What critics think of Daniel Craig’s latest Bond film

Daniel Craig stars in “No Time To Die”, the latest James Bond film.

MGM | Universal

After 18 months of waiting, the latest installment in the James Bond saga finally arrives in theaters.

A swan song for actor Daniel Craig, who has performed 007 since 2006’s “Casino Royale”, “No Time to Die” debuts in the UK on Friday before being released nationwide on October 8th.

Bond’s 25th film isn’t perfect, but explosive stunt sequences and Craig’s magnetic performance are enough to overcome a complicated plot and long duration, critics say.

Years after apprehending Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), the main antagonist of the 2015 “Specter”, James Bond has retired and is living a quiet life in Jamaica. When a former contact with a CIA agent asks for help with a final job, Bond comes face to face with the sinister Safin (Rami Malek) as well as the woman he once loved Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) .

“No Time to Die” currently holds an 83% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes out of 138 reviews.

Here’s what critics thought of Craig’s latest James Bond film before it opened in the UK:

AO Scott, The New York Times

It’s clear throughout “No Time to Die” that the film’s producers and writers were keenly aware that this was Craig’s last turn as the iconic 007.

AO Scott of the New York Times said the film “is unusually concerned with memory and farewells” in his review of the film.

“Mortality hangs over taunts and car chases – not only the expected slaughter of anonymous minions, but an ink cloud of grief, loss and weariness,” he wrote.

Bond describes himself as “an old wreck” and Craig, 53, stars as a man who survived the battle, but did not come out unscathed.

“[Director Cary] Fukunaga has a clean and elegant manner with the action, and some of the plays have the flair and inventiveness of musical numbers, most notably a party in Havana where Ana de Armas shows up to play Cyd Charisse in Craig’s Gene Kelly ” Scott said. “This sequence feels like a step back and an update, picking up on the Bond tradition of elegance, charm and grand silliness.”

Read the full New York Times review.

Daniel Craig plays the role of James Bond in “No Time To Die”.

Source: MGM

Nicolas Barber, BBC

“No Time to Die” seems long, but “it has so much in it that you can hardly complain,” Nicholas Barber wrote in his BBC review of the film.

The film is two hours and 43 minutes long, the longest of any James Bond film to date.

“It builds up grief and raises emotional stakes, with the help of opera music by Hans Zimmer and warm cinematography by Linus Sandgren,” said Barber. “But it also continues to bring in the jokes and nonsense: it’s been decades since Bond had so many moan-worthy lines, and he’s never had so many Oliver Hardy exasperated looks.”

Barber said the latest James Bond film “does exactly what it was supposed to do,” gave Craig a good start.

“Beyond that, he somehow manages to take something from all the other Bond films and glue them all together,” he said.

Read the full BBC review.

John Nugent, Empire

John Nugent, writer for Empire, also praised Fukunaga’s directing in his review of “No Time to Die”.

“Fukunaga, it seems, was an ideal director’s choice, skillfully balancing the contradictions of character and franchise, and while he doesn’t quite escape the usual pitfalls – a middle third bogged down by the plot and exposure does not justify this high runtime – he has always been an intuitive filmmaker, deeply interested in the humanity of his characters, ”Nugent wrote.

He compared Fukunaga’s action sequences to those of John Wick, noting the emphasis on sharp, savage shootouts and intense pursuits.

“It’s a Bond movie that dutifully ticks all the boxes – but brilliantly, often doesn’t look like a Bond movie at all,” Nugent wrote. “For an 007 who has strived to bring humanity to a larger than life hero, this is a fitting end to the Craig era.”

Read the full Empire review.

Daniel Craig plays the role of James Bond in “No Time To Die”.


Brian Tallerico, Roger Ebert

For RogerEbert.com’s Brian Tallerico, “No Time to Die” director Fukunaga “plays him too sure and too familiar.”

“Even though it’s the closing of the character arcs that started years ago, it feels like a movie with too few stakes, a machine-produced movie that was powered by the previous 24 movies and scheduled. to spit out a bunch of bigger hits, “he wrote in his review of the film.

Tallerico has been particularly critical of how the film has used its supporting cast, noting that returning cast like Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw don’t have much to do other than “get things done. ‘intrigue to its inevitable end “.

Lashana Lynch, a new addition to the film as Bond’s 007 replacement, “seems to be a conscious nod to the controversy surrounding Bond’s casting, which is pretty cool, but she doesn’t have a lot of character to go for. make it interesting on its own, ”he said.

And Ana de Armas, who appears as a spy colleague on a mission to Cuba, “appears to give the film a completely different and welcome new energy in an action sequence set in Cuba, to leave the film ten minutes longer. late”.

Read the full RogerEbert.com review.

Jason Solomons, The Envelope

“‘No Time to Die’ will be remembered for its foremost emotional impact,” wrote Jason Solomons in his film review for The Wrap. “And, to top it off, Craig may well have delivered the most complex, layered Bond performance of all.”

Many critics have agreed that Craig’s performance is one of the most touching of any previous James Bond actor. Since “Casino Royale,” the character of Bond has received more depth than any other portrayal of the iconic character.

Suffice to say, then, that ‘No Time To Die’ is Daniel Craig’s best incarnation of an iconic role, an iteration that sees Bond travel to emotional spaces where the character has never been before, at least not since. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” or in certain passages of Ian Fleming’s books, “wrote Solomons.

“You feel all the wear and tear on Craig’s body and face, all the pressure on Bond of having to save the world one last time (again) but also all the tantalizing freedom of someone nearing the end of it. ‘a long race,’ he said. .

Read the full review of The Wrap.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal and CNBC. Universal is releasing “No Time To Die” internationally while MGM is handling the national release. Rotten Tomatoes is owned by NBCUniversal.