Craptastic Cinema

Celebrating The Best Of The Worst Movies

Enough time has passed since the release of the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, to allow me to generate an honest opinion about it.  The time has come to incorporate it into the official Craptastic Cinema ranking of all of the James Bond films.  This series is without a doubt the longest running film series of all time, but they can’t be movie gems.  So allow us to break down every one of the movies to assist you in what films to watch.

As it stands right now, there are 23 official films, and 2 “non-cannon” releases in the James Bond franchise.  For this list, we will stick to those films. There was one made for television film that predates the film franchise that we all know about, but we will not be including that in this list due to the fact that it has never been released on it’s own. It is a bonus feature found on the Casino Royale (1967) DVD.  Also it wasn’t technically James Bond, it was Jimmy Bond, and he was an American spy. So lets forget about him, get started on ranking the 25 James Bond films from best to worst.

-Matt Camarco (update June 2013)

01 Goldfinger (1964): Goldfinger was the 3rd James Bond movie, but this is the blueprint for every other James Bond film that followed. Sean Connery was at his best when portraying Bond in this film. Jill Masterson, played by Shirley Eaton, was stunningly beautiful, and her laying on the bed covered in gold paint became perhaps the most iconic image out of any James Bond film. In addition to that, it had one of the more popular “Bond Girls” with Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman). If you only see one James Bond movie in your life, this one should be it.Best Line:
James Bond: “Do you expect me to talk?”
Auric Goldfinger: “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.”
02 Casino Royale (2006): “A blond haired, blue eyed Bond?” To many James Bond fans, that was almost as bad as Guido shooting first in the original Star Wars (nerds know what we are talking about there). However, once Casino Royale was released, all those questions were buried next to the careers of the actresses who portrayed a Bond Girl. This movie was a breath of fresh air to the franchise. Gone were the gadgets, and in its place was an amazing script, plus performances. This James Bond kicked ass, and took names afterwards. Daniel Craig cemented himself as one of the best actors to have ever played Bond with this movie, and though I said this for Goldfinger, this is a MUST SEE Bond film. It could stand alone without the James Bond machine behind it. It’s that damn good.Best Line:
James Bond: “Why is it that people who can’t take advise always insist on giving it?”
03 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969): Much like Casino Royale above, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service had a lot of preconceived notions about the movie prior to it’s release. This was the first, and only, time George Lazenby played James Bond. After five films with Sean Connery, many thought that replacing him would be a poor decision. Lucky for George, the “great script fairy” was there for him. Telly “Who Loves Ya Baby” Savalas made for an excellent Blofeld. Diana Rigg is nothing short of the breath taking as Tracy. George had the look, the wit, and the charm to rank him among the top Bond’s ever. What makes this one stand out though is the love story. This is without a doubt the best one that ever graced a Bond film. Plus, it ends on such a sad note, that a viewer walks away with a warm spot for James Bond after viewing it.Best Line:
Draco: “She likes you, I can see it.”
Bond: “You must give me the name of your oculist.”
04 Dr. No (1962): The one that started it all, and still holds up even to today’s movies. It is hard to believe that this movie is 50 years old. This is one of only two James Bond films that were released prior to the “formula” was created, and in the cannon of series would take place following Casino Royale (though Casino Royale is NOT a prequel). Dr. No set the standard of everything that was great about Bond. Cool cars, great action, sharp wit, and beautiful Bond Girls with double entendre names. The shot of Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) coming out of the water in her white bikini was so iconic that it was redone in the franchise twice. Once with Halle Berry in Die Another Day, and in a gender flip Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. In fact, it wouldn’t be proper of us not to post that shot….Best Moment:
05 GoldenEye (1995): The longest break between two Bond films, six years, occurred prior to the release of GoldenEye. During that time, a lot had happened in the franchise and around the world. Perhaps the biggest change was the end of the Cold War. No longer having the USSR as a superficial “bad guy country” changed the landscape for all the Bond films that would come out from that point on. Inside the franchise, the role of James Bond was recast for the fourth time. This time the role went to Pierce Brosnan, known best for his television role of Remington Steele. To make up for the large gap of time, they jam packed this movie with everything they could to make it a hit. They succeeded. From the killer theme song sung by Tina Turner, to the non-stop action, and onto the very plausible plot line, this movie had it all. Perhaps the best change came with casting Judi Dench as “M“, Bond’s superior. Much like when they cast Daniel Craig as Bond, casting Judi Dench was met with some hesitation by fans. Also like Craig, those hesitations were vanished as soon as she graced the screen. Now, it is not to impossible to imagine that there ever was doubts. She nearly steals the movie with every scene she is in.Another element that enhanced the success of this movie was the video game for the Nintendo 64, GoldenEye 007. Many people around my age played that game like it was a religion. It wasn’t the first of it’s kind, but it was a perfect game for it’s time. Without GoldenEye 007, there probably would not be any Call of Duty, Halo, or any number of other first person shooter games.Best Line:
