Rank Bond actor performances by each film

M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
edited November 2021 in Actors Posts: 538
The original thread was deleted, so I'm remaking. We are not judging the films as a whole - only judging based on how the Bond actor performs in that film.

1 - Casino Royale (Craig)
2 - From Russia with Love (Connery)
3 - Dr. No (Connery)
4 - Goldfinger (Connery)
5 - Goldeneye (Brosnan)

6 - No Time to Die (Craig)
7 - License to Kill (Dalton)
8 - The Living Daylights (Dalton)
9 - Quantum of Solace (Craig)
10 - Skyfall (Craig)

11 - Die Another Day (Brosnan)
12 - Live and Let Die (Moore)
13 - Thunderball (Connery)
14 - Octopussy (Moore)
15 - The Spy Who Loved Me (Moore)

16 - On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Lazenby)
17 - Moonraker (Moore)
18 - The World Is Not Enough (Brosnan)
19 - Tomorrow Never Dies (Brosnan)
20 - For Your Eyes Only (Moore)

21 - You Only Live Twice (Connery)
22 - Spectre (Craig)
23 - The Man with the Golden Gun (Moore)
24 - A View to a Kill (Moore)
25 - Diamonds are Forever (Connery)

Imo, most of the Bond performances were good. I only disliked the bottom few. Just because something is in the bottom 10, for example, doesn't mean I dislike it.


  • Posts: 2,400
    25: Connery in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
    23: Connery in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
    22: Moore in A VIEW TO A KILL
    21: Connery in THUNDERBALL
    20: Brosnan in DIE ANOTHER DAY
    19: Brosnan in GOLDENEYE
    18: Brosnan in TOMORROW NEVER DIES
    17: Moore in LIVE AND LET DIE
    16: Moore in MOONRAKER
    15: Brosnan in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
    14: Moore in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
    13: Connery in GOLDFINGER
    11: Craig in SPECTRE
    10: Moore in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
    9: Connery in DR. NO
    8: Moore in OCTOPUSSY
    7: Craig in SKYFALL
    6: Connery in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
    4: Dalton in LICENCE TO KILL
    3: Craig in CASINO ROYALE
    2: Craig in QUANTUM OF SOLACE
    1: Craig in NO TIME TO DIE
  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    edited November 2021 Posts: 2,161
    This was one of the threads I regretted deleting the most (like i said elsewhere, when I hit that button I was naively thinking posts, not threads). Thank you for restarting it. I'll put up my full, revised list in the near future. The slight difference was that I had specified that I was ranking the performances in so far as they captured Bond (whatever that means to each individual). Straight acting chops, Daniel Craig will take the top spots with, almost, every film, no doubt. But capturing the essence of Bond, that is something different, and that is how I'll structure mine.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    edited November 2021 Posts: 2,161
    Very tough this time, and some major shifts. To be clear, Craig in SP is not relegated to the basement simply because that is where I place the film (many a placement here is inconsistent with my overall rankings). One of the core reasons I dislike the film so much is that Craig's attempt at Connery nonchalance comes off as bitchy and aloof, to me.

    1. Sean Connery DN
    2. Sean Connery FRWL
    3. Sean Connery GF
    4. Sean Connery TB
    5. Roger Moore TMWTGG
    6. Daniel Craig SF
    7. Roger Moore FYEO
    8. Roger Moore LALD
    9. Daniel Craig QOS
    10. Daniel Craig CR
    11. Pierce Brosnan DAD
    12. Timothy Dalton LTK
    13. Timothy Dalton TLD
    14. Pierce Brosnan TWINE
    15. Daniel Craig NTTD
    16. Roger Moore TSWLM
    17. Roger Moore OP
    18. Pierce Brosnan TND
    19. George Lazenby OHMSS
    20. Pierce Brosnan GE

    All those above are strong. This is where I feel that things drop significantly.

