With No Time to Die out in cinemas now, I decided to rank the 5 movies in Daniel Craig’s 15 year run as James Bond.
I will admit that although I like most of the movies, I’m not a massive fan of James Bond. My favourite version of Bond however was always Daniel Craig’s. While there’s only three of the five movies that I love, I just really liked this version of Bond, both the approach to the character and Craig’s performance.
This list is going to contain some minor spoilers, since these movies link into each other.
5. Quantum of Solace
For the longest time I was trying to decide which I considered to be worse, Quantum of Solace or Spectre. They are both flawed for incredibly different reasons, but I gave Quantum the edge, if only for its messiness. With that said, I surprisingly liked the movie noticeably more upon recent rewatch of it in the lead up to No Time to Die. It’s quite a different James Bond movie, with it acting as the first direct sequel to the last Bond movie, and does try to be more of a political thriller taking inspiration from real world events. Its known at this point that this movie was made during the writer’s strike and was heavily affected by it, and you can really feel it. The writing felt like it needed more work and fleshing out. With that said, I did like the attempt at grounding itself even more in reality, and although the story is lacklustre compared to Casino Royale’s, I was interested in where it was going. I especially liked the portrayal of James Bond being a ruthless loose cannon, as he’s searching for revenge. The villain in Dominic Greene is underwhelming and doesn’t feel like a real threat compared to many of the other Bond villains, but I think he worked well enough for this story, and the performance was good. The action is also a mixed bag. Aside from a scene involving a plane, all the action has a lot of quick cut editing, making some of them hard to follow. For whatever reason I also enjoyed these more on the more recent viewing. I definitely feel like they could’ve laid off the quick cuts, but I like how gritty and brutal the action was.
I thought the acting was all quite solid. Daniel Craig again puts everything into the role of Bond, and he’s especially great here. The supporting cast, both returning (Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright) and new (Olga Kurylenko) did solid jobs in their part too. I also liked the direction of the movie on the whole, there are some genuinely great moments, such as a sequence taking place at an opera. Overall, I wouldn’t call this one of the best Bond movies by any means. However there’s something about this chaotic, brutal and angry mess of a movie that I genuinely enjoy. At the very least, there’s a lot of this movie I appreciate and admire, even if it’s by no means anywhere to being close to the level of its predecessor.
Spectre might not be the worst of the Daniel Craig Bond films, but it is the most frustrating of the 5. Director Sam Mendes and co. did such incredible work with Skyfall that it’s quite disappointing to see that their follow up didn’t come anywhere close to being as good. With that said, my more recent rewatch did put things in perspective for me. For the most part, Spectre is a solid film that just happens to not work as well as Skyfall. Skyfall did such a good job at paying tribute to the older Bond films, while making it work on its own. Spectre on the other hand was all over the place with what it wanted to do. It tried to tie together all the other Craig Bond films and trying to go into Bond’s past, while also trying to throw back to the classic Bond films, with over the top scenes, and ‘classic’ Bond moments. The two tones just didn’t work together at all. The plot is intriguing and solid, though it’s a little predictable and could’ve been better. Despite the long runtime, a lot of the plot and characters could’ve been fleshed out more. The cast are decent, especially with the returning actors like Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw, and some of the newer additions like Lea Seydoux. However, some actors like Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott and Christoph Waltz don’t really get to do much in their parts. The action is generally well filmed and entertaining, although missing a level of intensity that was present in the previous 3 movies. However, the opening action sequence and the fight between Bond and Dave Bautista’s henchman on a train were genuinely great. In fact, the film is quite good on a technical level, visually stunning, well edited, and greatly put together.
Where the film starts to go downhill is when it enters into its third act, specifically once it gets to Christoph Waltz’s second onscreen appearance. While the prospect of Waltz as a Bond villain sounded exciting, his character and his writing just didn’t work all that well for the story. Had it not been for Waltz’s appearance in No Time to Die, I think that even Dominic Greene from Quantum of Solace would’ve been better. Not only that, but trying to tie all the previous Bond movies together in Spectre just felt misguided. Then it moves into its rather baffling and underwhelming climax. It manages to be silly yet boring at the same time. From the Sony email leaks it seems that the filmmakers didn’t know what to do for the end, and it certainly showed on screen. It is borderline terrible and definitely brought the movie down for me significantly. Spectre is good for the most part, but there’s also a lot here that doesn’t work. I do rank Spectre higher than Quantum of Solace if only for consistency in quality for the first two acts, before it collapses in the last act.
These next three are very close together and are interchangeable.
3. No Time to Die
The most recent film on this list, No Time to Die is the latest James Bond film and the conclusion of Daniel Craig’s run as James Bond. At a whopping 2 hours and 45 minutes there was a lot to take in with this film, especially from the one viewing I had of it. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. The story itself is the closest to a classic Bond movie with some of the tropes and aspects you’d expect, an over-the-top villain with a plan that affects the whole world, gadgets, cheesy one liners, you name it. It was quite an entertaining ride and despite the length, it never really dragged for me. It also has an emotional core, and worked in tying up all the characters and storylines, better than Spectre did at least. It even made some of the elements from Spectre work better retroactively. Cary Fukunaga’s direction was great, delivering an energetic, well-paced, and vibrant film. The action was great and memorable, very well shot, and definitely rivals the best action scenes from the previous 4 films.
