The Best James Bond Movies Ranked
Welcome to our definitive ranking of the best James Bond movies, a thrilling ride through espionage, exotic locations, and unforgettable showdowns. In the spirit of fair representation, our ranking isn’t based on our opinion or the whims of a few select critics, but rather, the audience scores from the widely acknowledged Rotten Tomatoes‘ Audience Scores. After all, Bond is a hero for the masses, not just the critics.
We firmly believe that the collective voice of the audience, even though it’s more of a younger voice on the Internet, accurately encapsulates the pulse of a movie. Not that we disregard the critics entirely – they provide insightful, nuanced perspectives that often shine a spotlight on overlooked aspects of a movie. Yet, the broader consensus formed by countless fans worldwide ultimately offers the most balanced verdict.
That said, it’s worth noting that we may not personally concur with every ranking. Our intent here is to spark conversations, invite debates, and encourage you to revisit these iconic movies with a fresh lens. So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare to journey into the world of 007, as we present the James Bond movies ranked by the people, for the people.
The Best James Bond Movies Ranked from 25th to 1st
Now, let’s delve into the heart of our countdown. The Best James Bond Movies, starting with the lowest ranked. As we traverse this list, from the least to most loved, remember that every movie holds a special place in the cinematic universe of James Bond.
And the ranking does not negate the movie’s contribution to the franchise but provides a measure of how well it resonated with the audience. Anyway, let’s commence this exciting journey.
25th Place : A View to a Kill (1985)
With a low Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 40%, we find A View to a Kill at 25th place. This movie, marking the conclusion of Roger Moore’s stint as Bond, centers around Bond’s quest to uncover the sinister intentions behind Zorin Industries.
This leads him to the ruthless Max Zorin, owner of the company, and his nefarious plan to obliterate Silicon Valley, seizing control over the global microchip market.
Bond, alongside Stacey Sutton, a woman harboring a deep-seated grudge against Zorin, works tirelessly to dismantle this menacing plan. An unexpected ally comes in the form of May Day, whose valiant sacrifice plays a pivotal role in stopping Zorin’s malevolent plot.
A View to a Kill might be voted the lowest of all Bond movies (we don’t agree that it’s the worst), but it’s replete with memorable moments, such as Bond chasing the legendary May Day across the streets of Paris and an adrenaline-fueled chase across the bustling streets of San Francisco aboard a stolen fire truck.
24th Place: Die Another Day (2002)
In the 24th place, just nudging ahead with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 41%, is Pierce Brosnan’s final turn as Bond in Die Another Day. The narrative embarks on a whirlwind adventure as 007 infiltrates a North Korean base led by Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, engaged in an illicit arms-for-diamonds trade.
Having been stripped of his 00 status, Bond embarks on a quest for redemption and retribution against the formidable Zao. His journey leads him to Cuba, where he discovers a gene therapy clinic and meets the seductive NSA Agent Giacinta ‘Jinx’ Johnson.
Bond’s investigations link the conflict diamonds to the British magnate Gustav Graves, who, in a stunning revelation, is revealed to be Colonel Moon, altered by gene therapy. In a race against time, Bond and Jinx must dismantle Moon’s plan to employ his solar satellite, Icarus, to wreak havoc on Western nations and facilitate a North Korean offensive against South Korea and Japan.
Die Another Day isn’t the best, but it has some memorable moments, including the tense hovercraft chase through a minefield, the car chase across a frozen Icelandic lake, and a thrilling climax aboard Graves’ plummeting aircraft.
23rd Place: Moonraker (1979)
In at a lowly 23rd spot with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 43%, Moonraker propels Bond into a high-stakes investigation of a hijacked Space Shuttle from Drax Industries.
This mission brings him into contact with Hugo Drax, the company’s proprietor, and CIA Agent Dr. Holly Goodhead. As Bond delves deeper, he stumbles upon Drax’s genocidal scheme to obliterate humanity using a lethal nerve gas, while he and his genetically enhanced followers thrive in a covert space city.