    21. Sean Connery NSNA
    22. Sean Connery DAF
    23. Roger Moore AVTAK
    24. Sean Connery YOLT
    25. Roger Moore MR
    26. Daniel Craig SP
  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    Posts: 2,161
    Is this thread really going to fall into obscurity so quickly?
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    edited November 2021 Posts: 538
    opinions on Moore's performances:
    • Live and Let Die - His performance here was a big accomplishment. Taking over from Connery, establishing his own personality in the role and him finding a fan base from it.
    • The Man with the Golden Gun - I know some people on here really like it because they prefer dark Bond. But I find him tonally inconsistent with how comedic the movie is trying to be. Being mean to women and children doesn't make you a tough guy. And I feel like Scaramanga was a mirror to Connery's Bond; Moore feels a bit miscast here.
    • The Spy Who Loved Me / Moonraker - Both of these are classic Roger Moore performances. No more or less than what you'd expect.
    • For Your Eyes Only - Yes, he's trying to be serious here and it's good he's trying to diversify his catalogue. There are some memorable moments like kicking the car off the cliff, but otherwise, he's mostly forgettable in this. He doesn't do it nearly as well as Connery/Craig/Dalton. He's looking (and acting) old for the part; more like a grandpa that wants to take you out for lunch than a spy. The romance isn't believable.
    • Octopussy - Moore fits well here; the movie plays to his strengths. The backgammon, auction scene, the gags and especially the clown defusing the bomb. A female lead closer to his age helps too.
    • A View to a Kill - Moore is trying his best, but the age gap is just way too much to salvage, he doesn't have the physicality to handle the stunts in this film and it's not believable whatsoever.

    In terms of Moore's performance, imo: LALD > OP TSWLM/MR > FYEO > TMWTGG > AVTAK. (I haven't seen MR in a while, I may rerate it later on)
  • edited November 2021 Posts: 7,493
    I think this is very difficult to rank, but I'd go something like this: (Every actor's best performance outlined in black)

    1. Daniel Craig in NTTD
    2. Sean Connery in FRWL
    3. Sean Connery in DN
    4. Daniel Craig in CR
    5. Timothy Dalton in LTK
    6. Sean Connery in TB
    7. Daniel Craig in SF
    8. Timothy Dalton in TLD
    9. Sean Connery in GF
    10. Daniel Craig in SP
    11. Daniel Craig in QOS
    12. Roger Moore in FYEO
    13. Roger Moore in OP
    14. Roger Moore in TSWLM
    15. Sean Connery in YOLT
    16. Roger Moore in LALD
    17. Roger Moore in MR
    18. George Lazenby in OHMSS
    19. Pierce Brosnan in TND
    20. Roger Moore in TMWTGG
    21. Sean Connery in DAF
    22. Pierce Brosnan in GE
    23. Roger Moore in AVTAK
    24. Pierce Brosnan in DAD
    25. Pierce Brosnan in TWINE

    Sorry, Brosnan fans...
  • Thought I’d bring this thread back up;

    25. Moore - TMWTGG; I’m all for making Moore look tougher, but this performance was just unlikable at times.

    24. Connery - YOLT; I don’t think I can defend how bored Connery looks at parts in this film. He had some of that twinkle in the volcano lair scenes, but other than that you can just tell he’d rather be anywhere else.

    24. Moore - AVTAK; Roger’s performance itself is fine, it’s just I think at this point he’s too old to come across as a convincing Super Spy.

    22. Connery - DAF; It’s nice seeing Connery a bit more engaged here in this film, but those 4 years since YOLT really do show in his appearance.

    21. Craig - NTTD; This may be controversial, but you can’t please everyone can you? I appreciate some story elements, such as Bond having a family, but there was very little in Craig’s performance this time around that screamed “Bond” to me. I also don’t really like how moronic he’s made to look at the start of the film. He allows himself to be successfully manipulated into thinking Madeline’s a double agent over the words of Blofeld? Really? I still don’t really buy the relationship between him and Madeline either.

    20. Craig - QOS; Perhaps a bit less controversial. I’m certain Craig tried his damn best with the material he had, but this performance just doesn’t have much flair in it. He’s got some funny one liners, but that’s about it for me.

    19. Lazenby - OHMSS; It was very refreshing seeing a Bond actor have fun in the role after how bored Connery looked in YOLT. Lazenby’s youthful, energetic swagger allows the film to craft an entirely unique take on Bond, but it doesn’t help Lazenby’s case that he’s dubbed for a good chunk of the film. He really sells the action scenes however.

    18. Moore - Moonraker; Moore’s having a blast and it shows. Sometimes that’s all one needs.

    17. Brosnan - TND; Same sentiments as above for Pierce in this film.

    16. Craig - SPECTRE; I previously referred to this as Craig’s best work as Bond. But after a recent viewing, I find myself knocking it down a bit. An observation was made previously on this thread that Craig was trying to emulate Connery. I do see that here in the performance, and it doesn’t quite work as much as the real deal. Plus I think the love story doesn’t work at all. But it’s nice seeing Craig portray a more “traditional” Bond for once.

    15. Dalton - LTK; Now I really love Dalton in this film. Don’t get me wrong on that. He is so cunning and engaging to watch on screen that I can’t help but cheer by the end of the film when he sets Sanchez on fire. Why is it ranked in the middle? Well the fashion and style. I really dislike Dalton’s haircut here, and some of those clothing choices don’t hold up as well.