Everyone in this ensemble cast is great, from the returning actors like Lea Seydoux and Ralph Fiennes, to newer actors including Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas and Rami Malek. However, it all comes down to Daniel Craig, and while he’s great in all of these movies, this is his best work as James Bond. He delivers the one-liners and the action, but also gives his most emotional performance as the character. Despite the global stakes involving a dangerous weapon, No Time to Die’s main story is Bond’s story and above all else, it gives him a great sendoff. Again, the film was a lot to take in, so I will need to watch it again. However at the moment, I’m prepared to say that I loved it.
The James Bond franchise rebooted yet again after 2002’s Die Another Day, with GoldenEye director Martin Campbell releasing Casino Royale in 2006. This is where Daniel Craig’s James Bond was introduced, focussing on a Bond who just became a double 0 agent. By James Bond standards, it stays relatively grounded, with the lead character never relying on gadgets. It’s a comparatively refined and mature Bond film, and everything from the intriguing story to the well-developed characters are all on point. It’s quite something watching Casino Royale again 15 years after its release, it still holds up really well.
Daniel Craig gave his own take on Bond, with his incarnation being the best version of the character to date. Both his performance and the writing provided to him is very strong and for made for him being more human and a more interesting character. The supporting cast is also strong, with the likes of Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench and others playing their parts greatly. Martin Campbell’s work as a director is also excellent and helped the film succeed as well as it did, especially when it comes to the outstanding action sequences. Nearly a decade and a half later, Casino Royale still holds up very well as a James Bond movie, an action movie, and a movie in general.
It was pretty hard deciding between Skyfall and Casino Royale as my favourite Craig-era Bond film, ultimately I gave Skyfall the edge. After the first two movies being more grounded and Bourne-esque, Skyfall brings it closer to more what people picture when they think of Bond, while also delivering a personal and emotional story for the character. Both elements are balanced incredibly well, delivering an intriguing and riveting film. Despite it being closer to classic Bond than the previous 2 movies, whether it be a hacker villain, gadgets, larger action scenes and the like, the stakes are smaller and personal. The climax is particularly strong on both an entertainment and emotional level, and one that’s very different for a Bond film. While the first half is definitely strong, it’s the second half which really solidified it as my favourite of Craig’s run.
The characters and acting were also great, Daniel Craig delivers as Bond as always, but it was many of the supporting actors that stood out. The new interpretations of Q and Moneypenny with Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris, along with the eventual next M in Ralph Fiennes, were all welcome additions. Javier Bardem ranks among the best Bond villains, with a very memorable performance and character. And of course, there’s Judi Dench’s last performance as M, who gets to shine the most here out of all her Bond film appearances. Sam Mendes directs Skyfall, and his work here is fantastic. From the fantastic cinematography from Roger Deakins, to the phenomenal score from Thomas Newman, and the outstanding action, its so great on a technical level. Skyfall has held up incredibly well over the past near decade it’s been released, and still remains my favourite Daniel Craig James Bond film.
Time: 148 Minutes Age Rating: Violence Cast:
Daniel Craig as James Bond
Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann
Ben Whishaw as Q
Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny
Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx
Andrew Scott as Max Denbigh/C
Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra
Ralph Fiennes as M
Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner
Jesper Christensen as Mr. White Director: Sam Mendes
A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the beautiful widow (Monica Bellucci) of an infamous criminal. After infiltrating a secret meeting, 007 uncovers the existence of the sinister organization SPECTRE. Needing the help of the daughter of an old nemesis, he embarks on a mission to find her. As Bond ventures toward the heart of SPECTRE, he discovers a chilling connection between himself and the enemy (Christoph Waltz) he seeks.
In my initial Spectre review, I called it a solid James Bond film with some problems holding it back quite a bit. I still like the movie but having seeing it a couple of times since then, even more problems are apparent to me, with regard to the balance of the usual Craig Bond stuff and the classic Bond elements, the painfully underwhelming third act and way too many issues to fit into one sentence.
Since I already did a spoiler free review of Spectre, I’m going to delve into some spoilers here. With Skyfall, director Sam Mendes managed to balance a lot of the modernised Bond elements with some classic Bond elements, to deliver one of the best films in the series. With Spectre he goes further with the latter aspect, with a clear cut Bond Girl, more gadgets, a fast car filled with gadgets and a lot of the classic Bond tropes. It’s even the first of the Daniel Craig James Bond films to open with the conventional gunbarrel opening scene that almost all of the Bond films have at the beginning of the movie. Unfortunately, the blend of the old and new didn’t quite work this time around. I actually like how Spectre tries to be a continuation of the Craig Era tone and rebooting the classic Bond villain organisation SPECTRE for this rendition of James Bond. The problem is that it also tries to homage some of the much earlier Bond films, with cartoonish humour and having action scenes that don’t challenge Bond (some Roger Moore era things unfortunately), and it really doesn’t fit together. In all the prior Daniel Craig Bond films, Bond is challenged to some degree. Despite all the personal connections that James Bond have to this story however, it feels like a typical run of the mill job for him. Nothing challenges him physically (aside from Dave Bautista), nor as a character mentally, psychologically or whatever. Spectre ties together all the previous Craig movies and while on paper I liked that idea, the way it was done really just didn’t work (I’ll go into that when I talk about Christoph Waltz and his character).
