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James Bond - Daniel Craig’s Worst to Best movies

ames Bond was originally created by the British journalist Ian Fleming as a series of comics. The first arc of the series that was released was ‘Dr. No’. Although initially, the series was not successful enough to make it into the film industry, due to poorly developed advertisement strategies, the story still had a strong impact on the international audience. The relevance of the series to the global scenario caused the comics to be translated into a range of different languages, and to be released in the format of newspaper strips around the globe. After the first frustrating attempts to create a film adaptation for the comics, in 1962 the first movie was finally released. The film ‘Dr. No’, was created on a low budget, having Sean Connery as its lead actor. The movie changed the world of cinema, by formally introducing James Bond as an impacting character who is now a part of international culture, and later founding the most successful movie franchise in history.

The success of the first movie led to the creation of an ongoing series of film productions, which was eagerly anticipated by fans around the globe. Sean Connery starred in 7 James Bond movies as the lead actor between 1962 and 1983. He was followed by George Lazenby (1969), Roger Moore1973 ( - 1985), Timothy Dalton (1987 - 1989), Pierce Brosnan (1995 - 2002) and finally Daniel Craig (2006 - 2021). Based on 007 characteristics brought forward in the comics, each actor played the role adding bits and pieces to the character, which build up to what we know today as the current identity of the British intelligent agent, James Bond, a womanizer, whose personality is sarcastic, cold and mysterious. While it is clear that all actors who played 007 contributed significantly to his image as an international symbol, the focus of this article will be directed towards Daniel Craig’s worst to best James Bond’s movies.

Daniel Craig began his trajectory as the newest version of James Bond in 2006, his first movie was ‘Casino Royale’, followed by ‘Quantum of Solace’ (2008), ‘Skyfall’ (2012), ‘Spectre’ (2015) and ‘No Time To Die’ (2021). Although Casino Royale was a huge success, it pales in comparison to Daniel Craig’s other James Bond movies. This is mostly due to the fact that this movie is used as a formal introduction between the newest version of the character and the audience. 007’s original enemies were the Russians and the Chinese (as the comics were written during the cold war); nevertheless, there wasn’t much of an appeal to fans to re-explore the idea of the war, instead producers opted for modernizing the character and using the organization spectre as the main enemy. Casino Royale is quite important to the series, given that it sets the grounds for all of the following movies, presenting viewers with a detailed narrative of who the character is and how he came to be in his current position.

Given the arguments presented, ‘Casino Royale' would be ranked the second worst movie in the Daniel Craig James Bond series. Similarly, Spectre would also be considered the second worst alongside ‘Casino Royale’, this is because it has a detailed plot which causes the audience to thoroughly engage in the character development, and it also points out the apex of the conflict between the MI6 and the criminal organization Spectre. Nevertheless, it does not present any pressing situations that would cause the audience to want to hold on to the character as he faces life and death situations, which lead to the creation of the turning point in the development of the plot. The emotions evoked from the audience in ‘Skyfall’ and ‘No time to die’ are much stronger, as in both movies the character is faced with life and death situations, however what makes both of those movies great, is that although James Bond is presented as an invincible being most of the time, in these movies his weaknesses are also evident to the viewers, which leads them to sympathize and empathize with the character. Even if both of those movies present those characteristics, the scenes in Skyfall present a greater investment in action that is well connected to the plot, while in No Time To Die, what is in fact explored is 007’s relationships with others around him. It is also worth mentioning that the villains in the three latest movies are iconic and play a very significant role in setting the environment for all of the action scenes as well as the conflict. Javier Barden creates an intense, psychotic opposition to the hero of the story, making the villain go toe to toe with 007, causing the plot of the movie to be both more interesting and better illustrated. This is why Skyfall ranked higher than No Time to Die.

Quantum of Solace received the spot of worst Daniel Craig James Bond movie. Not only is the villain insignificant in comparison to the achievements of the hero, but the plot of the movie is not well developed and it fails to provide effective turning points that could evoke strong emotions from the audience. On the other hand the movie itself plays a very important role in the series by setting the grounds for the understanding of what Spectre is from the audience’s point of view. The movie emphasizes the dimensions and power the organization has, which are further explored in the movies that followed.

In conclusion, while ‘Quantum of Solace’ would be considered the bottom of the bunch, followed by ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Spectre’, which largely contribute to the character development and the engagement of the audience with the overall series, are second to last as both movies are still unable to evoke the strongest emotions that bind viewers to the character, which is explored and fully achieved in ‘No Time to Die’ and ‘Skyfall’, which both use life and death situations as the turning point for the plot and character development. Still, ‘No Time to Die’ explores the relationship of characters with more depth rather than emphasizing the characteristics that build the 007’s identity, thus ‘Skyfall’ is undoubtedly the best 007 movie out of Daniel Craig’s series.


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