    14. Moore - Octopussy; I think everyone dismisses Moore in this film purely because of the circus scene, but his performance was pretty solid throughout the film. The highlight for me being the confrontation with Orlov on the train. He also has wonderful chemistry with Maud Adams, which makes up for the abysmal TMWTGG.

    13. Brosnan - TWINE; I appreciate what TWINE tries to do with Bond as a character, and Brosnan himself isn’t really the issue with the performance. I just think he could’ve done with a better director.

    12. Connery - TB; Would this be considered low? I’m not the biggest fan of TB, but Connery is so effortlessly smooth in this film. He’s a delight whenever he’s on screen. I just think there are better performances to come.

    11. Moore - TSWLM; This is where Moore would really perfect his take on Bond. It helps that there is a dramatic tension between him and Anya. But it’s not my favorite performance from Moore.

    10 and 9; Moore - FYEO and Craig - Skyfall; This may be a cheap way out on things, but I’m having a hard time picking one over the other. Both of these films contain rather understated takes from their lead actors. Both portrayals of Bond seem to represent an over the hill agent pushed to his limits after years on the job. I appreciated seeing the subtleties from both actors in both films.

    8. Brosnan - DAD; Say what you will about DAD, but Brosnan is so f_ing cool in this film. If only he wasn’t forced to catch some CGI waves and stop his heart.

    7. Craig - CR; I once said Craig only got better with each film, but to be honest, I think he peaks at Casino Royale. It helps that he has Martin Campbell as director here, as well as having Fleming’s novel to work from.

    6. Connery - Goldfinger; Why at #6? The rape scene that’s why. Other than that, Connery is pure gold (pun intended.)

    5. Moore - LALD; A Wonderful introduction to Moore’s take on 007. He’s so swaggering and cool in this film and I love it. He immediately sets himself apart from Connery and Lazenby, as well as the Bond he would eventually morph into with TSWLM. Plus this is where he looks his best.

    4. Dalton - TLD; Man Timothy really knocked it out of the park here. Everything about his performance here screams Bond to me. I appreciate his fidelity to Fleming’s novels, and he’s quite engaging to watch in this movie as well. I also love how he always is one step ahead of Koskov, and Whitaker in this movie.

    3. Connery - Dr. No; Would there even be a film series if this performance didn’t work? I think Connery’s debut as 007 casts a huge shadow over not just the series, but cinema as a whole. There weren’t many on-screen heroes who were treading on the lines of moral ambiguity until Connery as Bond smashed through that wall. Everything about him in this film is iconic, but there are just two more performances I find to be better.

    2. Connery - FRWL; It’s nice seeing a more humanized, and vulnerable Bond from Connery. There are moments where he is unsure of himself at times, and moments where he most certainly comes close to death, but Connery never fails in taking control over any situation. His chemistry with Daniela Bianchi is also very infectious.

    1. Brosnan - Goldeneye; Much like Craig, Brosnan hits his peak for me in Goldeneye. The only difference is that I’d actually go so far as to say this is the best Bond performance. Brosnan has it all from the word go; handsome, sophisticated, ruthless, and humorous. It took the other Bond’s multiple films in some cases to really nail their performances, but Brosnan nailed it from the start. He redefined Bond for modern audiences, and would go on to be a major player in revitalizing the series after the end of the Cold War. I understand some people won’t agree, and that’s fine. But to me, Brosnan is everything I expect from a Bond actor, and to me that’s all that matters.

    Tried to condense this list as much as I could, hopefully this won’t upset anyone!
  • MooseWithFleasMooseWithFleas Philadelphia
    Posts: 3,326
    Some of this depends on my mood of how I want Bond to be played which can change, but gut feel ranking at the moment...

    1.) Moore - OP
    2.) Craig - CR
    3.) Dalton - TLD
    4.) Moore - MR
    5.) Connery - TB
    6.) Dalton - LTK
    7.) Craig - SF
    8.) Moore - LALD
    9.) Craig - QoS
    10.) Craig - NTTD
    11.) Moore - TSWLM
    12.) Connery - FRWL
    13.) Brosnan - TND
    14.) Brosnan - GE
    15.) Connery - GF
    16.) Moore - FYEO
    17.) Connery - DN
    18.) Brosnan - TWINE
    19.) Moore - TMWTGG
    20.) Connery - YOLT
    21.) Craig - SP
    22.) Moore - AVTAK
    23.) Brosnan - DAD
    24.) Lazenby - OHMSS
    25.) Connery - DAF
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited July 2023 Posts: 3,373
    1. Connery - Dr. No (I doubt anyone could've beat this, where Connery was in the prime, he combined all of the things in this film, he's at his most cool when he needs to, he showed seriousness, as well as a man who's in pain while trying to finish Dr. No's obstacle course, he's rugged in that tunnel scene, then he did the womanizing thing very exactly).