Xenia Onatopp: “You don’t need the gun, Commander”
Bond: “Well, that depends on your definition of safe sex.”
06 From Russia With Love (1963): To many James Bond fans, this is the best movie out of the entire franchise. It is easy to see why. This is perhaps the best script of any of the movies in the series. Not a whole lot of action, but the fight scenes are very intense, and “in your face.” This is the second Bond film, and the last prior to the formation of the Bond “gimmicks” that came with Goldfinger and beyond. Set very much in the Cold War, From Russia With Love deals with spies and double agents galore. Most of the best action takes place in a train car on the Orient Express. If that doesn’t say something about how strong the script is, we don’t know what will. It was very hard not to place this one in the Top 5, but the one thing this movie does suffer from is slow pacing in parts. Outside those few scenes, this is without a doubt an excellent spy film. This is among the ones that non-Bond fans will enjoy, if they like spy films. Well worth the watch time and time again.Best Line:
Bond: “You’re one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen.”
Tatiana: “Thank you, but I think my mouth is too big”
Bond: “No, it’s the right size… for me, that is”
07 craptastic cinema skyfall Skyfall (2012): After the release of Quantum of Solace, MGM Pictures fell on hard times.  The future of the James Bond series was in serious doubt.  They tried to fill the void by doing original script video games with the cast of the films, but it just did not captivate the fans like they had hoped.  When Skyfall was finally released in 2012, it was exactly what everyone was waiting for.  Brilliant acting, amazing action, and a top notch script that could rival any stand alone action or drama movie that is out there.  Skyfall also reintroduced Q into the series.  Major characters face mortal demise, and it feeds into the development of James Bond’s personality.  Skyfall is a must see film, even if you do not watch a single other James Bond film again in your life.
08 The Spy Who Loved Me (1977): Very underrated as a Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me is yet another one that has a script that stands above many of the other films in the franchise. Roger Moore has stated that out of all the movies he did, this one was his favorite. Of all the Bond films he did, this one is our favorite that he did too. Outside of the great script, this movie is also famous for being the first movie that features the famous bond henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel). It also features James Bond driving a very slick Lotus Esprit that transforms into a submarine. Also, the greatest visual aspect is Barbara Bach. Wow, this could be a two hour still shot of just her face, and this movie still would be in the top ten. The Spy Who Loved Me also featured one of the most popular theme songs of the franchise with Carly Simon singing “Nobody Does It Better.”Best Line:
Bond: “How about a nightcap on the company? My company.”
09 You Only Live Twice (1967): James Bond goes Ninja!!!! This is a very good James Bond film that takes place mostly in Japan. In the opening scene of You Only Live Twice, James Bond is killed. As the title suggests though, it was a set up so that people assumed he was dead so that he can work deeper undercover. While not really a very strong script, this movie more than makes up for it with great action, amazing scenery, and a soundtrack that perhaps is the best of any Bond film. Nancy Sinatra did a wonderful job singing the theme. In our opinion, it should be the song that she is remembered for and not “These Boots Were Made For Walking“.Best Line:
Tiger Tanaka: “Rule number one: never do anything yourself when someone else can do it for you”
Bond: “And rule number two?”
Tanaka: “Rule number two: in Japan, men come first, women come second”Bond: “I just might retire to here”
10 Thunderball (1965): Thunderball was a unique movie in the aspects that it was the only time Eon Productions, producers of the “official” Bond films, co-made a film with an outside production company. The result actually made them lose the rights to the core story and cased this to be the only Bond movie to ever get remade years later (more on that movie later). Thunderball if nothing else set the standard for underwater fight scenes. Another funny fact is that the US Government thought one of Bond’s gadgets in this movie, the miniature oxygen tank that fits in his pocket, was real. They offered the makers of the film an undisclosed dollar amount to obtain the technology that didn’t exist. Oh the joys of movie magic. Edit a few pool shots together, and the US Government will think you are a genius, at least in 1965 they did. This movie is beautiful visually, and has a good story to back it up. Oh, and Tom Jones tears it up with the theme song. Where Goldfinger set the formula for the movies, Tom Jones set the formula for how to perform the theme song.Best Line:
Bond: “My dear girl, don’t flatter yourself. What I did this evening was for Queen and country. You don’t think it gave me any pleasure, do you?”
11 Live And Let Die (1973): Roger Moore’s first James Bond outing was his one of his best. Live And Let Die is one corny film, lets not ignore that fact. However, it is still a good movie. It very much feels like Dr. No to me in many ways, but in a new twist. The element of Voodoo ads a cool element to this movie. However the greatest aspect of this movie is the young Jane Seymour as Solitaire, the tarot card reading fortune teller. She plays her role to perfection, it’s only a damn shame that Bond tricks her into having sex with him. This movie also stands out because it was Bond’s attempt to cash in on the blaxploitation films that were popular at the time. This is not Foxy Brown by any means, but it is great seeing stars from that movement of films star in this. This does suffer from one thing though. All the best lines are tied into visual gags, so there is not a “best line” for this movie due to that fact. Hard to quote something without the visual gag to go with it.
12 Tomorrow Never Dies (1997): Pierce Brosnan’s follow up to GoldenEye was a commercial flop. However, that does not mean that Tomorrow Never Dies is a bad film. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It has a great cast, outside of Teri Hatcher who you can tell no one enjoyed working with. Seriously, it is almost funny watching the facial reactions of everyone who shares a scene with her. Every time, they look pissed off that they are working with her. Makes for a great drinking game. The plot line of a media conglomerate creating a war so they are the first to cover it in their newspapers and television channels is very clever in my opinion. In a quest for ratings, I’m sure more than one program director wished they could create some extreme news to be the first to cover it. This is one James Bond to ignore the mainstream reviews of, and give it a view. It is quite good, just not top ten good.
13 For Your Eyes Only (1981): By the time For Your Eyes Only was made, Roger Moore was really starting to look his age. That did not stop him from making one heck of a great James Bond movie. The only part that seems creepy is the fact that one of the girls lusting after him is supposed to be a very young ice skater named Bibi Dahl (Lynn-Holly Johnson). Of course, it gets relieved that she has a thing for older men. She could be considered natural Viagra. The main Bond Girl is Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) who is beautiful, tough, and without a doubt one of the best Bond girls in the entire franchise. To me, the best part of this movie is the acknowledgement Bond’s former wife with a brief opening scene. It was a nice way to tie the franchise together.
14 License To Kill (1989): Timothy Dalton‘s second James Bond outing was a lot better than his first. In License To Kill, James Bond gets fired from Mi-6 during his quest for revenge against a Cuban drug lord for the near death of one of his friends. Very solid plot, good acting, great action… this is a good Bond film. The only problem is Dalton. You can tell he was not giving a 100% performance. He had no chemistry with either of the Bond girls at all. One great part of this movie is seeing Desmond Llewelyn playing “Q“. This is the only time Q is a field agent. He added the comic relief that was lacking in Dalton’s first Bond film The Living Daylights.
15 Die Another Day (2002): Action Action Action!!!! Yes this movie has tons of action. It has Halle Berry, Madonna, and the uber hot Roseamund Pike in it too. It has decent acting too. What is it lacking? A good script. Die Another Day is a horrible movie if you take away the action. However, the action is so good that it makes up for it. The car chase on the ice lake is for sure my favorite moment in the film. Hot women, good action, great cars, cool gadgets, but a plot that makes you wish for your mute and fast forward buttons. Perhaps the worst theme of any Bond film.
16 Quantum Of Solace (2008): What the hell happened here? I mean this should have been an amazing film. It is the second film with Daniel Craig, and the first James Bond Film ever to be a direct sequel of another film. So coming off the coattails of the great Casino Royale, one would expect Quantum of Solace to be a can’t miss. Not only did it miss the bulls eye, it didn’t even hit the target. This suffers from being too fast paced, bad acting, and relying too much on continuing the plot line of Casino Royale. This became the only Bond movie that could not stand on it’s own. You have to see Casino Royale for this movie to make any sense. Damn shame too. Great action and decent dialog though. Hope they can learn from their mistakes in Craig’s next Bond movie Skyfall (2012).