A lot of the things also don’t fit with the established tone of the newer movies, such as the humour. For example, early in the movie, Bond falls from a crumbling building onto a couch, which would work well in a Roger Moore Bond film but it comes across as too silly for Daniel Craig’s Bond. On another note there is also a subplot featuring Andrew Scott’s character trying to take over MI6 because he feels like it’s outdated and trying to replace agents with technology and surveillance. This plotline really falls flat, we’ve seen this happen in other movies, and we’ve seen it done better. It feels like it was pushed into Spectre just to appear somewhat relevant to today but it only just ends up slowing down the plot even more and makes things feel even more dull. I think it might’ve worked and be made more interesting if Andrew Scott’s character didn’t turn out to be a villain and this was only a red herring, however this is not the case. It feels like the movie kept cutting to this subplot because it would later be integral to the plot and it feels forced and distracts more than anything. The third act is both ridiculous yet really underwhelming and filled with a ton of problems, and considering the issues that Spectre has, that’s saying a lot. The film cuts between two things going on at the same time, James Bond with his ‘confrontation’ (in the loosest sense of the word) as well as M, Q and Moneypenny working to stop Andrew Scott, and it’s not that great. There are some implausible things like all the effort that Blofeld no doubt put into setting up things in the old destroyed MI6 building, placing pictures of Bond, Vesper, Silva, Le Chiffre, Greene, M and others throughout the place, writing on the walls and much more, which comes across as just unbelievable and funny considering the gritty tone that these movies have been having. Probably the most unrealistic and preposterous yet extremely underwhelming moment however is when James Bond shoots down a helicopter with a pistol while on a high speed boat in the complete dark, I don’t even think the previous Bond movies would attempt to do something like that and I don’t mean that as a compliment. The only thing going for the third act is that it looks good and the actors are trying, outside of that it’s borderline bad. It really brings down the movie a tremendous amount, some of the rushed things that happen come across as being really lazy, and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The movie is long, about 2 hours and a half, and you really feel the length. There are some moments of drawn out nothingness happening, and a lot of the movie can feel rather uninteresting at times. It’s a shame really, because many of the scenes are actually well handled, and the movie has some ideas that had potential, but it doesn’t come togther well.
Despite a lot of faults with the characters, the cast do the best they can with what they have. Daniel Craig is once again the best James Bond yet and does try his best here. In terms of performance however, I’d have to say this is Craig’s worst performance as Bond. I don’t fully blame this on him though, as I said despite some of the personal elements in play in the story, James Bond doesn’t feel conflicted or challenged throughout the entirety of the movie. There are plenty of moments when he should be really invested in what’s going on, but Craig doesn’t really react that much to them. While this might pass for a Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan James Bond performance, it doesn’t work for Daniel Craig who spent 3 movies being a rougher and grittier Bond set in some form of reality and an actual character instead of an archetype. It certainly doesn’t help that he has no clear arc through the movie like the other Craig Bond movies, save for some vague things from his past thrown in and a meaningless therapy session, even Quantum of Solace had a solid character arc. Lea Seydoux is good as another ‘Bond Girl’, unfortunately there’s not a ton of interesting things to her character, she basically only ends up doing two things over the course of the movie (despite being established at one point as being somewhat capable), and feels like she could’ve been played by basically anyone. The romance between her and Bond does come out of nowhere and it’s not really believable, however this could go for almost all of the Bond Girls in the Bond series. It’s only made worse by the ending, which seems to imply that she’s someone special now to Bond even though nothing in the entirety of the movie indicated that to be the case (hopefully No Time to Die fleshes that aspect out a lot more). Seydoux does her best though. Monica Bellucci is another Bond girl who shows up in the first act of the movie and essentially does nothing after like 5 minutes of being on screen. She does provide some exposition but that’s it, almost like you could’ve cast anyone in the role and not try to make them a Bond girl. Maybe that should’ve been done, because it would’ve at least removed the really bad love scene between her and Craig, which came across as being really awkward and creepy. The returning Bond supporting cast do a great job. Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q and Ralph Fiennes as the new M are all great in their roles. It is nice seeing them get to do stuff and get involved with the plot (especially Whishaw’s Q) though they did feel a little out of place in the climax.
One of Spectre’s most notable problems (and that’s saying a lot) is that the movie doesn’t do great with the antagonists. First of all getting the minor antagonists out of the way, we have Andrew Scott and Dave Bautsista. The moment that Andrew Scott appears on screen, you can tell that he’s going to end up being a villain. Sure, it doesn’t help that he was already known for Moriarty in Sherlock, but the worst part is that he feels really unnecessary to the plot. As I said earlier, the whole plotline was really not needed and Andrew Scott was tied to it, so he really didn’t have much to work with. Scott definitely has talent but he doesn’t get much to do except to be a generic ‘surprise’ villain. Dave Bautista is a Spectre assassin who at times tries to kill James Bond. While he won’t rank among the best James Bond henchman, out of all the Bond villains in this movie he does his job the best, he served his purpose adequately. Of course the main villain however is Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser. Everyone speculated that with the movie being called Spectre, that Waltz would be playing the head of Spectre, Ernst Stravo Blofeld, who appeared in some of the older Bond movies. There was so much denial that this was the case but it was even more predictable than the villain name reveals for Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness and Talia al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises. Having that name was so forced that they really shouldn’t have tried it, and if they really wanted to stick with that, they shouldn’t have tried to make a surprise twist. One of the many issues that Waltz has is that we don’t get enough of him, we see him once at the end of the first act, the end of the second act and then again in the third act. However, that’s not the only issue. Blofeld isn’t just the head of the Spectre organisation here, it’s revealed that he was also the adopted brother of Bond, who was involved with his father’s death and faked his own death after being jealous that his father liked James Bond. On top of that, everything that happened to Bond, Le Chiffre, Vesper’s death, Dominic Greene, Silva, M’s death, all that was planned by Blofeld… because of childish jealousy or whatever. Hearing all this, and hearing him talk about all this doesn’t make him sound crazy or psychopathic, it makes him sound petty and a little difficult to take seriously, it just sounds so ridiculous. There’s nothing more to his character, he’s not particularly interesting or entertaining and worst of all he’s forgettable. The thing is that he was supposed to be like a big deal, the ultimate villain to Daniel Craig’s James Bond, I mean they gave him the name of Blofeld, a classic Bond villain when they could’ve just kept the name of Franz Oberhauser. And so with all that hype, it really makes him work even less and fall even flatter. To his credit, Christoph Waltz does try his very best and he does add some menace to the character although he does play it like a lot of his other villain roles, really only Quentin Tarantino has manged to utilize Waltz as a villain excellently, in other villain roles he ends up playing rather cliched antagonists. On top of that, Waltz feels trapped in the role, like he’s just on autopilot through the whole thing. They keep his character alive at the end, and thankfully he gets another chance in the upcoming last Craig Bond movie.
