Table of contents:

13 best James Bond movies: from classics to the present day
13 best James Bond movies: from classics to the present day

For the release of the 25th film about agent 007 "No Time to Die" we recall the main characters of the famous spy.

13 best James Bond movies: from classics to the present day
13 best James Bond movies: from classics to the present day

The film franchise about a secret agent has been on the big screens for over 50 years. During this time, both the presentation style and the leading actor have changed several times.

It can be difficult for a novice viewer to figure out which films to start watching and which James Bond to choose for exploring the universe. Therefore, Lifehacker briefly talks about all the incarnations of the spy and advises the best films with each actor.

James Bond films with Sean Connery

The first and by far the most iconic 007 agent. Sean Connery's Bond appears to be a cheerful ladies' man: he understands alcohol, can seduce any woman and is ready to make sarcastic remarks even in the most dangerous situation. It was these films that set the tone for the entire franchise for many years.

Dr. No

  • Great Britain, 1962.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 111 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 2.

The story of James Bond began with this picture. The secret service agent MI6, code number 007, is looking for a source of interference, causing American missiles to go off course and fall. He first encounters the powerful criminal organization Specter, as well as the sinister Doctor No.

Many actors auditioned for the role of Bond in the debut film: from Cary Grant to Richard Burton. Ian Fleming - the author of books about the secret agent - even suggested his half-cousin Christopher Lee. But the filmmakers relied on charm and sexuality and invited Sean Connery. The writer was dissatisfied with the choice, but the audience was delighted with the charismatic Scotsman.


  • Great Britain, 1964.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 110 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 7.
A scene from the James Bond film "Goldfinger"
A scene from the James Bond film "Goldfinger"

Millionaire Aurik Goldfinger plans to detonate a nuclear bomb in the US gold reserve. This is how he wants to add value to his wealth. But against the villain comes secret agent James Bond.

Two years after the start, the franchise reached the peak of its popularity. And in many ways it was "Goldfinger" that became the determining factor for her future style. For example, in this film, for the first time in the opening credits, a catchy song sounded, referring to the title and plot of the film.

James Bond film with George Lazenby

Having gained popularity in the image of agent 007, Sean Connery asked for too large a fee for the next part of the franchise, and the producers had to urgently look for a replacement for him. George Lazenby played Bond in only one film, and at first the audience was not enthusiastic about the new image of the spy. However, over time, it was his only film that became one of the most unusual and living stories about 007.

Lazenby showed the human side of Bond. His hero dreams of leaving the service, ending murder and improving his personal life. And the tape itself is more reminiscent of noir detectives than an adventure movie about spies.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

  • Great Britain, 1969.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 140 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 7.

James Bond pursues his longtime enemy - the head of the organization "Spectrum" Ernst Stavro Blofeld. However, in Portugal, the agent meets the incredibly beautiful daughter of a local crime boss. Now Bond must not only prevent another attempt to destroy humanity, but also prove to his beloved the seriousness of his intentions.

In this film, literally all the components are strikingly different from the paintings with Connery. James Bond looks more like a real spy, not just a tough guy, fights look more realistic. And more importantly, the girl does not rush into the arms of the protagonist. On the contrary, he himself takes care of the unapproachable beauty, and at a certain moment she even saves his life.

James Bond films with Roger Moore

After the experiment with Lazenby, Sean Connery returned to the franchise for another film ("Diamonds Are Forever"), and then the actor was replaced by Roger Moore. In this version, Bond began to use all sorts of spy gadgets more often and found himself in ridiculous situations. He expressed all emotions only by raising an eyebrow.

But in the performance of Moore, the special agent had the most unusual adventures: he became a professional in martial arts, sailed in submarines and even flew to the moon.

Live and let die

  • Great Britain, 1973.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 121 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 8.
A scene from the James Bond film "Live and Let Die"
A scene from the James Bond film "Live and Let Die"

007 is on the hunt for a drug lord who has decided to distribute a huge consignment of heroin across the United States for free. With the support of a CIA agent and fortune teller, Bond tracks down the culprit. But then the spy almost dies because of the villain's assistant.

In the era of Roger Moore, the authors of the franchise tried to make films that fit the social agenda. Live and Let Die was released during the heyday of the black exploration genre, a grotesque story about the culture of black ghetto residents. Therefore, in the film, Bond goes to Harlem, and one of his companions was played by Gloria Hendry.

The spy who loved me

  • Great Britain, 1977.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 125 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 1.
A scene from the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me"
A scene from the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me"

Millionaire Stromberg kidnaps Soviet and British submarines, planning to start a world war. To confront the villain, James Bond has to team up with KGB agent Anna Amasova.

Of course, this story was a reflection of the Cold War between the USSR and Western countries. Special agents of the warring states flirt here, but do not hide their hostility towards each other.

James Bond films with Timothy Dalton

They are often forgotten. However, it was in two tapes with Timothy Dalton in the image of Bond that dramatic changes took place. A very fond of Ian Fleming's books, the actor initially agreed to the role only on the condition that 007 would be made more dark and realistic.

In these films, James Bond first challenges the orders of his superiors, and then completely plunges into personal revenge. In addition, he relies more on traditional weapons and his own strength than on spy gadgets.

Sparks from the eyes

  • UK, USA, 1987.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 130 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 7.

