Is Casino Royale the Best James Bond Film of All Time?

Whenever a new Bond movie is about to hit theatres, it’s inevitable that people will start asking that age old question, “What is the best James Bond film of all time?” Having an excuse to revisit the franchise’s extensive history is always part of the fun, but this year it makes even more sense with the Bond 50 box set hitting stores as well. This time around the 007 fan site MI6 decided to set up what is quite possibly the biggest poll on the subject ever conducted, and the results may surprise you.

After tabulating over 15,000 votes where they asked fans to pick the 5 best and 5 worst Bond films, it was one of the most recent films that came out on top with a pretty decisive victory. Casino Royale showed up on 75% of the “best” lists, proving that nostalgia isn’t everything. By comparison, Goldfinger and From Russia with Love, the #2 and #3 films, were picked by just over 50% of fans. In our own Film Junk poll back in 2008, Casino Royale also came out on top, but I would have thought on a Bond-specific fan site there would be a lot more love for the old classics. So what do you think, does this poll settle the debate once and for all? Check out the top 10 after the jump or visit MI6 for the full results.

1. Casino Royale (Daniel Craig) — 75%
2. Goldfinger (Sean Connery) — 54%
3. From Russia With Love (Sean Connery) — 53%
4. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (George Lazenby) — 46%
5. GoldenEye (Pierce Brosnan) — 37%
6. The Spy Who Loved Me (Roger Moore) — 33%
7. Thunderball (Sean Connery) — 29%
8. The Living Daylights (Timothy Dalton) — 26%
9. Dr. No (Sean Connery) — 19%
10. For Your Eyes Only (Roger Moore) — 17%

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  • Wintle

    No.

  • Derek McFarland

    My top 5 best
    #1 Goldeneye
    #2 Thunderball
    #3 Casino Royal
    #4 Goldfinger
    #5 License To Kill
    My top 5 worst
    #1 Live & Let Die
    #2 Moonraker
    #3 For Your Eyes Only
    #4 Die Another Day
    #5 Octopussy

  • Owozifa

    From Russia With Love is the best, obviously.

    It’s always interesting to me how Goldfinger gets up there for everyone. It has a lot of the Bond iconic moments, but as a film I find it on the more boring side.

    Casino Royale is pretty good, though.

  • Paul Andrews

    Yes – it’s pretty much perfect.

  • Maopheus

    Hard to make comparisons between Casino Royale, a modern 21-century film, to the early ’60’s films, which were created using technology, techniques, and tastes of 50 years ago. Nevertheless I still say that the first three are the best and always will be. After that, it depends more on who was your favorite Bond I suppose.

  • Maopheus

    I knew they would never do a literal adaptation of Fleming’s Casino Royale, set in the ’50’s with all the brooding atmosphere, but it was the most faithfully adapted Fleming novel in a long time. Arguably, since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

  • bullet3

    I think objectively it’s neck and neck between Casino Royale and From Russia With Love.

    Both are the 2 most grounded and realistic entries in the series. I lean towards the latter personally, but Casino Royale definitely earns it’s place. Just the visual story-telling, the complete understanding of the bond character, and extremely well done action film-making (steady cameras, all practical stunts, having extended action scenes that have a chance to build momentum and energy) put it straight to the top of the list. On top of all that, it’s not afraid to totally go against expectations, having bond be a fuck up, a small-scale villain who out-smarts bond, then gets killed by his own people, and an unconventional 4-act structure. It’s certainly Martin Campbell’s best movie to date.

  • mushroomyakuza

    I clicked on this story just to see Eva Green.

  • patrik

    1. The Man With The Golden Gun
    2. Casino Royale
    3. Goldeneye

    That’s it for me, after that it’s too close to call between so many of them. I like them all though, even the Timothy Dalton ones..

  • kyri

    Derek McFarland +1

  • Tony D’Amico

    Is this a real question???? I love the hell out of Casino Royale, but I would never say it’s the best Bond. My personal favorite is For Your Eyes Only, but my complete rankings are here on letterboxd.

  • Justice

    I love love love Casino Royale, but for me, From Russia With Love is the best.

  • Darth_Siskel

    I love Casino Royale, but I think it’s popularity on this list is due to the fact that(I assume)alot of people on this list are fairly young.

    It’s like when you ask, who’s the best Dr.Who. Most people would say it was one of the last 3…again. I assume.

  • loco73

    Casino Royale…hmmm I could agree with that, it introduced the most interesting incarnation of Bond in a long time!

  • drno

    Easily Dr.No is the best one.
    Without the technology we have today, the character was very witty, and smart as what an SECRET AGENT should be.
    Creating his own mini security systems throughout.
    Given there limitations of what they could do, and for what was going on in the times, was very relevant. Plus you can watch it in another 50 years on the 100th anniversary and it’ll still be good, based strictly off the storyline alone.

    Second favorite, just cause (and i can see how people can disagree), is The Spy Who Loved Me, followed by Casino Royale, mostly because of parkour taking all the hype during the time (in 2008/09), which makes all the stunts he did actually realistic and believable (like the first).

    Timothy actor seem like the guy you see in a bar and stumbled upon being an agent.

  • Otis

    Casino Royale is as bad as Die Another Day for a different reason. Neither of them (or Quantum of Solace for that matter) actually deserve the privilege to be called a Bond and should be disavowed by a Bond fan.

    Die another Day is a joke, the concept of an oriental man taking gene therapy to become white combined with an invisible car make this one a movie no one can take seriously despite Halle Berry in that swimsuit.

    As for Casino Royale the entire first half of the movie is a complete write off that exists for action junkies. The ten minute foot chase got boring fast, and I found myself backing up to the beginning of the movie a few times.

    Who was this guy, why was Bond chasing him? The chase just went on and on and I was just waiting for someone to tell me what was going on here. A perfect example too much action not enough plot. Then another chase at an airport going on and on as well.

    Basically I think they could have scrapped the first hour of the movie and replaced it with a scene similar to the beginning of Live and Let die (where you see three men get killed), except here you see several terrorists try to perform their assignments and fail. Then M gives Bond the situation report and off to the casino.

    To me any movie where half the film can ripped away and replaced by a five minute speech given by one character and not miss any of the story at all is just plain bad. There is no way around that, and to be honest I am surprised that most don’t feel that way.

  • MadSimmy

    Utter B****cks, Skyfall is Craigs best James Bond film to date, but my number one is Roger Moore’s last outing as Bond “A View To A Kill”

  • Alex Krajci

    2006’s Casino Royale Is My Favorite James Bond Film.

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  • james

    you are retarded