Dr. No - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dr. No Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 24, 2011
An extremely solid piece of entertainment that marked the beginning of the longest-running spy movie franchise of all time. Boasts a great debut performance by Sean Connery as the legendary 007, the Jamaican scenery is simply gorgeous, there are plenty of palm-sweating intense situations, and the film's charmingly slick but stylish atmosphere is simply irresistible.

It's a bit small-scale compared to what future entries would offer, but I personally feel it adds to the charm of the movie. It's modesty allows the story to be more character-driven than some of the larger-scale 007 tales.

Offers consistent thrills throughout despite a very rushed anti-climactic ending and the title villain only being introduced within the last 15 minutes, thus robbing the character of development and depriving the story of a compelling hero-villain dynamic.
Super Reviewer
½ September 25, 2010
The bond film to start all bond films. "Dr. No" is the type of spy film that you just cannot dislike, because the cleverness will cloud any doubt. Sean Connery kicks off the series with a bang, creating an atmosphere that I loved to death. This film is about agent OO7 and his assignment where he is sent across country where he comes into contact with an evil doctor. This plot is not wholly original nowadays, but for it's time, it is unbeatable. "Dr. No" boasts fantastic acting, a great script, and some pretty intense scenes. There was never a dull moment in this film, or any moment for that matter that made me bored. This film is well paced and the pay-off is excellent. This James Bond film is not one to miss!
Super Reviewer
July 12, 2007
An Englishman let loose amongst the filthy, ignorant natives, these present of Jamaica, teaching them the right way of class and order. Connery is a fav to Bond fans for his smug condescension to absolutely everyone (no doubt a comfort to the boys at home), his only equal onscreen is an American CIA operative (winningly downplayed by Jack Lord) who is pleased as punch to learn from his betters. Forgetting the political underpinnings, its a decent actioner, but the politics are an essential part of the package, which begins to annoy like a leafblower on a quiet Sunday morning.
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2009
Although rough around the edges, many of the hallmarks of the series are present and correct in the very first film. Connery's Bond has a ruthlessness about him here that he would sadly lose as the series progressed. The modesty of the budget thankfully keeps the writers' imaginations and Ken Adam's production design of villain Joseph Wiseman's lair in check, a situation which would alter as the series became a victim of its own success, culminating in a plausibility nadir of sorts with Donald Pleasance's volcanic hideout in You Only Live Twice.
Super Reviewer
January 9, 2013
A fun beginning to one of the greatest film franchises ever, even if it doesn't seem to have aged well. Connery is obviously great as Bond and Andress officially sets up the franchise for all the great Bond girls to come. The pace is a little slow and the plot a little too far fetched, but Dr. No is a decent villain and Connery's suaveness can easily carry the movie.
Super Reviewer
April 16, 2007
Released in 1962, and starring Sean Connery in the role that made him an icon, this is the (cinematic) debut of Ian Flemming's renowned British superspy James Bond, Agent 007.

Despite having a limited budget, they make the most of it as we follow Bond to Jamaica where an investigation into the death of a fellow agent sees him trying to foil a nefarious plot to dismantle the U.S. space program, with said plot spearheaded by a mysterious scientific genius named Dr. Julius No- a mad villain with ties to SPECTRE- a group who are something of an arch nemesis for MI6 and 007.

Connery is solid, and he's joined by Joseph Wiseman and Ursula Andress, who are equally solid and memorable as No and Honey Ryder, the prototypical "Bond girl" love interest, respectively.

This film lays the groundwork for future films in the series, and it establishes most, but not all of the elements that would become series trademarks. Compared to later films it's rather low-key and pretty bare bones, but it's still fun, charming, and pretty thrilling.

