Total Recall: Daniel Craig's Best Movies

We count down the best-reviewed work of the Skyfall star.

Daniel Craig

There aren't many actors who have the depth and sensitivity to carry indie fare and enough charisma to lead a blockbuster franchise, but with one foot in the art house and the other firmly planted at the multiplex, Daniel Craig is one star who can have his Layer Cake and eat it too. With his third Bond outing, Skyfall, arriving in theaters this weekend, we decided now would be the perfect time to take another look at some of his critical highlights, Total Recall style!

Before we begin, it bears mentioning that Craig's filmography is dotted with a handful of brief appearances and cameo roles -- including parts in 2005's Fateless (92 percent) and 1998's Elizabeth (81 percent), both of which are well worth checking out, but were left off our list in an effort to focus on more Craig-centric pictures. So now let's see what did make the cut...


59%

10. Enduring Love

Given its minuscule theatrical tally and middling reviews, it wouldn't be surprising if you'd never heard of Enduring Love, but it came with a terrific cast and a stellar literary pedigree. Adapted by screenwriter Joe Penhall from the 1997 novel by Ian McEwan and led by performances from Craig, Rhys Ifans, Samantha Morton, and Bill Nighy, the big-screen Love looked like an awards season contender on paper. Ultimately, however, most viewers ignored it -- and most critics felt the book's slowly unraveling mystery was ill-served by director Roger Michell (the Philadelphia Inquirer's Carrie Rickey said he didn't adapt it so much as "eviscerate it and wave its entrails before the audience"). But it was a favorite of scribes such as Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post, who praised it as "the best kind of movie: so alive in its storytelling that only in retrospect do you realize that the ideas represent a metaphysical inquiry."

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64%

9. Quantum of Solace

After Casino Royale breathed new life into the Bond franchise, expectations were high for the follow-up, 2008's Quantum of Solace -- especially considering that its story picked up immediately where Royale left off. Quantum never really reached its predecessor's heights -- critically or commercially -- but it's still a solid entry in the venerable series, and it found Craig really growing into the role, as pointed out by Ben Lyons of At the Movies: "While charm and a quick wit made Connery the best of the Bonds, it's Craig's brute force and Jackie Chan-style stunts that will come to define this latest reincarnation."

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73%

8. Infamous

A year after Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar for his work in Capote, writer/director Douglas McGrath brought his own Truman Capote biopic to the big screen -- and while it certainly suffered in comparison to its critically lauded predecessor, Infamous had plenty to offer in its own right, including the charged chemistry between Toby Jones (who played Capote) and Daniel Craig (playing Perry Smith, the convicted murderer who developed a complicated relationship with Capote). As Colin Covert put it for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Far from vanishing in its predecessor's wake, Infamous demonstrates how a potent story can inspire distinctly different interpretations."

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75%

7. The Adventures of Tintin

Craig reunited with his Munich director, Steven Spielberg, for The Adventures of Tintin, the first installment in a planned trilogy of 3D motion capture computer-animated adaptations of the iconic comic series by famed Belgian artist HergÚ. Playing the villainous Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine (as well as his ancestor, Red Rackham), Craig joined an ensemble cast that included Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Jamie Bell, and -- of course -- Andy Serkis. Tintin faced an uphill climb with American audiences unfamiliar with the comics, but it scored a solid hit with critics like Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times, who urged readers to "Think of The Adventures of Tintin as a song of innocence and experience, able to combine a sweet sense of childlike wonder and pureness of heart with the most worldly and sophisticated of modern technology."

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77%

6. The Mother

One of the more unusual -- and lesser-known -- entries in Craig's filmography, 2003's The Mother is the story of a British grandmother (played by Anne Reid) who finds her life turned upside down after her husband suddenly passes away -- and copes with it by starting an affair with a handyman (played by Craig) who also happens to be her son's best friend and her daughter's boyfriend. Though it never made much of a commercial splash beyond its limited release run, The Mother gave Craig an opportunity to play a decidedly different character, and it impressed critics like Philip Wuntch of the Dallas Morning News, who wrote, "It neither reassures nor insults its audience. These days, a film that doesn't insult your intelligence is absolutely refreshing."

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Comments

Dave J

Dave J

I have no doubt in my mind that I'll enjoy Skyfall than "Casino Royale" and it's sequel "Quantum Of Solace", the only question I have is to what extent!