The towering, metal-mouthed henchman Jaws is back for the second movie, and once again becomes a formidable adversary for Bond starting with the opening skydiving scene. Yet, in an unexpected twist, Jaws switches sides, aiding Bond in thwarting Drax’s plot, demolishing his space station, and saving humanity.
The movie isn’t the best, but there’s a worse from Moore in our opinion. As with all Bond movies, there’s some memorable moments, such as the high-octane freefall battle between Bond and Jaws, Bond’s close call with a deadly python neutralized by a wristwatch dart gun, the unlikely romance between Jaws and the charming Dolly, and a zero-gravity amorous encounter between Bond and Goodhead, amusingly broadcasted to MI6 and other high-ranking viewers.
22nd Place: Octopussy (1983)
Securing the 22nd position with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 47% is Octopussy. Although this ranking is based on public opinion, if I were to personally weigh in, I’d rank this as the franchise’s least impressive offering, but who am I to say?
In this installment, James Bond 007 delves into the mystery of a slain agent found clutching a Fabergé egg. The investigation steers him into a bidding war with the exiled Afghan prince, Kamal Khan, in London. Bond tracks Khan to Delhi, where he stumbles upon the enigmatic Octopussy, the leader of the Octopus cult.
As the narrative unravels, Bond uncovers a conspiracy hatched by Soviet General Orlov and Khan. Their intricate scheme involves smuggling Soviet treasures into the West, replacing them with forgeries, and planning to detonate a stolen nuclear bomb at a US airbase in Germany. The aim is to trigger Europe’s nuclear disarmament and pave the way for a Soviet invasion.
After a nail-biting climax, where Bond defuses the bomb in the nick of time, he and Octopussy confront Khan in Delhi. While it has many shortcomings and some ridiculous moments, Octopussy does host a handful of memorable scenes, like the rickshaw chase through a bustling Indian market, and Magda‘s sensational departure.
21st Place: The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Placed 21st with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 49% is The World is Not Enough. In this tale of oil, money, and terrorism, James Bond is charged with securing a vast sum of money, ensuring the safety of oil heiress Elektra King, and neutralizing the malevolent plans of the terrorist Renard.
The movie starts with a thrilling escape scene in Bilbao, Spain, where Bond employs a flash grenade to evade an assassination attempt. Later, he engages in an exhilarating chase down the River Thames, pursuing the Cigar Girl, who had earlier assassinated a Swiss banker.
As the plot thickens, Bond exposes a conspiracy encompassing the murder of oil tycoon Robert King, the abduction of his daughter Elektra, and Renard’s master plan to monopolize the oil industry by detonating a nuclear bomb in Istanbul. On this dangerous mission, Bond aligns with Dr. Christmas Jones, a nuclear physicist, to unravel Renard’s plot and avert global disaster.
I’m surorised this movie only has 49% Audience rating, as it has many memorable moments, including the gripping boat chase along the River Thames, Bond’s BMW meeting its demise at the hands of helicopter-borne circular saws, and the poignant farewell of actor Desmond Llewelyn as the beloved Q, leaving Bond with some parting wisdom.
20th Place: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Investigating Carver’s link to the sinking of the British Navy vessel, HMS Devonshire, Bond ventures to Hamburg. His mission: to charm Carver’s wife, Paris – an old flame of his, and infiltrate Carver’s media empire.
After purloining a GPS encoder and dodging Carver’s minions, Bond journeys to the South China Sea to uncover the mystery behind Devonshire’s sinking. Partnering with Chinese Agent Wai Lin, they salvage stolen missiles from the wreckage and narrowly evade capture in Saigon.
The duo unravels Carver’s scheme to incite conflict between Britain and China. Infiltrating Carver’s stealth ship to hinder his plans, they find themselves fighting side by side as the British Navy zeroes in on the now-visible stealth vessel, confronting Carver and his accomplice, General Chang.
