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The 27 Best James Bond Movies, Ranked

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MGM Studios

Ever since he first shot and charmed his way across the big screen in 1962, MI6 agent James Bond, also known as 007, has saved the world and entertained audiences countless times. Created by novelist and former British Naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming, James Bond has become one of the most recognizable brands in global entertainment as well as one of the most lucrative franchises of all time. Over the years, six actors have officially suited up and become the martini-loving spymaster, and each of them brings something unique to the evolving role that helps distinguish each movie from the last. 

Whether James Bond is confronting rogue agents in a foreign country or investigating internal meddling at MI6, audiences know that 007 is more than capable of saving the world (and getting the girl). Now that Daniel Craig has officially exited the franchise and the hunt is on for the next James Bond, it’s only a matter of time before everyone’s spy returns to the silver screen for some type of secret mission. Before there are even more movies to watch, shake up some martinis and see how ONE37pm ranked The 27 Best James Bond Movies!

27. A View To A Kill (1985)

Christopher Walken playing a villain is normally enough to keep viewers entertained, but his performance as the power-hungry monopolist Max Zorin is not nearly enough to save A View To A Kill. The 14th overall James Bond movie and the final one to star Roger Moore as the notorious secret agent, A View To A Kill sees 007 head to California as he tries to figure out what a computer chip retrieved inside the Soviet Union has to do with a notorious tech creator (Walken) and his dangerous bodyguard May Day (Grace Jones).  

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26. Live and Let Die (1973)

Roger Moore’s first outing as the martini drinking secret agent sees James Bond head to Harlem to investigate why MI6 agents have been disappearing. While investigating the issue, 007 uncovers a shadowy heroin dealing network with ties to Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), the Prime Minister of a Caribbean nation who doubles as a drug lord known as Mr. Big. Directed by Guy Hamilton, Live and Let Die was heavily influenced by blaxploitation films being released at the time and is probably one of the most racially insensitive of all the James Bond movies.

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25. The World Is Not Enough (1999)

It’s okay for James Bond movies to be a little silly and over the top, but Michael Apted’s The World Is Not Enough takes things to a completely different level. Pierce Brosnan’s third outing as 007 sees the secret agent tasked with defending Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), the daughter of a murdered British oil tycoon who suddenly finds herself being hunted by the same force who took down her father. As Bond keeps Elektra safe, he slowly uncovers a secret plot to trigger a nuclear reaction in Turkey to increase petroleum prices around the world. With the help of nuclear weapons expert Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), it's up to James Bond to prevent the explosion and … defend the interests of big oil in this action-packed but boring adventure. 

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24. Never Say Never Again (1982)

After saying he would never play James Bond again, then 52-year-old actor Sean Connery returned to the franchise one last time in 1982 for Never Say Never Again. Directed by Irvin Kershner after he completed The Empire Strikes Back, the movie revolves around the aging spy being called back into action to deal with SPECTRE’s theft of two nuclear weapons. While Connery’s final performance as 007 is entertaining and should be viewed by any diehard James Bond fans, the movie is technically not considered part of the film series’ canon because it was not developed by EON Productions as a result of a lawsuit between James Bond creator Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory, a film producer who helped develop the original ideas in the Thunderball book. 

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23. The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)

Long before he was terrorizing a galaxy far far away as Count Dooku or haunting Middle Earth as Saruman, Christopher Lee took on James Bond in The Man With The Golden Gun as Francisco Scaramanga, an assassin who was known for using his (you guessed it) golden gun. A Roger Moore-led installment in the franchise, the film sees 007 attempts to retrieve a device that can harness solar energy and evade the deadly assassin at the same time. The final James Bond film directed by franchise staple Guy Hamilton, The Man With The Golden Gun feels oddly relevant today because it was made in the wake of the 1973 energy crisis as the U.K. dealt with the ramifications of OPEC’s oil embargo.

