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Thunderball (1965)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 6

Lavishly rendered set pieces and Sean Connery's enduring charm make Thunderball a big, fun adventure, even if it doesn't quite measure up to the series' previous heights.


Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

Lavishly rendered set pieces and Sean Connery's enduring charm make Thunderball a big, fun adventure, even if it doesn't quite measure up to the series' previous heights.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 61,989

My Rating

Movie Info

Thunderball finds James Bond matching wits with the sinister espionage organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E, (which stands for Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion). This time, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. hijacks a NATO nuclear bomber, hiding the bombs under the ocean depths and threatening to detonate the weapons unless a ransom of 100,000,000 pounds is paid. The mastermind behind this scheme is international business executive Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), who maintains a pool

Oct 19, 1999

United Artists - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (39) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (6) | DVD (26)

If Thunderball's gimmickry seems to overreach at times, Actor Connery gains assurance from film to film, by now delivers all his soppiest Jimcracks martini-dry.

October 13, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Slightly bloated Bond, with too much technology for my taste and a climactic slaughter that's a little too mindless to be much fun.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (7)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's visible evidence that the reported $5.5 million budget was no mere publicity figure; it's posh all the way.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fourth Bond, marking the point at which spectacular hardware began to dominate the series. Sleek and quite fun all the same.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The color is handsome. The scenery in the Bahamas is an irresistible lure. Even the violence is funny. That's the best I can say for a Bond film.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Classic 007 -- not the best picture in the long-running series, to be sure, but a more-than-worthwhile diversion for the action-loving escapist in us all.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fourth, most commercially successful Bond to date, is known for its pre-credits sequences, underwater battles, and escalating number of violent deaths.

October 29, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Connery's Bond was never better than this.

October 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film | Comment (1)
Total Film

The ambition is evident throughout, but the execution just doesn't have enough energy to sustain it. THUNDERBALL is very sluggish.

October 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

Turgidly paced and overly reliant on less-than-thrilling underwater sequences, it's the "Moonraker" of Sean Connery's run -a misstep defined by heyday technology that the producers thought would look cool in the era but feels hopelessly stale today.

June 30, 2012 Full Review Source:

A particularly energetic, jaunty Bond adventure, the kind that is just plain fun to watch, in a perfectly relaxed and undemanding register.

June 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Even James Bond can miss his mark.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comment (1)
Common Sense Media

Thunderball, the biggest, most lavish, and longest Bond film at that time, was the most popular of its day.

April 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

It was still fun despite its shortcomings.

February 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Sean Connery's fourth Bond film, Thunderball, slips from the peak of From Russia with Love and Goldfinger, but still provides plenty of thrills of the brand only 007 can provide. [Blu-ray]

October 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Relatively disappointing.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Formulaic it may be, but this is still classic 007 action, featuring great underwater sequences and a wicked femme fatale.

May 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Sean Connery is fantastic

February 7, 2008

Certainly among the top five of all Bonds, and still socko.

May 25, 2006

It loosely maintains the series' early wit, which may be solely attributed, perhaps, to ease with which Sean Connery inhabits the role of Bond.

March 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

If it doesn't live up to its illustrious predecessors...well, it still has Connery, and that's a plus in anybody's book.

November 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Thunderball

Though the gadgets get too gimmicky and the climax feels like anything but, 'Thunderball' is significant because it is carried by Connery's most assured performance as Bond.
March 5, 2013
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

This is the fourth entry in the James Bond series, and this timearound Bond once again finds himself squaring off against international criminal organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E.- specifically their member Emilio Largo- an eye patch wearing nut job who drops enemies and ineffectual henchman into a tank full of hungry sharks. Largo has hijacked a NATO nuclear bomber and hidden the bombs in the ocean depths. He gives the British government one week to pay him a ransom of 1,000,000 pounds or else he'll launch the weapons.

Well, it doesn't take long before Bonds sets of for Nassau to foil this diabolical plot, and he's get a few beautiful woman to accompany him along the way.

This is a fun one. It's Connery (once again), and, while he's not as strong as he was in the previous two entries, he's still quite strong here, and very comfortable with the role. It's a solid film, but maybe one of my least favorite of the Connery era. It's not a bad movie, just not quite as exciting as some of the others. It's a bit goofy, but I think it really only adds to the charm.

Plus, we get some great underwater scenes, and those are quite well done, especially for the time period. Those are some of the best parts, but the cinematography in general is quite good, and there's some okay land sequences as well.

With a decent title theme from Tom Jones, a fine score in general, and an entertaining title sequence, this is a really fun movie, and a decent entry in the long running series. Give it a go.
February 8, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

It's easy to see why this became the most commercially successful Bond entry in the whole franchise to this day. It is the first that has the blockbuster, epic feel that James Bond can nail when done right. It's not as cheesy as Goldfinger, but not as serious as From Russia With Love. It's also the first entry to clock in over 2 hours. It is a little long and the pace is slow at times, but the action sequences are fantastic (especially the underwater sequences, which have some great cinematography) and the story is not as hard to understand as the ones before it. A more than worthy entry into the Connery Bond canon.
November 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

"Thunderball" may not be a crowd favourite, but I really got a kick out of the story in this film and how well the underwater action scenes presented themselves. The action is top-notch and I could easily re-watch this film for that reason alone. As always, the acting is fantastic by the entire cast, especially Sean Connery, and all the elements of a great Bond film are present. It is definitely not without it's overlong running time, but if you sit through the film and be patient, you will get was you deserve. This film has great direction and very solid effects for it's time. "Thunderball" is one of the better bond films I've seen.
October 30, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Domino Derval: I'm glad I killed him.
    2. James Bond: You're glad?
    – Submitted by Lucas M (22 months ago)
    1. James Bond: I hope we didn't scare the fishes.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (22 months ago)
    1. James Bond: It looks very difficult. [Shooting from the hip, Bond shatters his clay pigeon] Why no, it isn't, is it!
    – Submitted by Lucas M (22 months ago)
    1. James Bond: Placing Fiona's body in a chair after she is shot on the dance floor] Do you mind if my friend sits this one out? She's just dead.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (22 months ago)
    1. Patricia Fearing: What exactly do you do?
    2. James Bond: Oh, I travel... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (22 months ago)
    1. James Bond: He got the point.
    – Submitted by Tim R (2 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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