Bond, James Bond, a phrase that is as iconic as any phrase before or after it. The man that accompanies that phrase is equally iconic. James Bond is one of the most important, influential, and evocative characters in pop culture history. From the pages of Ian Fleming to the silver screen, 007 has impacted the world multiple times over. Specifically, on the silver screen, we have seen many different actors take on the mantle of James Bond. From the first incarnation of Bond Sean Connery to one of the worst Bonds Pierce Brosnan, to the suave Timothy Dalton to the goofy Roger Moore to George Lazenby (who only had one film but that film wasn’t a bad showing as Bond) and finally Daniel Craig. With only 5 movies Daniel Craig has the second most appearances as 007, while Sean Connery and Roger Moore both have 7. However with the newly released “No Time To Die” Charlie Long and I decided that we should rank the top 5 Daniel Craig Bond movies, as well as tell you why we think he is one of the best to ever take up the mantle of James Bond!

CHARLIE LONG'S THOUGHTS ON THE DANIEL CRAIG ERA OF JAMES BOND:

Daniel Craig’s rendition of the famous 007 seemed unique because it told his entire story. From his first registered kill in Casino Royale all the way to his final chapter as Bond in No Time to Die, each movie develops his character as the audience follows along for the ride. Craig’s Bond is my personal favorite because of the heights he reaches with the character. That’s not to say that each movie he made in the role was perfect, however. In fact, looking back on his films in the franchise, I’d be willing to accept the perspective that only two of his five movies could really be considered “great.” But with Craig’s 15-year tenure as the British secret agent coming to an end, Lyn and I would not be the movie nerds we are without talking about 007!

LYNDEN BURTON'S THOUGHTS ON THE DANIEL CRAIG ERA OF JAMES BOND:

Let us do an exercise! Think of the English secret serviceman 007. But don't just think of him, imagine every possible detail. Now that you've done that, there is a multitude of words that could come to mind. Here are some of the words that came to my mind: suave, intelligent, gadget, marksman, Sean Connery, and Daniel Craig. Before Daniel Craig, Sean Connery was the quintessential James Bond. Every actor before Craig had at least some sort of Connery influence in their performance. Daniel Craig brought something new to the character. He brought a visceral & brutal quality to Bond. This James Bond was not only the ladies' man but he could kill you with his bare hands. Nothing embodies this more than the opening black & white scene of Casino Royale, where Craig drowns a man in a bathroom while relaying this information to someone he is after.  And immediately after he finishes his story he shoots the man in the suavest peacoat there is. Craig's Bond relied more on his intelligence and brutality to get the job done over the gadget-heavy Brosnan, Moore, and Connery. In this new era of cinema, we've seen an uptick of darker stories. Those darker stories have been a product of the society we live in today. And no one was more equipped for this dark era of Bond more so than Daniel Craig. With "No Time To Die" we are seeing the end of the Craig era. I would argue that Craig not only revolutionized the character, but he also created his own archetype for James Bond. Now when you think of the character of James Bond you think of Sean Connery and now Daniel Craig. I am even willing to go one step further and say that Daniel Craig's portrayal of James Bond is the best we have ever seen!!

CHARLIE LONG'S RANKING OF THE DANIEL CRAIG BOND MOVIES: 

1. Casino Royale

Thoughts On The Movie: Well, the best starts at the beginning. What is there to say about Casino Royale that hasn’t already been written? It’s basically the perfect spy movie, and my favorite Bond movie in general, so, of course, it’s at the top of Craig’s films as the character. The poker scenes in this movie are some of my favorite in cinema. The action, writing, and acting are all excellent. From start to finish, Casino Royale is an amazing experience, and it’s the best Bond film ever made.

2. Skyfall

Thoughts On The Movie: While Mads Mikkelsen is incredible as Le Chiffre, the Bond villain in Casino Royale, Javier Bardem as the villainous agent Silva in Skyfall is even better. Bardem nearly carries the movie, but the story is also outstanding. It’s a much more personal Bond film that focuses on developing the characters, and the final act is executed nearly perfectly. The locations used are enhanced by fantastic cinematography, and some of the sequences are just breathtaking. In my opinion, Skyfall will go down as a top-three Bond movie in the entire franchise.