Tomorrow Never Dies isn’t the best, but it’s peppered with memorable scenes, such as the high-speed chase through Saigon’s labyrinthine streets with Bond and Lin handcuffed together on a motorcycle, this is such a clever scene and really makes the movie.
19 Place: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
The chase is instigated by the arrival of a golden bullet engraved with ‘007’, believed to be sent by Scaramanga himself. From Beirut to Macau and ultimately Bangkok, Bond follows the breadcrumb trail left by Scaramanga.
On his journey, Bond forges an alliance with Lieutenant Hip and crosses paths with Scaramanga’s lover, Andrea Anders, who wishes for Scaramanga’s death. The pursuit leads Bond through a high-speed chase across Bangkok, culminating in a duel on Scaramanga’s private island.
Memorable moments in this movie include Bond’s audacious escape from Hai Fat’s martial arts school by leaping through a wooden window and an electrifying car chase through Bangkok’s hectic streets, culminating in Scaramanga’s car morphing into a plane.
18th Place: Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Positioned at 18th with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 57%, Diamonds Are Forever, often considered the weakest of Connery’s Bond performances, delves into an intricate diamond smuggling operation.
In this caper, Bond adopts the alias of smuggler Peter Franks, teaming up with with the seductive Tiffany Case in Amsterdam. There, he kills the real Franks and assumes his identity.
Bond and Tiffany then make their way to Los Angeles, where a near-fatal cremation for Bond is thwarted upon discovering the diamonds he carries are counterfeit. The trail then leads Bond to Las Vegas, where he encounters the memorable Plenty O’Toole.
Unveiling Ernst Stavro Blofeld‘s nefarious scheme to weaponize the diamond-laden satellite against Washington DC, Bond undermines the plan, decimating Blofeld’s oil rig lab by using the villain’s mini submarine as a makeshift wrecking ball. The movie culminates with Bond and Tiffany setting sail for Britain, only to be ambushed by memorable assassins Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, who are subsequently defeated.
It’s certainly not Connery’s finest, but the movie has some exciting moments such as the exhilarating car chase through Las Vegas’s bustling streets in the red 1971 Mustang Mach 1, which Bond puts up on 2 wheels to get away from the local police.
17th Place: Quantum of Solace (2008)
Securing 17th place with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 58%, Quantum of Solace, the 22nd installment of the James Bond saga, seamlessly continues the narrative of Casino Royale.
Daniel Craig, reprising his role as 007, ensnares enigmatic Mr. White and delivers him to MI6 for questioning. The plot thickens when M’s bodyguard, Craig Mitchell, is unmasked as a double agent, facilitating White’s escape.
Bond’s pursuit takes him to Haiti, where he crosses paths with Camille Montes, a woman hell-bent on avenging her family’s death at the hands of Bolivian General Medrano. Unraveling a sinister plot, Bond discovers that environmentalist entrepreneur Dominic Greene, affiliated with the clandestine organization Quantum, intends to monopolize Bolivia’s water resources.
In a symbiotic alliance, Bond and Camille infiltrate a clandestine meeting of Greene, Medrano, and Quantum associates, ultimately vanquishing their foes and delivering justice for Camille’s family. However, Greene doesn’t meet his end at Bond’s hands. Instead, he’s abandoned in the desert to reckon with the repercussions of his deeds.
The movie is punctuated with memorable scenes, including a heart-pounding opening car chase, an athletic rooftop pursuit in Siena, Italy, and a daring skydiving escapade into a sinkhole alongside Camille.
16th Place: Spectre (2015)
Claiming the 16th spot with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 61%, Spectre finds James Bond embroiled in a quest for Marco Sciarra, amidst Mexico City’s Day of the Dead festivities. A hair-raising skirmish aboard a helicopter ends with Bond gaining possession of an enigmatic ring bearing an octopus motif.
