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The latest , No Time to Die, has an ending unlike that of any other Bond movie that came before it. The film wrapped up Daniel Craig’s days as 007, and now speculation is running hot about for the franchise built around Ian Fleming’s superspy — including who’ll be the . To have an idea where we’re going, you’ll want to know how we got here.
You may hear referred to as Bond 25, but that’s not quite the whole story. It’s the 25th installment in the , which dates all the way back to 1962 and the debut of Dr. No, a modestly budgeted film that proved a hit and launched Sean Connery in a career-defining role. But there are also two other, unofficial Bond movies — one of them starring Connery himself. (Plot twists aren’t limited to the individual film scripts, you know.) So that’s 27 in total.
It’s a lot to dig into. The is a pop culture institution, featuring one of the of all time — a suave, stylish secret agent played by six different actors — as well as spectacular stunts, gorgeous locales and arguably the best movie theme music ever. Even if you’ve never seen a Bond movie, you probably know something about : the timeless pose (man in tux, pistol in hand), the cocktail catchphrase („vodka martini, shaken not stirred“), Blofeld the Bond villain, famously lampooned as Dr. Evil.
Over the years, there have been serious phases and silly phases, and Pierce Brosnan gives you a very different Bond from Connery, Craig or Roger Moore. I got , so I’m forever, um, bonded to those movies. But for contemporary audiences, I’m going with a different recommendation for which Bond movie to watch first, and where to go from there.
Start with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale
Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond is a terrific spy/action movie, period. It’s heart-poundingly good. But Casino Royale (2006) also did what no previous Bond movie could do: It completely rebooted the franchise, blowing up a formula that many saw as played out, with far-fetched gimmicks and belabored puns, even as it remained a steady box office draw. It’s based on ’s very first Bond novel and gives us Bond very much as he was introduced to the world. It stays true to that original story in many essential ways (not a hallmark of Bond movies in general) while at the same time updating it for modern audiences attuned to the Jason Bourne and Mission: Impossible movies.
Craig himself delivers all the muscle and menace the character deserves, in keeping with Fleming’s depictions and as measured against Connery, still the standard by which all other Bonds are invariably judged. There’s nothing glib about this Bond, and 스포츠분석 인방티비 if he does look good in a tuxedo, you always know there’s a brute inside ready to battle the baddies. You learn right off the bat how he earned his double-0 (license to kill) rating, then it’s off to a spectacular chase and gunfight. That’s just in the first 18 minutes.
High points, too, for a nasty villain in Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre, Judi Dench as Bond’s no-nonsense boss M and Eva Green as Bond’s female foil.
Casino Royale also opens the door to the strong series of movies that follow: Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015) and No Time to Die (2021), which CNET’s Rich Trenholm, in his review, calls an „epic, explosive and emotional swan song.“ There’s more than just action across the five-film run: There’s an arc that leads us deeper into Bond’s past and how it drives him in the present day.
Next: From Russia With Love / Goldfinger
This whole franchise got going with Connery, so you can’t go wrong starting there. But for now let’s skip the very first movie, Dr. No. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but the two movies that followed are more definitive — they’re often the top two in lists of the best Bond movies. Pick either of these and you’re getting absolutely top-shelf Connery, the man who defined Bond and who was the heart of the franchise when it exploded into a phenomenon.
From Russia With Love (1963) gives you an honest-to-goodness, old-fashioned spy story, with no to speak of and no evil plan to destroy the world. It’s Bond on an intimate scale, a character-driven tale of our spy, the woman sent to seduce him and the assassin (a buff and square-jawed Robert Shaw) assigned to take him down. (It also gives us our first glimpse of Blofeld, the recurring uber-villain.) In the finest Bondian tradition of , this one cozies up to Istanbul and takes a memorable ride on the Orient Express. The fight scene in the train compartment is rightfully a classic.
Then along came Goldfinger (1964), the third movie. This one ratcheted things up and pretty much set the splashy tone for all the movies up till Craig arrived — the outlandish plot (set off a nuke to irradiate the gold at Fort Knox), the over-the-top villain and henchman, the Aston Martin DB-5 sports car tricked out with machine guns and ejector seat, the laser with which Goldfinger memorably threatens 007 („No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die“). Plus: One of the greatest theme songs of the series.
Connery is dashing, virile, devilish, supremely confident — everything you’d expect from a modern action hero, in part because he was the template.
James Bond: The deep cuts
I’d recommend getting a handful of Craig and/or Connery movies under your belt before venturing out more widely. Best to watch the Craig installments in sequence, but the Connerys (like the Moores, Daltons and Brosnans) you can watch in any order. Stick with the five Connery films from the 1960s before looking toward his two comeback efforts. The early movies are very much of their time, of course, so while you might chuckle at the quaintness of the tech, the fashions and the cinematography, you may cringe at some of the ethnic depictions and sexual mores.