Every Daniel Craig James Bond movie ranked – including No Time to Die


007. License to kill. The most famous spy in the world. Walther PPK. Vodka martini shaken, unbrewed. There is no such thing as James Bond. 25 films and nearly 70 years of history have made the character globally recognizable and a British icon. After all, no one does it better.

With the announcement that the entire James Bond collection – including No Time to Die – will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on April 15, so what better time than now to look back on Daniel Craig’s tenure in the role and decide once and for all which one is best.

This ranking will cover Daniel Craig’s five films as James Bond from 2005’s Casino Royale to 2021’s No Time to Die. Obviously this is all up to opinion (mine, in particular), so it’s possible that you disagree. Anyway, I tried to mix up which movies are my favorite combined with which movies are really good considering plot, performance, and everything else you’d expect from a review.

All in all, I don’t think there’s a downright terrible Bond movie from Craig, especially when you compare his time to other Bonds. All have redeeming qualities, it’s just that some are clearer, much more reusable and have held up better than a bottle of Chateau Angelus. Anyway, let’s go.

5. Spectrum

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Specter

(Image credit: Jonathan Olley/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

After the $1.1 billion success that Skyfall (more on that later) garnered, not to mention the overwhelmingly positive reception from critics and fans alike, Specter should have been a slam dunk. What I will say is that the opening of Day of the Dead in Mexico City is stunning, as the camera gracefully follows Bond through the city streets to a hotel suite and then onto the ledge of the building as he is preparing for an assassination. Awesome.

It’s once that Sam Smith’s dreary theme song, “Writing’s on the Wall,” creeps in the direction of everything going downhill. An uninspiring car chase around Rome, a love interest that produces no spark, and a plot that feels as old as the franchise leave a lot to be desired. With an extremely slow pace, Specter is by far the most difficult to sit down and watch. It’s not a bad movie, it’s just not interesting.

4. No time to die

Daniel Craig as James Bond in No Time to Die

(Image credit: EON)

Daniel Craig’s swan song has had its fair share of behind-the-scenes ups and downs, not to mention a global pandemic to deal with, so it’s amazing how well it turned out in retrospect. While clearly not as strong as the other three contenders on this list, No Time to Die brings thrilling action, big blockbuster stunts, stunning vistas, and a more than satisfying ending to Craig’s era.

Ana De Armas as CIA agent Paloma is outstanding with the little screen time given, while Lashana Lynch offers an interesting take on the “00” character. What lets it down is the lack of chemistry between Bond and Madeline Swann (played by Léa Seydoux), Rami Malek’s bland villain, and a running time of nearly three hours. Still, what a way out.

3. Quantum of Comfort

Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace

(Image credit: MGM/Sony)

A controversial choice, I know. There is a part of me that would like to put Quantum of Solace higher but I will resist. Yet another Bond film with behind-the-scenes issues including a writer’s strike that saw Craig end up contributing to the script, QOS picks up moments after Casino Royale ended in a blistering car chase, failing to stopping only at the credits.

At just 106 minutes, QOS is the shortest Bond film to date and uses its time well, investing in a grieving 007 out for revenge. Olga Kurylenko’s Camille plays Craig’s battle-wounded spy beautifully, leaving an emotional ending that I’d love to see later. Jesper Christensen steals every scene he finds himself in as the electrifying and brooding Mr. White, while Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) feels like a true everyday villain, working behind the scenes to better the rich. Was QOS inspired too much by the Bourne franchise? Not for me!

2. Skyfall

Daniel Craig rides a motorcycle as James Bond in Skyfall

(Image credit: Francois Duhamel/Columbia Pictures)

If I ever recommend a James Bond movie to someone, Skyfall normally has the best chance of landing the best with them. Whether you’re a new fan or a veteran of the franchise, there’s literally something for everyone. Sam Mendes mixes both gritty realism and more classic Bond elements for a hugely enjoyable experience, with Judie Dench and Javier Bardem pushing Bond to his limits in opposite ways.

What I really appreciate is that most films spend very little time in Britain, usually flying to a handful of scenic locations. And while Skyfall does that – the camera work in Macau is sublime – it’s the action in the London Underground and the Scottish Highlands that really makes this movie unique. This Adele theme is also unbeatable.

1. Casino Royale

Daniel Craig playing poker as James Bond in Casino Royale

(Photo credit: Sony)

Every time I look Casino Royale, I can’t understand how much of a masterpiece this is. Forget it’s a James Bond movie, it’s one that’s a great movie on its own. The Dark Knight of the James Bond universe if you will. After the dismal Die Another Day, James Bond was in bad shape. As a result, the producers decided to reboot and go straight back to Ian Fleming’s very first novel, Casino Royale.

This movie is everything. Modern, sleek, gritty, filled with stunning action, a plot and characters you care about plus it’s the first movie where Bond feels truly human. With the infamous British press to get Craig even before the film premiered, he knew he had a point to prove – and boy, does he deliver.

From the opening scene that blends into Bond’s iconic cannon shot, to the staggering parkour sequence and tense poker scene with Le Cipher, to the disappearance of Vespa in the heart of Venice, everything is another level. That’s why for me, Casino Royale is not only the best Daniel Craig Bond movie, but also the best James Bond movie of all time.

Here we have it. The definitive classification of Daniel Craig’s time as James Bond. I can already hear my phone ringing with a congratulatory call from Barbara Broccoli. To remember: all 25 James Bond films will be available on Amazon Prime Video later this week for a limited number only. Perfect excuse for a rewatch.


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