Back on home turf, Bond’s unsanctioned mission is met with stern rebuke from M, who’s also wrestling with the looming threat of the 00 program’s termination. Undeterred, Bond proceeds with his mission, attends Sciarra’s funeral in Rome, and stumbles upon a global criminal organization responsible for developing the invasive Nine Eyes spy program.
Franz Oberhauser, the syndicate’s leader, is unveiled to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Shockingly, he is the puppeteer behind all of Bond’s previous calamities. Alongside Dr. Madeleine Swann, daughter of former foe Mr. White, Bond seeks to expose Blofeld’s devious machinations and bring him to justice.
Spectre came straight after Skyfall, so it was always going to have a hard time, but the movie is dotted with riveting moments. These include the high-octane pre-title sequence helicopter battle, and a nail-biting car pursuit through Rome’s labyrinthine streets.
15th Place: Licence to Kill (1989)
The joyous occasion is abruptly disrupted when drug kingpin Franz Sanchez manages to escape from custody and violently retaliates against Leiter and his bride. Filled with vengeance, Bond resolves to dismantle Sanchez’s operations and exact justice for his best friend.
Bond’s pursuit brings him to the Wavecrest Marine Research Center, a front for a cocaine storage facility run by Milton Krest. He eliminates the corrupt DEA Agent Killifer and, upon having his Licence to Kill revoked, decides to go rogue.
Forming an alliance with Pam Bouvier, Bond infiltrates Sanchez’s drug ring and uncovers a scheme to transport cocaine camouflaged within gasoline. Bond orchestrates a trap for Krest, simultaneously earning Sanchez’s trust and navigating a complex relationship with both Sanchez’s partner, Lupe Lamora, and Bouvier.
However, his cover is eventually blown, triggering a heated confrontation at Sanchez’s drug factory. In a pulse-racing tanker chase, Bond and Bouvier track down Sanchez, culminating in Bond seeing off Sanchez using a lighter—a gift from Leiter and his wife.
One of only two Timothy Dalton Bond movies, it’s notable for its gripping scenes, such as the visceral altercation between Bond and Killifer. And the adrenaline-fueled tanker chase involving Bond and Bouvier, and the climactic face-off between Bond and Sanchez are the perfect way to end this Bond classic.
14th Place: For Your Eyes Only (1981)
With a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 64%, For Your Eyes Only seizes the 14th spot. James Bond is called back to duty at MI6 while paying a visit to his late wife Tracy’s gravesite. His new assignment involves the retrieval of the ATAC device—crucial British defense technology that went down with a disguised fishing vessel.
During his mission, Bond partners with Melina Havelock, a woman hell-bent on avenging her parents’ murder. It soon becomes apparent that the true antagonist is Aris Kristatos, who intends to sell the ATAC to the Soviets.
Bond and Melina grapple with numerous obstacles, including a perilous climb up a steep cliff to reach a monastery and confront Kristatos. Ultimately, Bond secures the ATAC and destroys it to prevent it from landing in the hands of the Soviet Unioin.
For Your Eyes Only is remembered for several iconic scenes, including Bond’s exhilarating ski chase, the car chase in the bright yellow Citroen, and a hilarious moment where Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher unknowingly engages in a conversation with a parrot, while Bond and Melina enjoy a romantic moment.
13th Place: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
With a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 64%, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service takes the 13th spot. The movie sees George Lazenby stepping into the shoes of James Bond as he travels to Switzerland to track down Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the leader of the criminal organization, SPECTRE.
Upon infiltrating Blofeld’s stronghold, Piz Gloria, Bond uncovers a sinister plot involving the Angels of Death, women manipulated to spread lethal bacteria around the world. When his cover is blown, it leads to a thrilling ski chase and Tracy’s subsequent capture by Blofeld.
