Since 1962, author Ian Fleming's supersuave superspy James Bond has been featured in 27 films. So what's the best movie -- and what's the worst?
Using the review-aggregate data from CNET sister site Metacritic, we've ranked every theatrically released Bond movie, from Sean Connery's Dr. No (1962) to Daniel Craig's No Time to Die (2022), and including, of course, the 007 appearances of George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton. Box office data is culled from stats compiled by The Numbers.
Note: Some people would count only 25 Bond movies -- those are the canonical films from Eon Productions. We'll point out the two outliers as we go along.
So here's the rundown -- and let our rankings be your binge-watch guide.
Originally published April 6, 2020.
A View to a Kill, co-starring Grace Jones as Bond baddie (and eventual ally) May Day, is Roger Moore's seventh and final 007 movie. "The James Bond series has had its bummers, but nothing before in the class of this one," Pauline Kael wrote for The New Yorker.
The Man With the Golden Gun, featuring Christopher Lee as the Bond villain Scaramanga, grossed $97.6 million worldwide, the weakest box-office performance by any of the Roger Moore 007 films.
This offbeat, comic entry features a multitude of actors as James Bond. But more 007s do not make things merrier -- or better. Variety called this version of Casino Royale "a film of astounding sloppiness" and "an insult to the Bond name."
This is one of the two noncanonical, non-Eon films in our rundown. (And for Bond completists -- sorry, we're not including the 1954 television production of Casino Royale, which portrayed our hero as Jimmy Bond, and an American to boot.)
1967's Casino Royale, featuring David Niven, grossed a franchise-worst $41.7 million worldwide.
When averaged, Brosnan's four James Bond movies post a 57.5 Metascore, the second-lowest among 007 actors who have starred in at least four movies.
At the box office, Tomorrow Never Dies, featuring Jonathan Pryce as villain Elliot Carver, grossed $339.5 million worldwide. That's on par with, but on the low end of, the other films of the Brosnan era.
Aside from its reviews, For Your Eyes Only is a success of the Roger Moore era: It earned an Oscar nomination for its Sheena Easton-crooned title song; and it grossed $195.3 million worldwide -- the second-best box office showing for a Moore installment.
The Spy Who Loved Me, featuring the first of two franchise appearances by Richard Kiel as the villainous Jaws, grossed $185.4 million worldwide, making it one of the biggest box office hits of its release year.
Roger Moore's first James Bond movie is, well, another middling effort -- at least per critics. In retrospect, this 1973 film may have suffered from comparison to the just-concluded Sean Connery era.
"Even the art direction -- long the Bond films' real secret weapon -- seems to have fallen to a shrunken budget," the Chicago Reader's Dave Kehr wrote. "Not much fun."
At the box office, Live and Let Die, co-starring Geoffrey Holder as the voodoo-practicing henchman Baron Samedi, and featuring the hit title song by Paul McCartney's Wings, was a big step up from the previous Sean Connery film, Diamonds Are Forever. It grossed $161.8 million worldwide.
The final Pierce Brosnan James Bond film may have introduced the invisible car, but critics think of this 2002 film as a retread, not an innovator. "Surely it will not be giving things away to tell you there's absolutely nothing new about the latest episode," Desson Thomson wrote in the Washington Post.
Co-starring then-reigning Oscar winner Halle Berry as Bond girl Jinx Johnson, and featuring the hit title track by Madonna, Die Another Day grossed more money than any other Pierce Brosnan 007 film: $431.9 million worldwide.
The World Is Not Enough, co-starring Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist, grossed a solid $361.7 million at the worldwide box office.
Licence to Kill, featuring Carey Lowell as Bond girl Pam Bouvier, grossed $156.2 million worldwide -- a big drop at the box office compared with the Dalton's previous 007 film.
This 2008 film is the worst-reviewed of the 007 Daniel Craig era. "Quantum of Solace may be explosive with images of fiery infernos," Film Threat's Jay Slater wrote, "but it's convoluted and confusing."
On the whole, the Craig-led Bond films boast a Metascore average of 69.4, making his movies the second-best reviewed 007 movies of all time.
On one hand, Quantum of Solace, co-starring Mathieu Amalric as Bond villain Dominic Greene, is the fourth-biggest-grossing James Bond movie of all time, with $591.7 million in worldwide ticket sales. On the other hand, the film is the lowest-grossing James Bond film starring Daniel Craig.
The first Sean Connery film in this rundown is the Scotsman's sixth Bond project -- and the last one that the iconic star made before taking a 12-year 007 hiatus. According to critics, Diamonds Are Forever is evidence of a franchise in need of new blood.
The New Yorker's Pauline Kael called the film an "[u]nimaginative Bond picture that is often noisy when it means to be exciting."
Diamonds Are Forever co-stars Jill St. John as Bond girl Tiffany Case. Among the Sean Connery 007 installments, the movie grossed a middling $116 million worldwide.
