Thunderball

1965, Action, 2h 10m

52 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Led by one-eyed evil mastermind Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), the terrorist group SPECTRE hijacks two warheads from a NATO plane and threatens widespread nuclear destruction to extort 100 million pounds. The dashing Agent 007, James Bond (Sean Connery), is sent to recover the warheads from the heart of Largo's lair in the Bahamas, facing underwater attacks from sharks and men alike. He must also convince the enchanting Domino (Claudine Auger), Largo's mistress, to become a key ally.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Thunderball

Audience Reviews for Thunderball

  • Jun 13, 2021
    The allure of Bond, the fascination with his mystique for men is wrapped in a glittery Christmas gift box of broken social rules. He travels the globe (especially places with beaches it seems), sure, and seems proficient with any number of mechanical items, but any clod might do those things. This guy sleeps around though. There. No consequences. No meeting the parents. No trips to the altar or to the doctor. No responsibilities. He comes and goes. And women love him for it. Even better: a friggen license to kill. He seems immensely satisfied about it all. He's living the dream, howbeit a very immature one. Connery returns to wreak havoc against a blackmail scheme involving nuclear weapons, but that's merely a secondary story, a cover, while he smugly indulges in these locker room braggart fantasies, allowing the viewer to live vicariously through his exploits. He seems very satisfied about it all, maybe even a little bored, and that fits the machismo as well.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    Rolling with eager audiences like a Ball of, well, y'know, Bond's Thunder-ous A-Level spy game carries on. Indeed, the Midas Touch of Goldfinger continues - though doesn't quite reach the same heights - with this, a rousing adventure that runs a bit too long. Spectacularly big budget, Thunderball works best when it features its amazing set pieces, especially some underwater action that only gets waterlogged when the gulf battles start to feel repetitive. Regardless, it thunders on without becoming silly which can't be said for Connery's last two 007 entries. In this classic spy caper, James Bond (Connery) heads to The Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo (Celi) in an international extortion scheme. Ever Bond player proves on top form in Thunderball. Oozing charm in bullets, Connery's fourth go-round as 007 makes battling flag-smashing terrorism seem almost effortless. At his most cocksure and making the role seem more like a charm than chore, this film marks the actor's best Bond performance. Returning to the director's chair after Guy Hamilton helmed Goldfinger, Terence Young (Dr. No, From Russia with Love) stages and captures some of the biggest and most explosive action sequences in cinema - let alone Bond - history with great flourish. Without Peter Hunt's quick cutting edits, however, the excitement wouldn't reach such a feverish pitch. If only the producers had him leave out 10 minutes of footage, this only occasionally redundant actioner might've ranked as the series' best. Bottom line: Lightning Strikes
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 01, 2015
    Most of the James Bond films follow the same format but with a slightly different villain and love interests for 007 to go after. Thunderball is a vastly different film than any film in the entire franchise. This is perhaps one of the more controversial of the series because to me and other people, this really isn't a Bond movie at all. Sure, he's going after yet another henchmen or 'number' from Spectre, but the feel and aesthetic that Bond movies have, is not here at all. To begin with, 007 rarely ever shoots his own gun in the film. In fact, it isn't until nearly an hour and a half into the film that he uses his gun. But even that was as a distraction for the villains. A trademark of the franchise is the action sequences and in the tension and intensity they bring to the screen. The underwater sequences look cool, but I wasn't all that nervous for any of the characters. Don't get me wrong, the visuals and cinematography is borderline breath-taking and very deserving of an Oscar for visual effects. I just don't like the idea of a James Bond film 75 percent underwater. I will say I don't think the music has ever been better than Thunderball. The opening credits song was fine, but the score is slightly different this time around and it was incredibly effective. Other than that, Thunderball has a cliched villain (he even has an eye patch), boring action sequences, forgettable Bond girls, and an unrealistic climax. I give the people behind the camera credit for trying something different, being the 4th of the franchise, but it just fell flat to me. +Score +Breath-taking visuals underwater -But why is Bond underwater so much in the first place? -Bland villain -Tired of Spectre henchmen 5.8/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 03, 2015
    Thunderball feels like the turning point in the James Bond franchise where the plot becomes less of a focus and more of the film is used on OTT gadgets and trying to better the previous with more action, It's not a bad film it's just dated even for back then, It's a typical Bond plot i'm sure you can guess it, The underwater scene at the end was done nicely but there's not allot to shout about, It loses its charm and the director used the if it aint broke don't fix it way, But I'm affraid this is where the cracks appear during Thunderball and is one of the Bonds that got lost in time.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer

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