With Skyfall hitting theaters on November 9, it seemed appropriate to examine the past 22 films made on the world’s most charming and elusive spy. Bond flicks have always had the elements that every action film enthusiast could ask for: a witty lead sporting high-tech gadgets, memorable villains, and extremely hot love interests in tight spandex. However, some 007 movies pull this off much better than others.
1. Casino Royal (2006)
Daniel Craig debuted his James Bond in this modern reworking of the Agent 007 origin story. Featuring some enthralling action scenes, (including an unforgettable parkour chase,) this movie got people excited about Bond again.
2. Diamonds are Forever (1971)
This movie stars Sean Connery, arguably the most iconic James Bond that ever wooed a lady or enjoyed a shaken martini. And who can forget the thrilling Vegas car chase scene?
3. Goldfinger (1964)
Another Connery favorite, this movie epitomizes what every Bond film should aspire to be. Who can deny the beauty and prowess of the aptly named Pussy Galore? Remember the indelible image of the dead woman covered in gold from head to toe? And who could forget that anxiety-inducing exchange between 007 and Auric Goldfinger? Bond: “Do you expect me to talk?” Goldfinger: “No, Mr. Bond – I expect you to die!”
4. From Russia With Love (1963)
While on the move to retrieve a Soviet encryption device, Bond gets involved with the lovely Tatiana Romanova. Dodging everything from bullets to poison-tipped shoes, he makes his way through an action-packed storyline, complete with a near-deadly train fight!
5. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Possibly Roger Moore’s best Bond movie, the opening sequence alone warrants a spot on this list. Only 007 can make skiing off a cliff seem like a good idea.
6. Dr. No (1962)
Once again, Dr. No also features a suggestively named Bond girl, Honey Ryder, as portrayed by the lovely Ursula Andress. Connery launches the Bond franchise in the role he was born to play, uttering for the first time the legendary words: “Bond…James Bond.” This film set the precedent for all future Bond movies.
7. Thunderball (1965)
Shot almost entirely in the sunny Bahamas, director Terence Young dazzled audiences using new technologies that made it possible for him to film scenes underwater. Sean Connery’s 007 strives to prevent an atomic bombing using every bit of gadgetry he can find, whether high-tech (jetpack) or low-tech (spear).
8. Licence to Kill (1989)
Putting aside the weird British spelling and Timothy Dalton’s less-than-stellar performance, Licence to Kill had some incredible stunt work and a compelling revenge plot. The film also features a young Benicio Del Toro as the villainous punk, Dario. It’s hard to resist the rebellious Bond in this movie as he strikes out on his own to avenge a friend.
9. Goldeneye (1995)
Featuring Pierce Brosnan’s first run as 007, this film brought the Bond series back to its witty-gritty roots. Bond’s mission is to recover the GoldenEye, a strike weapon system that threatens to cripple the world’s computers.
10. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Despite George Lazenby’s woefully tepid performance, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service boasts an unbeatable storyline, captivating action sequences (the car chase and bobsled fight), and a charming-yet-tragic romantic subplot. Another Bond film starring the impalpably perfect villain, Blofeld, this movie stands as an example of the complete Bond experience.