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22. No Time To Die (2021)

After being delayed numerous times due to the Covid-19 pandemic, audiences were finally able to enjoy Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond on the big screen at the end of 2021. No Time To Die is very much a thematic conclusion to Craig’s time as Bond that references the movies that came before it, but it is also a compelling, stand-alone story about a man willing to do anything for the people he loves. Full of swift camera work and tense action sequences, No Time To Die is a compelling finale for everyone’s favorite swagger-filled secret agent.  

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21. Casino Royale (1967)

Casino Royale may be a famous title when it comes to the world of James Bond, but the 1967 film of the same name is technically a parody that has no official connection to the James Bond cinematic universe. When a mission becomes too deadly for one 007 to confront on their own, it falls to multiple James Bonds to get the job done. Starring a who's who of comedic talent like Peter Sellers and David Niven, Casino Royale follows an elderly James Bond (Niven) as he comes out of retirement and pulls a series of ruses to trick the evil organization called SMERSH and stop them from murdering MI6 agents. An incredibly silly movie, parts of Austin Powers almost feel like they’re more inspired by Casino Royale than proper James Bond movies. 

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20. Moonraker (1979)

Moonraker sees Roger Moore’s James Bond go on what may be the most science-fiction-like adventure the iconic spy has ever been on. An investigation into the theft of a space shuttle that was being transported prior to launch has 007 traversing the globe before heading into space himself to stop a dangerous scheme that threatens all life on Earth. With the support of CIA agent Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), James Bond must stop Hugo Drax (Michal Lonsdale), the businessman behind the shuttle’s creation, before his plan to take over the world takes effect.

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19. Spectre (2015)

Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as James Bond sees this iteration of the iconic spy come face to face with Ernst Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) for the first time in Sam Mendes’ Spectre. Named after the global crime organization that has secretly been pulling the strings and causing severe pain to James Bond’s personal life, the film follows 007 as he uncovers the shadowy organization and deals with bureaucratic pressures from the British government that threaten MI6 and the privacy of people all over the world. 

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18. You Only Live Twice (1967)

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. BFG. You Only Live Twice. All of those things were written by legendary children’s author Roald Dahl. 

Sean Connery’s fifth outing as James Bond sees 007 fake his own death and head to Japan to investigate the mysterious disappearance of American and Soviet spacecraft during the height of the Cold War. Alongside the Japanese Secret Service and an agent named Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi), Bond must discover who truly stole the rockets before the rival nations are drawn further into conflict with one another. Director Lewis Gilbert did such a fine job capturing all of the action and intrigue that he returned to the franchise a decade later to helm two Roger Moore-led James Bond movies.

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17. Quantum of Solace (2008)

Directed by Marc Forster, Daniel Craig’s second outing as James Bond picks up literally ten minutes after 2006’s Casino Royale and sees Bond searching for revenge after a personal loss. As Bond hunts down answers, he accidentally uncovers a shadowy organization called QUANTUM that has double agents inside intelligence agencies around the world.

Alongside Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), 007 works to stop QUANTUM before it steals all of Bolivia’s water thanks to an alliance with a shadowy environmentalist named Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). Like all of the Daniel Craig James Bond movies, what really separates Quantum of Solace from the other entries on this list is the intense action and the general sense of ferocity that Craig displays at all times.

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16. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

After temporarily leaving the franchise, Diamonds Are Forever sees Sean Connery return to the role of James Bond to once again confront SPECTRE. After disguising himself as a Las Vegas diamond thief to infiltrate a crime ring, Bond discovers a deadly plot conceived by his rival Ernst Blofeld (Charles Gray) that includes a diamond-powered laser in space intended to give himself global supremacy over nuclear weapons. The over-the-top plot is certainly entertaining, but this film is worth watching alone simply for it being Connery’s final spin as Britain’s most flirtatious spy. 

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15. Die Another Day (2002)

Sticking with diamonds for a moment, Pierce Brosnan's final outing as James Bond is quite a flashy, jewel-filled affair. Die Another Day is a global affair that kicks off with Bond being imprisoned in North Korea for 14 months and betrayed by someone inside MI6. Bond ultimately chases the bad guys down to a literal ice palace in Iceland to deal with the threat of a satellite that harnesses solar energy like a laser. Co-star Halle Berry’s stint as NSA agent Jinx was so entertaining that she nearly received a spinoff film, but it was ultimately canceled due to budgetary reasons.