17 The Living Daylights (1985): The first of Timothy Dalton’s two James Bond films kinda had many wishing for the return of Roger Moore. Long gone was the wit and charm of James Bond, and in it’s place was an angry man. Why was he angry? Well for the first time, there is no reference to James Bond having sex. Yes that’s right, to PC him for the 80’s, James Bond did not have sex with his Bond girls. It was a small change many didn’t notice, but in my quests to figure out why Dalton’s Bond was so angry, this is the only thing I could come up with. Great theme song from A-Ha though. The Living Daylights also had some great action in it.
18 A View To A Kill (1985): A View To A Kill would have been a great movie had it not been for one major factor. The plot line dealt with genetic engineering, blowing up part of California, and computer chips right at the beginning of the personal computer craze. The final action scene was a battle on top of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, that was quite cool for it’s time. The supporting cast was excellent as well. Christopher Walken plays the main bad guy Max Zorin, and does a very good job doing so. So what made this movie bad? Well, the fact that Roger Moore is James Bond at this point is what ruins it. He was pushing 60 years old at this point, and just was horrible to watch. If you can somehow tune him out, this is actually a good movie. Amazing theme from Duran Duran.
19 The Man With The Golden Gun (1974): The “golden gun” was the best weapon in the video game GoldenEye 007, but that doesn’t mean it was influenced by a good movie. Christopher Lee was excellent as Francisco Scaramanga, but that is where the good acting ends. Moore phoned this one in for sure. The Man With The Golden Gun was too corny for it to be taken seriously. This is the first of two movies where Maude Adams plays the Bond girl. It also features Herve Villenchaize as Nick Nack. It was one of his two roles he was best known for, the other being Tattoo on Fantasy Island. The Man With The Golden Gun is for sure a film only to cash in on the name James Bond.
20 The World Is Not Enough (1999): Frankly speaking, nothing worked in this movie. The World Is Not Enough has the worst cast of any James Bond film. Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones, yeah it is best to forget that character ever existed. This movie’s only saving grace was the over the top action scenes. It also marks the final film of Desmond Llewelyn as “Q”, prior to his death. Consider this the first movie of the series that a casual fan will never have to see. This is tolerable, but barely.
21 Never Say Never Again (1983): The remake of Thunderball, with a few new added twists. This is one of only two non-official James Bond films. It came out a few months after Octopussy, and did very well. Many fans enjoyed seeing Sean Connery returning to the role of James Bond, and Kim Basinger was actually very good in it. The problem was that since this was not produced by Eon Productions, it could not use any of the trademark James Bond things we are all used to seeing and hearing. Q was renamed Algy of Q Branch, Bond never says “Name’s Bond, James Bond”, and the trademark music that kicks in when there is action just never kicks in. It is a great movie, but the over-the-hill Connery and all the missing elements of a normal Bond film make Never Say Never Again rank near the bottom of the list.
22 Octopussy (1983): This has the honor of being the first James Bond movie that I have ever seen. This is the one that, as a child, made me fall in love with all things Bond. As a I grew older and started to watch more of the movies, I can now see this one for what it really is. Octopussy is a complete and total snoozefest. Holy crap this movie is boring. Roger Moore looks really old in this movie, and Maude Adams is back as the bond girl for a second time. She plays Octopussy in this, it just seems recycled and blah. Don’t feel bad if you never see this movie. You are not missing anything. Great title though.
23 Moonraker (1979): “Bond In Space”. Yep, this was James Bond’s retort to Star Wars. Moonraker has Jaws falling in love with an ugly girl in pigtails, slapstick comedy (all on Jaws behalf), and horrible special effects. The ONLY thing good about this movie is Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles). Beauty beyond compare.
24 Diamonds Are Forever (1971): Wow… simply put WOW. Diamonds Are Forever is so bad that it makes “Bond in Space” look like Citizen Kane. No joking, this is the worst of the official James Bond films. It takes place in Las Vegas, and I guess that is cool. It has a great theme song. A very funny moment is when James Bond drives through a television set where you get the impression that they were faking moon landing footage… But yeah, make this the last Bond you ever see if you plan on watching all of them.
25 Casino Royale (1967): Non-official film. Do yourself a favor, NEVER see this version of Casino Royale. The DVD is only worth the extra features, which includes the original made for TV James Bond film that predates Dr. No.

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Categories: Film Ranking, James Bond

3 Responses so far.

  1. Mitch says:

    No no no. Golden Eye and George Lazenby should not be higher on the list then any of the sean connery films. Sean Connery made all good bond films.

  2. seth says:

    Just for shits & giggles I think you should re-rank them in order of bond girls….