Top Five James Bond Films

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything‚Ķ from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

Because you asked for it – The Top Five James Bond Films! Are there really more than five great James Bond films? Matthew, Stephen, and guests Jason Inman and Ashley Victoria Robinson run down their faves.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

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12 Comments

  1. HipHopHead
    December 18, 2014 at 10:43 am — Reply

    NICE!!!! “Bond…James Bond”

    My ranking is as follows:

    Number one: Dr. No – without the first successful movie, all of the other movies would not have been made (maybe). Sean Connery…best Bond EVER!!

    Number two: the rest of Sean Connery Bond movies…Never Say Never Again…not included)

    Number three: Casino Royale (2006) – Daniel Craig brought back the “Sean Connery” James Bond in his portrayal.

    Number four: Quantum of Solace (2008) – following the plot threads of Craig’s first Bond movie leads right into this movie.

    Number five: Living Daylights – I though Timothy Dalton had the look and presentation to act as James Bond

    Not a fan of Roger Moore (The Saint), too many ‘one-liners’ and the stunts looked like a 1960’s Star Trek fight scene. Nor was I fan of Remington Steele, although I think Pierce Brosnan should have gotten the opportunity to act as Bond sooner.

  2. drago
    December 18, 2014 at 10:51 am — Reply

    Ha! You made my day Stephen with the mention of ABC’s movie of the week. I have many fond memories of Bond movies as well from that. Dr. No was my first bond as well. I also happily chimed in “me neither” to Roger Moore Bond films.

    My five films:
    1. Dr. No
    2. Gold Finger
    3. Thunderball
    4. Casino Royale (Craig version)
    5. You Only Live Twice (volcano lair ftw!)

    My complaint with Skyfall is that it’s not a Bond film, it’s Batman.

  3. drago
    December 18, 2014 at 11:48 am — Reply

    Forgot to join the army of appreciation for OHMSS, it’s a solid story that’s very true to book Bond. It was a darker turn. Lazenby got bad advice from his agent, he turned down a million buck payday and wanted 2 million. So they offered Connery 1.25M instead. If not for that silliness, Lazenby is our 70’s bond and Roger Moore never happens.

  4. EricJude
    December 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm — Reply

    The star of my new James Bond/Star Wars slash fiction: 00-IG-88.

  5. Bruno
    December 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    Oh man, this is hard, and also: a really great episode!

    5. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    The editing is really not that great in this movie, but I really like the story and love Lazenby as Bond, and the ending is heartbreaking.

    4. The Living Daylights
    The last Bond film in The Cold War era with the return of the hardcore Bond. A really good cast, and kind of a callback to From Russia With Love with the ultrastrong blond, russian assassin.

    3. Goldeneye
    Great intro, Brosnan was a good Bond, but the movies and the gadgets went a bit crazy in the later movies. I love the whole Russia is falling apart thing going on and Zukovsky is a fun character. A great villain and the best Q ever: Judi Dench.

    2. Skyfall
    After the two first movies in the reboot, it seems that Bond is returning to the old school. We got the PPK with a bit of gadgetry, a transmitter that looks like something from the Connery era, the old Aston Martin, the introduction of Ms. Moneypenny, and Q’s office from the old movies. With the title of the new movie, I feel that we’re going to see a modern take on the old Bond stories, with a bit of fun and gadgets.

    1. From Russia With Love
    This is the best Bond ever. I love the Hitchcock feel of the movie, a great theme song and a really great movie.

    In a top 10 ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ would be on the list, the only Moore film, I really care about. I also really like ‘You Only Live Twice’, ‘The World Is Not Enough’, and the new “Casino Royale”.

    • Bruno
      December 19, 2014 at 12:43 am — Reply

      Ehm, Judi Dench is M of course.. I’m an idiot. :p

  6. Kirby
    December 18, 2014 at 6:32 pm — Reply

    1. The Living Daylights- Timothy Dalton is my Bond, he’s got the look and attitude down perfectly. Very much the precursor to Craig’s tenure. This is the Bond film that actually feels like a spy movie to me. Great cast, and one of the best Bond girls of all time.

    2. OHMSS- Pretty well covered in the podcast, just a delightful if more low key.

    3. Goldfinger- While I like the top two more, I will agree that this is THE Bond film, the one the others try to recapture the magic of. Goldfinger classic villain, and you can’t get a better henchmen than Oddjob, especially in terms of iconography.

    4. Skyfall-Again very well covered, but I’ll argue that while this film is actually a reconstruction of Bond. While it does tear him down, it builds him back up to be the man we have followed for 50+ years. The reconstruction helps in bringing back classic characters like Moneypenny and (if a bit too young for my taste) Q.