Despite orders to the contrary, Bond teams up with Tracy’s father, Draco, to launch an attack on Blofeld’s base. After an exciting bobsleigh chase, Blofeld appears to meet his demise. Bond retires from MI6 to enjoy a peaceful life with Tracy, but in a tragic turn of events, Blofeld and henchwoman Irma Bunt kill Tracy, leaving Bond heartbroken.
Iconic scenes from Bond 6 include Bond dining with the Angels of Death while donning a kilt and the thrilling bobsleigh chase with Blofeld. The drive by shooting is one of the most poignant moments in the Bond franchise.
12th Place: Live and Let Die (1973)
In 12th place with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 64% is Live and Let Die. This movie marked the introduction of Roger Moore as James Bond, and the plot revolves around the investigation of the mysterious deaths of three MI6 agents, all of which lead him to Dr. Kananga, a voodoo leader and dictator of San Monique.
Bond’s mission takes him from New York City to San Monique and finally New Orleans, where he uncovers Kananga’s scheme to control the heroin market. During his journey, Bond encounters Solitaire, a virgin tarot card reader, and double agent, Rosie Carver.
After Bond seduces Solitaire, causing her to lose her prophetic powers, she decides to team up with him. Together, they discover Kananga’s opium poppy fields and manage to repeatedly escape from his grip. The climax sees Bond defeating Kananga by forcing a compressed-gas pellet into his mouth, leading to Kananga’s grotesque inflation and subsequent explosion.
Live and Let Die is a relatively lowly 12th, but interestingly the critics think it should be lower and I think it deserves to be higher. The movie is remembered for some iconic scenes, including Bond’s audacious escape from crocodiles by leaping across their backs and the thrilling fight with claw-handed Tee Hee Johnson aboard a train.
11th Place: The Living Daylights (1987)
The Living Daylights secures the 11th place with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 66%. In this movie, James Bond, played by Timothy Dalton for the first time, is tasked with aiding the defection of KGB officer General Koskov.
During the mission, Bond thwarts an assassination attempt on Koskov by cellist Kara Milovy, who later turns out to be a crucial ally.
In a twist of events, Koskov is kidnapped by Necros, a henchman who it’s later revealed is actually in cahoots with him. This leads to a manipulated plot where Bond and MI6 are deceived into believing they must eliminate the new KGB head, General Leonid Pushkin.
Bond and Kara form a formidable team and journey to Vienna, where Bond’s suspicions regarding Koskov’s deceit are confirmed. To prevent any further chaos, Bond fakes Pushkin’s death, but both he and Kara are captured and taken to a Soviet base in Afghanistan. Their eventual escape with the aid of the Mujahideen leads to the uncovering of Koskov’s nefarious opium deal.
In the final act, Bond returns to Tangiers, kills arms dealer Brad Whitaker, and hands Koskov over to Pushkin. The Living Daylights ends on a high note, with Kara realizing her dream of performing in celebrated concert halls and sharing a celebratory moment with Bond.
The movie is replete with intense action and Dalton delivered a masterful performance, and should definitely be in the top 10, IMO. The thrilling chase where the Aston Martin V8, armed with a laser beam, slices a police car in half is one of the memorable moments of the movie.
10th Place: You Only Live Twice (1967)
You Only Live Twice clinches the 10th place with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 68%. When an unknown spacecraft hijacks the American NASA spacecraft Jupiter 16, the United States suspects the Soviets are behind it. However, the British suspect Japanese involvement and dispatch James Bond to Tokyo to dig deeper.
As Bond navigates his way through a dangerous maze of treachery and seduction, he faces multiple challenges, including an intense encounter with the fiery Helga Brandt and a deadly confrontation inside a volcano. It soon comes to light that the notorious Ernst Stavro Blofeld, leader of SPECTRE, is orchestrating a scheme to ignite a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union.
Joining forces with Kissy Suzuki, Bond thwarts Blofeld’s sinister plan and eliminates the enemy spacecraft, Bird One, thereby averting a potential nuclear conflict. An iconic scene from the movie is the dramatic introduction of Blofeld: ‘My name is Ernst Stavro Blofeld.’ This marks the first visual appearance of Blofeld, with actor Donald Pleasance‘s portrayal becoming synonymous with the character in popular culture.
