Dr. No - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dr. No Reviews

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½ July 7, 2016
Sean Connery is the man! Never seen any of these so I started from the beginning. Austin Powers is now even funnier.
July 7, 2016
/B/ What a wacky movie.
June 6, 2016
Grounded, well paced. No over the top hilarious action.
½ May 3, 2016
My first James Bond experience and it was great. It did more than just live up to the hype for me. Bond's into is perfect. The movie has its slow parts, but definitely has stood the test of time. (I watched in 2016) 90 out of 100
April 28, 2016
First James Bond movie made, and it def doesn't disappoint. It doesn't have all the action as the movies that came after, but nonetheless a classic and must see.
April 21, 2016
This is the 1st James Bond movie. It is one of the best action movies from 1962. The 2nd James Bond From Russia with love is better. But still this is a good movie see it.
March 25, 2016
This is about as perfect a franchise-starter as you could imagine and certainly accomplishes the task of leaving you eagerly anticipating Bond's next adventure. What stands out most is, even in his debut, Connery commands the role like he's been playing Bond for years. From the moment he shows up on screen, he's James Bond: and Connery is the perfect center to base this 007 world around, with a cool presence that makes him just as relatable when he's checking out a hot girl on a beach, irritating his boss or going nuts with a shoe to make sure a spider is dead. Connery's Bond isn't the most brilliant guy around and just simply seems like a regular guy that every guy aspires to be in a way that few of his successors accomplish. The scene that best epitomizes the character involves Bond and the devious Miss Taro (Zena Marshall). Bond's already figured she's no good, but she's hot enough for him to sleep with her twice, kick her out and then kill her would-be-assassin partner.
Similar to Daniel Craig in his debut in Casino Royale, Connery's Bond isn't spoiled by souped-up secret gadgets - his most exotic upgrade is a Walther PPK with a silencer - but some of the more lasting trademarks of the franchise are already in place. Like a strictly business commanding officer, M (Bernard Lee), the flirtatious banter with Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) and a staggeringly gorgeous Bond Girl in Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress, who sets a ridiculously high standard for future Bond girls).
The low-key mystery plot (where Bond is dispatched to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of a fellow agent and finds himself in the middle of a plot to disrupt the U.S. space shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral) and the resolutely human-sized drama of it all makes this one of the sanest of all Bond pictures. Although somewhat rough around its edges, every series has to start somewhere, and this low and tame adventure is, again, the perfect franchise-starter. it is astonishing how well this film holds up and is every bit as engaging, suspenseful and entertaining as any of the more recent editions to the Bond mythos with bigger budgets, more expansive sets and exhilarating stunts.
March 23, 2016
Bad special effects, but also a bad plot and way too slow.
March 20, 2016
As the first James Bond film, the rather old-fashioned "Dr. No" sets a lot of the franchise's trademarks in motion but it's mildly thrilling at best. Both premise and gimmicks would be done in greater fashion in later instalments, yet this remains a satisfactory first entry in a warming-up-kind-of-way.
March 19, 2016
The movie that started it all...
March 12, 2016
Well over 50 years have passed since its release, but I must say this movie still holds up and remains so damn entertaining! Packed with action, humor, and plenty of thrills, Dr. No, the very first Bond movie, is a neat little thriller and one of the stronger installments in the franchise. Oh, and there is Sean Connery too.
February 22, 2016
Dr. No may have kicked of one of the largest and most controverse movie franchises. The movie showed how great a agent move can be, if only it manages to be corky, smart and intriguint at the same time. Sean Connery was the perfect cast, and his presence alone made all his JB movies enjoyable by itself.
½ February 21, 2016
2/21/2016: This was an ok film. For its time it's really good though. Connery was great, but I find more joy in watching newer films. The stories, action, and acting are all generally better.
February 10, 2016
Though not the best of the early Bonds, Dr. No, the franchise's maiden voyage, still feels the most fresh. Connery is male virility personified. His charisma is so unmistakable that, more than 50 years of social progress later, we somehow forgive his brutish misogyny. It's all terrible of course, but you can't say man doesn't make it look good. Though something of a ground zero for action movies as we know them, Dr. No's pacing may not translate too well for today's viewers. There is definitely an adjustment for historical period, and in more ways than one. Besides the sexism, we have the superstitious quasi-subjects of Britain's diminished imperialism, and the idea that casting a white Jewish guy as an Asian villain makes sense. Through all that, Dr. No still stands as sleek, brutal entertainment. Joseph Wiseman is ice cold pleasure as the prototypical Bond super villain. Ursula Andress's Honey Ryder does a better job at showing the dangerous self-sufficiency behind her character's beach bimbo exterior than she is normally given credit for. And Jack Lord, weird sunglasses and all, is the series's best Felix. There were better-paced, more exciting Bond movies to come, but Dr. No still holds up the mango tree.
½ February 9, 2016
A humble beginning for a series that has sprouted such long legs. It's very simplistic (though for the un-informed it can still lose you) and modest. for a million dollar budget they managed to make an absolute classic that started the ball rolling to 60's bond mania. Not my favorite bond. But one I always enjoy watching.
Kal X. Attenborough
Super Reviewer
½ February 8, 2016
Perhaps it was the best that when I began watching Bond back many years ago, I decided to start at the very beginning (as is usually the best thing to do with large film franchises.) Dr. No isn't the best, or most elaborate Bond film, but it's a somewhat decent place to start a franchise with so many ups and downs in quality that the films have experienced over the years.

