Everyone has their own criteria for answering the all-important question: Which of the 22 (official) James Bond movies is your favorite? For example, I was never a huge fan of the gadgetry and thought Lazenby, though underrated, never was a good fit. Your mileage may vary according to your tolerance for one-liners and/or Roger Moore. Having said that, here's the only top five list of Bond movies you'll ever need.
And to end on a high note, each video is a...version of the classic 007 gun barrel opening, because I'm sick of trying to find new Goldfinger clips.
We had such high hopes for Brosnan. His Bond was a perfect amalgam of the dour Connery and the smug Moore, and Goldeneye incorporated all the elements that made preceding installments work -- Russians, suggestively named females, a borderline ludicrous plot, and lots of shit blowing up real good. Had Eon continued in this vein instead of trying to convince us Denise Richards was a nuclear scientist, the former Remington Steele might've threatened Connery's lofty perch.
4. From Russia With Love
I'm not alone on this, as Connery himself named it his favorite of the movies. And if you can't trust a prematurely bald Scot who once owned up to slapping women around, who can you trust?
Conspicuously lacking in a ludicrous scheme for global conquest or girls with funny names, all we have here is Bond on a secret mission against the Soviets, with SPECTRE pursuing their own sinister goals in the background.
3. For Your Eyes Only
Roger Moore was already eligible for senior-citizen discount tickets for his own movies when FYEO came out, so the producers wisely kept Bond from doing anything too strenuous (aside from alpine ski jumping and getting dragged over a coral reef, that is). Instead, we get a darker, more serious Bond that doesn't rely on gadgets and submarine cars to bring down the evil Kristatos.
2. License to Kill
Fine, I'll say it. Timothy Dalton was a great 007. Had Eon thrown the kind of money at his efforts as they did at the Brosnan films, you'd be arguing about whether or not he or Connery was the better Bond. To this day, Dalton is the closest any actor has come to Ian Fleming's original vision for the character, and LtK demonstrates this perfectly.
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Before the gadgets descended into camp, before Connery's toupees were glaringly obvious (as opposed to merely obvious), before George Lazenby, there was the one James Bond movie still regarded as a classic. Here, every Bond trademark that would eventually be parodied and/or done to death a hundred times was still exciting, and the idea of lasering a guy's nuts off was still left field enough to be shocking.
-- Pete Vonder Haar