“Why is it that people who can’t take advice always insist on giving it?” is one of my favourite quotes from Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale. It’s also incredibly ironic because here I am, giving you advice on what Bond movies we’ve ranked to watch when I myself do not listen to advice.
If you haven’t already gathered, this week’s Gizmodo Movie Night is shaken, not stirred (sorry, I had to) because we’ve ranked all the Bond movies, according to Rotten Tomatoes critics.
We have previously ranked all the Daniel Craig Bond movies, but we haven’t ranked all of them yet. And goodness me, there’s a lot.
In case you ever needed to know, there are currently 27 Bond movies with various different actors taking the mantle of the iconic smooth man.
This Gizmodo Movie Night is a little different because instead of giving you different options on different streaming services, we are celebrating the fact that all the Bond movies are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
But wait, if they are ranked based on ratings won’t they be out of order? Yes, yes they will.
Sure it would be chaotic to watch them in this order but that’s all part of the fun, right? You could watch them from the lowest rank first so you can climax with the highest-ranked Bond. Or maybe you could watch them from the top to the bottom and feel like you’re slipping into chaos.
Sidenote: who on Earth came up with the name Octopussy?
All synopses are provided by Rotten Tomatoes.
1. Goldfinger (1964) – 99%
First on the Bond movies ranking list is Goldfinger with a near perfect score.
Special agent 007 (Sean Connery) comes face to face with one of the most notorious villains of all time, and now he must outwit and outgun the powerful tycoon to prevent him from cashing in on a devious scheme to raid Fort Knox — and obliterate the world’s economy.
Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus: “Goldfinger is where James Bond as we know him comes into focus — it features one of 007’s most famous lines (‘A martini. Shaken, not stirred.’) and a wide range of gadgets that would become the series’ trademark.”
2. From Russia With Love (1963) – 97%
Next up on we have From Russia With Love also with a pretty neat score of 97%.
Agent 007 (Sean Connery) is back in the second installment of the James Bond series, this time battling a secret crime organization known as SPECTRE. Russians Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) and Kronsteen are out to snatch a decoding device known as the Lektor, using the ravishing Tatiana (Daniela Bianchi) to lure Bond into helping them. Bond willingly travels to meet Tatiana in Istanbul, where he must rely on his wits to escape with his life in a series of deadly encounters with the enemy.
Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus: “The second James Bond film, From Russia with Love is a razor-sharp, briskly-paced Cold War thriller that features several electrifying action scenes.”
3. Dr. No (1962) – 95%
The next entrant is none other than Dr. No with a decent 95%.
In the film that launched the James Bond saga, Agent 007 (Sean Connery) battles mysterious Dr. No, a scientific genius bent on destroying the U.S. space program. As the countdown to disaster begins, Bond must go to Jamaica, where he encounters beautiful Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), to confront a megalomaniacal villain in his massive island headquarters.
Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus: “Featuring plenty of the humour, action, and escapist thrills the series would become known for, Dr. No kicks off the Bond franchise in style.”
4. Casino Royale (2006) – 94%
The first of the Daniel Craig Bond movies and the next one on the rank is Casino Royale with a cool 94%.
After receiving a license to kill, British Secret Service agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) heads to Madagascar, where he uncovers a link to Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a man who finances terrorist organizations. Learning that Le Chiffre plans to raise money in a high-stakes poker game, MI6 sends Bond to play against him, gambling that their newest “00” operative will topple the man’s organization.
Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus: “Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007.”
5. Skyfall (2012) – 92%
The next is my own personal favourite, Skyfall, with a score that should have been 100%, thank you very much.
When James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) latest assignment goes terribly wrong, it leads to a calamitous turn of events: Undercover agents around the world are exposed, and MI6 is attacked, forcing M (Judi Dench) to relocate the agency. With MI6 now compromised inside and out, M turns to the one man she can trust: Bond. Aided only by a field agent (Naomie Harris), Bond takes to the shadows and follows a trail to Silva (Javier Bardem), a man from M’s past who wants to settle an old score.
Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus: “Sam Mendes brings Bond surging back with a smart, sexy, riveting action thriller that qualifies as one of the best 007 films to date.”
6. Thunderball (1965) – 87%
We’re going back to ’60’s with the next ranked Bond movie with Thunderball dipping into the high 80 percentile.
Led by one-eyed evil mastermind Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), the terrorist group SPECTRE hijacks two warheads from a NATO plane and threatens widespread nuclear destruction to extort 100 million pounds. The dashing Agent 007, James Bond (Sean Connery), is sent to recover the warheads from the heart of Largo’s lair in the Bahamas, facing underwater attacks from sharks and men alike. He must also convince the enchanting Domino (Claudine Auger), Largo’s mistress, to become a key ally.
Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus: Lavishly rendered set pieces and Sean Connery’s enduring charm make Thunderball a big, fun adventure, even if it doesn’t quite measure up to the series’ previous heights.
7. No Time To Die (2021) – 83%
It should be no surprise that the most recent Bond movie, No Time To Die, be highly ranked, those who know, know.
In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “It isn’t the sleekest or most daring 007 adventure, but No Time to Die concludes Daniel Craig’s franchise tenure in satisfying style.”
8. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) – 81%
Next up on the Bond movies ranking is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with 81%.
Agent 007 (George Lazenby) and the adventurous Tracy Di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) join forces to battle the evil SPECTRE organization in the treacherous Swiss Alps. But the group’s powerful leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas), is launching his most calamitous scheme yet: a germ warfare plot that could kill millions!
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “George Lazenby’s only appearance as 007 is a fine entry in the series, featuring one of the most intriguing Bond girls in Tracy di Vincenzo (Diana Rigg), breathtaking visuals, and some great ski chases.”
9. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – 81%
Next, we have The Spy Who Loved Me in the rankings with another 81%.
In a globe-trotting assignment that has him skiing off the edges of cliffs and driving a car deep underwater, British super-spy James Bond (Roger Moore) unites with sexy Russian agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) to defeat megalomaniac shipping magnate Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), who is threatening to destroy New York City with nuclear weapons. Bond’s most deadly adversary on the case is Stromberg’s henchman, Jaws (Richard Kiel), a seven-foot giant with terrifying steel teeth.
10. GoldenEye (1995) – 80%
Next, we have GoldenEye with a cool 80%.
When a powerful satellite system falls into the hands of Alec Trevelyan, AKA Agent 006 (Sean Bean), a former ally-turned-enemy, only James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) can save the world from an awesome space weapon that — in one short pulse — could destroy the earth! As Bond squares off against his former compatriot, he also battles Trevelyan’s stunning ally, Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), an assassin who uses pleasure as her ultimate weapon.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “The first and best Pierce Brosnan Bond film, GoldenEye brings the series into a more modern context, and the result is a 007 entry that’s high-tech, action-packed, and urbane.”
11. Licence To Kill (1989) – 78%
Bond has a Licence To Kill this list because it comes in a strong 11th place.
James Bond (Timothy Dalton) takes on his most-daring adventure after he turns renegade and tracks down one of the international drug cartel’s most-brutal and powerful leaders. After the murder of his just-married friend, he is fighting not only for country and justice, but for personal revenge!
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “License to Kill is darker than many of the other Bond entries, with Timothy Dalton playing the character with intensity, but it still has some solid chases and fight scenes.”
12. The Living Daylights (1987) – 74%
Next, we have a very iconic Bond movie so no surprise it ranked high with 74%.
British secret agent James Bond (Timothy Dalton) helps KGB officer Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) defect during a symphony performance. During his debriefing, Koskov reveals that a policy of assassinating defectors has been instated by new KGB head Leonid Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies). But as Bond explores this threat, a counterplot surfaces, involving a shady American arms dealer (Joe Don Baker) and a pair of Russian assassins, Necros (Andreas Wisniewski) and Kara Milovy (Maryam d’Abo).
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “Newcomer Timothy Dalton plays James Bond with more seriousness than preceding instalments, and the result is exciting and colourful but occasionally humourless.”
13. You Only Live Twice (1967) – 73%
You Only Live Twice is such a confusing title but anyways the critics loved enjoyed it and gave it 73%.
During the Cold War, American and Russian spacecrafts go missing, leaving each superpower believing the other is to blame. As the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war, British intelligence learns that one of the crafts has landed in the Sea of Japan. After faking his own death, secret agent James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to investigate. In Japan, he’s aided by Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba) and the beautiful Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi), who help him uncover a sinister global conspiracy.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “With exotic locales, impressive special effects, and a worthy central villain, You Only Live Twice overcomes a messy and implausible story to deliver another memorable early Bond flick.”
14. For Your Eyes Only (1981) – 72%
Next up in the Bond movies rankings is For Your Eyes Only with a score of 72%.
When a British ship is sunk in foreign waters, the world’s superpowers begin a feverish race to find its cargo: a nuclear submarine control system. And 007 (Roger Moore) is thrust into one of his most riveting adventures as he rushes to join the search… and prevent global devastation!
