How to Watch the James Bond 007 Movies in Order?

So you’ve decided to watch all the James Bond movies in order. But which order? In accordance with the original novels (i.e. story chronology)? By order of release date? That’s the question and we can think of no better time to answer it, as we all wait…and wait…and wait…for “No Time to Die” to arrive on some sort of screen. Seriously, any screen will do.

3 how to watch james bond in order

The beautiful thing about watching all the James Bond movies—in order or at random—is that you end up covering a full spectrum of styles and paradigms. This franchise dates all the way back to the early 1960s, after all, and has come a long way in the time since. So too has the art of blockbuster cinema, which continues to tighten the pacing and dial up the spectacle.

That’s not to mention the character himself. From Sean Connery through to Daniel Craig, James Bond has undergone dramatic changes in terms of both his physical appearance and his outward demeanor. To watch the earliest installments is to bear witness to certain misogynistic anachronisms, for example, which haven’t exactly aged well. On the other hand, some of those very same films are amongst the best in the entire series so take from that what you will.

As we mentioned above, there’s more than one way to watch the James Bond movies in order. We’ll start with the most classic method and then cover a few alternate methods. Try one or try them all and then dive straight into “No Time to Die” now that it has officially been released. So cue the John Barry intro music and grab the popcorn because we’re going deep on this iconic franchise. Here are the James Bond movies in various orders.

James Bond Movies in Release Order

Our first James Bond movie list is the most traditional, in that it goes by the initial release date. That takes us all the way back to 1962 and then right up to the present day. By spanning over five decades, the franchise vicariously wrangles in a host of styles, performances, hits, and misses. Here we go.

1. Dr. No (1962)

Shot on a low budget and slightly rough around the edges, the first Bond film nevertheless became a critical and commercial smash. Played by Sean Connery, Agent 007 heads to Jamaica to locate a missing British agent. Once there, he squares off against SPECTRE operative Dr. No, a crazed scientist with metal hands. We also meet Bond girl Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), who famously emerges from the sea.

The actor playing Bond: Sean Connery
Director: Terence Young
Box office: 59.5 million USD

2. From Russia with Love (1963)

The second Bond film expands upon SPECTRE and cements the evil organization as a recurring motif. It also introduces a number of franchise stalwarts, including the following: a pre-credits scene, a theme song, Bond gadgets, a helicopter sequence, and an action-based denouement after the story’s climax.

The actor playing Bond: Sean Connery
Director: Terence Young
Box office: 79 million USD

3. Goldfinger (1964)

Bond’s third big-screen outing is one of his best, if not the best. Perfecting the formula, it comes fully loaded with Bond girls (including the legendary Pussy Galore, played by Honor Blackman), gadgets, memorable villains, chauvinistic overtones, John Barry’s brassy score, stylish opening credits, and more. Those watching the Bond movies in order could very well start their journey here, should they want to abridge the experience.

The actor playing Bond: Sean Connery
Director: Guy Hamilton
Box office: 125 million USD

4. Thunderball (1965)

“Who works for number 2?!” That Austin Powers reference could also pertain to this popular Bond film, which climbs the SPECTRE ladder and stops at bossman #2. Under his watch, the evil organization threatens nuclear destruction if they don’t get £100 million in diamonds. Meanwhile, Dr. Evil-precursor Ernst Stavro Blofeld—vaguely introduced in the previous film—once again appears in silhouette form. He becomes more of a known presence in subsequent outings.

The actor playing Bond: Sean Connery
Director: Terence Young
Box office: 141.2 million USD

5. Casino Royale (1967) UNOFFICIAL

Not to be confused with Daniel Craig’s James Bond film of the same name, this poorly aged parody skewers various spy tropes. Loosely adapted from Ian Fleming’s novel, it pits Sir James Bond (David Niven) against the criminal organization SMERSH. File this one under “for completists only,” though it did enlist some huge names both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

The actor playing Bond: David Niven
Director: John Huston, Ken Hughes, Robert Parrish, Joseph McGrath, Val Guest
Box office: 41.7 million USD

6. You Only Live Twice (1967)

Fans of “The Simpsons” will recognize this title, which was later parodied as “You Only Move Twice.” It finally reveals the true identity of SPECTRE leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasence), who hopes to kick off WWIII by way of a devious plan. Not so fast, says Agent 007.

The actor playing Bond: Sean Connery
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Box office: 111.6 million USD

7. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Presenting George Lazenby’s one and only performance as Agent 007. Despite the Aussie actor’s fleeting presence, this particular installment continues to garner new appreciation. Not just truer to the spirit of the original novels, it also features more romance and drama than its predecessors. In the film, Bond contends with Blofield (now played by Telly Savalas) once again and even gets hitched.

The actor playing Bond: George Lazenby
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Box office: 82 million USD

8. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Sean Connery is back in this somewhat middling franchise entry. While trying to uncover a diamond-smuggling operation, Bond faces off against SPECTRE yet again. That’s when Blofield (now played by Charles Gray) brings his satellite lasers out to play.

The actor playing Bond: Sean Connery
Director: Guy Hamilton
Box office: 116 million USD

9. Live and Let Die (1973)

British actor Roger Moore makes his debut as cinema’s foremost superspy in this blockbuster installment. His adversary is Mr. Big, a ruthless drug lord with Jeff Bezos-like plans to corner the market. While we’re on the subject, does Jeff Bezos not kind of look like a Bond villain?

The actor playing Bond: Roger Moore
Director: Guy Hamilton
Box office: 161.8 million USD

10. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

An assassin named Francisco Scaramanga has a golden bullet with Bond’s name on it and a golden gun too. So goes this Roger Moore outing, which further plays off the golden theme by getting solar weapons involved.