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14. The Living Daylights (1987)

In Timothy Dalton’s first appearance as James Bond, 007 is tasked with helping a KGB General named Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) safely leave a concert in Czechoslovakia and defect to the west. The film features a tense story full of people double-crossing each other, but it is also noteworthy because it is the first James Bond movie to feature a new actress in the role of Miss Moneypenny when Caroline Bliss replaced Lois Maxwell.  

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13. Octopussy (1983)

Likely the most sexually explicit title of the entire James Bond franchise, Octopussy sees 007 tasked with figuring out who killed agent 009 while he was on a mission in East Germany. While hunting down the killer, Bond uncovers a secret plot by a Soviet General and an Afghan Prince to use a nuclear weapon and force the western world to permanently disarm. Alongside the titular Octopussy (Maud Adams), a wealthy businesswoman and antagonist turned love-interest for 007, James Bond must stop the detonation and save the world in this exciting and action-packed adventure. 

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12. License To Kill (1989)

In License To Kill, Timothy Dalton’s second and final outing as James Bond, 007 is cut from MI6 and embarks on a deeply personal mission after a friend and his family are brutally murdered by a drug baron named Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi).  With the assistance of Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell), an army pilot turned DEA informant, Bond must infiltrate Sanchez’s drug network and survive all while evading the watchful eye of his former, disapproving employer. License to Kill is noteworthy because it is actually the first film in the franchise to come up with its own title rather than borrow one directly from one of Ian Fleming’s novels. 

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11. GoldenEye (1995)

Before Sean Bean traveled to Westeros and became Lord of Winterfell in Game of Thrones, the actor played MI6 agent turned terrorist Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye. Directed by Martin Campbell, who later returned to the franchise for 2006’s Casino Royale, GoldenEye marks Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as James Bond and sees the secret agent trying to stop his former colleague from using a space-based electromagnetic pulse device. The 1997 video game GoldenEye 007 also deserves a shout-out here as the loose adaptation of the entertaining film went on to sell over 8 million units and become both a beloved title and the third best-selling Nintendo 64 game of all time. 

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10. Thunderball (1965)

The fourth James Bond movie follows Sean Connery’s 007 as he is sent to the Bahamas to retrieve two hijacked nuclear warheads from SPECTRE before the organization is successfully able to extort $100 million pounds from the world. In addition to fighting sharks and henchmen on his journey to find Emilio Largo’s (Adolfo Cecil) hidden lair, he must convince Domino (Claudine Auger), Largo’s mistress, to help him take the madman down and prevent a potential nuclear catastrophe. The final James Bond film directed by Terence Young, Thunderball was the most commercially successful of all the Bond films at the time and even won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

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9. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

The 12th James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only, follows the iconic, tuxedo-clad spy on a dangerous mission to recover a missile communication system that has gone missing. Starring Roger Moore, the film sees James Bond team up with Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet), the daughter of two agents of the British Secret Services, as he tries to help Greek resistance forces and ensure the dangerous technology doesn’t fall into the control of the wrong people. For Your Eyes Only was John Glen’s directorial debut, but he was no stranger to the James Bond franchise as he had edited three of the previous films. 

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8. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore’s third outing as James Bond, follows 007 as he is tasked with confronting an evil genius named Karl Stromberg (Curt Jürgens) who is intent on destroying the world and establishing a new society underwater with him at the helm. Directed by Lewis Gilbert, who had directed You Only Live Twice a decade prior, The Spy Who Loved Me is an entertaining and action-packed film that pushes the swaggering spy to his absolute limits as he teams up with Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), a former KGB agent, to stop the war-plotting madman. More likely than not, The Spy Who Loved Me also has the most iconic title in the franchise thanks to it being parodied for the second Austin Powers film, The Spy Who Shagged Me.

