How to watch the James Bond movies in order

From Connery to Craig, here's how to watch the James Bond movies in order, starting with the action-packed Dr No and ending with the dramatic No Time to Die

No Time To Die
(Image: © MGM)

With 26 thrilling films in the franchise, figuring out how to watch the James Bond movies in order is getting more and more complex by the year. Thankfully, we've done all the hard work for you, so now all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy an action-packed Bond marathon.  

It's been 60 years since Sean Connery appeared in the first James Bond film, Dr No, back in 1962. Fast forward to 2022 and Daniel Craig's last outing as Bond in the latest addition to the series, No Time to Die, continued to cement the series as one of the most popular franchises in movie history. 

Unlike our guide to how to watch the Marvel movies in order, you'd think that James Bond would be a lot more straightforward, right? Well, yes and no. While you can absolutely go for the path of least resistance and watch the films in order of their release date, many people prefer to watch the Bond movies in the order of their IMDb ratings, favoring the best of the best and leaving out the rest.

And then, of course, there's the question of who is the best James Bond? Most of us have a favorite, so you might prefer to follow the story of Daniel Craig's Bond and forget about Sean Connery or opt for the ever-quippy Roger Moore instead. Whatever your preference, you'll find a range of options below to help you watch the James Bond movies in order of your personal taste. 

From release date to IMDb ratings and a rather valiant attempt by us to build a chronological order of the James Bond films, here's everything you need to know to get your movie marathon underway. Oh, and if you want to indulge in the ultimate home theatre experience, check out our guide to the best TVs and bring Bond to life on the big screen. 

How to watch the James Bond movies in order of release date

  • Dr No (1962)
  • From Russia with Love (1963)
  • Goldfinger (1964)
  • Thunderball (1965)
  • Casino Royale (1967) UNOFFICIAL
  • You Only Live Twice (1967)
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
  • Live and Let Die (1973)
  • The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
  • Moonraker (1979)
  • For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  • Octopussy (1983)
  • Never Say Never Again (1983) UNOFFICIAL
  • A View to a Kill (1985)
  • The Living Daylights (1987)
  • Licence to Kill (1989)
  • GoldenEye (1995)
  • Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
  • The World is Not Enough (1999)
  • Die Another Day (2002)
  • Casino Royale (2006)
  • Quantum of Solace (2008)
  • Skyfall (2012)
  • Spectre (2015)
  • No Time to Die (2021)

Other movie franchises have nothing on 007 when it comes to longevity. 2021’s long-awaited No Time To Die will be the 25th official James Bond movie (in other words, those produced by long-term rights holders Eon Productions), and there are two additional non-canon Bond movies: 1967 spoof Casino Royale, and Sean Connery’s 1983 comeback Never Say Never Again (the latter released the same year as Octopussy). Due to some quibbles over rights, Never Say Never Again is effectively a remake of Thunderball.  

James Bond movies in chronological order, including the Daniel Craig films

Scene from James Bond film with Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan’s Bond has his regular appointment with Q branch. (Image credit: Eon Productions/007.com)

This is where things gets really complicated and confusing, because there is no definitive Bond timeline as there is for a saga like Star Wars – indeed, some elements of 007’s long screen life are actually contradictory. 

Bond usually exists in a Simpsons-like state of suspended animation, where the man stays more or less the same age (give or take a decade or two) while the world evolves around him. One long-standing fan theory attempts to explain this – and the secret agent’s ever-changing appearance – with the idea that James Bond is not actually one man, but an alias for a succession of spies with the 007 codename. We think that’s unlikely, however, because various elements of Bond’s personal history continue between agents – and Skyfall quite explicitly shows us the Bond family home. 

It’s probably better to look at the Bond series as two distinct continuities. The original saga began with Dr No, and runs all the way through to Die Another Day, released 40 years later. Although it’s never explicitly stated, you can comfortably assume that these films run in sequence. In fact, there are several key continuity elements that appear to confirm this. 

The most compelling piece of evidence is the fact that in several movies released after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bond refers to the fact he was married once – his wedding turned into a wake when Bond’s wife was assassinated by Blofeld in that film. This is most explicit in For Your Eyes Only, where we see 007 visiting his late wife Tracy’s grave, before going on a revenge mission against Blofeld. Blofeld never appeared again in the original continuity, so it’s safe to deduce that being dropped into a chimney did actually kill him. 