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “For Your Eyes Only trades in some of the outlandish Bond staples for a more sober outing, and the result is a satisfying adventure, albeit without some of the bombastic thrills fans may be looking for.”
15. Never Say Never Again (1983) – 70%
Never say good review again, because Never Say Never Again didn’t rank as well as the other Sean Connery Bond movies did.
An aging James Bond (Sean Connery) makes an uncharacteristic mistake during a routine training mission, leading M (Edward Fox) to believe that the legendary British Intelligence spy is now past his prime. M indefinitely suspends Bond from active duty. However, when SPECTRE member Fatima Bush (Barbara Carrera) and her fellow terrorists successfully steal two nuclear missiles from the U.S. military, M must reinstate Bond, as he is the only agent who can beat SPECTRE at their own game of espionage.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: While the rehashed story feels rather uninspired and unnecessary, the return of both Sean Connery and a more understated Bond make Never Say Never Again a watchable retread.
16. Live And Let Die (1973) – 65%
Coming in at 16 on the Bond movies list is Live And Let Die.
When Bond (Roger Moore) investigates the murders of three fellow agents, he finds himself a target, evading vicious assassins as he closes in on powerful Kananga (Yaphet Kotto). Known on the streets as Mr. Big, Kananga is coordinating a global threat, using tons of self-produced heroin. As Bond tries to unravel the mastermind’s plan, he meets Solitaire (Jane Seymour), a beautiful tarot-card reader, whose magic is crucial to the crime lord.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “While not one of the highest-rated Bond films, Live and Let Die finds Roger Moore adding his stamp to the series with flashes of style and an improved sense of humour.”
17. Diamonds Are Forever (1971) – 64%
Diamonds most certainly are forever and so is Sean Connery’s legacy as Bond but that couldn’t help this flick get a higher ranking.
While investigating mysterious activities in the world diamond market, 007 (Sean Connery) discovers that his evil nemesis Blofeld (Charles Gray) is stockpiling the gems to use in his deadly laser satellite. With the help of beautiful smuggler Tiffany Case (Jill St. John), Bond sets out to stop the madman — as the fate of the world hangs in the balance!
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “Diamonds are Forever is a largely derivative affair, but it’s still pretty entertaining nonetheless, thanks to great stunts, witty dialogue, and the presence of Sean Connery.”
18. Quantum Of Solace (2008) – 64%
Next on the Bond rankings is Quantum Of Solace, another cool title with a frosty ranking.
Following the death of Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his next mission personal. The hunt for those who blackmailed his lover leads him to ruthless businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a key player in the organization which coerced Vesper. Bond learns that Greene is plotting to gain total control of a vital natural resource, and he must navigate a minefield of danger and treachery to foil the plan.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “Brutal and breathless, Quantum Of Solace delivers tender emotions along with frenetic action, but coming on the heels of Casino Royale, it’s still a bit of a disappointment.”
19. Spectre (2015) – 63%
We’ve got another Daniel Craig flick next with Spectre.
A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the beautiful widow (Monica Bellucci) of an infamous criminal. After infiltrating a secret meeting, 007 uncovers the existence of the sinister organization SPECTRE. Needing the help of the daughter of an old nemesis, he embarks on a mission to find her. As Bond ventures toward the heart of SPECTRE, he discovers a chilling connection between himself and the enemy (Christoph Waltz) he seeks.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “Spectre nudges Daniel Craig’s rebooted Bond closer to the glorious, action-driven spectacle of earlier entries, although it’s admittedly reliant on established 007 formula.”
20. Moonraker (1979) – 59%
In a weird twist from the usual Bond plots, we are launched into space with Moonraker which reached for the stars but couldn’t land a good ranking.
Agent 007 (Roger Moore) blasts into orbit in this action-packed adventure that takes him to Venice, Rio De Janeiro and outer space. When Bond investigates the hijacking of an American space shuttle, he and beautiful CIA agent Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) are soon locked in a life-or-death struggle against Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), a power-mad industrialist whose horrific scheme may destroy all human life on earth!
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “Featuring one of the series’ more ludicrous plots but outfitted with primo gadgets and spectacular sets, Moonraker is both silly and entertaining.”
21. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) -56%
Turns out tomorrow does die because this Bond movie did not rank as well as the other Pierce Brosnan ones did.
Media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) wants his news empire to reach every country on the globe, but the Chinese government will not allow him to broadcast there. Carver doesn’t take no for an answer and plans to use his media empire to fuel flames of war between the Western world and China. Thankfully, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is on to the insane news tycoon and travels to China to stop him with the help of Chinese secret agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh).