    2. Craig - Skyfall (great at combining the classic Bond and his own version of Bond)

    3. Dalton - Licence To Kill (a film that really suits Dalton, the avenging part, did the Blunt Instrument in this film perfectly moreso than Craig, the way he interacted with the characters, especially the villain was like he's a man who's nice but holding a knife at his back kind of thing).

    4. Brosnan - Goldeneye (A Bond for the modern times, but the difference was, he's the man of all traits, and he nailed it here in spades, he's patriotic and would do all for Queen, his bosses and his country whatever it would've cost, but there's an emotional baggage that still showed his human side, he's not just a robot, the man who tried to keep his personal feelings for his job, and he knew how to carry himself and keep it all by exuding charm and bringing in humor but it's not out of place, it fits with every scenario and fits in with Bond's character).

    5. Connery - From Russia With Love (While his performance here was not on par with Dr. No, it's still great, seeing him being a spy this time, but I think it's more on the plot that carried Connery's performance, but he's still sophisticated and cool, although his performance may be a bit uncomfortable with how he treated women).

    6. Dalton - The Living Daylights (It's good, and one of the better performances in the series, but he comes off here as to Shakespearean for the part, the example of this is when he found Saunders dead at the cafe and he popped the balloon, it looked like that he's still performing in the theater than in a Bond film, then not just that, while not his fault, he had the unfortunate moment of gathering all of the leftovers from the Moore Era that he couldn't handle such as the jokes, the one liners, and some moments that still reminds people of the Moore Era, and while at him attempting to do the Moore Era moments, that's where he fell flat, it's still one of the greats, could've been one of the best, if the film let him to do his own).

    7. Craig - Casino Royale (It's great, the literal Bond of the modern era, gritty, down to earth, but there's an air of humanity, but I couldn't blame people who were looking at Craig's Bond as more Bourne-like, Dalton did the serious thing but still keeping in line with the Bond character, but Craig was too dour that there's no air of sophistication or coolness, he's a straight up assassin and very serious, but I guess, that's what the modern era demands, despite of that, Craig did all of his best in here, he gave it all and it shows).

    8. Lazenby - On Her Majesty's Secret Service (The first Bond to show vulnerability and humanity with him falling in love, but he's also physically athletic, and tough with him doing his own stunts, and he's also youthful and energetic which was a breath of fresh air after Connery's bored performance in YOLT, the only downside was yes, he's dubbed).

    9. Craig - Quantum of Solace (The most gritty performance from Craig, like Dalton in LTK, he's vengeful and in pain, and where he became cold, his character progressed throughout where he's getting more cold and colder, that damaged armour inside of him. That's said, it's very unconventional if judging it by Bondian standards, still came across as Bourne more like Bond, even moreso than CR, but his performance here was interesting, seeing Bond emotionally and psychologically damaged for the first time, with his coldness covering it, it's great).

    10. Craig - SPECTRE (Yes, despite of my issues with the film, I think one of my positives in there was Craig's performance, maybe it's a matter of personal opinion, but I felt this is where he came a bit closer to Fleming, I mean that whole Austrian scene felt like it came from a Fleming novel, the same for when Craig told the car's name (Rolls Royce) in details while he and Madeleine are waiting for Blofeld's pickup in the desert, telling a fine brand in such a complete detail felt like Bond from the books).

    11. Brosnan - The World Is Not Enough (Perhaps the most human of all the Brosnan's performances, but there's an air of that he's torn and caught between love and duty, I liked that, but it's ruined by his every interaction with Christmas Jones, and that ending, it's like two parter: his scenes with Elektra and M are great, but he's really bad when he's with Christmas Jones, and that pain face).

    12. Brosnan - Tomorrow Never Dies (Another Brosnan performance I'm kinda torn or mixed, I liked that there's an air of sentimentality in Brosnan's performance, like his interactions with Paris Carver, although hammed up by weird sexual motions (biting her shoulders?) And what I'm most bothered was his sudden gone of grief after Paris Carver's death, sure there he is at his pain, but after that, once it led to the car chase in the Parking lot, it all went lost and he's back to his old self again).

    13. Moore - Moonraker (This one is the highest rank that I could give to Moore (personally, not a fan of him as Bond, although I liked him in other shows/series), I liked how he's very comfortable to the role all the time, it felt natural, and it's the Bond film that best showed his humanity, like in the Centrifuge scene and the scene after he saved Manuela from Jaws, even the cable car scene where he's hanging for his life, it felt very human).