It might be a bit rough around the edges, and it is disorienting to see it after having exposure to most all of the later films first, but problems aside, this is a really good yarn.
Super Reviewer
March 4, 2009
Every series has to start somewhere and here Bond gets a low key and tame (although still reasonably entertaining) adventure. Sean Connery is the reason you will want to watch this as his suave and cool interpretation of James Bond was the measuring stick by which every other actor since has had to follow. The plot is a little barebones and it takes the story a very long time to get going (Dr. No is only in the movie for maybe 15-20 minutes at the end), but the mystery is just intriguing enough to keep you interested and Sean Connery never falters in keeping your attention till the very end. Ursula Andress was also the very first Bond girl and kickstarted one of the best traditions in the series. Ultimately, Dr. No isn't up there as one of the best in the series, but without it we wouldn't have Bond in the first place so for that we all appreciate it. And it's still a pretty decent Bond movie regardless.
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2006
The first great classic to a great action-adventure series. Sean Connery gives a real breakthrough performance, he is the best James Bond. A riveting spy thriller that is full of class, wit and tons of thrills and surprises. An edge of your seat adventure that's full of sizzling suspense and explosive action. A slick and brilliant flick
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2006
James Bond is sent to the Caribbean to investigate the disappearance of an operative following his investigation of a reclusive scientist operating out of a nearby island. From the moment Sean Connery appears on screen it is immediately obvious that he had a special kind of charisma and the early scenes of Dr. No establish his character and appeal perfectly. The 60s styling will also appeal to nostalgia buffs and despite some rather workmanlike plotting, the first half of the film is really rather enjoyable. Unfortunately once the "action" shifts to Dr. No's island things take a turn for the worse. Terence Young's deliberate pacing slows to a snail's pace and No himself (who looks slightly less Chinese than Connery does) with his ridiculous mechanical hands, incompetent assassins and nuclear reactor by Fisher Price contain all of the silliness of later Bonds but without the sense of humour. I've also encountered public lavatories that are harder to escape from than Bond's prison cell which makes it all seem like a very boring Austin Powers film. It's definitely interesting to see the origins of Connery's Bond and there's enough sixties totty to make Leslie Phillips' moustache curl, but the dreary plotting and dated characterisation (apparently all Jamaicans are superstitious rummies who sing songs about mangoes all the time) mean the film has been surpassed in every way since, particularly by the next two outings From Russia With Love and Goldfinger.
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2007
A highly, highly over-rated first chapter to a decorated series, concerning James Bond and a mission that takes him to Jamaica in order to track down murders concerning a British agent. Connery is hands down the best to ever play the character, and the cinematography is breathtaking at times. However, this movie just has not aged very well, as the action is usually corny, a lot of obviously staged punches and blows, and the dialogue and zingers are absolute eye-rollers. Still, entertaining to a degree, but it bogs down at times, but Connery's magnetizing presence goes yards as with most Bond films that are usually extremely silly.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2012
With the new Bond movie, "Skyfall" set to come out in November, I've decided to go through and watch/rewatch all the previous Bond movies. Starting with the first movie "Dr. No" and it is hard to believe this movie is 50 years old(older than my Mother!) I watched an HD copy, and it looked great! Like it could have been made this year. My personal favorite bond is Daniel Craig, but Sean Connery is is a close, close(after re-watching may be my personal favorite again) second. He has everything that's required in a movie star, and just commands the screen. Here, Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the murder of a British Agent, when he comes into contact with the evil Dr. No who is set on causing a nuclear attack. There's action, laughs, hot Bond girls(Ursula Andress is smokin!), and a great suspense story. Plus there's just something special about the first time you see Connery as Bond when he delivers one of the greatest lines ever in movies, "The Name is Bond. James Bond." Classic movie, that holds up very good.
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2010
08/06/2012 (DVD)

Old school! Finally I've decided that I'm interested in agent 007! So I kicked off my "James Bond Marathon" with the very first installment of the legendary franchise, 007.

It's 1962 so it's a bit of an historical feature in the hall of classical films when imagination was a skillful trade behind the cameras. The gadgets and ideas even though so primitive compared to today is still pretty awesome , funny, but awesome considering the year it was filmed and probably taboo since Bond didn't shy from promiscuity at a time when "taboo" actually meant something.

The dude is so charming I wanna be him. Loving this classical gem so its a great start to my Secret 007 Marathon!
Super Reviewer
½ December 11, 2011
I've never been a big fan of James Bond. As much of an film lover as I am, nothing about him really appealed to me. Mostly due to him being such a staple of pop-culture that you don't really need to watch any of the films to truly understand how his character works. Basically, he is displayed as being every teenage boy's dream idea of how a man should be: suave, powerful, seductive, and able to travel the world and take down pure evil mad men. While he serves that dream, he also serves as a reminder to older men of a simpler time when they would believe that that is what they would be when they grow up (yeah... not so much). But for me, none of the was really the case. I just viewed him as an icon that makes crap loads of money, feature beautiful women, and usually a wonderful opening song. So, at the age of 16 - edge of 17 - I decided to give a few of the Bond films a chance. Well, I decided to start with the original and my reaction is: it's okay.