Spectre, co-starring Christoph Waltz as a new take on the old reliable Bond villain Blofeld, grossed a whopping $879.6 million worldwide, the second-biggest take for the franchise.
This 1987 Timothy Dalton entry wins points from critics for not being a Roger Moore entry. "After the fizzle of the later Roger Moore Bonds," Empire's Kim Newman wrote, "The Living Daylights brings in a new 007 … who manages the Connery trick of seeming suave and tough at the same time."
The Living Daylights outgrossed its predecessor, Roger Moore's A View to a Kill, by nearly $40 million, for a worldwide box office total of $191.2 million.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service broke new ground with a James Bond wedding, featuring Diana Rigg as 007's ill-fated bride, Tracy di Vincenzo. At the box office, though, the film fell flat with an $82 million worldwide gross.
For a Sean Connery James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice grossed a so-so $111.6 million worldwide. The film is nonetheless influential: Its cat-petting iteration of Blofeld (played by Donald Pleasence) inspired the Austin Powers franchise's Dr. Evil.
Octopussy, co-starring Maud Adams in her second franchise outing (after The Man with the Golden Gun), as the titular character, grossed a solid $187.5 million worldwide.
Thunderball, featuring Martine Beswick, another two-time Bond girl (she also appears in From Russia with Love), is the top-grossing Sean Connery 007 movie of the 1960s and 1970s: It took in $141.2 million in worldwide ticket sales.
GoldenEye, featuring Famke Janssen as Bond girl Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp, grossed a then-huge $356.4 million worldwide. Pent-up demand may have helped: The 1995 film was the first James Bond movie since Timothy Dalton's License to Kill, released six years prior.
Released in 1979, two years after Star Wars changed just about everything in Hollywood, the fourth Roger Moore James Bond film sees 007 sent to outer space. Critics non-ironically cheered. "Moonraker is a satisfying blend of familiar ingredients," wrote the Washington Post's Gary Arnold.
Overall, the film is the best-reviewed Bond movie of the Moore era.
Moonraker, co-starring Lois Chiles as astronaut Holly Goodhead (yes, really), is the ninth-biggest-grossing James Bond movie of all time, with $210.3 million in worldwide ticket sales.
The top-grossing Sean Connery Bond movie, this 1983 film is also one of the better-reviewed Bond movies.
Never Say Never Again marked Connery's final 007 appearance and, from a critical standpoint, seems to have benefited from having been released during the reviled tail end of the Roger Moore era.
"It is good to see Connery's grave stylishness in this role again," Time's Richard Schickel wrote. "It makes Bond's cynicism and opportunism seem the product of genuine worldliness (and world weariness) as opposed to Roger Moore's mere twirpishness."
Despite the presence of Connery, who first embodied Bond on the big screen, this movie wasn't from Eon Productions, making it the second of the two non-canonical films in our list.
The final film to star Daniel Craig as 007 has drawn largely positive reviews, following an extended wait for its release brought about by production delays and the coronavirus pandemic. With a running time of 2 hours, 43 minutes, No Time to Die is the longest Bond movie of them all.
"No Time to Die packs a quintessentially Bond punch while also taking huge risks with the aging character and decades-old formula," Richard Trenholm said in CNET's No Time to Die review. "Every Bond film markets itself as a fresh twist, but No Time to Die is genuinely bonkers at how far it goes."
Or put more simply: "James Bond finally gets a life."
Dr. No, featuring Ursula Andress as original Bond girl Honey Ryder (yes, really), was one of 1963's Top 10 box-office hits. It grossed $59.6 million worldwide.
The first Daniel Craig James Bond movie, Casino Royale blew away critics with its new take on the spy saga. "[Craig's] Bond is at least the equal of the best ones before him, and beats all of them in sheer intensity," the Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern raved.
The 2006 film grossed a then-franchise-best $594.4 million worldwide.
The top-grossing James Bond movie to date, with a worldwide take of more than $1.1 billion, this 2012 film is, per critics, the best Daniel Craig 007 movie -- and that's not all.
"Skyfall is one of the best Bonds in the 50-year history of moviedom's most successful franchise," James Adams wrote in Toronto's Globe and Mail.
The film won the series' first two Oscars since 1964's Goldfinger; it claimed statuettes for sound editing and for Adele's title song.
From Russia with Love, featuring Lotte Lenya as Bond baddie Rosa Klebb, grossed $78.9 million worldwide, a take that represented significant growth over Dr. No, and firmly established 007 as a franchise to watch.
Here it is: This 1964 Sean Connery entry is, per the critical consensus, the best James Bond movie.
"Larger than life, faintly ridiculous, completely cool, Goldfinger is the quintessential James Bond movie," Empire's Ian Freer wrote.
The film grossed a then-franchise-best $124.9 million worldwide, and won the franchise's first Oscar (for sound effects).
When Connery's seven 007 movies are averaged, it's an overall 71.4 Metascore, making his run the clear leader among Bond movies.