Film Feature: Bond, James Bond – Ranking the Bond Movies Worst to First, Including ‘Spectre’

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Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

19. The Living Daylights

Timothy Dalton’s best film as James Bond still ain’t that great. It has a couple of eye-popping stunts, but Bond was a little lost at this time looking for his place in the world – and Timothy Dalton wasn’t the one to lead him there.

18. Moonraker

Roger Moore’s silliest outing as James Bond often gets dismissed as an attempt to cash in on the success of “Star Wars.” I’m not saying it’s good exactly, but it does start with a great opening skydiving stunt sequence. ‘Bond in Space’ yields some small cheesy pleasures, not the least of which is Moore’s famous closing double entendre.

17. The Man with the Golden Gun

Roger Moore’s arched eyebrow and groan inducing puns are right at home in this entry that puts future “Fantasy Island” star Herve Villechaize as an evil henchman for super villain Christopher Lee. An underrated entry from the Roger Moore years.

16. Tomorrow Never Dies

Pierce Brosnan was always a little like a younger, more dapper Roger Moore. In this entry, his puns get a workout again while battling a Rupert Murdoch-type media tycoon out to start civil unrest in China to boost his own media empire. While Jonathan Pryce as the villain is more whiny than diabolical, extra points for Michelle Yeoh as a Bond Girl who can kick serious butt on her own.

Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan is James Bond in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

15. For Your Eyes Only

Roger Moore’s back-to-basics Bond has the actor beginning to show his age. The green screens that Moore used for his stunt work become more obvious, and the film kinda runs on autopilot. The film’s opening showdown with the villain Blofeld is a sign of the cheesiness to come, but any movie that puts Bond on skis ain’t all bad.

14. You Only Live Twice

Features one of the all time great evil villain lairs, and the quintessential incarnation of arch-villain Blofeld. But mostly Sean Connery’s James Bond is spinning his wheels here, and his unfortunate go around in Japanese garb doesn’t make it any easier to get through. By this time the series was getting more gadget heavy, but Bond has nothing particularly special.

13. Spectre

While this newest Bond doesn’t reach the same level of “Skyfall” or “Casino Royale,” realistically how could it? Daniel Craig gets in touch with a little of Bond’s silly side – adding a nice touch of humor – and from a few new gadgets from Q branch to the relentless action and impressive stunt work, there are homages to memorable scenes from the entire series. Christoph Waltz isn’t quite the hammy delight you’d expect, and the story tries a little too hard to tie up the previous three Daniel Craig entries, but graduating third in this impressive class is nothing to be ashamed of. Extra demerits however for the title theme by Sam Smith, which is easily one of the worst Bond theme songs ever.

12. Diamonds are Forever

Sean Connery’s last outing as Bond isn’t his best work, but it’s still got plenty going for it. While Connery is a little older by this point, he hasn’t lost the touch as he travels through the bright lights of old 1970’s Las Vegas and drives around the desert in a Moonbuggy. It’s enjoyable to see him put through his paces one more time.

Roger Moore
Roger Moore is James Bond in ‘Octopussy’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

11. Octopussy

Another Roger Moore Bond that gets an unfairly bad rap. This entry has Bond fighting the good old USSR and dodging poisonous snakes, while riding in a submarine cloaked as a crocodile in the jungles of India. While the film’s use of body doubles for Moore had become even more obvious – Moore appears only closeup in front of what appears to be green screen – and at one point Bond ends up in a clown costume, this film is firing on all cylinders. It offers all kinds of escapist silly pleasures, especially during a chase sequence on top of a train.

Bruce Crawford's picture

Wrong film for picture and my take on Spectre being horrible.

The picture with Timothy Dalton is actually from The Living Daylights. I very much agree with Skyfall and Casino Royale being up in the list. I just really disliked the new Spectre film. A lot of superhero films tend to focus in the future sequels. Well, this film tended to focus a lot in the past. I don’t mind there being a mention of the past films, but not to where the film itself being Spectre would mess up the stories that happened before in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall. Very disappointing sequel. I don’t care for Daniel Craig to humor up Bond. His performance from the past three films were excellent, and I don’t see why he needed to change it for this film. If he returns as James Bond, I really hope that they find good screen writers and a good director like Christopher Nolan to direct it. I thought that Sam Mendes was going to be great in returning to the director’s chair for Spectre and perhaps after, but he should of just stuck to his guns and done Skyfall only. That’s all I’ll say. Thank you for your time.

Bunny Deana's picture

Crowned by James Bond

I am thrilled to be able to say that I shared a glass of champagne with James Bond! When I was “Bunny Deana” at the London Playboy Club, more than 40 years ago now, I was privileged to have been crowned Playboy Bunny of The Year by George Lazenby (Bond in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’) and I shall treasure the memory forever. The very precious (to me at least) photo of George performing the crowning, immaculately dressed in his beautiful Bond-style suit, is a proud part of my unique, personal “Bunny Deana’s Playboy Photo Album”, available to view online.

Anthony Thompson's picture

The best Bond list I've seen

Everyone has their own favorites and ‘turkeys’ but this list gets it mostly right in my opinion and provides reasonable explanations for the rankings. However, the gratuitous slap at Lazenby is unnecessary. He was an outstanding Bond and it would have been wonderful to see what he would have done with the role in further films. He showed more personality in one film than Brosnan and Dalton did in three each.

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