9th Place: Thunderball (1965)
Securing the 9th place with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 73% is Thunderball. In this installment, James Bond uncovers a devious plot hatched by the criminal organization SPECTRE to ransom NATO for £100 million in diamonds in return for two purloined atomic bombs.
Bond is dispatched to Nassau, where he learns that the mistress of Emilio Largo, SPECTRE’s Number 2, is Domino, the sister of a murdered French NATO pilot. With the aid of his sophisticated gadgetry supplied by Q, Bond thwarts Largo’s catastrophic plan to obliterate Miami Beach with the stolen bombs.
Thunderball is notable for several iconic scenes, including Bond’s daring jet-pack escape, an underwater skirmish between Bond, felix Leiter, the coast guards, and Largo’s minions, as well as the explosive final showdown aboard Largo’s yacht, the Disco Volante.
8th Place: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Earning the 8th place with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 77% is The Spy Who Loved Me. This movie is often regarded as Roger Moore’s finest, and it sees James Bond and KGB agent Anya Amasova commissioned to locate two vanished nuclear submarines.
Their mission leads them to the wealthy businessman Karl Stromberg, who harbors plans to establish an underwater civilization. As Bond and Amasova join forces, they traverse from Cairo to Sardinia, coming up against Jaws and his metal teeth. Ultimately, they thwart Stromberg’s scheme to bombard New York and Moscow with nuclear weapons and obliterate his underwater city, Atlantis.
Throughout their adventure, Bond rescues Amasova several times, which culminates in her falling in love with him and forgiving him for previously killing her lover. The movie boasts many memorable moments, such as Bond’s Union Jack parachute jump, the transformation of the Lotus Esprit S1 into a submarine, and every encounter Bond has with Jaws.
7th Place: Dr. No (1962)
Securing the 7th place with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 82% is the first-ever James Bond movie, Dr. No. This trailblazing movie sees Agent 007, portrayed by Sean Connery, delving into the enigmatic disappearance of a British operative in Jamaica.
In his pursuit, Bond uncovers the ominous presence of a criminal genius, Dr. Julius No, harboring ambitions of world domination. Bond collaborates with CIA Agent Felix Leiter, local fisherman Quarrel, and the iconic Honey Ryder, whose father was murdered by Dr. No.
Together, they dismantle Dr. No’s malevolent plans and topple his empire in a climactic finale. The movie concludes with Bond and Honey, alone on a fishing boat, drifting away from Dr. No’s island. The movie is renowned for its iconic moments, including Bond’s debut with the unforgettable “Bond, James Bond” scene, and Honey Ryder’s striking emergence from the sea clad in a bikini.
6th Place: GoldenEye (1995)
Ranking 6th with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 83%, GoldenEye begins with James Bond and fellow Agent 006, Alec Trevelyan, both on a mission to infiltrate a Soviet chemical weapons facility. However, Trevelyan is seemingly killed in action, forcing Bond to make a daring escape using a motorbike and a glider.
Fast forward nine years, Bond encounters Xenia Onatopp, a femme fatale on MI6’s watchlist, leading him to investigate the obliteration of a Siberian radar station by the GoldenEye satellite weapon. It’s here that he discovers that the GoldenEye is in the possession of the Janus Crime Syndicate, led by none other than a vindictive Trevelyan.
After a narrow escape from a hijacked military chopper, Bond and Natalya Simonova follow the trail to Cuba to locate the second GoldenEye satellite. Together, they discover Trevelyan’s hideout and set out to disable the satellite system.
In the climactic finale, Bond and Trevelyan battle it out on the satellite, culminating in Bond sending Trevelyan plummeting to his death. Following the destruction of the satellite base, Bond and Natalya are rescued.
