, boring, and lame.

21. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

GP | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

59 Metascore

A diamond smuggling investigation leads James Bond to Las Vegas, where he uncovers an evil plot involving a rich business tycoon.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Sean Connery, Jill St. John, Charles Gray, Lana Wood

Votes: 81,873 | Gross: $43.82M

A staggeringly poor Bond film. Following the exceptional On Her Majesty's Secret Service, this one has Connery returning one more time (not counting 1983's Never Say Never Again) to do his thing. Squanders a spectacular production for cheap laughs and hokey action. Jill St John is the pits as Tiffany Case (get it? Diamonds? yeesh).

22. Quantum of Solace (2008)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

58 Metascore

James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country's most valuable resource.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench

Votes: 361,535 | Gross: $168.37M

Here we are. The cream of the crap. Everything good about Bond is gone in this two hour hell. Bond's personality is gone and the action is frenetic and incomprehensible. Mathieu Amalric is laughably cast as the worst Bond villain in the franchise's history. Only breath of fresh air is Gemma Arterton, who is scrumptious as Agent Strawberry Fields. I say it here and now, "BOND SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE JASON BOURNE!"

Thanks for reading my list, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

23. Skyfall (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

81 Metascore

Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench

Votes: 568,303 | Gross: $304.36M

After the critical drubbing given to the sh*tfest known as Quantum of Solace, Sam Mendes joins the series to bring things back on track with a moody, well-written entry to the long-running series. Villain Raoul Silva is ineffectual and the film seems to believe there is some sort of mother-son relationship between Bond and M, which is barely believable. One of the best photographed films of the year.

24. Spectre (I) (2015)

PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

60 Metascore

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 S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes

Votes: 331,221 | Gross: $200.07M

Big, booming sequel to Skyfall has Bond tussling with a rebooted version of Ernst Blofeld and his sinister organization, Spectre. Amazing that the filmmakers managed to cobble together a film entirely made up of scenes from previous entries. No originality to speak of, but highly entertaining nevertheless.