    14. Brosnan - Die Another Day (like SPECTRE, not judging the film itself, but one of the positives of the film was Brosnan's performance, he's still cool even on the verge on revenge, of course that torture scene really stands out, he's still energized and still in the game, not out of shape, but then, he's been given such bad dialogues that I doubt no Bond actor could've saved).

    15. Connery - Thunderball (It's a decent performance from Connery, I liked that he do some spying even if the editing wasn't that good with too dark lighting, and as usual, he's still exudes coolness, although, I do find his behaviour here quite problematic with the way he acted towards some women, didn't aged well).

    16. Moore - Octopussy (A more mature Moore performance, it's decent, starting from Moonraker where he's really getting comfortable with the role, and it's showed here, great interaction between him and Maud Adams, although, again, I ranked it here, because for me, it's hard to take Moore seriously as Bond).

    17. Connery - Goldfinger (A man that still exudes class, sophistication and coolness, but that's all, for the majority of this film, he doesn't do anything, he merely do anything, he's just being caught up every time and failing, he also did a lot more trouble than good like putting Tilly Masterson in danger for example, what did he done good? Turning Pussy Galore in his side and in not so very comfortable situation, it's problematic and didn't aged well).

    18. Connery - You Only Live Twice (Ranked #18, for me, in narrative reasons, I do find it decent, Connery was still in serious mode, his usual self, but that's said, but technically, he's bored with the role, and phoning it in, sleepwalking in every scene).

    19. Craig - No Time To Die (Not a fan of his performance here, if both CR and QoS both nailed as him being damaged, cold agent, with Skyfall being his take on the classic Bond attitude with a twist of his iteration, and in SPECTRE where he ticked the attitudes of the literary Bond, here, it's just Craig playing himself, it's one of the things why it doesn't felt like a Bond film to me, when he's not into himself, he's playing Benoit Blanc (the London scenes, for example), and at some scenes where, like Connery in YOLT, he's just phoning it in, and what made it worse was he's playing Daniel Craig, not Bond).

    20. Moore - For Your Eyes Only (In technicality, it's Moore's most grounded performance, okay, I guarantee that, but in narrative, some of his actions where I'm not a fan of, one of that was how hypocrite he was in this film, him warning Melina about revenge, but not knowing that he did took a revenge by himself on Locque for killing Ferrara (and to the lesser extent, Blofeld) and despite of this concept about him being grounded and serious, there are still some scenes that's out of place in his performance, like still being up to his jokes, it became inconsistent).

    21. Moore - The Spy Who Loved Me (for many, it's Moore's best performance, and I disagree, not for me, I felt that his performance here was a bit stiff, some scenes where it's obvious that he's not comfortable to the role, acting by the numbers, and lacking a bit more facial expressions, his performance in this film doesn't feel natural, half of his scenes where he's just like reading the script without any reaction, sure this may be when he's being started to get into the role, but he may not perfected it until MR, in my opinion, sure there are a lots of great concepts but Moore's performance just failed to execute it well, I even felt that some of the scenes in the film, where I think he's phoning it in).

    22. Connery - Diamonds Are Forever (sure, while he's having fun in here than in YOLT, it's weird to see Connery playing a more comedic type of character which was very far off from how he usually played Bond, in my opinion, I just don't think that Connery was fit in this film with all the comedies and all, it just didn't fit him, doesn't helped that he's out of shape, and a bit phoning it in because he's just there for money).

    23. Moore - Live And Let Die (Moore's performance here was something that's still uncertain where he doesn't know at whom to play, he still hadn't found his standing here, he's pretty bland in here, and again, some of his actions were a bit problematic and didn't aged well like tricking Solitaire into fake cards just to bed her, what makes this above AVTAK is he's at his prime).

    24. Moore - A View To A Kill (He's too old for the role, but still playing it like he's still in his prime? Maybe it's not Moore's fault, more on the direction, but at least his performance, as usual was natural in here, I liked his fatherly relationship with Stacey Sutton, that I find much better than his interactions with Melina, in my opinion, but again, he's just too long in the tooth).

    25. Moore - The Man With The Golden Gun (The worst Bond performance for me, very inconsistent, he's being rude, then suddenly, he's being jokey (in a very dated, uncomfortable way), then suddenly he's being arrogant, his actions in this film are the most problematic and the worst in the series so far, all of the worst aspects that one can expect in a bad Moore Bond performance are all here, this is the literal Moore being a carbon copy of Connery's Bond, the film tried to make him looked and acted like Connery's Bond, but in all of the bad ways).
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