James Bond is arguably the most famous spy in cinematic history. Created by British author and journalist Ian Fleming in the early 1950s, the always suave character with a license to kill has been at the center of 26 films, with the 27th — once again starring actor Daniel Craig — planned for a 2020 release.
The Bond movies use a winning combination of fast cars, cool gadgets, exotic locales, great villains, beautiful and sometimes dangerous women, and theme songs sung by top artists of the day, including Paul McCartney and Carly Simon. Adele’s song “Skyfall,” from the Bond movie of the same name, won the Academy Award for Best Song in 2012.
Still, in some Bond films, plots can be stale, jokes can fall flat, and acting can — on occasion — come across as contrived or tired and uninspired.
The two James Bond movies not made by the franchise’s primary production company Eon Productions, despite having their defenders online, rank rather low. They include 1983’s “Never Say Never Again,” which actually starred original Bond actor Sean Connery, and the 1967 comedy film “Casino Royale.” The as-of-yet unnamed new Bond film is referred to as “Bond 25” as it’s the 25th movie in the franchise to be produced by Eon.
All of the actors who have portrayed 007 over the years — including Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig — have had their high and low moments. Connery somewhat tarnished his reputation, built on great films like “Goldfinger,” with his appearance in “Never Say Never Again.” Moore’s “The Spy Who Loved Me” is considered one of the best movies in the series, but his final appearance in “A View to a Kill” is generally considered a major misfire. The actor himself admitted that he was too old for the role at the time.
Recent releases have returned the series to its glory of the early 1960s, when well-received movies “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love” premiered. Craig scored huge hits with “Skyfall” and “Casino Royale.” The most recent Bond flick, “Spectre,” is considered a step down from Craig’s other two films, yet was still enjoyed by a majority of the audiences who viewed it, according to online review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. “Spectre” is one of the most expensive movies ever made.
To determine the best James Bond feature films of all time, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on each film’s Rotten Tomatoes average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes average audience rating, and the Internet Movie Database average user rating.
We averaged the user ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, weighted by the number of votes for each. The combined user rating was then averaged with the Rotten Tomatoes critic rating. Domestic box office data comes from IMDb and is not adjusted for inflation. Favorable reviews refers to the percentage of users who rated each film a 3.5 out of 5 or above on Rotten Tomatoes.