James Bond helps the disgraced KGB general move from Czechoslovakia to Austria. In this case, the agent violates the order and does not kill the sniper girl trying to stop them. But in the end, it is she who will reveal an important secret to 007.

Sparks from Eyes is the last Bond film to be filmed during the Cold War. Therefore, here the action is still devoted to the confrontation with Russian spies. But the main villain is shown more realistically: this is not a multimillionaire with an insane plan, but just a cunning double agent.

License to kill

  • Great Britain, Mexico, USA, 1989.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 133 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 6.
A scene from the James Bond movie "License to Kill"
A scene from the James Bond movie "License to Kill"

James Bond, along with his friend CIA agent Felix Leiter, catch drug lord Franz Sanchez. However, due to corruption in the system, the villain is soon released. He kills Leiter's wife and cripples the man himself. Then Bond decides to take revenge on the villain, although his superiors forbid unauthorized investigations.

"License to Kill" is the apotheosis of mundane stories about agent 007. Here Bond acts solely for reasons of personal revenge and even leaves the service for this. And his opponent is an ordinary gangster.

James Bond films with Pierce Brosnan

After the experimental films with Dalton, the franchise went on a long hiatus due to copyright issues. During this time, both the topics that were usually raised in the cinema and the filming themselves have changed. Therefore, for the next reboot of the James Bond story, a new actor was required.

Pierce Brosnan fit perfectly with the 007 description given in the original books. At the same time, initially his version of Bond was supposed to continue the image set in the two previous tapes. But soon the plots returned to the style of classic films with Connery and Moore.

Golden eye

  • USA, UK, 1995.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 130 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 2.

The secret arms complex "Golden Eye" falls into the hands of terrorists. To neutralize the criminals, James Bond goes to Russia. But the investigation takes him to the very top of the government, which plans to change the international banking system.

From this film, it is noticeable that in the new stories, the authors had difficulties with the villains. The confrontation with Russia was again returned to the plot - now the mafia is involved in the case. And the main antagonist turns out to be Bond's former colleague. This, by the way, cannot be called a spoiler: the turn was shown in trailers.

Tomorrow never dies

  • UK, USA, 1997.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 119 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 5.

Media mogul Eliot Carver plans to unleash an international conflict. To do this, he creates the illusion that China is attacking British ships. MI6 sends James Bond to find out Carver's true motives.

"Tomorrow Never Dies" vividly shows the changes in themes and presentation of stories about Agent 007. The main villain now uses completely different methods and relies on the media. In addition, new films increasingly show strong women who help and even command the agent. So, for the first time in the history of the franchise, the head of MI6, codenamed M, is played by a woman - Judy Dench.

James Bond films with Daniel Craig

The next reboot of the franchise was initially perceived by many fans extremely negatively. The new Bond was played by Daniel Craig - a blond man whose face did not at all resemble the usual image of a British aristocrat. But gradually it became clear that the new character seemed to continue the ideas of the times of Timothy Dalton. This is again a lively and realistic Bond who makes mistakes, suffers and does not want to blindly obey orders.

The new 007 has an almost filial affection for the boss, and women not only become his assistants, they also console the agent in the most difficult moments.

Casino Royale

  • Great Britain, Czech Republic, USA, Germany, 2006.
  • Action, thriller.
  • Duration: 139 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8, 0.
Shot from the movie "Casino Royale"
Shot from the movie "Casino Royale"

Newly licensed to murder, young agent James Bond must confront the genius of the underworld, Le Chiffre. In this case, the heroes will not meet in a fight or a shootout, but at a card table.

It is ironic that the very first book about James Bond, written back in 1953, was filmed as part of the official franchise only in the 21st century. But for the reboot, it turned out to be a great move: Craig's character got a full story from the very beginning of his agent career.

007: Coordinates of Skyfall

  • UK, USA, Turkey, 2012.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 143 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 8.

The villains get into the hands of the hard disk with the dossier of secret agents Mi-6. M herself is suspected of treason, but James Bond, who is considered dead, decides to restore the good name of the boss. The search for the real criminal leads him to a former intelligence agent.

Sam Mendes' painting successfully develops the tendencies set back in the "Casino Royale". Much of the action revolves around the closeness of James Bond and M. And the villain, played by Javier Bardem, looks realistic and dangerous.

By the way, Adele's song Skyfall was the first song from the entire franchise to win an Oscar. Previously, films were only nominated for this award.

Films outside the main series

In addition to the official franchise, which was produced by EON Productions, several films from other studios were released at various times. Some of them are also noteworthy.

Casino Royale

  • Great Britain, USA, 1967.
  • Comedy.
  • Duration: 131 minutes.
  • IMDb: 5, 1.

In this parody adaptation of Ian Fleming's classic novel, the plot is very different from the original. But the viewer is presented at once by several agents under the name James Bond.

Representatives of various special services gather in the house of the former 007 to persuade him to return to work. And then Bond and his colleagues go through many different, often very ridiculous, tests to defeat the villains.

Never say never"

  • UK, USA, Germany, 1983.
  • Action, adventure.
  • Duration: 134 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6, 2.
Still from the film about James Bond "Never say never" "
Still from the film about James Bond "Never say never" "

Already slightly older, Sean Connery has once again returned to the image of James Bond. In fact, this film repeats the plot of Fireball, but in a more ironic way.

After the failure of the training mission, Agent 007 is sent to recover at the hospital. Meanwhile, the villains are stealing two nuclear warheads and blackmailing the governments of different countries.