All the Bonds – from best to worst.

Having now uploaded reviews of every James Bond film released up to (and including 2017, it would be a damn shame not to make a list ranking them from the best-scoring ones down to the bottom. So here is that very list!

Bear in my mind that these rankings come from a film lover, not a Bond fan, and the score is a reflection of each film as an individual movie, rather than how it compares (in any direct sense) with other entries in the series.

“Aah”, I hear you say, “but you have to be immersed in the world of Bond to appreciate where the films are coming from”. Actually, I don’t. A film that’s chauvinist in attitude, poorly plotted and/or badly made is a bad film regardless of the lead character’s name; conversely, the good examples are good movies in complete isolation of 007 lore. Nobody gets special treatment here.

In general, the best films are those that really pay attention to what they’re doing and care about the final product: notably the early ones, where everyone had a stake in making sure they got things right; and those that had to work to bring Bond back to the public’s attention (I think you could legitimately call GoldenEye and Casino Royale reboots). Also, Moore’s best entry, The Spy Who Loved Me, was the 10th film and Skyfall coincided with the series’ 50th anniversary, both reasons to make a special effort (that said, neither Moore nor Dalton’s introductions resulted in great movies, and the 20th film in the series was hardly a resounding success).

I’ve peeked at other people’s rankings of the movies, and my obvious outlier is The World is not Enough. It seems that for many, Denise Richards’ portrayal of Doctor Christmas Jones was enough to kill the movie stone dead. It’s true that her performance takes the word ‘unconvincing’ to new and uncharted heights, but I maintain that she is only a medium-sized negative in a fairly large bag of exciting pluses.

Anyway, here’s the rundown, with unofficial Bonds included for reference. Where the scores are the same, I’ve gone with my gut instincts as a tie-breaker.

Rank   Film                                              Bond          WFTB Score

1          Goldfinger                                     Connery           14/20

2          GoldenEye                                    Brosnan            13/20

3          From Russia With Love                 Connery           12/20

4          Casino Royale                               Craig                12/20

5          The World is not Enough               Brosnan            12/20

6          Dr. No                                            Connery            11/20

7          Skyfall                                            Craig                11/20

8          The Spy Who Loved Me                Moore               11/20

9          You Only Live Twice                      Connery             11/20

10        Thunderball                                   Connery              10/20

11        The Living Daylights                      Dalton                   9/20

12        The Man with the Golden Gun      Moore                    9/20

13        On Her Majesty’s Secret Service  Lazenby                 9/20

14        Live and Let Die                            Moore                    8/20

15        Spectre                                            Craig                      8/20

16        Licence to Kill                                Dalton                    7/20

17        For Your Eyes Only                       Moore                    7/20

18        Tomorrow Never Dies                    Brosnan                 7/20

19        Diamonds are Forever                   Connery                 7/20

20        Moonraker                                      Moore                    6/20

            Never Say Never Again                  Connery                6/20

21        Quantum of Solace                         Craig                     6/20

22        A View to a Kill                                Moore                    6/20

           Casino Royale                                 Everyone!              6/20

23        Die Another Day                              Brosnan                5/20

24        Octopussy                                       Moore                    4/20

So, what do you think? See individual reviews for in-depth opinions and don’t be afraid to say I’m wrong. I love a good argument.


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