Sam Mendes does a pretty good job at directing Spectre, though there are some elements in the technical aspects which hold the movie back (along with the story). The cinematography this time is by Hoyte van Hoyte, who has done the cinematography for such films as Dunkirk, Interstellar and Her, films that were shot truly fantastically. Spectre’s cinematography is still very good but some elements don’t work as well. For example most of the colour pallet is fine except whenever the film does to places like Mexico and Tangier, because it’s suddenly like they put a brown filter over everything. A lot of the action sequences are entertaining and fun, some of them are rather underwhelming. Yes, sometimes we have Bond in a plane chasing a bunch of cars in the snow, crashing through some houses, but as I said before, you don’t ever feel like he’s in a position where he could fail, he always seems on top of things. Fortunately with the editing, unlike Quantum of Solace, you can see what’s going on, but at least Quantum of Solace had some intensity and energy in all of their action scenes. There are a number of examples of the lack of intensity on Spectre’s action scenes, one is Bond’s escape from the Spectre base by simply shooting 3 people, shooting some pipes and the base just blowing up (escaping in less than a minute, really making the Spectre organisation look incompetent), as well as the aforementioned ridiculed shooting down of a helicopter with a peashooter scene. Despite a lot of the problems, it does have some genuinely greatly directed sequences. One for example is the opening sequence, which features a long tracking shot following James Bond through Mexico during the Day of the Dead parade and a fight inside a spinning helicopter, great way to open the movie. Also the fight scene on the train between Bond and Bautistia is good and probably has the most intensity of the action scenes in the movie. The music by Thomas Newman (returning to compose the score after Skyfall) is good but it is a little too similar to Skyfall’s, it actually makes things feel really jarring. Speaking of music, Sam Smith’s song “The Writing on the Wall” played in the opening credits have proved itself polarising to some. It’s not like a normal Bond song but I didn’t mind it personally. I also didn’t mind the opening credits scene.
I still like Spectre to a degree but it is filled with so many problems that brings it down a large amount. Whereas you can see why Quantum of Solace had its issues with the writer’s strike and an incomplete script, I just don’t know what happened with Spectre. Aside from some scenes that were actually really good, much of Spectre is just a slog and is consistently underwhelming, seemingly ranging from being quite good to flat average. Spectre can’t balance the older and newer aspects of Bond, it lacks a lot of the intensity from the prior movies, the story is generally a mixed bag and ends with a very disappointing third act. We can only hope that Daniel Craig’s last Bond film takes the lessons learned from the best and worst of his films to create a great movie.
Time: 148 Minutes Age Rating: Violence Cast:
Daniel Craig as James Bond
Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhauser
Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann
Ben Whishaw as Q
Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny
Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx
Andrew Scott as Max Denbigh
Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra
Ralph Fiennes as M Director: Sam Mendes
A cryptic message from James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M (Ralph Fiennes) battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
Spectre has been one of my most anticipated movies of the year, with Skyfall director Sam Mendes returning to deliver another Bond film. However, Spectre has been getting some pretty mixed reviews. I’ve watched the film and I can say that it is good and is worth seeing but it has some problems. The action and production value is great, as well as the performances, however there are quite a lot of problems in the script, it’s not as investing as the previous films and it doesn’t feel complete. With that said, it’s still a good movie and it’s still worth watching.
Story wise this movie works but it does have some problems. Without diving too deep into spoilers, Spectre has ties to the previous Bond films, a lot of it is quite personal to Bond but I felt that it didn’t impact him as much as it should have. One of the notable things about this movie is the fact that tonally, it moved away from more of the character driven Bond films like Skyfall and moved onto the more classic Bond films. I felt that it worked for the movie and it’s nice to see a change of tone but I do think it would’ve been better to have a mix between the two tones. I felt that this movie was a little too predictable, there are two twists involving the villains that I saw coming from a mile away. The biggest issue that this film has was actually the way it dealt with its villains, which I’ll get to later. Also the climax felt a little underwhelming and rushed, it didn’t feel complete and it needed something extra to make it stand out. The plot had me interested but I wasn’t as invested as I should have been. Overall the story is decent enough but it could’ve been done better.
Daniel Craig as always is a great James Bond. I also liked Lea Seydoux as the Bond girl, she shared good chemistry with Craig. It was nice to see some of the classic Bond team do stuff like Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomi Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Wishaw as Q. Christoph Waltz is good in the movie as the villain but I don’t think the film handled him as well as they should have. First of all we only see him in like 5 scenes and he didn’t feel as big of a threat as he should, especially when you find out how significant he is. One villain that I felt was handled better was Dave Bautista, who acted like the Jaws character, appearing every so often to cause problems for Bond.