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7. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

The 18th overall James Bond film and Pierce Brosnan’s second time drinking martinis on the big screen, Tomorrow Never Dies sees everyone’s favorite MI6 agent trying to stop a power-hungry media mogul named Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) from triggering a new World War between the UK and its allies and China. As Carver manipulates the world in order to expand his media empire, Bond must do everything he can, including reuniting with Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher), a former fling who is now Elliot’s wife, to stop his destructive plans. The film has a lot of enjoyable aspects, but the supporting cast, especially Michelle Yeoh’s performance as secret agent Wai Lin, helps distinguish Tomorrow Never Dies as one of the strongest overall James Bond movies.

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6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

The only James Bond film to star Australian-born model George Lazenby as the titular secret agent, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, sees 007 go to extreme lengths to hunt down and confront SPECTRE leader Blofeld (Telly Savalas) after he threatens the world’s food supply. While a lot of the James Bond movies are considered loose adaptations of Ian Fleming’s novels, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is often praised for being one of the most faithful and grounded adaptations in the film franchise. Featuring some entertaining action sequences and a solid performance by Diana Rigg as the future Mrs. Bond Tracy Draco, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a unique iteration in the James Bond franchise that doesn’t necessarily feel like any of its compatriots.

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5. From Russia With Love (1963)

The second-ever James Bond movie, From Russia With Love, picks up right after the first film and sees 007 trying to hunt down a Russian decoding device referred to as The Lektor before SPECTRE is able to get their hands on it. Thanks to the success of Dr. No, From Russia With Love, had twice the size of the original film’s budget as producers tried to keep audiences hooked on the burgeoning franchise. While the plot is entertaining and the action is enjoyable, part of what makes this early James Bond film so enjoyable is Sean Connery’s charisma and the seemingly carefree manner in which his take on the secret agent floats through life.

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4. Skyfall (2012)

Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall follows what happens when a former MI6 agent named Raoul Silva, played wonderfully by Javier Bardem, comes back and haunts the agency to settle a personal score with M (Judi Dench). A tense adventure that sees James Bond take to the shadows and MI6 under threat, Skyfall is an incredibly personal story that focuses on the consequences of people’s actions rather than some type of world-ending scheme. The finale of the film feels very reminiscent of Home Alone in the best ways as Daniel Craig’s ferocious Bond stands his ground and confronts Silva.

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3. Goldfinger (1964)

The first James Bond film directed by Guy Hamilton, Goldfinger follows Sean Connery’s James Bond as he heads to Miami Beach to investigate an international gold magnate known as Goldfinger (Gert Frobe). The film has great pacing and a tense plot that revolves around 007 trying to prevent Goldfinger from stealing all the gold in Fort Knox, but a significant reason why this film is still held in such high regard is the impression that Honor Blackman left as the now-iconic Bond girl known as Pussy Galore, a trapeze artist turned leader of an all-women crime organization who is initially presented as one of Goldfinger’s associates. 

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2. Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale is actually the first James Bond book, but it took all the way until 2006 and the introduction of Daniel Craig’s take on 007 to officially bring the story to the big screen. An action-packed film that pushes its new lead to the max, Casino Royale sees James Bond head to Madagascar and uncover a secret plot revolving around a banker named Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) and the way he secretly finances various terrorist organizations around the world. Directed by Martin Campbell, Casino Royale is a grittier take on the James Bond franchise that deliberately tried to replicate what Batman Begins did to revitalize and ground the superhero genre in an attempt to help the franchise seem more realistic and serious moving forward.  

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1. Dr. No (1962)

The very first James Bond movie, Dr. No introduces audiences to 007 and the sleek world he inhabits. Sean Connery set an incredibly high bar for future Bonds as he perfectly embodies the sleek and masculine (some would say overly chauvinistic as well) that the martini drinking secret agent has come to represent for audiences all over the world. Dr. No sees Bond track down the titular Dr. Julius No to try and stop the madman from disrupting an American Space Launch. Dr. No also introduced audiences to the shadowy organization known as SPECTRE, a group that has since haunted every iteration of James Bond in one way or another.

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