Total Recall: James Bond Countdown -- Find Out Where Quantum of Solace Fits In!
We rank every 007 adventure by Tomatometer.
James Bond is back in theaters. Daniel Craig stars as 007 in Quantum of Solace, and we at RT thought it was a perfect time to rank every Bond film by Tomatometer. Find out how Quantum of Solace stacks up!
What Sherlock Holmes is to fiction, James Bond is to cinema: its definitive and most enduring archetype. Times may change, but 007's aura remains fixed in the public consciousness; he's cool, suave, hyper-competent, and ultimately a force for good in a perilous world. If the 23 films listed below (21 official and two non-EON productions) are uneven in quality, and if their plots can sometimes run together, there's little doubt that the Bond movies have exerted a profound influence on popular culture. Without further ado, here is every James Bond film ranked in ascending order by Tomatometer!
24. Casino Royale (1967, 29%)
By the mid-1960s, Bond-mania was in full force. As a result, 007 spoofs were everywhere, from the big screen (Our Man Flint, Modesty Blaise) to the boob tube (Get Smart!). The off-beat, non-canonical Casino Royale took things to another level, resulting in a hopelessly dated gonzo parody that features some of the swingin' sixties' worst comedic excesses. David Niven stars as the original Bond, retired but coaxed back into action when a number of agents are missing or dead; broad gags and surrealism ensue. Think Benny Hill meets Salvador Dali. Helmed by five directors (including John Huston!), scripted by 13 writers (included uncredited work from Billy Wilder and Ben Hecht!), and featuring Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, Orson Welles, Deborah Kerr, William Holden, and o.g. Bond girl Ursula Andress, Casino Royale may be long on pedigree, but it's short on laughs -- and coherence. Roger Ebert called it "a definitive example of what can happen when everybody working on a film goes simultaneously berserk."
23. A View to a Kill (39%)
The worst-reviewed of the canonical Bond films, A View to a Kill brought Roger Moore's tenure as 007 to an ignoble close. It's probably better remembered today for Duran Duran's title tune than its plot, which finds our hero on a mission to stop rogue computer innovator Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) from destroying Silicon Valley and other Bay Area landmarks while avoiding harm at the hands of May Day (Grace Jones), Zorin's super-strong henchwoman. Absurd even by Bond standards, A View to a Kill found the series running on fumes; even Moore said it was his least favorite outing. "As lavishly escapist as they are, the latest James Bond films have become strenuous to watch, now that the business of maintaining Bond's casual savoir-faire looks like such a monumental chore," wrote Janet Maslin in the New York Times.
22. Octopussy (48%)
The 1980s were not kind to 007, who was looking increasingly like a relic of an earlier time. Roger Moore was planning to leave the series before the producers learned Sean Connery would be starring in the Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again, so he was pressed into duty for Octopussy. His mission: head to India to track down a valuable Faberge egg and derail a plot by rogue Soviet agents to trigger a global conflict. Octopussy reeled off an electrifying action sequence or two (including a notable chase atop a moving train), and it outperformed Never Say Never Again at the box office, but critics still felt the series was treading water. "[Octopussy] may satisfy die hard Bond fans, but won't work for anyone else," wrote Forrest Hartman of the Reno Gazette-Journal. "Among the franchise's weakest efforts."