On a technical level, I think that this film is the same level as Skyfall. The cinematography is gorgeous as expected, the opening shot of the movie is incredible, it’s a 2 minute long tracking shot and it’s actually worth watching the movie, even just for that scene. Skyfall composer Thomas Newman’s score also was quite good and added to this film quite a bit. Although I was initially unsure about how I felt about Sam Smith’s bond song “Writing on the Wall” I’m starting to like it.
Spectre is not one of the best Bond films but it is still a good one. I feel like there’s room for Daniel Craig to do one more film before he passes the role onto someone else, it definitely felt like it, when considering how the film ends (not spoiling anything). Casino Royale and Skyfall set the standard of Bond films so high so when this film doesn’t match that level, it’s going to be looked down upon. It’s still better than Quantum of Solace but it still feels a little disappointing, although it’s still a good movie, just not great.
2014 was a big year for movies, whether it be with big blockbusters such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men Days of Future Past or other impressive films like Gone Girl, Boyhood and Interstellar. I was initially going to write a list of the best films of the year, however I changed my mind as there are many films that I missed or at least won’t be able to see for a while (Nightcrawler, Birdman, Whiplash, etc). It is something to consider doing for the end of this year however.
I’m looking ahead at the movies coming up next and 2015 looks to be a very big year, an even bigger year than 2014. 2015 will have the release of a sequel to the third highest grossing movie of all time (The Avengers), a new Mad Max movie, a new Terminator movie and how can anyone forget, a new Star Wars movie. Along with that, we have many original films made by some great directors (Michael Mann, Quentin Tarantino). There are so many reasons to be excited for 2015.
Now keep in mind that I don’t know every movie coming out this year, many of them might have made my list if I had heard about them earlier. I’ve made a list of movies I’ve heard about at the last moment that I thought were worth mentioning (check at the end of the list for those chosen movies). With that said, let’s start the countdown.
15. Terminator Genisys
The Terminator franchise is one of the greatest franchises ever made and Terminator 2 is one of the best movies of all time. The last entry from the franchise was Terminator Salvation and it really disappointed. I didn’t personally find it bad but a lot of the elements were forgettable. 6 years later, the next entry in the franchise, Terminator Genisys will be released this year and has a chance to energize the franchise again.
On the verge of winning the war against Skynet in 2029, John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back through time to save his mother’s life and ensure his own existence. But what he finds on the other side is like nothing he ever expected. After being orphaned at age 9 by a Terminator, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) has since been brought up by another Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), programmed to protect her. This Terminator has then trained her to face her destiny, which she adamantly tries to reject. The film also stars Matt Smith, Lee Byung-hun, Dayo Okeniyi, Courtney B. Vance, Sandrine Holt and J. K. Simmons
Apart from the slightly generic title (and a confusing way of spelling Genesis) I’m quite curious with what the movie will be like. It is directed by Alan Taylor (Thor the Dark World, Game of Thrones) and I think that he’s a competent director for this movie. Although I don’t know what the outcome will be of the movie, I’m sure it will at least be entertaining. The story seems quite like X-Men Days of Future Past, in that it shows time travel from different time periods. There is an impressive cast which consists of Arnold Schwarzenegger (obviously), Emilia Clarke, Matt Smith and many others. There is a great amount of potential that this film has to be great and perhaps one of the better movies in the franchise. In either case it will at least be better than Terminator Salvation.
Terminator Genisys is scheduled to be released on 1 July 2015
14. Jurassic World
Jurassic Park is one of the most revolutionary films ever made and one of Steven Spielberg’s best films. Its two sequels were okay but didn’t get even close to reaching the level of the original. After many years, the franchise is releasing another movie, Jurassic World. I honestly don’t really know how this movie is going to turn out, it could turn out to be only better than Jurassic Park 2 and 3 or it could be even end up being better than just that. No matter how it turns out, I’m excited to see it.
Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. This new park is owned by the Masrani Global Corporation. Owen (Chris Pratt), a member of Jurassic World’s on-site staff, conducts behavioural research on the Velociraptors. At the request of the corporation, the park’s geneticists create a genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur. The film also stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, BD Wong, Judy Greer and Irrfan Khan.
I personally think Jurassic World will turn out to be at least good but I’m cautiously optimistic of the results, as the last two instalments did lack some of the elements of the first, and this movie is made a couple of decades after the original. I do however think the film will at least be better than Jurassic Park 2 and 3. From the trailer it does look good, the special effects look decent and Chris Pratt is a great actor to be chosen as the main star. Although I’m not sure how the movie will turn out but I’m sure it will at least be entertaining.
Jurassic World is scheduled to be released on 12 June 2015.
13. Ant Man
Marvel is continuously expanding its movie universe and I’ve liked all of their recent movies ever since Iron Man. Although I don’t know much about the comic books, Ant Man looks to be another great addition to the franchise and I am confident that this movie will succeed just as well as Marvel’s other movies.
It’s about a con-man (Paul Rudd), who has a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, who must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. The movie also stars Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale and Michael Peña.
