The Bond franchise is the single longest action franchise in history, and the escapades of its suave secret agent, 007, still haven’t gotten anywhere close to losing our attention anytime soon. Even though the series has faced some stiff competition from other action franchises, most notably the ‘Mission Impossible’ series, the ‘Bourne’ series and the ‘Die Hard’ series, especially in the late 90s and early 2000s, a period when the Bond franchise itself looked like losing a bit of steam, it sprung back into relevance and action with a renewed take on Bond as a character: severely flawed, self-indulgent and vulnerable, yet an effective agent and efficient killing machine. The film was ‘Casino Royale’, and following ‘Quantum of Solace’ that had a rather lukewarm reaction, the franchise delivered a truly masterful film with ‘Skyfall’, elevating the benchmark for Bond films to follow, something that the latest in the franchise, 2015’s ‘Spectre’ couldn’t quite meet. With that said, here’s the list of really good James Bond movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
15. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
More of the Moore Bond campiness and self-parodying tone done on an impressive scale and budget. Christopher Lee’s Scaramanga was about the only remarkable thing about this film. The rest of it, I’m afraid, can be termed pretty standard, and in it, every single Bond trademark that you have seen on screen yet.
14. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
If there is one Bond film that has aged the worst for me, it would be ‘Diamonds are Forever’. On a really lazy day, perhaps, I could lay back and give in to the ridiculously campy style and almost self-parodying humor this film has to offer. This is where Netflix comes in. But on a regular day, ‘Diamonds are Forever’ remains a pretty substandard fare. Sean Connery finally confessed to being too old for the role here, which shows, and for everything else, a satellite shooting lasers isn’t really quite my thing. However, in all its campiness, I do also agree that this is one of the most harmless Bond films ever.
13. Live and Let Die (1973)
The racial undertones notwithstanding, ‘Live and Let Die’, Moore’s first film as Bond is in my opinion the only ‘first’ Bond film that didn’t quite feel like the ushering of a new era. Sure, Moore films picked up after this one, but the film remains to date, one of the weakest introductory Bond films in my opinion. The singularly unremarkable villain in Dr. Kananga seriously hurts the film’s prospects too, but the film’s notable departure from megalomaniacal villains hell-bent on taking over the world, to a drug lord hell-bent on taking over the drug trade was a welcome change.
12. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Another Roger Moore highlight, this one takes Bond through Greece, Italy, England and even the Bahamas, through some thick waters and on some icy slopes. More of the same over the top fun and a whole slew of Bond girls (with a bit of the sexism intact though) that had become trademark Bond by this time, this one is to be singularly lauded for its decidedly adept course correction following Bond’s unintentional foray into science fiction, if it is to be called that, in 1979’s ‘Moonraker’.
11. You Only Live Twice (1967)
James Bond and Japan are a potent mix, and about the one thing working most in this film’s favor apart from of course, Sean Connery. I also do think that while ‘You Only Live Twice’ was a respectable entry on its own, this was also where the decline of the Connery era had already begun, with the actor reprising his role after a hiatus in ‘Diamonds are Forever’, and twelve years after that in ‘Never Say Never Again’.