On Daniel Craig’s birthday, a ranking of all his James Bond films, from worst to best
On Daniel Craig’s birthday, here’s a ranking of his five James Bond films–from Casino Royale to No Time to Die.
Daniel Craig might have secured himself a new franchise (and untold millions) with Knives Out, but for an entire generation, he’ll always be James Bond. Craig made his debut as the iconic British spy in 2006, with Casino Royale, and concluded his stint with last year’s No Time to Die. His tenure as Bond lasted nearly a decade-and-a-half, in which he starred in five films of varying quality.
On Craig’s 54th birthday, here’s a ranking of his Bond films, from worst to best.
Craig’s fourth James Bond film could very well have been his last. In fact, that was the assumption, which is why the film’s convoluted plot retroactively rewrote the entire series, by introducing Blofeld as Bond’s long-lost brother, and revealing that he’d been the architect of every tragedy that had befallen Bond over the years. Despite the efforts to recreate the success of the franchise’s previous entry Skyfall–director Sam Mendes was coaxed back, as were writers Neil Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan–Spectre remains the most expensive but worst of the Craig Bonds.
Quantum of Solace
It gets a bad rap, but Craig’s second outing as Bond was always going to be compared unfavourably to his first, the acclaimed Casino Royale. Much has been said about the behind-the-scenes trouble–they began shooting without a firm script, thanks to the 2007-08 writers’ strike–but perhaps the biggest surprise about the film was how different it was from other Bond movies. It was barely a spy film at all, and more like an action-driven, 70s-style revenge thriller.
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No Time to Die
Craig’s final James Bond film, No Time to Die, had an equally tumultuous road to release as Quantum of Solace, but it turned out as well as anyone involved could have hoped for, especially considering how poorly things might have turned out. Danny Boyle was originally supposed to direct, but dropped out at the last minute citing creative disagreements. He was replaced by the franchise’s first American director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, who performed a script rewrite, and brought Phoebe Waller-Bridge on board. The end result was a fittingly emotional final chapter that bid farewell to Craig’s Bond while also being respectful of franchise lore.