I don’t know too much about the character or the comic books but I am nonetheless interested in how Ant Man will turn out, I’m a big Marvel movie fan after all. Marvel did very well with Guardians of the Galaxy, which was based on a group of characters that weren’t that well known, so I’m confident that this movie will turn out being really good. I am a little sceptical of the director Peyton Reed who has made such movies as The Break Up and Yes Man, however I’ll remain open minded until I finally see the movie. Marvel has been on a winning streak and have never let me down yet and if all goes well, Ant-Man won’t let me down either.
Ant Man is scheduled to be released on 17 July 2015
12. Mission Impossible 5
I’m a fan of the Mission Impossible movies (even the second despite its problems) and I particularly loved Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol which is why I’m really excited for its sequel. Even though I’m not sure if it will reach the level of its predecessor, I’m curious to see how Mission Impossible 5 will end up. Although the plot isn’t given yet, I am confident that the movie will have a great plot to go along with the great direction.
Under the direction of Christopher McQuarrie (who previously directed Jack Reacher, a misunderstood film in my opinion) this movie looks to be quite big. It’s hard to imagine a bigger Mission Impossible movie than Ghost Protocol, particularly with the scene of Tom Cruise on the side of the tall skyscraper in Dubai. Recently however, there was news that Tom Cruise performed a stunt which involved him strapping himself to the side of an airbus as it’s flying in the air. This news shows me that there is a good chance that it won’t disappoint, even if it may not reach the level of Ghost Protocol, I am certain that it will be quite entertaining.
Mission Impossible 5 is scheduled to be released on 25 December 2015.
11. Furious 7
The Fast and Furious franchise didn’t really have my interest until it picked up with 2011’s Fast Five. It changed the franchise from a street race series to a heist movie series and in my opinion, the change was for the better, with it being more interesting and entertaining. 2013’s Fast and Furious 6 did in my opinion just as well. Furious 7 looks to follow along those lines of the previous two movies, which means those who loved those movies (including myself) won’t be disappointed.
Furious 7 is set to take place after Fast and Furious 6. After defeating Owen Shaw and his crew in the previous movie, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew are able to return to the United States and live the normal life again as they had wanted, but Owen’s older brother, Ian Shaw (Jason Statham), is after Dominic, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, putting the entire crew in danger once more.
I’m guessing that the film will follow the same tone and feel as Fast Five and Furious Six. Paul Walker’s final and posthumous performance makes this movie seem even more interesting and elevates my anticipation even more. Added to this is the fact that Jason Statham is playing the villain; Statham for me is one of the most ideal actor to be in the Fast and Furious franchise, he’s been in a lot of action movies (especially those involving cars); it’s only just that he finally plays a part in the series. Under the direction of James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring) Furious 7 looks to be entertaining and another great addition to the franchise.
Fast and Furious 7 is scheduled to be released on 3 April 2015
Neill Blomkamp is a director to watch, with his great films District 9 and Elysium. His next film, Chappie, is another science fiction movie but it is different from his previous two films, one that isn’t quite as dark as them. Although the plot does seem a little similar to some other movies, because of Blomkamp direction, I think that he has an opportunity to add some originality to it and to tell an engaging story.
Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings – some good, some bad – and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever.
I’ve liked Neill Blomkamp’s previous movies so far which is the main reason makes I’m excited to see Chappie. The cast is great here which consists of actors such as Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel and Sigourney Weaver. Sharlto Copley, who was with in the director’s previous movies is also in this movie to motion capture Chappie and is sure to steal the show. The movie doesn’t look like it will have too much action (from the trailers there are some there but not a lot) but it looks good, as does Chappie. The main thing I’m looking forward to Chappie is the story and how Blomkamp will direct it, and so far, it looks like he will end up with a great movie.
Chappie is scheduled to be released on 6 March 2015.
9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
The Hunger Games franchise is one of the better young adult book adapted movies which I like. I personally liked the first Hunger Games despite its flaws and Catching Fire improved on everything and is overall a great movie. I also liked Mockingjay Part 1, although it at times felt stretched, it was a good movie. Finally after years of these movies, The Hunger Games movie series finally concludes with Mockingjay Part 2. Despite being a little tired of movies based on young adult books series always ending in two parts (Harry Potter, Twilight, Divergent), after all these Hunger Games movies building up, I’m excited to see the conclusion.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) now fully realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival, they are for the future. With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) – Katniss goes off mission, using the unit from District 13 – and risking their lives – to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow increasingly obsessed with destroying her, the mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.
Under the direction of Francis Lawrence, the director of the previous two movies, it looks to be a fitting conclusion to the series. I am certain that Mockingjay Part 2 will end up being the best of the franchise and will be the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 of The Hunger Games franchise. The rest of the great cast of the previous film returns: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in one of his last performances ever to be recorded on film. I am hyped for the final chapter of the franchise and I’m sure that it will be the best. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is scheduled to be released on 20 November 2015.
Michael Mann is one of my favourite directors so I was excited when I heard about him directing a new movie. Blackhat is another crime-based sort of movie which I think are his best type of films (Collateral, Heat, Public Enemies). This time Mann is directing a movie involving cyber-technology and from everything I’ve seen and heard, Blackhat looks to be a very good movie, despite my initial worry of it being released in January, the month of bad generic movies (like with Woman in Black 2).
It’s about a man, Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) who is released from prison to help American and Chinese authorities pursue a mysterious cyber-criminal which leads them from Chicago to Hong Kong. The film also stars Tang Wei, Viola Davis, Holt McCallany and Leehom Wang.