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “A competent, if sometimes by-the-numbers entry to the 007 franchise, Tomorrow Never Dies may not boast the most original plot but its action sequences are genuinely thrilling.”
22. Die Another Die (2002) – 56%
Iconic Halle Berry couldn’t really save this Bond movie from getting a mid-range ranking from Rotten Tomatoes.
James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is captured by North Korean agents and must serve a grueling prison sentence. He’s finally released, and is convinced that someone in his own agency betrayed him. He escapes from custody and travels to Cuba, hot on the heels of Zao (Rick Yune), the agent who put Bond behind bars. Meanwhile, Bond begins romancing NSA agent Jinx (Halle Berry) as he uncovers a scheme concocted by Zao and British millionaire Graves (Toby Stephens), involving a highly destructive laser.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “Its action may be bit too over-the-top for some, but Die Another Day is lavishly crafted and succeeds in evoking classic Bond themes from the franchise’s earlier installments.”
23. The World Is Not Enough (1999) – 52%
A rather gloomy title gets a rather gloomy score of 52%, making it to just 23 on the Bond movies rankings.
Bond (Pierce Brosnan) must race to defuse an international power struggle with the world’s oil supply hanging in the balance. Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), is the daughter of a murdered oil tycoon whom Bond is assigned to protect. The villain is Renard (Robert Carlyle), who has a bullet lodged in his brain rendering him unable to feel pain. Also featuring nuclear weapons expert Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards).
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “Plagued by mediocre writing, uneven acting, and a fairly by-the-numbers plot, The World Is Not Enough is partially saved by some entertaining and truly Bond-worthy action sequences.”
24. Octopussy (1983) – 43%
Seriously, who named this movie?
James Bond (Roger Moore) may have met his match in Octopussy (Maud Adams), an entrancing beauty involved in a devastating military plot to destroy détente. From the palaces of India to a speeding circus train in Germany and a mid-air battle on the wing of a high-flying jet, only Agent 007 can stop the nightmarish scheme!
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “Despite a couple of electrifying action sequences, Octopussy is a formulaic, anachronistic Bond outing.”
25. The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) – 39%
Next we have The Man With The Golden Gun with a not-so golden score.
Cool government operative James Bond (Roger Moore) searches for a stolen invention that can turn the sun’s heat into a destructive weapon. He soon crosses paths with the menacing Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), a hit man so skilled he has a seven-figure working fee. Bond then joins forces with the swimsuit-clad Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland), and together they track Scaramanga to a tropical isle hideout where the killer-for-hire lures the slick spy into a deadly maze for a final duel.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “A middling Bond film, The Man With the Golden Gun suffers from double entendre-laden dialogue, a noteworthy lack of gadgets, and a villain that overshadows 007.”
26. A View To Kill (1985) – 38%
The cool title of this Bond flick couldn’t save it from the critics, who gave it a rough 38%.
After recovering a microchip from the body of a deceased colleague in Russia, British secret agent James Bond (Roger Moore) discovers that the technology has the potential for sinister applications. Investigating further, Bond is led to Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), the head of Zorin Industries. Soon Agent 007 faces off against the villainous Zorin and his tough Amazonian bodyguard, May Day (Grace Jones), who are scheming to cause massive destruction that will eliminate the competition.
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “Absurd even by Bond standards, A View to a Kill is weighted down by campy jokes and a noticeable lack of energy.”
27. Casino Royale (1967) – 27%
Last and very much least (sorry) on the Bond rankings is Casino Royale (1967) with a dire score of 27%.
This wacky send-up of James Bond films stars David Niven as the iconic debonair spy, now retired and living a peaceful existence. Bond is called back into duty when the mysterious organization SMERSH begins assassinating British secret agents. Ridiculous circumstances lead to the involvement of a colorful cast of characters, including the villainous Le Chiffre (Orson Welles), seasoned gambler Evelyn Tremble (Peter Sellers) and Bond’s bumbling nephew, Jimmy Bond (Woody Allen).
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus: “A goofy, dated parody of spy movie clichés, Casino Royale squanders its all-star cast on a meandering, mostly laugh-free script.”
And there you have it! All the James Bond movies ranked, according to the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.
I’m off to go make myself a martini.
Gizmodo Movie Night is our fortnightly roundup of movie and TV recommendations for the weekend. If you’re ever stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our list and see what’s in store.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the column and check out our last one which was dedicated to 7 Political Movies and TV Shows now our election is dragging on.