If you like your martinis shaken, not stirred, then you’ll love our list of James Bond movies ranked. We countdown every 007 adventure from worst to best. Where does your favorite place on the ranking?
James Bond was the brainchild of Ian Fleming, a former naval intelligence officer-turned-author who wrote 14 books featuring the British spy and ladies man. The first film adaptation of one of Fleming’s novels, the Eon Productions release “Dr. No” (1962), was a monster hit that made a star of leading man Sean Connery, who played the role of Agent 007 six additional times: “From Russia with Love” (1963), “Goldfinger” (1964), “Thunderball” (1965), “You Only Live Twice” (1967), “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971) and the non-Eon produced “Never Say Never Again” (1983).
Connery was briefly replaced by George Lazenby, a male model who headlined “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969) and never returned to the series again. Roger Moore took over the role with “Live and Let Die” (1973) and stuck with the series for six more films: “The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974), “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977), “Moonraker” (1979), “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), “Octopussy” (1983) and “A View to a Kill” (1985).
Timothy Dalton‘s brief stint kicked off with “The Living Daylights” (1987) and ended shortly thereafter with “License to Kill” (1989). Pierce Brosnan revived the franchise after a six-year hiatus with “GoldenEye” (1995), followed in quick succession by “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997), “The World Is Not Enough” (1999) and “Die Another Day” (2002).
The latest Bond, Daniel Craig, stepped into 007’s polished shoes with “Casino Royale” (2006) and returned for “Quantum of Solace” (2008), “Skyfall” (2012), “Spectre” (2015) and one final time in “No Time to Die” (2020).
– Original captions written by Zach Moore.
26. Never Say Never Again (1983)
The Good: All of the traditional Bond ingredients are present in this “unofficial” 007 film, a product of the convoluted rights issues surrounding one of Fleming’s books (technically this is another adaptation of “Thunderball”). Sean Connery is back after a 12 year hiatus, a supervillain is hatching an elaborate plot involving stolen nuclear missiles, and there are gadgets and beautiful women aplenty (including a young Kim Basinger in a breakout role).
The Bad: The 53-year-old Connery was more than beginning to show his age at this point, and the whole production can’t help but feel like a cheap knockoff of the real thing.
25. Casino Royale (1967)
The Good: Another one-off Bond film, the 1967 adaptation of “Casino Royale” is a fascinating, psychedelic, bizarre farce. It’s a proto-Austin Powers send-up of the 007 movies that is draped in ’60s aesthetic. The all-star cast includes David Niven, Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, Ursula Andress and Orson Welles.
The Bad: The making of the film was a catastrophe, with six different directors overseeing various segments and a cast that was reportedly at odds with the production and each other. Sellers and Welles refused to be on set with each other, and many of the stars hired their own writers to rewrite their lines. The result is nearly incomprehensible, with characters disappearing and reappearing without any explanation, and long scenes that ultimately have nothing to do with the plot.
24. A View to a Kill (1985)
The Good: Grace Jones as May Day is one of the most unique and compelling “Bond women” in the series. Instead of being a harmless waif, she looks like she could snap poor Roger Moore in half.
The Bad: Moore’s last outing as Bond is easily the series’ weakest. He really begins to show his age, and the intercutting between him and the stuntmen performing the more intensive action is laughable. The film also gives in to the worst kind of comic pratfalls that plagued Moore’s run as 007. Even Christopher Walken turns in a largely forgettable performance as the villain, tech tycoon Max Zorin.
23. Moonraker (1979)
The Good: The opening skydiving scene, where Bond faces off with gargantuan henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel) while plummeting from an airplane, is an all-timer. In fact, Jaws gets a little B-story that is kind of sweet – he ends the movie a good guy, escaping the exploding space station with a new girlfriend.
The Bad: “Moonraker” takes all of the wrong lessons from the success of “Star Wars” (1977), with a ridiculous finale set on a space station. Overall the movie is enormously silly, best exemplified by a pigeon doing a double-take during a chase through Venice.
22. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
The Good: Christopher Lee‘s deep voice and terrifying stature make for a classic Bond villain as Scaramanga. The final confrontation takes place in a trippy hall of mirrors and illusions. And of course there’s one of the greatest stunts of all time, where a red AMC Hornet spins 360 degrees as it flies off a ramp and lands safely on the other side.
The Bad: Someone thought it would be hilarious to put a slide whistle sound effect over the aforementioned jump, ruining the effect. And the cartoonish Southern sheriff JW Pepper (Clifton James), who first appeared in “Live and Let Die,” was apparently so beloved that they brought him back for a second time.
21. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
The Good: Sean Connery is back as Bond, and this time he gets to go to Las Vegas. Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) and Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith) stand out as memorable additions to the rogues gallery of weird henchmen.
The Bad: This is the first Bond film to really abandon any pretense of being serious and lean into the silliness. The results are more groan-worthy than funny.
20. Spectre (2015)
The Good: Daniel Craig’s fourth entry opens with a spectacular single-shot sequence following Bond as he makes his way through a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City. Hoyte Van Hoytema takes over cinematography duties from Roger Deakins, and the results are gorgeous. A supercar chase through Rome is a highlight.
The Bad: The follow-up to the critically-praised “Skyfall” falls way short of expectations. The filmmakers attempt to set up a Marvel-style interconnected universe, with recurring villain Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) somehow at the center of all of Bond’s previous adventures. The film suffered from numerous reshoots, and the result still doesn’t make much sense.
19. Die Another Day (2002)
The Good: Pierce Brosnan’s final outing starts out strong, with a fun hovercraft chase through the Korean DMZ that leads to him being trapped in a North Korean prison. Halle Berry makes a memorable Bond girl. 007 finally gets to use his supercharged Aston Martin to do battle with a similarly outfitted Jaguar.
The Bad: “Die Another Day” is cartoonish and silly even for a Bond film, with sequences that wouldn’t feel out of place in the ’80s “GI Joe” show. In one of the most embarrassing scenes, 007 surfs down a CGI tidal wave created by the enemy’s death ray.
18. Octopussy (1983)
The Good: Maud Adams as the titular Octopussy has some real chemistry with Moore, and it’s nice to see a woman in a Bond film who isn’t just a harmless bimbo. James Bond dresses as a clown to disarm a nuclear bomb.
The Bad: Like we said, James Bond dresses as a clown to disarm a nuclear bomb. He also swings through the air like Tarzan. “Octopussy” is one of Moore’s goofiest Bond adventures, and that’s saying something.
17. Quantum of Solace (2008)
The Good: The opening car chase through coastal Italy is pretty spectacular, as is the final fight in the villain’s lair as it catches fire and explodes.
The Bad: “Quantum of Solace” isn’t bad so much as it’s mediocre. It feels like an attempt to imitate the “Bourne” series with a more down-to-earth plot, but the results are uninspiring. Outside of the car chase at the beginning, there aren’t really any good stunts or action sequences, a staple of even the worst Bond films.
16. Thunderball (1965)
The Good: The big underwater fight scene features some amazing deep sea cinematography. Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) is an inspired villain with a pool filled with sharks. This was the first film of the series to be shot in widescreen Panavision, and its lush camerawork really captures the serene beauty of the Bahamas.
The Bad: “Thunderball” was the longest film of Connery’s run, and it feels like it. The series begins to settle into a formula, and as a result it doesn’t feel especially original.
15. Live and Let Die (1973)
The Good: A thrilling speedboat chase through the Louisiana bayou that involves several wrecked police cars is a series highlight. Roger Moore takes over from Sean Connery and displays the suave British wit and charm that would carry him through six more Bond films.
The Bad: The film’s racial politics are not great, to put it mildly. We start to see some of the cringe-inducing comic relief that characterized Moore’s run, including the addition of goofy Southern sheriff JW Pepper in that speedboat chase.
14. The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The Good: A thrilling boat chase through the Thames kicks off this leaner, meaner Brosnan film. Sophie Marceau‘s Elektra King is a Bond girl who can hold her own with 007, and in a twist is revealed to be the main villain. Bond’s souped-up BMW gets cut in half by a helicopter with a chainsaw. John Cleese takes over for Desmond Llewelyn as Q.
