We interrupt these opinions on James Bond films to give you another (unrelated) opinion on James Bond films, requested by Fred Lerner, who wrote, "I think I'd like to watch some James Bond movies this summer. Can you recommend a few that have held up well after all these years?"
Thank you for a nice succinct question. I would say the best, is CASINO ROYALE (2006)/QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008), which is really one story in two parts. The next would be SPECTRE, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, SKYFALL, and ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. After that would be DR. NO, but there is a big drop in quality between ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE and DR. NO. However, if you add DR. NO for historic reasons, the "rule-based" answer is "Watch the Daniel Craig films, watch the first two Sean Connery films, watch the George Lazenby film, then stop."
Remember that taken out of Cold War context, some Bond films lose a lot.
Len Deighton's "Harry Palmer" films came from much the same factory and would rank highly if they were on the same list, so just as a hint I would recommend THE IPCRESS FILE and FUNERAL IN BERLIN, and some people like the third (THE BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN). Avoid the last two (BULLET TO BEIJING and MIDNIGHT IN SAINT PETERSBURG), which were made-for-TV movies.
For the full answer on James Bond films, here is my list of all the Eon Bond films in descending order of quality:
Mark R. Leeper Copyright 2021 Mark R. Leeper