The 10 Best James Bond Movies on Netflix, Ranked
Did you know that almost every James Bond movie is on Netflix? You’d be forgiven if you didn’t; Netflix sometimes makes it hard to find what’s available to stream, and the service quietly added the bulk of the film franchise to its platform in recent months (with the exception of the three most recent films starring Daniel Craig as 007 and 1983’s Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery). That’s 21 Bond movies to choose from—and let’s be honest, that’s a lot of movies to sit through. If you’re in the mood for the best of Bond, however, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the ten best Bond movies currently available to stream on Netflix. (Here’s the whole list of Bond movies on Netflix.) Side note: I ranked the Bond actors and my number one choice was…controversial. But the best Bond films, and the best Bond actors, are not the same thing.
9. The Man With the Golden Gun
This was among the poorest reviews of the Bond films, and it was Roger Moore’s second outing as 007. But this one has aged well. It’s set among the energy crisis of the 1970s and features one of the franchise’s best villains in Francisco Scaramanga, played by Christopher Lee, who’s known for his golden gun and…third nipple.
The third Bond film in the franchise is also one that fans of Austin Powers will recognize: the evil organization SPECTRE steals two atomic bombs and holds NATO ransom. Most of the film is set in the Bahamas, and concludes with an exciting underwater fight. It’s a lot of fun and includes the greatest Sean Connery line of all time: “It just so happens that I like conch chowder.”
Timothy Dalton, who only starred in two Bond films, is a criminally underrated 007, and The Living Daylights, his first turn as Bond, is his best. Dalton brings a seriousness to the role that Moore never really did—it forecasts Daniel Craig’s version of Bond and is more closely in line with Ian Fleming’s vision of the spy—in a Cold War era thriller involving the KGB.
Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as James Bond is still the best of the Irish actor’s four films in the franchise. GoldenEyeupdates the timeless spy narrative and puts it into a modern, post-Cold War world—but it still maintained the sexy and funny elements that the previous entries were known for.
The first James Bond introduced the world to the suave and sophisticated British spy played by Sean Connery, who travels to Jamaica to investigate one of SPECTRE’s devious members. It also introduced the concept of the Bond girl in Ursula Andress’s Honey Ryder, whose first moments on screen in an iconic white bikini have been referenced countless times over in other films (and even in subsequent Bond movies).
Roger Moore’s first Bond film departs from larger-than-life villains and plots to destroy the world and instead focuses on the heroin trade, with stops in Harlem, New Orleans, and the Caribbean, where voodoo becomes a big part of the plot. The movie also features the best Bond theme song of all time in Live and Let Die, by Paul McCartney and Wings, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Sean Connery’s penultimate film in the franchise (he returned, after a hiatus, in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever), You Only Live Twice also has the distinction of featuring Donald Pleasance as the first actor to portray Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the ominous head of the international crime syndicate SPECTRE who would serve as the basis for Austin Powers foe Dr. Evil.
After a four-year hiatus following Pierce Brosnan’s final Bond film, Daniel Craig stepped into the role of the M16 agent. Casino Royale was a hard reboot for the franchise in many ways, promising a grittier (and blonder) Bond than previous entries into the franchise that avoided the previous films’ innuendo and jokes.
The third film in the franchise features some of the most iconic moments in film history, from the gold-painted body of Bond girl Jill Masterson, the femme fatale Pussy Galore, the hat-throwing Oddjob, and the classic line uttered by the devious title character: “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.” It’s also the first film in the series to featuring the now-expected opening credit sequence with an original song (in this case, Shirley Bassey’s classic), and it was the first in the series to win an Oscar.
This Roger Moore film is not among the best Bond films, but it is very weird. Bond defuses a bomb dressed as a clown at one point. Vincent Canby in The New York Times said “much of the story is incomprehensible.” But if you’ve burned through the best, and want a taste of some serious Bond camp, this is for you.