2020 will welcome the release of the 25th Bond film in the official catalogue (leaving out the bizarre Never Say Never Again and the incoherent and irrelevant 1967 spoof Casino Royale). We all have our favourite moments, our favourite Bond actors and our favourite movies from Bond’s 57-year big screen history, and you’ll find no shortage of lists online confidently telling you which are the best.
But ultimately, the only opinion that really matters is that of the viewing public, and thanks to the wonders of the internet, we are able to find out exactly what they – meaning you – think. Here, then, is the definitive top five according to public opinion. Of course, opinion doesn’t always equate to fact, however. Would your top five look any different?
5th – Dr No (imdb score 7.3)
The fact that a film released in 1962 can stand up against more recent offerings from the Craig and Brosnan era tells you all you need to know about the production values, plot and casting in the movie that set the whole franchise in motion. We meet our hero for the first time. where else but in a casino, and while the world of 1962 is a far cry from today’s online roulette and me too hashtags, the story and acting continue to enthrall new generations.
4th – From Russia With Love (imdb score 7.4)
Another film very much of its time, and further evidence that Bond audiences value escapism and don’t need to see a reflection of the world around them on the big screen. This one also has a great roulette scene, showing where Bond’s real passions lie! It also introduces us to the criminal organisation S.P.E.C.T.R.E and involves more red herrings and double bluffs than any Mission Impossible romp from the new millennium.
3rd – Skyfall (imdb score 7.6)
This is the movie that Bond fans had been awaiting for decades. It finally fills in some of the mystery behind Bond and gives us a glimpse of the man behind the 00-prefix and the boy who became the man. It also contains all the classic Bond ingredients in terms of action scenes, a genuinely chilling villain and a theme song from Adele that became an instant classic.
2nd – Goldfinger (imdb score 7.7)
Did somebody say theme songs? Shirley Bassey hit this one out of the park and it still sends shivers down the spine. Add to the mix a fabulous plot, a gloriously evil villain complete with over the top henchman and Sean Connery’s Bond showing us all how it’s done on the golf links and you have a classic Bond film from every angle.
1st – Casino Royale (imdb score 8.0)
No real surprise here, Casino Royale returns to show us how it all began, but without any clumsy reboot. It’s the original story that had been waiting for more than half a century to be properly told. Even if you haven’t the first clue about poker, the card game will put you on the edge of your seat. No Time to Die has plenty to live up to.