The thing I’m most looking forward to see Mann’s direction, he is one of those visual directors who knows exactly how everything should look, just take the heist scenes from Heat or the nightclub scene from Collateral for example. The world from the trailer looks quite interesting and very big with all this cybertech. Michael Mann also knows how to create great tense thrillers and Blackhat looks to be that and even more. I’ve only seen a few of his movies but he’s so far hasn’t disappointed.
Blackhat is scheduled to be released on 16 January 2015.
7. Kingsman: The Secret Service
Comic book superhero movies are often enjoyable but I find it interesting when there are movies based on graphic novels which aren’t superhero based. That is the case with Kingsman, which is based upon an acclaimed comic book and is about spies. Although I haven’t read them, from everything I’ve heard and seen of the movie, it could be really good and an overall really fun experience.
The movie tells the story of Harry Hart (Colin Firth), a veteran secret agent of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid, Gary Unwin (Taron Egerton) into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius, Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). The film also stars Mark Strong and Michael Caine.
With this film based on a graphic novel, it is only suitable that Matthew Vaughn, who directed movies like Kick Ass and X-Men First Class is the one to direct it. Kingsman from the trailer does have a Kick Ass vibe to it, it’s like the Kick Ass of British spy movies. It has a really good cast, including actors such as Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine who are sure to bring a lot to this movie, I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Firth. I haven’t read the comic book it’s based on but from the trailers and everything I’ve seen about it, it looks to be a whole lot of fun.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is scheduled to be released on 1 February 2015.
6. Mad Max Fury Road
Before hearing the director of this movie, when I heard that there was going to be another Mad Max movie, I was sceptical because reboots/sequels of really great franchises don’t always turn out for the better. It is rare that a reboot/sequel which is made decades after the previous film is directed by the same person, in this case, George Miller, whose involvement boosted my confidence in the movie. I liked the three movies (some more than others, Mad Max 2 is my favourite) and it was fitting that Miller would be the one to make this movie.
From the trailer, this film looks like it will go back to the previous 3 movies’ styles with its gritty look and brilliant stuntwork and action scenes. Along with that, the cast looks pretty good with actors like Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy in particular as he is the one to play the role of Max. Tom Hardy has shown that he is an actor to really pay attention to and I’m certain he will be able to portray Mel Gibson’s classic character, which isn’t easy seeing as how much of an icon Max Rockatansky is as a character. I’m pretty sure Miller, Hardy and the rest of the people involved will have created a great movie.
Mad Max Fury Road is scheduled to be released on 15 May 2015.
Martin Scorsese is one of my favourite directors and has so far never failed in making a great movie. He just directs everything with style and every movie he makes feels complete, so naturally I would be very interested in him making a new movie. This type of story is much different than his previous film The Wolf of Wall Street, it’s more closely related to Kundun and The Last Temptation of Christ. I haven’t read the book it’s based on but nonetheless, I’m hyped to see it.
Two Jesuit priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francis Garrpe (Adam Driver), travel to track down their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) in seventeenth century Japan which has, under the Tokugawa shogunate, banned Catholicism and almost all foreign contact. There they witness the persecution of Japanese Christians at the hands of their own government which wishes to purge Japan of all western influence. The film also stars Tadanobu Asano.
Silence is based off the book of the same name by Shūsaku Endō which is a historical fiction novel set in the 17th century. I’m looking forward to what Scorsese can bring to this movie, he has some good material to adapt and work with. The film also has a great cast, particularly Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver and I’m looking forward to seeing their performances. Everything I’ve heard so far about Silence is great and I can’t wait to see it when it comes out. Silence is scheduled to be released in November 2015
I’m a big fan of the Bond movies, especially with the latest instalments in the franchise. Because of this I’m of course excited that a new James Bond movie is being made. Sam Mendes’s involvement in this movie is exciting after directing 2012’s Skyfall, which was in my opinion one of, if not the best Bond movie. Every bit of news I hear about this movie is exciting, whether it be the cast or the story and elevates my anticipation even more.
A cryptic message from an unlikely source sets James Bond (Daniel Craig) navigating the layers of a sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. As M (Ralph Fiennes) continues fighting political pressures that threaten the future of MI6, Bond draws closer to uncovering a hidden truth that threatens to destroy everything he has fought to protect. The film also stars Naomie Harris, Ben Wishow, Rory Kinnear, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott, Dave Bautista and Jesper Christensen
The fact that Spectre is now a part of these new Bond movies really gets me excited because there is now a chance that it can play a part in multiple movies. I also really like the new James Bond movies have a more serious tone, my two favourite Bond movies are Casino Royale and Skyfall. The characters of Moneypenny, M and Q are established and the new cast is pretty good. A highlight of the cast is Christoph Waltz who will playing the villain, I’m very excited to see his performance as he’s a great actor. Some people are speculating that his character is secretly Ernst Stravo Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. I don’t know whether it is true but in either case I’m glad that Christoph Waltz is playing the villain. I’m overall very confident that this instalment of the Bond franchise will result along the same lines of Casino Royale and Skyfall.
The film is scheduled to be released on 23 October 2015.
3. The Hateful Eight
After his intentions to not make it because of the script leaking, Quentin Tarantino finally deciding to create The Hateful Eight, his new western. I really liked Django Unchained and how well he managed to create that western world and I’m 100% confident that he will be able to create this movie at least as good as Django Unchained.
In The Hateful Eight, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff.
Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…
So far this movie seems like a mix between Reservoir Dogs and Django Unchained, both great movies by Quentin Tarantino. It has a great cast so far with actors like Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Channing Tatum and Bruce Dern. The real star of the movie however is Quentin Tarantino (his writing of course). Every line that he writes is perfect (excluding Death Proof) and I don’t see any reason why he would fail doing it here. Everything from the acting, directing and of course brilliant writing has my anticipation. The Hateful Eight might even turn out to be one of my favourite Tarantino movies, he has certainly achieved that with Django Unchained.