    5.The Spy Who Loved Me- Great opening with Bond skiing down the mountainside only to go off a cliff, and rip open a Union Jack parachute. Probably the only Moore film really worth watching start to finish. Good chemistry all around.

  7. Rob
    December 18, 2014 at 7:48 pm — Reply

    Thunderball, the movie that cemented the Bond formula and made all the later craziness possible.

    Goldfinger, as previously mentioned the platonic ideal of a Bond movie, iconic in everyway,

    Goldeneye, a new Bond for a new post cold war era and more importantly the source for thrid best video game of all time.

    OHMSS, again not much to add here, that ending just breaks my heart every time.

    The Spy Who Loved Me, just for having the best Bond theme song.

  8. Rory
    December 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm — Reply

    Regarding the Skyfall theory, I took the film to be the reset before the events of Dr. No. For example, the new “M” becomes the older one in the Sean Connery films, his predecessor being Judi Dench. The same with the young “Q” aging into the older “Q” that we see in the first films. So it would go Casino, Quantum, Skyfall then Dr. No. and so on.

    1.) Thunderball – has everything that you could ask for and the best setting in the Bahamas
    2.) You Only Live Twice – great opening scene, great musical theme, Donald Pleasance, flesh eating piranha
    3.) From Russia With Love – one of the most underrated but much closer to a spy film than an action movie
    4.) The Living Daylights – What the Dalton era could have been, going back to the dark, ruthless Bond that Moore’s incantation drifted away from
    5.) Goldfinger – all around solid but a little overhyped, I think. Still great.

  9. Oldcomicfan
    December 19, 2014 at 7:56 am — Reply

    No. 1: Skyfall – really, it’s the first realistic Bond film ever. No lasers, no space stations, great story! I’ve probably watched this Bond film more than any other.
    No. 2: Craig’s Casino Royale – it was about time that this Bond book got turned into a serious film rather than The Parody That Shall Not Be Named.
    No. 3: Doctor No – the film that started the whole thing and also turned Sean Connery from an underwear model into a star actor. Every other Bond Film – and every great role Connery ever played – owes its success to this movie.
    No. 4: Goldfinger – the gadgets haven’t gotten goofy yet, and the whole plot – not to steal all the gold in Fort Knox but irradiate it and thus destroy the American economy was crazy enough to work.
    No. 5: Live and Let Die – The only decent Moore movie and – if parts of it now seem kind of racist – we did get the Uncola commercial guy as the villain (Try making THAT out of a cola nut… HA HA HA HA!) as well as a theme song by Paul McCartney!

  10. b003
    December 19, 2014 at 8:28 pm — Reply

    All Sean Connery.. done.

  11. Brandon
    March 31, 2017 at 4:30 pm — Reply

    If people are still reading this thread I’m going to get grief for my honorable mention.

    Honorable mention – Moonraker – 1979
    All of my first exposure to Bond was the TBS and occasional WGN Bond marathons as a child. I rarely got to see a film in its entirety, however Moonraker was one of the first I got to see in all of its cheesy glory but as a child I loved the over the top gadgets, plus I was still riding high on Star Wars original trilogy so space was also awesome. But the biggest reason why I love Moonraker so much is Jaws, my favorite Bond henchman. I love what Jaws is able to express without speaking and that even Jaws gets the girl in the end.

    5. You Only Live Twice – 1967
    Bond being put into another culture and finding love. Only to have his new love killed. Plus the twist at the start of the film was great for its day.

    4. Goldeneye – 1995
    Easily the best of Bronson’s run as Bond and an amazing re-ignition of the franchise in film. Plus the greatest single console multiplayer game of all time.

    3. The Living Daylights – 1987
    Dalton is an underrated Bond, yes the films are lacking certain elements but his portrayal of the role is really good. Plus this was one of the films made while I was still young and loved the gadgets from Bond.

    2. Casino Royale – 2006 (Honorable mention to Quantum of Solace as it was a fantastic conclusion to the story started in this film)
    Craig has become my favorite Bond. Flat out the new films came at the right time for me. They showed up around the time I wanted to see a special operative just simply be a bad@$$. I no longer need the cool and nifty gadgets that made me smile as a youth.

    1. Skyfall – 2012
    Simply put one of the most beautiful and well rounded Bonds of all time. This continues the bad@$$ version of Bond from Casino Royale but throws in just enough of the gadgetry to dig up those childhood memories. Wonderful character development with a multitude of characters, Bond, M, new M, Moneypenny and Silver. The little homages and the emotional roller coaster you join Bond for is fantastic. Judy Dench is fantastic.

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