3. No Time To Die

4. Spectre

Thoughts On The Movie: Spectre is unfortunately pretty messy. Following a great movie like Skyfall, Spectre is the second-most forgettable movie on this list, and I don’t have too much to say about it.

5. Quantum Of Solace

Thoughts On The Movie: Quantum is a victim of the time it was released. The writer’s strike in Hollywood at the time left the script bare and dull. Ultimately, Quantum is a forgettable and cliche Bond film that deserves the bottom spot on this list. At least when watching Craig’s films in order, Quantum is sandwiched between the two undisputed best movies in Craig’s tenure. The best thing I can say about Quantum is that it continues the development of Bond, which comes to its peak in Skyfall.

LYNDEN BURTON'S RANKING OF THE DANIEL CRAIG BOND MOVIES:

1. Casino Royale

Thoughts On The Movie: What a phenomenal film!! In my opinion, this is the best way to start a major franchise. Unlike a movie like Iron Man which similarly started a franchise, Iron Man had no previous history to his said character on the silver screen. Whereas Daniel Craig had to replace a long history of James Bond, and the last time we saw Bond it was the terrible Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry movie. Daniel Craig came in and set the silver screen ablaze. His charisma, brutality, physique, and intelligence immediately jumped at you off the screen. You add that to the fierce and frightening performance of Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, and you have movie magic. The intense battle between Le Chiffre and Bond was extremely special. This is 1 of the many reasons that "Casino Royale" is 100% the best James Bond movie of all time!

2. Skyfall

Thoughts On The Movie: This movie is so close to being just as good as Casino Royale if not better. The length of this movie is one of my negatives against it because at times it feels slow. But besides that, this movie is very good. If Mads Mikkelsen and Daniel Craig had great chemistry then Javier Bardem and Daniel had even better chemistry. Javier Bardem is who takes this movie to a whole other level. I think if everyone else in the film matched his performance then this film would be number 1 on this list for me. However, me saying that does not mean I don't love this movie. I 100% love this movie and believe that this is the second-best Bond movie of all time! Also, it is worth noting that Adele had the best Bond song of the 5 Craig movies with her rendition of Skyfall!

3. No Time To Die

4. Spectre

Thoughts On The Movie: This movie upset me because the hype for this movie was built up over the past three movies. Every villain in the previous movies(Casino Royale, Skyfall, and Quantum Of Solace) were affiliated with the group Spectre. And this was the movie that really made the group and its leader Blofeld played by Christoph Waltz the main antagonist. It was a perfect storm for a great movie. Christoph Waltz of "Inglourious Basterds" fame made his bones playing the villainous Hans Landa and many expected that this would be just as good. However, this movie just did not live up to the hype. It was disjointed, too long, and just didn't have a clear view of what story it wanted to tell. But hey at least it is not the worst.

5. Quantum Of Solace

Thoughts On The Movie: Not much I need to say except this movie is just flat-out horrible. I do not recommend this movie at all. If you want to catch up on this series, I would just google what happened in "Quantum Of Solace" and keep it pushing. This movie is BUTT.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH "NO TIME TO DIE"

Charlie Long: "No Time To Die" is worth seeing for any Bond fan that has followed Craig’s arc of films. It’s a fine ending to his character, and, while it doesn’t reach the heights of the best two movies on this list, it tells a cohesive story to wrap everything up. Even though Craig won’t be back in the next iteration of Bond flicks, he still gave fans two of the greatest spy movies ever made, and that deserves to be celebrated.

Lynden Burton: "No Time To Die" is an ideal way you would want a movie franchise to close. Not only did they tie up all the loose ends of the other movies, but they also gave every character a satisfying ending. Some characters' endings may have had more meat to its bone than others but overall a decent job by the writers. I thought that Craig's growth from Casino Royale to now was beautifully depicted in this movie. He went from this brash and brutal young buck to this grizzled war-worn warrior. You were on the edge of your seat the whole time because you did not know if he would make it to the end. That tension mixed with the good writing makes for an extremely fun and satisfying closing to the Daniel Craig era as James Bond. Charlie and I both recommend if you have a chance, you should watch this movie.

Daniel Craig came in and did the unthinkable. He created a James Bond that is equally iconic and memorable as Sean Connery. Whether it was his brutality, his cockiness, or his charisma we will never forget the Daniel Craig era of James Bond. Who will be next to don the tuxedo? Well, that's a story for another time!

 

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