The Bad: Denise Richards is not exactly believable as nuclear physicist Christmas Jones. The final fight onboard a nuclear submarine doesn’t really compare to the climactic confrontations of the other movies. Overall the grim tone makes this Bond film not as much fun as it should be.
13. Licence to Kill (1989)
The Good: Timothy Dalton’s final entry in the Bond canon clearly takes inspiration from the hyper-macho Stallone and Schwarzenegger action movies of the ’80s. As 007 goes rogue and takes down a cocaine smuggler who killed his former partner, the explosions are big and fiery and everyone is very muscular and sweaty. The movie climaxes with a thrilling chase involving a fleet of semi-trucks carrying cocaine-laden gasoline. A young Benicio Del Toro appears as one of the villain’s henchman.
The Bad: Even though it’s fun to watch, “Licence to Kill” doesn’t feel very James Bond-y – it’s too mean. It also features the series’ first stabs at gender equality with Carey Lowell‘s short-haired CIA agent, and the results, while admirable, are pretty awkward. Wayne Newton is there for some reason.
12. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
The Good: In a departure from the rest of Roger Moore’s time as 007, “For Your Eyes Only” is a stripped-down, more grounded (and less silly) film. Bond gets to escape the bad guys in a dinky little Citroen instead of a sports car with machine guns, and the climax involves an assault on a mountain fortress.
The Bad: The movie is maybe a little too stripped-down, and it makes you miss many of the James Bond staples that are absent. Moore has little chemistry with this film’s love interest, Carole Bouquet.
11. The Living Daylights (1987)
The Good: Timothy Dalton began his short tenure as 007 with this film, and his portrayal of Bond is easily the series’ most underrated. Dalton is suave but with a dangerous edge that was missing from Roger Moore. He also drives one of Bond’s coolest rides, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage equipped with skis.
The Bad: In a hilarious example of how cultural attitudes have changed, this Bond adventure ends with our hero fighting on the side of “the brave Mujahideen fighters of Afghanistan,” to whom the film is dedicated.
10. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The Good: Jonathan Pryce makes a great Bond villain as sneering newspaper magnate Elliot Carver, and his secret stealth boat lair is pretty cool. 007 gets his own toys to play with, specifically a remote-controlled BMW that he uses to evade Carver’s men in a parking garage. Michelle Yeoh continues the trend of Bond women who are his equal and ally.
The Bad: Nothing too embarrassing, but nothing especially memorable either. Even for a Bond film, the product placement stands out.
9. Dr. No (1962)
The Good: This is the one that started it all, and it’s amazing how well it sets out the tropes that would define the series. Sean Connery is James Bond – dashing, witty, dangerous and cool under pressure. He travels to exotic locales, gambles, meets beautiful women and stops the nefarious plot of a strange evildoer (Joseph Wiseman) with a secret island lair.
The Bad: While it brought us the iconic “James Bond Theme,” the film is missing the series’ trademark opening musical credit sequence. Also, while it sets up a lot of the iconography, it still hadn’t perfected it – overall it feels just a little shaky and small-scale.
8. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The Good: Moore’s third outing as Bond is easily his best effort; it has that mixture of danger and romance that people love these movies for. The villain, reclusive shipping magnate Karl Stromberg (Curd Jurgens), has both an underwater lair and a supertanker big enough to swallow nuclear submarines whole, which he plans to use to destroy society on the surface while creating a new one under the sea. Bond’s Lotus Esprit, which transforms into a submersible, even gives the classic Aston Martin a run for its money. Jaws, the towering henchman with metal teeth, makes his first appearance.
The Bad: This is still a Roger Moore Bond, so it’s always going to be a little dorky. The final shootout in Stromberg’s hideout goes on a little too long.
7. GoldenEye (1995)
The Good: After a lengthy hiatus, the Bond series returned with Pierce Brosnan taking over for Timothy Dalton. Brosnan defined the role for the ’90s and makes it his own from the get-go. “Goldeneye” was the first 007 film after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and it deftly navigates a post-Soviet world. Judi Dench‘s M makes her first appearance. Also, Bond drives a tank through Moscow.