GoldenEye was Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond movie, and certainly his best. The movie is etched in memory with iconic scenes like Bond’s audacious escape via the motorbike and glider, the exhilarating tank pursuit through the streets of St. Petersburg, and the thrilling final confrontation between Bond and Trevelyan on the satellite.
5th place: From Russia with Love (1963)
Securing the 5th spot with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 84% is From Russia with Love, a direct follow on from Dr. No. The plot revolves around the criminal syndicate SPECTRE seeking vengeance on James Bond for the demise of their operative, Dr. Julius No.
To ensnare Bond, they orchestrate a plot that involves him attempting to seize the Lektor cryptographic device from the Soviet Union’s consulate in Istanbul. Bond forms an alliance with Ali Kerim Bey, the local head of MI6, who helps him and the Soviet’s pawn Tatiana Romanova help escape to Western Europe.
Facing formidable adversaries, Bond triumphs over the infamous henchman, Red Grant, on the train, followed by a final showdown with Rosa Klebb, as she makes an attempt on his life with her poison-laced dagger shoe.
The movie wraps up on a tender note as Bond and Tatiana sail tranquilly along Venice‘s Grand Canal. In a final gesture of privacy, Bond discards a film reel of their intimate moments into the shimmering waters of the canal.
4th Place: Skyfall (2012)
Holding the 4th position with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 86% is Skyfall, a movie critics put as 5th best, but I would put higher than 4th. Never mind, we can’t all agree.
The plot sees James Bond embark on a mission to retrieve a stolen hard drive that houses the identities of undercover agents. While in Istanbul, he teams up with novice field agent, Eve Moneypenny, to chase down Patrice, the criminal in possession of the hard drive.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Moneypenny accidentally injures Bond, leading to him being declared dead while Patrice gets away. Following a public inquiry into the theft mishap and a subsequent attack on MI6’s headquarters, Bond emerges from his presumed demise to lend a hand.
His pursuit of Patrice takes him to Shanghai and eventually a casino in Macau, where he meets Sévérine, a woman entwined with the villainous Raoul Silva. On infiltrating Silva’s island stronghold, Bond unravels that Silva is a disgraced ex-MI6 agent nursing a vendetta against M.
The ensuing confrontation sees Bond apprehend Silva and transport him to London, only for Silva to break free and plot M’s assassination. Bond manages to foil Silva’s plans, and they retreat to Bond’s childhood home, Skyfall, in the Scottish Highlands, setting the stage for a gripping final confrontation.
Raoul Silva succumbs to defeat, but not before M sustains fatal injuries. The movie is a classic with so many memorable scenes, but Raoul Silva’s introduction is one of the bets pieces of acting you will see in any movie.
3rd Place: No Time To Die (2021)
Ranked 3rd with an Audience Score of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes is No Time to Die, a movie the critics had as 7th best, and as good as it is, I don’t believe it’s the 3rd best. But as we said this is the best James Bond movies according to the many not the few.
This plots takes us to a retired James Bond living tranquilly in Jamaica, five years post the events of Spectre. His serene retirement is interrupted when CIA agent Felix Leiter seeks Bond’s assistance to rescue kidnapped MI6 scientist Valdo Obruchev and to retrieve a purloined nanobot weapon.
Despite a cautionary warning from the new 007, Nomi, Bond reluctantly consents to help. After liberating Obruchev from a SPECTRE gathering in Cuba, Bond is double-crossed by Ash, Leiter’s associate, who is revealed to be an agent of SPECTRE.
During a prison visit, Blofeld tricks Bond into thinking Madeleine Swann has been disloyal. Following a thrilling car chase sequence in Norway, Bond’s beloved ones are taken hostage by Lyutsifer Safin. Together with Nomi, Bond infiltrates Safin’s island with the dual objectives of rescuing Madeleine and her daughter Mathilde and thwarting Safin’s apocalyptic scheme.
