James Bond was created when author Ian Fleming published his novel Casino Royale in 1953. Less than a decade later, the first film in the long-running series was released with Sean Connery in the starring role as a Secret Service agent operating under the codename 007.
There have been a total of 24 James Bond movies to date, not including the unofficial Casino Royale in 1967 and Connery’s Never Say Never Again in 1983. If all goes well with production and post-production, the 25th Bond movie is less than a year away. Several actors have taken on the role of James bond including Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Craig.
Some eras of Bond were better than others, so here is 007: The 5 Best Films According To Rotten Tomatoes (And The 5 Worst).
Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond was kind of a dud. With a 57% Tomatometer rating, it's safe to say a lot of people weren’t too fond of the film. Many people enjoyed the film that was released for 007’s 50th anniversary (Skyfall) but the same couldn’t be said for Die Another Day, which marked the series the 40th anniversary.
Many people criticized the film for its CGI, although Halle Berry was praised for her role as a Bond girl and almost got her own spinoff. The film also earned MGM a lot of money, despite reviews being poor for the film.
So far, Daniel Craig has gone four for four with Fresh scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Some people were disappointed with Quantum of Solace, which has a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes, but Sam Mendes regained people’s faith in the series with Skyfall in 2012.
Skyfall did a lot of things right. The film gave both James Bond and M (played by Judi Dench) a meaningful backstory, while also reintroducing the character Q, this time played by Ben Whishaw. Skyfall also marked the 50th anniversary of the James Bond series, so it’s a good thing that Craig and Mendes didn’t disappoint fans.
When Pierce Brosnan took over the 007-mantle from Timothy Dalton, the series returned with a bang with 1995's GoldenEye. Unfortunately, the films during his time in the role quickly went downhill after his first movie. After Tomorrow Never Dies got lackluster reviews, things got even worse with The World Is Not Enough.
In the movie Bond finds himself in the middle of a war between two nations who want to control the world’s oil supply. Many people criticized Denise Richards’ performance and Rotten Tomatoes has given The World is Not Enough the lowest rating of Brosnan’s run with a 52%.
In 2006, Daniel Craig took over the role of James Bond, replacing Pierce Brosnan. Craig has appeared in four 007 movies so far and will be returning for Bond 25 in 2020, but Casino Royale is still his highest rated Bond flick. Casino Royale was a more serious and darker version of 007 compared to previous films and is action packed from start to finish.
The parkour chase scene at the beginning of the film is still one of the best chase sequences of the series and the film only gets better from there. Mads Mikkelsen also does an incredible job in the villainous role of Le Chiffre, as well as Eva Green who plays Vesper Lynd.
Roger Moore does have some Bond movies like The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker that have a fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, but The Man with the Golden Gun is yet another one of his films that failed to strike a chord with critics. In the film, Bond travels to Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, and even the South China Sea, before ending up on a well-guarded island owned by Scaramanga (played by Christopher Lee).
Reviews for The Man with the Golden Gun were mixed with mainly negative reactions to Moore’s second outing as Bond and opinions have chiefly remained the same even 45 years later.
Terence Young kicked the 007 series off with a bang when he directed Dr. No in 1962. Dr. No was the first film in Eon Productions’ series but was based on Ian Fleming’s sixth novel featuring James Bond. The film, of course, stars Sean Connery as James Bond and features Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder; the first ever Bond girl.
The film is set in London and Jamaica, which adds beautiful scenery to an already excellent story. Dr. No was a hit in Europe and North America, which quickly made James Bond a household name. If it weren’t for the success of Dr. No, the series probably wouldn’t still be going nearly 60 years later.
Not only does Octopussy have one of the most cringe-worthy titles in cinematic history, but it is also one of the worst films of the series. The 007 movies often have sexually driven names for the female characters, but they took it one step further when titling this movie.
Roger Moore once again returns for the fourteenth entry of the series, which also stars Maud Adams as the titular character. Octopussy was definitely a low point for the series with the humor and plot being almost ridiculous. John Glen directed a total of five 007 movies, but his films were some of the worst reviewed entries of the series.
Tying for second place is Dr. No and From Russia With Love, but since the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is 1% higher for the sequel, From Russia With Love earns second place. Released just a year after the first film, From Russia with Love sees Bond dealing with the aftermath of killing Dr. No who was a part of the evil organization known as SPECTRE.
The second film did better at the box office than Dr. No did with many people saying that the sequel was even better than the original. If only they knew what was in store for them the following year when Goldfinger would be released.
While Sean Connery’s and Daniel Craig’s movies make up the top 5 movies on this list, Roger Moore’s projects make up a good portion of the worst entries. Moore appeared in the most James Bond movies, with seven entries featuring his version of 007. His last outing as the character in A View to a Kill is, unfortunately, the worst in the series according to Rotten Tomatoes.
The sixteenth 007 movie sees Bond going head to head with Max Zorin, an industrialist who is planning on profiting off of a microchip monopoly. Many people fault the film’s poor action sequences, bad jokes, and the clear aging of Roger Moore as the downfall of the movie.
Taking the number one spot is the 1964 film, Goldfinger. Sean Connery stars in Bond's third outing, which sees him go up against Auric Goldfinger; an international gold smuggler. Not only has Goldfinger become one of James Bond’s most notorious villains, but the film has also gone down as one of the best Bond sequels ever.
The film also introduces the villain Oddjob, contains the line "No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die," as well as Shirley Bassey’s song "Goldfinger." Add in the iconic imagery of Shirley Eaton draped over the side of a bed covered in gold paint and it’s easy to see why Goldfinger is so unforgettable.