The Hateful Eight is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2015.
2. The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
The sequel to the third highest grossing movie of all time is finally here, and everything from it looks absolutely amazing so far. The Avengers universe has been consistently good in making movies link into each other. I particularly like how Marvel managed to place all the Marvel characters, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye in one movie, The Avengers. This continues into Age of Ultron which even looks like it will be better than the first.
With S.H.I.E.L.D. destroyed and the Avengers needing a hiatus from stopping threats, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) attempts to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program with Ultron (James Spader), a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence. However, his plan backfires when Ultron decides that humans are the main enemy and sets out to eradicate them from Earth, and it is up to Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), along with support from Nick Fury and Maria Hill, to stop him from enacting his plans. Along the way, the Avengers encounter the powerful twins, Pietro (Aaron-Taylor Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), as well as the familiar Vision.
The thing that stood out to me is the darker tone that set for this movie, I am excited to see how dark Whedon takes the film. With new characters Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (played by Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), and a much darker story, this movie looks to be one of the great superhero movies. Along with this, we have Andy Serkis (who’s character’s name is unknown as of this time) and James Spader, playing Ultron, who looks to be one of the best super villains. The trailer has made this movie look much darker and I actually think that this movie will end up being better than the first, which is no easy task.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled to be released on 1 May 2015
1. Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens
I just couldn’t resist putting this at number one. I’m excited to return to the Star Wars universe after the last film, Revenge of the Sith was released 10 years ago and J.J. Abrams is in my opinion a great person to start the new trilogy off. Everything from the cast to the director and story looks great and seems to be going in a better direction.
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer, Harrison Ford, Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels return to their roles after many decades, which is very exciting. The new additions to the cast include Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, and Max von Sydow. So far, everything I’ve heard is quite good, the director is good, the cast is good and there is a great potential for an incredible story. I don’t know if it would be as good as the original trilogy but I’m certain that it is better than the prequels. The teaser trailer makes the movie look incredible and much better than the prequels. After everything I know of The Force Awakens, I can say that I’m certain that this film will not let anyone down.
Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens is scheduled to be released on 18 December 2015
There are a lot of movies that I’ve heard of recently that sound very interesting. As I made the list already though, they might have missed making it. Had I heard of them earlier, I may have included them on the list. Many of the movies do sound very good and should be noticed, so I think I should mention them and give my quick thoughts on them.
Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) is a recently terminated New York Times journalist who’s struggling for work after a story gone wrong. One day, he receives a phone call from a man regarding an FBI Most Wanted individual named Christian Longo (James Franco), who’s been captured and claimed to be living as Finkel. Longo and Finkel meet and form a potentially marriage shattering bond while Longo is in prison awaiting his trial. Finkel exchanges journalism tips for the real events behind Longo’s alleged heinous acts of murdering his family. Through the twists and turns in the movie, only at the end will Finkel uncover the True Story.
The main reason I’m interested in this movie is the acting. The acting looks really good here, especially from Jonah Hill who has been on a winning streak recently with roles in movies like Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street. Along with that, the story does actually look pretty interesting, and it’s based on a true story. If all goes well this might be one of the best movies of the year.
Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman, Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett).
Carol is based on a book, The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. Again, like True Story, the reason I’m most looking forward to this movie is the acting. The two standouts in the cast for me is Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who are really great actresses and I’m sure that they will be really good in their roles.
It’s about a frontiersman, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), in the 1820s who sets out on a path of vengeance against his companions John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) and Andrew Henry (Domhall Gleeson) who left him for dead after a bear mauling.
The main reason I’m looking forward to this movie again is for the acting, particularly from Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. Alejandro González Iñárritu is another reason to be excited. Even though I haven’t seen his 2014 film Birdman yet (I can’t see it for at least a couple months), everything that I’ve heard about it is great. The story is also quite an interesting one, it’s a revenge movie. The Revanant is a revenge film directed by a great director with an excellent cast. What’s not to love?
Spurred on by an eerie prophecy of the power he could gain if he were King, Macbeth (Michael Fassbender), an army general, murders Duncan, the King of Scotland, and takes the throne. However, his guilt, and that of his wife (Marion Cotillard), may prove to be their undoing.
I haven’t read the play of Macbeth but I know of the type of story and characters that Macbeth has. From what I know of the characters, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are so far perfectly cast in this movie. These actors are the main reason I’m interested in this movie, as well as the type of story that it has, which is very interesting. If all goes well, this movie may end up getting some nominations at the Oscars.
Knight of Cups
Knight of Cups is a story of a man, temptations, celebrity, and excess from director Terrence Malick. Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep. Rick’s (Christian Bale) father used to read this story to him as a boy. The road to the East stretches out before him. Will he set forth?
I will be honest, I’ve never seen a movie by Terrence Malick so far, I just haven’t gotten around the time to doing it but I know that he’s a great filmmaker. Just based on what I know of the film, Knight of Cups looks like a great movie. It’s not entirely clear to me what the story is but it does look quite interesting. Another thing that excites me the most is the great cast with actors like Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman; all who, from the trailer looks like they give great performances. Overall, everything I’ve heard so far is great and will hopefully result in one of the year’s best films.
Thank you for taking the time to read my list. Let me know in the comments what your most anticipated movies of the year are.