Nov 7 - 05:36 PM

١r­ur Bj÷rnsson

١r­ur Bj÷rnsson

Quantum of Solace shouldn't be there. It's a horrible movie.

Nov 7 - 05:48 PM

Saetre

Saetre Saetre

Agreed.

Nov 7 - 10:17 PM

Austin W.

Austin Williamson

There are movies 1000 times worse than "Quantum of Solace". It's average for a James Bond movie.

Nov 8 - 07:33 AM

Kieran F.

Kieran Fraser

I thought Quantum was pretty good but come on man it's got the same problem Tomorrow Never Dies did when Goldeneye Came out. It's pretty damn hard to make a film that's equal or better to it's predecessor when the predecessor was SOOO well received.

Nov 8 - 08:12 AM

sundancekid77

Ricky Mainville

totally agreed!

Nov 8 - 09:20 AM

MicHaeL H.

MicHaeL Hendriks

What are you talking about? 'Skyfall' seemed to do it.
Although, I wouldn't agree that it's as good.
People also don't seem to understand "Quantum" for some reason. It's basically the second half to "Casino", take it or leave it.

Nov 10 - 08:04 PM

Tyler Madsen

Tyler Madsen

Exactly. Quantum is essentially the second act. The problem is that the second act is supposed to be better than the first, but Quantum didn't live up to those expectations.

Nov 12 - 02:11 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

From watching his interviews, it seems that Craig is more interested in doing smaller, independent films rather than big budget action movies. But Bond has done what he feared and typecast him as a tough guy with one facial expretion (pursed lips, cold stare). I think people forget how good of an actor he is. His spoiled mobster son in Road to Perdition is very good and his role in Infamous is spot on.

Nov 7 - 06:24 PM

Brandon Halin

Brandon Halin

lol #6 sounds hilarious! Got to check it out.

Nov 7 - 06:26 PM

sundancekid77

Ricky Mainville

i would say disturbing more than hilarious!

Nov 8 - 09:21 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Munich > Layer Cake or Dragon Tattoo, any day of the week.

Nov 7 - 07:27 PM

Matthew Melange

Matthew Melange

I actually didn't really care for munich, and his character just kind of disappears, his scenes probably got deleted and they just made a line of dialogue for him

Nov 8 - 03:39 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Craig was not the focal character of "Munich", so it doesn't much matter. Despite "Munich"'s flaws (and it is flawed), it's still much more brave and thoughtful than those others, and I'll credit its moral ambition over the refried style and flea market pastiche of "Layer Cake", which manages to be sub-Guy Ritchie, who was already sub-Tarantino, who was already sub-Scorsese, and we see the infinite regress...

Nov 8 - 07:08 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Snatch is a pretty damn good movie.

Nov 8 - 10:25 AM

Ned Blackburn

Ned Blackburn

i don't really see the similarity between ritchie's films and layer cake, except that they both involve london gangsters, which is pretty facile. snatch and lock stock are knockabout caper films while layer cake is more of an extremely black comedy, far more stylishly shot

Nov 8 - 04:56 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Layer Cake" couldn't suck "Sexy Beast"'s sack. There are much better 'London Gangster' films available.

Nov 8 - 05:33 PM

dd9090

Don Romero

Haven't seen "Cake" or "Beast", but thoroughly enjoy "Snatch", "Two Smoking Barrels" and "The Long Good Friday" (obligatory BOND reference -- Pierce Brosnan's first big-screen effort)

Nov 9 - 06:32 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Long Good Friday" is classic! And the other two are Ritchie's best.

Nov 9 - 12:45 PM

Riza Lee Juarana

Riza Lee Juarana

Nice story :)

Nov 7 - 09:02 PM

Joshua

Joshua "LF" Mitchell

Good to see that Tintin made the list.

Nov 7 - 09:38 PM

Saetre

Saetre Saetre

Agreed.

Nov 7 - 10:17 PM

Timothy Kerridge

Timothy Kerridge

The International ! is my fav craig movie and its not on the list OR the RT users list so I'm going for a little cry. but personaly i think he's had a great carear he sort of came from nowhere and went str8 to the top. His bond is the best ever and his independant work is awsome too. everyone must check out Enduring Love its amazing !

Nov 7 - 11:41 PM

William H.

William Howell

Came out of nowhere? Please! How can anyone forget his stirring role in A Kid in King Arthur's Court?

Nov 8 - 12:16 PM

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