The Bad: Brosnan’s run was unfortunately where the product placement really started to go over the top – where does he get a brand-new BMW in Cuba?
6. Casino Royale (2006)
The Good: After the ridiculous “Die Another Day,” Daniel Craig got his opportunity to redefine the role for modern times. “Casino Royale” is mature and sophisticated in a way that previous 007 films aren’t, and it treats James as a real character, not just a charming rogue to put through the generic “Bond” cliches. It doesn’t lack the trademark action either: the opening parkour chase that takes Bond up and over a skyscraper under construction in Africa is a brilliant piece of stunt work.
The Bad: The film has an odd, two part structure – most of the action is front-loaded at the beginning, while the second half (and the actual meat of the story) is much more low-key. The final chase through Venice feels tacked-on, like the producers were worried it needed to end with a big action set piece.
5. From Russia with Love (1963)
The Good: “From Russia With Love” is, appropriately, one of the most romantic films of the series. Though Bond is foiling a Russian plot, that becomes secondary to the romance he kindles with beautiful Soviet consulate clerk Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi). It’s more of a taut thriller than a big action spectacle, with some real chemistry between the two leads. It was also the first Bond film to feature a musical title sequence, as well as the first appearance of Desmond Llewelyn’s Q.
The Bad: Its low-key nature means that the stunts and action sequence the series would be known for are missing. The film also takes its sweet time getting to the meat of the story, where Bond sneaks the Russian turncoat out of Turkey.
4. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
The Good: In a departure from the films that preceded it and would follow, “OHMSS” is a 007 film that attempts to tell an actual story, instead of the usual series of action set pieces. Blofeld (Telly Savalas) still has a plan to hold the world ransom, but this time all he wants is amnesty so he can live a normal life. While investigating his plot, Bond meets Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) and sincerely falls in love with her. After foiling the bad guy, the two get married and Bond plans to leave the secret service forever. Unfortunately, Blofeld is still alive, and he murders Tracy in an uncharacteristically poignant and moving finale. Additionally, composer John Barry does some of his best work in the series with this entry.
The Bad: George Lazenby is no Sean Connery; he’s not even a Roger Moore. While Connery’s films embodied the best of 1960s style, this one seems to focus only on the worst – Mike Myers clearly took more than a little inspiration from this Bond film for his spy spoof “Austin Powers.”
3. You Only Live Twice (1967)
The Good: In the same way that “Goldfinger” fully defined James Bond, “You Only Live Twice” defines the Bond villain. Many other actors played the role in subsequent films, but Donald Pleasence is Enrst Stavro Blofeld. He has the strange manner of the speaking, the weird scar and, of course, his pet cat. On top of that, the film has some of the best production design of the whole series, especially Blofeld’s secret volcano lair, one of the largest sets ever built.
The Bad: The less said about Bond’s awkward “transformation” into a Japanese man, the better.
2. Skyfall (2012)
The Good: Daniel Craig finally topped his stellar debut with one of the richest Bond films ever made. “Skyfall” manages the tricky balancing act of delivering all the thrilling stunts and exotic locations that fans expect, while also telling a deeply moving story about Bond and M’s relationship, and how that is tested by the villain, Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem). Maestro cinematographer Roger Deakins was given a Bond-sized budget to play with, and the result is easily the most gorgeous 007 film ever, if not one of the best-looking films period.
The Bad: As good as Bardem is as Silva, his part feels more than a little derivative of Heath Ledger‘s Oscar-winning performance as The Joker from “The Dark Knight” (2008). The film also marked the series’ 50th anniversary, and as a result it has a habit of sticking in Bond iconography whether it fits or not.
1. Goldfinger (1964)
The Good: This is the film where everything we know about James Bond was set in stone. He meets beautiful women with silly names, he drives fast cars equipped with machine guns and ejector seats, and he foils the plots of nefarious madmen and their strange henchmen. Every subsequent film is just an iteration of the themes established with this one.
The Bad: These movies are famous for their terrible, regressive gender politics, but “Goldfinger” is an especially egregious offender.