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James Bond Film Earns High Praise From Critics

James Bond is back with “Skyfall,” and the earlier reviews are as strong as one of 007’s signature martinis.

“‘Skyfall’ is a great British bulldog of a movie,” wrote Kate Muir from The Times of London. “From the moment the orchestral sound of Adele belts out, sending a nostalgic shiver down the audience’s collective spine, we know this will be a triumphant return to classic Bond.”

Directed by Sam Mendes, an Oscar winner for “American Beauty,” “Skyfall” premieres in the U.K. starting on Oct. 23, meaning members of the British press — and those American critics lucky enough to spy the film as well — had the chance to review the 23rd Bond feature before anyone else. (“Skyfall” is out in the U.S. on Nov. 9.)

In his write up of the “Skyfall” premiere for The Daily Mail, famed columnist Baz Bamigboye quoted Bond historian Graham Rye as saying the film is “up there in the top five of all the 23 films made in the world’s most famous film franchise.” Bamigboye also loved the film, giving it five stars.

Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy was one of the few American reviewers to get a peek at “Skyfall.” He was equally as impressed.

Dramatically gripping while still brandishing a droll undercurrent of humor, this beautifully made film will certainly be embraced as one of the best Bonds by loyal fans worldwide and leaves you wanting the next one to turn up sooner than four years from now.

The early “Skyfall” reviews hail Mendes, as well as his frequent collaborators: cinematographer Roger Deakins (“Revolutionary Road,” “Jarhead,” and non-Mendes films like “No Country For Old Men” and “The Shawshank Redemption”) and composer Thomas Newman (“American Beauty”).

“It stands up with the finest work that Deakins has ever done, which pretty much means that it’s as gorgeous as film gets,” noted Oliver Lyttleton for The Playlist. In that same review, Lyttleton favorably compares Mendes’ work in “Skyfall” to the job Christopher Nolan did on “Batman Begins.”

Of course, not every reviewer was totally in love with “Skyfall.” Writing for The Guardian, Xan Brooks states that “Skyfall” has a whiz-bang first half, but doesn’t completely deliver on its set-up:

All of which works terrifically well up to a point. Except that ‘Skyfall’ then falls prey to a common failing of many 50th birthday bashes: it allows sentimentality to cloud its judgment and loosen its tongue. In so doing, it risks blowing James Bond’s cover for good.

Starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, as well as Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw, “Skyfall” is out on Nov. 9.

Here is an interesting bond chart:



James Bond: 50 years on and time for another Oscar?

Bond and his bane: Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig at a photocall for Skyfall

007 is winning some of the best reviews of his career, and for Bond fans who have waited four years for the next film, at one point fearing it would never happen after MGM’s bankruptcy, it will be a wait well worth it.


The film directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes opens with a spectacular chase, as good as if not better than the opening to Casino Royale in 2006.

There are plenty of exotic locations but for an international audience.  Daniel Craig is terrific – and he is given a fuller back story in this film – seriously posh as it happens.

But the star for me is the wonderful Javier Bardem, and it could be that after 50 years the Bond franchise picks up its first acting Oscar, thanks to his role as the Bond baddie.

Incredible to think that the world’s longest running film franchise has only ever won two Oscars – they were in the 60s for sound and visual effects.

An Oscar would make a fitting birthday present, and would signal the Bond producers’ intentions to make the new Bond films win critical acclaim for acting, and scripting as well as respecting the past.

There has been much controversy about the advertising for Bond showing a 007 drinking, not Martini but a certain brand of beer.

Sponsorship was the only way we could make a film that cost around £100 million says Craig, but Bond purists need not fret – there is a beer drinking scene but Bond’s old habits feature very strongly too – and the beloved Aston Martin also takes centre stage.


Daniel Craig has already said he’s signed up to do another two Bonds. With box office takings of more than £4 billion so far, Bond lags behind only Harry Potter. But the superspy wins on longevity. 
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