The James Bond series is the longest-running film franchise with an astounding 23 and counting films over a 52 year period. To say that Bond has had a profound effect on popular culture and filmmaking in general would be a vast understatement. James Bond represents an idealized masculinity with his jet-setting lifestyle full of fast cars and fast women. He’s also a deeply flawed character with questionable morals and many of his films have come under fire from critics due to their poor representations of women and minorities. That being said, many of the films are still entertaining and the modern Bond films have done a lot to address these criticisms. Out of 23 films, there have been some significant hits and misses and there are definitely some turds and gems in the mix. The following 10 Bond films are arguably the best in the series and shouldn’t be missed by anyone with an interest in the series.
10. License to Kill (1989)
There is not a lot of love out there for Timothy Dalton’s 2nd and final outing as James Bond. A lot of negativity surrounds this 1989 film, as many fans were critical of its darker tone. It also didn’t help that the film performed poorly at the box office, which contributed to the series taking a six year hiatus. Nevertheless, in retrospect, License to Kill is very underrated and actually has more in common with the more recent Bond films than some may think. Dalton’s brooding, revenge-seeking portrayal of 007 is similar in many ways to Daniel Craig’s highly regarded take on the character, which makes all the criticism of Dalton confusing. Bond’s quest to go rogue and take down a drug kingpin who attacked his friends feels like a plot that Craig’s Bond would tackle, and while there are some significant missteps, License to Kill deviates from the typical feel of the franchise in enough interesting ways to make it one of the better Bond outings, despite its reputation.