Here’s how I’d rank the James Bond films, from best to worst:
- Goldfinger (1964)
- From Russia With Love (1963)
- For Your Eyes Only (1981)
- Dr. No (1962)
- GoldenEye (1995)
- Live And Let Die (1973)
- Casino Royale (2006)
- Octopussy (1983)
- The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
- You Only Live Twice (1967)
- Thunderball (1965) and Never Say Never Again (1983), which are basically the same movie
- The World is Not Enough (1999)
- Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
- Die Another Day (2002)
- The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
- The Living Daylights (1987)
- Moonraker (1979)
- A View to a Kill (1985)
Specific rankings might change depending on my mood. I would say that Dr. No and above are the great Bond films, The World is Not Enough and above are the good Bond films, and the rest are the bad Bond films.
The high ranking of the Connery films and low ranking of the Brosnan films are more a reflection of the scripts than the actors.
I admit it: I like The Spy Who Loved Me. It’s an incredibly cheesy, campy film, but that’s actually part of its appeal. Somehow it’s so ludicrous that it’s actually entertaining because of, rather than in spite of, its failings.
A lot of people really seem to hate Octopussy. I think it’s a decent run-of-the-mill Bond film. It’s really not much worse than – or much different from – Live and Let Die. But for my money, the best Moore film is For Your Eyes Only, which not only has the best opening sequence of the whole series, but is the one Moore film which is basically played as a straight adventure, rather than a silly piece of camp or with a completely ridiculous plot.