Sean Connery is still my favourite Bond of all time; yes, beyond Daniel Craig and Roger Moore. Aside form the fact that Connery was the first to portray Bond on the big screen, he gives Bond a personality that every other Bond actor has tried to build upon by various means, but never fully eclipsing him. What makes Connery's Bond so good is that he projects a confidence while still being extremely suave, yet he can also become cold-blooded at a second's notice; plainly said, he has by far the most dexterity and range of any of the Bonds, and the 1960s were the 007 franchises' first Golden Age.

Looking back at it, as a story, Dr. No isn't at all the most three-dimensional, and it indeed suffers from the flaws of EON having to eliminate all of it's story-arc ties with Dr. No as a novel being in the middle of the 007 series. Aside from it's story limitations, it is a resounding smash as a spy and suspense film, although not nearly as good and seamless as it's successor film.

With the Bond multi hundred million dollar budget films that are getting doled out every three or four years these days, it's often difficult to remember the limitations that the Bond films earlier on (especially in the early sixties) had to deal with. This is especially the case of Dr. No as it was the first in the franchise, and thus dealing with even a more paltry budget than it's immediate successors. Despite the limitations, though, the classic Hollywood influence does seem to seep into and shine in this film, although I think they could have structured it a tad better overall.

Aside from being the first film of the series, Dr. No is also quintessential to the franchise as it was the film that introduced all the "Bondsy" stuff which would more or less be continued throughout the series to varying degrees and make the 007 films the ones we know and love to this very day (the martini, the suits, the gadgets, the small exotic sports cars, the elaborate lairs and villains, etc.). And although in comparison to Thunderbolt and From Russia with Love, the climax seems somewhat lesser-dramatic and kind of left me wondering if that was all as the credits began to roll, but as a debut spy film made in a time when The Beatles were still playing dingy clubs, it's a pretty damn good one.
Super Reviewer
½ February 7, 2016
Ahhhh good old classic Bond. If it wasn't for this film we'd never get any Bond films. The action, thrills and humor is all there with Sean Connery in my opinion my favourite Bond actor.
½ January 13, 2016
WHAT I LIKED: The essence of Bond, without the frills - 'Dr No' is a true mystery story. This film sets up a formula and a character with such genious, it's no wonder such a successful franchise was built afterwards. For a start, Connery's charm yet cold and controlling tone sets the bar high for all Bonds to come after, and the art of placing the villain as a mystery makes the build-up to the ending more tense.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It is outdated of course - full of silences and slow paced action, but some of the acting is more than wooden and, despite the wait, a very one-dimentional villain. And as with most franchise-firsts, the plot's not as developed as it could be.
VERDICT: The one that kick-started it all remains a classic for good reason
½ January 8, 2016
First Bond film deals with mysterious criminal on an island planning to put an end to the US space program. Full of sly wit, truly sensational action, and a great villain. Plus a knockout performance by Sean Connery.
January 8, 2016
Setting the stage for a franchise of action films about British MI6 spy, James Bond, Dr. No comes into the fray with charm and swagger. Unlike other 007 movies, No had a rather paltry one million dollar budget, but managed to make 60 times that in the box office cementing it as a fan favorite, and spawning a legacy that would last nearly five decades and account for 24 films.

In this chapter of Bond's adventures, Sean Connery is shipped off to Jamaica, where the station chief has not been returning contact. Upon his arrival, Bond discovers that the chief has been killed and that there seems to be some sort of shady conspiracy afoot. Almost immediately, the action sets off, with agents coming out of the wood work trying to get the jump on our hero, who always manages to fight them off using some rather slapstick looking fighting moves.

Eventually, Bond meets a local by the name of Quarrel, and together they attempt to travel to a nearby island that the locals are afraid of, in an effort to track down the reclusive Dr. No, and ask him about what has happened to the station chief.

Dr. No establishes many of the tropes found in later installments of the series: the iconic James Bond Theme, car chases, daring escapes, trained foot soldiers, beautiful women that assist Bond, intelligent and powerful super villains, secret bases, wise cracking one liners, and a comedic relief buddy for the hero. The production of Dr. No was overseen by 007 creator Ian Fleming, and the location of the shoot for the film was near his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica.

Perhaps due to its low budget, Dr. No has an alluring charm that few other films in the series were able to match. The story and motivations of Connery seem much more grounded in reality, even when accounting for the over-the-top motivations of No. The action is pretty poorly executed in that Star Trek sort of way, but it's still entertaining and keeps you engaged. If anything the film serves to remind you that action is there to facilitate the story, and not the other way around.

TL;DR - 8/10
Dr. No isn't talked about much when people make lists of the greatest Bond films, and that's a bloody shame. The film is a brilliant start to the series, and is boosted by its low-budget charm and the efforts of the cast and crew to pull off a brilliant film. Not only a must-see for anyone who likes the franchise, but also a must see for anyone that enjoys the spy/action genres.
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