The movie ends on a poignant note with a revelation that Mathilde is Bond’s daughter, followed by Bond’s selfless sacrifice to shield them from the lethal nanobots. Bond 25 features memorable scenes, but the climactic shootout with Bond and Paloma is one of the best action scenes of any movies.
2nd Place: Goldfinger (1964)
Ranked 2nd with an Audience Score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, and as the top choice among critics, Goldfinger, the third installment in the Bond series, presents Sean Connery as James Bond.
In this movie, Bond is entrusted with the responsibility of surveilling the affluent bullion trader, Auric Goldfinger. As the story unfolds, Bond reveals Goldfinger’s scheme to amplify his gold’s worth by rendering the gold at Fort Knox radioactive, using an atomic bomb.
Throughout his mission, Bond crosses paths with and charms Jill Masterson, who later falls victim to Goldfinger’s henchman, Oddjob. The enchanting Pussy Galore is another acquaintance, who ultimately turns into an ally, aiding Bond in thwarting Goldfinger’s plot.
This third Bond movie is remembered for many iconic moments, such as the discovery of Jill’s gold-painted corpse and a thrilling car chase involving Bond’s specially fitted Aston Martin DB5, with its ejector seat, front-mounted machine guns, and rotating tire slitters.
Daniel Craig recently revealed Goldfinger was his favorite Bond movie…
The Best: Casino Royale (2006)
Securing 1st Place with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 90% is Casino Royale. With Daniel Craig installed as a rebooted Bond, the franchise went back to the beginnings, and it sees Bond elevated to the status of a 00-agent after he kills a disloyal contact at the British Embassy.
His inaugural mission entails the capture of Mollaka, a bomb-maker stationed in Madagascar. Following a high-octane chase, Bond puts Mollaka out of commission and seizes his backpack, which holds a bomb and a cell phone.
Ignoring M’s reservations, a sign of things to come, Bond traces a call from the recovered phone to The Bahamas. His investigation leads him to Alex Dimitrios, an unscrupulous government official connected to Le Chiffre, a private banker funding terrorists.
Dimitrios had planned to bomb Skyfleet’s prototype airliner, but Bond’s intervention prevents the plan, causing Le Chiffre to lose a $100 million investment he made for Ugandan warlord Steven Obanno.
In a bid to recoup his losses, Le Chiffre sets up a high-stakes poker game at Casino Royale in Montenegro. Bond, accompanied by British Treasury agent Vesper Lynd, is assigned to beat Le Chiffre and strip him all of his finances. Over the course of the game, Bond’s initial $10 million stake is depleted, but a partnership with CIA Agent Felix Leiter enables him to continue, leading to his eventual victory.
However, this triumph is tarnished by treachery and tragedy when it is revealed that Vesper has been working with Le Chiffre’s associate, Mr. White, in a bid to spare both her, Bond’s and her secret lover’s lives. Bond’s attempt to save Vesper from drowning in Venice proves futile, and Mr. White escapes with the stolen money.
In the movie’s finale, Bond tracks down Mr. White in Lake Como, culminating in the memorable line, “The name’s Bond, James Bond.”
Casino Royale is voted the best by the Rotten Tomatoes Audience Scores with a high 90%, but it’s only 4th best according to the critics. While it’s obviously a subjective answer, is Casino Royale the best James Bond movie? Well, the crowd says so, so who are we to argue?
The Best James Bond Movies Ranked
The James Bond franchise, spanning over 60 years and 25 movies, continues to captivate audiences around the world with its signature blend of action, style, and thrilling plots. From the early adventures of Sean Connery’s charismatic portrayal to Daniel Craig’s rugged and intense interpretation, the allure of 007 remains timeless.
This ranking showcases the high points of the series according to audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes. While the top-ranking movie, Casino Royale, brilliantly reinvents Bond in the modern age, each movie in the franchise carries its own unique flair and unforgettable moments, contributing to the enduring legacy of James Bond.