The actor playing Bond: Roger Moore
Director: Guy Hamilton
Box office: 97.6 million USD

11. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

One of the better Roger Moore efforts, this one pairs Bond with KGB agent Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach). Their investigation into missing submarines puts them on the path of shipping magnate and megalomaniacal scientist Karl Stromberg.

The actor playing Bond: Roger Moore
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Box office: 97.6 million USD

12. Moonraker (1979)

Bond heads into space for this campy adventure, which features villain Hugo Drax and his henchman Jaws. While a commercial blockbuster, it’s also one of the more dated entries.

The actor playing Bond: Roger Moore
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Box office: 210.3 million USD

13. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Agent 007 must find a missing launch device before it falls into enemy hands in this rather rote entry, which still made a bundle at the box office.

The actor playing Bond: Roger Moore
Director: John Glen
Box office: 195.3 million USD

14. Octopussy (1983)

James Bond movies are rarely coy when it comes to sexual themes and this one is certainly no exception, hence the title. Its eponymous femme fatale is an international jewel smuggler who reigns over an island of women.

The actor playing Bond: Roger Moore
Director: John Glen
Box office: 187.5 million USD

15. Never Say Never Again (1983) UNOFFICIAL

Sean Connery’s seventh and final performance as Bond is not officially part of the franchise canon, namely due to production rights. Based on “Thunderball,” its title makes direct reference to Connery’s insistence that he’d “never” play the role again.

The actor playing Bond: Sean Connery
Director: Irvin Kershner
Box office: 160 million USD

16. A View to a Kill (1985)

Roger Moore delivered his final performance as Bond in this 1985 thriller, which stars Christopher Walken as Max Zorin. A scheming industrialist, Zorin wants to blow up San Francisco in order to control the microchip market. The film itself hasn’t necessarily aged well, but its premise certainly has.

The actor playing Bond: Roger Moore
Director: John Glen
Box office: 152.4 million USD

17. The Living Daylights (1987)

Remember Timothy Dalton? Then you must be a true franchise fan! The first of his two Bond movies finds him helping a KGB officer defect from the Soviet Union.

The actor playing Bond: Timothy Dalton
Director: John Glen
Box office: 191.2 million USD

18. Licence to Kill (1989)

Bond loses his license to kill in this movie of the same name. That sends him on a rogue mission in pursuit of drug kingpin Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi).

The actor playing Bond: Timothy Dalton
Director: John Glen
Box office: 156.1 million USD

19. GoldenEye (1995)

The Pierce Brosnan-era of James Bond movies kicked off on a high note with this popular installment. When the Russians get their hands on a secret space weapon, Agent 007 sets out to stop them from using it. Fun (unrelated) fact: director Martin Campbell started his career in British sexploitation comedies.

The actor playing Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Director: Martin Campbell
Box office: 352.1 million USD

20. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Bond takes on crazed media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), who wants to spark WWIII for the sake of broadcasting rights in China. It’s a premise that seemed rather cheesy and quite far-fetched back in 1997. These days, not so much!

The actor playing Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Box office: 333 million USD

21. The World is Not Enough (1999)

The 19th official Bond film once again depicts the manipulation of global events in the interest of personal profit. Former KGB agent Renard is behind the duplicitous plot and he gets the ball rolling with a high-profile assassination.

The actor playing Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Director: Michael Apted
Box office: 361.8 million USD

22. Die Another Day (2002)

Brosnan’s final Bond movie involves African diamonds, solar energy, grueling torture, and a military conflict between North and South Korea. And yet Halle Berry in a bikini seems to be all that anyone can remember about it.

The actor playing Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Director: Lee Tamahori
Box office: 431.9 million USD

23. Casino Royale (2006)

With his inaugural performance as James Bond, Daniel Craig rebooted the franchise and took viewers back to where it all began. Culled from Ian Fleming’s debut novel about the famous spy, this exhilarating prequel depicts 007’s very first mission.

The actor playing Bond: Daniel Craig
Director: Martin Campbell
Box office: 616.5 million USD

24. Quantum of Solace (2008)

Widely considered a somewhat overstuffed entry, Daniel Craig’s second outing pits Agent 007 against the evil organization Quantum. At the heart of the story is a maniacal plan to control Bolivia’s water supply.

The actor playing Bond: Daniel Craig
Director: Marc Forster
Box office: 589.6 million USD

25. Skyfall (2012)

“The Dark Knight” vibes are strong in this beloved Bond film, starring Javier Bardem as former MI6 agent Raoul Silva. Holding a serious grudge against M (Judi Dench), Silva demonstrates uncanny foresight as he enacts a series of disastrous events. A vicious game of cat and mouse ensues, with Bond unsure as to whether he’s the cat or the mouse.

The actor playing Bond: Daniel Craig
Director: Sam Mendes
Box office: 589.6 million USD

26. Spectre (2015)

The franchise comes full circle by reintroducing SPECTRE and supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, now played by Christoph Waltz. A blockbuster perhaps, but this installment didn’t fare as well amongst critics or audiences as its immediate predecessor.

The actor playing Bond: Daniel Craig
Director: Sam Mendes
Box office: 880.7 million USD

27. No Time to Die (2021)

Bond comes out of retirement for this long-awaited entry, which has experienced numerous setbacks and delays. You might have to watch the Bond movies in order all over again before getting to this one. Recently unveiled, this one lived up to all the hype of the two-year waiting period.

The actor playing Bond: Daniel Craig
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Shambhavi Singh

Hi! My name is Shambhavi Singh and I am from Lucknow, UP. I am completing my graduation from the Amity University at Noida with a B. Des in Fashion Design! Hook 'em ;) No matter what brought you to my blog, I am so glad you are here. I really want this to be a space where I can create content that will reach and relate to other people in a positive way.

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