I finally watched No Time to Die, so I figured "Why not rank the Craig Bond movies?". This series was one of the first that I binged through during COVID, so it was fun to re-read my crappy reviews of the first four films and compare them to my current opinions. I'm not a huge James Bond fan. I enjoy the movies for what they are, but spy movies never really do it for me. I still like most of these movies. With that said, here's my ranking of the Daniel Craig James Bond films.
5. Quantum of Solace
Okay. So I do enjoy most of these movies. ButQuantum of Solace is genuinely horrible. I don't know what the makers of this film were doing. This movie is SO bland. It's SO boring. I didn't know it was possible to make a James Bond movie this uninteresting, but here we are. The villain is terrible. The supporting cast is terrible. It feels like the only rewarding thing that this movie has to offer is more of Daniel Craig as 007. Besides that, I absolutely despise this film.
4. Casino Royale
Let me be clear: I like Casino Royale significantly more than Quantum of Solace. However, I've never been as high on it as most people. I found the plot to be a little bit too convoluted at times, especially near the end with everything happening with Vesper and all of that stuff. I really like Martin Campbell's direction here. The fact that he's able to make a poker game incredibly intense is very impressive. It feels like a jolt that the James Bond franchise needed. And, of course, Daniel Craig's Bond is the best 007 we've ever gotten, so Casino Royale automatically gets points for being his introductory outing.
3. No Time to Die
On the flip side of Casino Royale, No Time to Die does a fantastic job of giving Bond the send-off he deserves. It concludes Craig's run in a different way than you'd expect. It takes James Bond in an unusual direction. But it totally worked for me. I love how well it capped off his arc, paying off fifteen years of this great character. The story is a little muddled. It's derivative of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, albeit way more confusing. I was not a fan of Rami Malek's antagonist. But this movie got the most important thing right, and that was finishing off Craig's character in a satisfying way.
I find this movie to be criminally underrated. When people talk about Spectre, they talk about it as though it's one of the worst Bond films. I think this film has some of the best tension and best sequences we've ever seen in a James Bond movie. The SPECTRE meeting is a fabulous scene. I think Christoph Waltz as Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a great villain. It's a cool way to bring in an iconic Bond villain while doing something different. I don't entirely buy into James's romance with Madeleine Swann. The movie drags on for too long. But I really dig this movie, and I wish more people did, too.
To me, Skyfall just feels like it's on a different level than the rest of Daniel Craig's Bond movies. This film almost feels prestigious in a way because of how well-crafted it is. Like I said at the very beginning, I'm not a huge James Bond fan. I wouldn't say I love any of these movies, but I totally realize that Skyfall is great. Not only does this film give us updated versions of iconic characters like Miss Moneypenny and Q, but it brings in the best of Craig's villains with Javier Bardem's Raoul Silva. Sam Mendes does a wonderful job directing this movie, bringing the stylish flair that Bond is famous for. The action is awesome. The tension is high. Skyfall just does everything right. And it easily, easily comes in at number one.