The best and worst James Bond movies: 'Goldfinger,' 'Skyfall,' more – Insider

The classic first movie in the franchise didn’t just introduce us to the dashing spy character based on the Ian Fleming novels, but also to the first 007 in movie history, Sean Connery.
Thanks to his good looks, charming Scottish accent, and action moves, he became the blueprint of a movie hero in the early 1960s.
Tying it all together was the story, which was just damn good. He faces the OG villain in the franchise, Dr. No.
Connery returned to play Bond in the second movie in the franchise. This time, he’s fighting bad guys on the Orient Express and Istanbul. And the gadgets he uses became a hallmark for most of the 007 movies going forward. 
Arguably the greatest Bond movie in the Connery era, here he takes on the villain Auric Goldfinger (“No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die”), drives around in an Aston Martin, and saves Fort Knox from blowing up.
Connery is at it again, and though this one isn’t as good as “Goldfinger,” it still has top-notch action. Eye-patch villain Emilio Largo is one of the best in the franchise, too.
Also, this is the movie where Bond flies around on a jet pack!
With the story set in Japan, the sights are dazzling. And with the SPECTRE’s Number One Blofeld (played perfectly by Donald Pleasence) as the movie’s villain, things couldn’t get any better with his lair featuring piranhas and battles with ninjas.
After retiring from the Bond role, which only lasted one movie (“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”), Connery returned and proved he is the true Bond when he breaks up a diamond smuggling ring while also breaking some hearts.
Then he retired from the role. Sort of (more on that at the end).
For the third movie in the Roger Moore era, he finally hit his stride as Bond.
Teaming with a KGB agent, he has to track down missing submarines that are armed with ballistic missiles. And he also has to run from the clutches of the giant henchman Jaws, named that way thanks to his giant metal teeth.
Jaws, played by Richard Kiel, quickly became a fan favorite.
Trying to compete with the popularity of “Star Wars,” 007 goes to space in this mission.
It’s cheesy but lots of fun. Moore once again faces off with Jaws, which we can’t get enough of.
Sadly, it’s their final showdown. Not because Bond kills him, but because Jaws finds love by the end of the movie.
The Moore era closed with perhaps Bond’s most 1980s story.
Christopher Walken plays the villain, who chases Bond in a giant blimp. Grace Jones is the fantastic henchwoman, dressed throughout in amazing outfits. And the movie features the best Bond song of them all, performed by ’80s icons Duran Duran.
This movie marks the start of the Timothy Dalton era, and it began with a bang as he fits nicely in the 007 role here.
Like one of Moore’s movies, this one is set around the KGB, but unlike Moore, Dalton gave the character a ferocious edge — which was fitting as the character was headed into the 1990s.
Moving to the Pierce Brosnan era (Dalton only stuck around for two movies), Bond is more dashing, the Bond girls are ravishing (hi, Michelle Yeoh!), and the action is hitting Hollywood-blockbuster level with lots of explosions of gun fire.
This movie marks Bond’s 40th anniversary and arguably the best one in the Brosnan era.
Entering the 2000s, the franchise, like all blockbusters, is using more CGI. But there’s still a grounded action feel in this one as Bond battles it out in North Korea with Halle Berry as the Bond girl.
Four years after “Die Another Day,” the franchise gets a reboot and a new Bond. Daniel Craig joins the party and introduces the most serious 007 yet.
Craig finds his groove in this movie, which, for us, is in the top five of the best Bond movies of all time.
Directed by Sam Mendes, starring Javier Bardem in the villain role, and shot beautifully by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, the movie has a real high-stakes feel by the end (if you’ve never seen the movie we won’t give away why).
The latest Bond movie closes out the Craig era in grand fashion. The movie’s action is some of the best in years and the final half hour is some of the most thrilling you’ll find in the franchise.
After “You Only Live Twice,” Connery said he was retiring from playing Bond, opening the door for George Lazenby. It didn’t turn out well as the model-turned-actor felt the wrath of fans and critics who wanted Connery back.
Lazenby has his moments, but the movie itself is a dull one.
Roger Moore’s first Bond movie has one of the best Bond songs, performed by Paul and Linda McCartney’s band Wings, but in the movie’s attempt to cash in on the popular blaxploitation genre, it feels bland and at times more like a cop procedural than a spy movie.
Though featuring the likes of Christopher Lee and Hervé Villechaize as the villains, once again Moore finds himself navigating a dull story.
Though, this is the movie that features the cool corkscrew car jump.
Once again, Moore finds himself with a mixed bag of lackluster action and lazy writing.
The Moore era was an interesting one. Take this mission for example, where he has to save the world by dressing up as a clown to infiltrate a circus that isn’t on the level. Fun, but also forgettable.
Following “The Living Daylights,” Timothy Dalton returned for “Licence to Kill” and, sadly, it didn’t have the same energy that the previous title had.
Though Dalton was praised for his serious tone in “Daylights,” it’s a bit too much his second time.
Great video game, but not the best Bond movie of the Pierce Brosnan era.
This one you can’t really blame Brosnan for. With a tired plot and Denise Richards not cut out to play a Bond girl, the movie is a big pass.
Coming off the success of “Casino Royale,” Craig goes even darker with the Bond character. But it didn’t work out. The lack of action in this movie is the thing that’s most disappointing.
After the success of “Skyfall,” director Sam Mendes returned but couldn’t recapture the magic.
The movie feels like the weight of the role was getting to Craig. It also looks like everyone is just going through the motions of being part of a Bond movie.
Thankfully that was corrected in “No Time to Die.”
All the titles above were produced by Eon Productions, which is the flagship company of the franchise. But in 1983, a Bond movie not produced by Eon hopped some complex legal hurdles to be released.
And Connery returned to play Bond.
The title played on Connery vowing after “Diamonds Are Forever” he’d “never” play Bond again. But thankfully he did.
“Never Say Never Again” is a solid movie as it follows a now older Bond who is brought back into the spy world to stop SPECTRE from destroying the world. The movie also features great performances from Max von Sydow as Blofeld, Kim Basinger as the Bond girl, and Rowan Atkinson doing the comic relief.
Seek this movie out!
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