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Ranking 22 Bond Films on Popularity and Critics' Cred: Hits, Misses

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 25, 2012 at 1:30PM

We all have our favorite James Bond and 007 films. ("From Russia with Love" and Sean Connery are mine; I see "Skyfall" next week.) But what's the consensus? Time Magazine (behind its annoying pay wall) has compiled a ranking of five decades of Bond hits and misses based on critical acclaim (via Rotten Tomatoes) and global box office.
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Happy 50th, James
Happy 50th, James

We all have our favorite James Bond and 007 films. (Sean Connery and "From Russia with Love" are mine; I see well-reviewed "Skyfall" Friday.) But what's the consensus? Time Magazine (behind its annoying pay wall) has compiled a ranking of five decades of Bond hits and misses based on both critical acclaim (via Rotten Tomatoes) and global box office.

Here's the final tally of the 22 Eon-produced Bond films: "Thunderball" and "Goldfinger" earned the best reviews and box office. The top ten includes five of Connery's six Bond films, Daniel Craig's two entries thus far, one each from Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan, and George Lazenby's one. The bottom four films are from the 80s: two each from Moore and poor Timothy Dalton.

I've added RT links and adjusted worldwide grosses (in 2011 dollars).

  1. "Thunderball" (1965, Connery) $1 billion, 84%
  2. "Goldfinger" (1964, Connery) $912 million, 96%
  3. "Casino Royale" (2006, Craig) $670 million,   95%
  4. "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977, Moore) $678 million, 80%
  5. "You Only Live Twice" (1967, Connery) $756 million, 70%
  6. "Goldeneye" (1995, Brosnan) $529 million, ) 81%
  7. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969, Lazenby) $506 million, 81%
  8. "Diamonds Are Forever" (1971, Connery) $648 million, 64%
  9. "Quantum of Solace" (2008, Craig) $622 million, 64%
  10. "From Russia with Love" (1963, Connery) $576 million, 96%
  11. "Moonraker" (1979, Moore) $656 million, 61%
  12. "Live and Let Die" (1973, Moore) $583 million, 63%
  13. "Dr. No" (1962, Connery) $441 million, 98%
  14. "For Your Eyes Only (1981, Moore) $486 million, 72%
  15. "Die Another Day" (2002, Brosnan) $544 million, 57%
  16. "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997, Brosnan) $479 million,  56%
  17. "The World is Not Enough" (1999, Brosnan)  $492 million, 51%
  18. "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974, Moore) $448 million, 47%
  19. "The Living Daylights" (1987, Dalton) $381 million, 74%
  20. "Octopussy" (1983, Moore) $426 million, 47%
  21. "License to Kill" (1989, Dalton) $285 million, 73%
  22. "A View to a Kill" (1985, Moore) $321 million, 40%


 

This article is related to: Skyfall, Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.