Okay, I am not a fan of spy films unless they are beyond intelligent, have an original plot, and is able to keep my attention. Dr. No, for what it was when it came out, must have been. But, looking at it now, this film seems more like a celebration of all the cliches in cinema with spy films that we have all come to enjoy. Now, this is not a bad thing. Just, seems a bit tedious to me. But what makes me love how these cliches are done is how well it is all executed. So, yeah. This film is silly, kind of idiotic, and the dialogue, to me, is a little bit to be desired, but eh. It is what it is and it is entertaining, though the pacing is slow.

Now I need to talk about Sean Connery. With the idea of how Bond should be, he gets this nailed down. He is everything we look for, plus he is something I never really expected: a tad bit vulnerable. Mostly dealing with one scene with a spider. I mean, this is a guy that is almost killed on a daily basis, has beautiful women turn their backs on him, and yet he is afraid of a spider that is crawling on him. I am not trying to bash that part, but I just find it a bit funny that they show that Bond is afraid of a spider. But back to the acting wise, Connery did set the standard for Bond, and he does so with wonder. He is entertaining to watch, plus I do like how he is able to make any woman fall for him in a heart beat. Must be the martinis.

For Ursula Andress, I will admit that I am disappointed with her. Yes, I am aware of her first appearance in the film being her walking out of the ocean in her white bikini, but I felt like they underplayed her. Her character, while she was thrown into a situation she never wanted to be a part of, had some potential of being strong and powerful. But, they kind of play her off as being a damsel in distress. I don't know. Maybe it is due to my love of seeing strong women that makes me kind of not like her character.

Finally for Joseph Wiseman as the title character. The film buffs him up to be the giant, powerhouse villain. We see the damage he causes, hear his plans, see his dragon and underground layer, and he just appears and steals the show. In some aspects, his performance rivals Connery's in terms of him being the main actor. Only problem: he appears in the last thirty minutes of the film. I know that they spend about eighty minutes buffing him up, but I would of liked to see him a bit more, get to know him a bit more. A villain is only as good as the dimensions, and he only has one dimension. But for the dimension, it works

Back to what I have said, this film is the stereotypical spy thriller through and through: one dimensional characters, action here and there, beautiful women, and entertaining as hell. My only last complaint would have to be the pacing for the first hour. It just seemed slow to me. But, in the end, for what it is, it is not bad.
Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2009
A good start for the Bond series. And a pretty good movie for beeing so old
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2011
Great opening to what became a cultural phenomenon. Like all Bond movies, it had its strong points and its weak points. The biggest strong point to this one is its pace. It barrels along quite nicely and doesn't linger like some of the other films in the series. This is the main one where a lot of inspiration for other films and parodies came from, well, at least moreso than the others. I like it a lot, even though I'm not a big fan of these films.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
Sorry, I'm not a Bond fan, I saw this movie and I loved Connery, but there were a lot of really boring scenes and I couldn't make sense of the story, I'm still confused about what Dr. No was trying to accomplish.
Super Reviewer
½ December 15, 2008
"Minnows pretending they're whales. Just like you on this island, Dr. No."

The foundations for the later Bond films are all here in Dr. No. Beautiful, dangerous women, car chases, exotic locations, and a suave James Bond who deftly maneuvers through it all with a cool head and an expensive suit.

Dr. No has a slower pace than modern Bond movies, but that just allows for more time to salivate over the gorgeous Honey Rider once she is introduced. The finale in the island base reminded me so much of an Austin Powers movie, which goes to show what a good job that series did in spoofing the early Bond movies.

Classic Bond can be quite an adjustment, if you were weaned on the more exciting and technologically advanced Brosnan movies like I was. However, if you watch Dr. No with an open mind, you will find it too has much of what makes the later movies appealing.
Super Reviewer
June 28, 2010
The first James Bond is a terrific start to an incredible series of action thrillers. Here Sean Connery brings Ian Fleming's character to life. Dr No. in a thrilling, action packed film with terrific acting. And as I have read every James Bond work by Fleming, I found that the film respected the book very well. Bernard Lee is great in the role of M and Ursula Andress is terrific as the first Bond girl ever to grace the screen. For me, she remains one of the most beautiful women of the Sean Connery era of Bond films. Dr No was the start of something great, and it's grandiose plot and locations proves it.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2009
When it comes to James Bond I am most definitely old-school. This is the one that started it all and, for me, there are few better. With surprisingly few effects and gadgets Dr. No delivers major thrills. Not to mention the iconic shots of Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in that white bikini (Wow!)
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