We also know that The Man with the Golden Gun takes place after Live and Let Die because 007 meets Sheriff JW Pepper for the second time. The same reasoning can be applied to super-sized henchman Jaws in The Spy who Loved Me and Moonraker, or Valentin Zukovsky, the former KGB agent played by Robbie Coltrane in GoldenEye and The World is Not Enough. 

The second continuity began with origin story Casino Royale (2006), and runs all the way to the upcoming No Time to Die. This is the beginning of James Bond’s double-0 story – based on Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel – as we see him qualifying as a government assassin and embarking on his first mission. The movies that followed have all been part of the same chronology, much more serialized than we ever saw in the original Bond run – particularly with evil organizations Quantum and Spectre providing a throughline between each movie. 

Whether the events of the five Daniel Craig films take place before Dr No is open to debate. On the yes side, we do see Bond’s first encounter with Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre – and it’s there the bad guy gets his famous scars. On the against side, in No Time to Die Craig will be nearly 20 years older than Sean Connery was in Dr No, while the fact Bond takes his classic Aston Martin DB5 out of storage in Skyfall suggests that Goldfinger is in his past. Maybe Craig’s films just exist in a parallel timeline like JJ Abrams’ Trek movies…

The 1967 Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again exist entirely separately from the official continuity. 

See, we told you it was confusing.

Daniel Craig continuity

  • Casino Royale
  • Quantum of Solace
  • Skyfall
  • Spectre
  • No Time to Die

Original run

  • Dr No 
  • From Russia with Love 
  • Goldfinger 
  • Thunderball 
  • You Only Live Twice 
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 
  • Diamonds Are Forever 
  • Live and Let Die 
  • The Man with the Golden Gun 
  • The Spy Who Loved Me 
  • Moonraker 
  • For Your Eyes Only 
  • Octopussy 
  • A View to a Kill 
  • The Living Daylights 
  • Licence to Kill 
  • GoldenEye 
  • Tomorrow Never Dies 
  • The World is Not Enough 
  • Die Another Day 

The best James Bond movies: ranking the 007 films

Considering the Bond franchise has been running for close to 60 years, 007 has headlined surprisingly few bona fide classics. Ranking the 26 existing films based on IMDb user scores, however, it’s no surprise to see Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s brilliant debut in the role, topping the table – closely followed by Goldfinger, arguably the film that established the gadget-heavy, over-the-top villain template that Bond would follow for years to come. 

The upper end of the list is dominated by Sean Connery, with his first five outings in the tuxedo all sitting pretty in the top 10. Roger Moore is defiantly midtable, while Pierce Brosnan (always a reliable 007) sees three of his four appearances languishing in the bottom 10 – the fun GoldenEye (which shot the franchise back into theaters in spectacular style after a six-year absence) is the exception. It’s also interesting to note that films called Casino Royale appear at opposite ends of the chart – though a title is pretty much the only thing the two Bond adventures have in common.

  • Casino Royale (2006) – 8.0
  • Skyfall – 7.8
  • Goldfinger – 7.7
  • From Russia with Love – 7.4
  • Dr No – 7.2
  • GoldenEye – 7.2
  • The Spy Who Loved Me – 7.1
  • Thunderball – 7.0
  • You Only Live Twice – 6.9
  • Live and Let Die – 6.8
  • Spectre – 6.8
  • The Man with the Golden Gun – 6.7
  • For Your Eyes Only – 6.7
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – 6.7
  • The Living Daylights – 6.7
  • Diamonds Are Forever – 6.6
  • Licence to Kill – 6.6
  • Quantum of Solace – 6.6
  • Octopussy – 6.5
  • Tomorrow Never Dies – 6.5
  • The World is Not Enough – 6.4
  • Moonraker – 6.3
  • A View to a Kill – 6.3
  • Never Say Never Again – 6.2
  • Die Another Day – 6.1
  • Casino Royale (1967) – 5.1

James Bond movies by actor

Scene from Skyfall with Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig’s 007 rediscovers his classic Aston Martin DB5 in Skyfall. (Image credit: Eon Productions)

Like British TV stalwart Doctor Who, James Bond eras are defined by the actor playing him. This list would be identical to James Bond movies in release date order were it not for Sean Connery’s two departures and subsequent returns to the role. 

With Connery having quit the gig after his fifth Bond movie, You Only Live Twice, George Lazenby briefly took over for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Connery was then tempted back for Diamonds Are Forever two years later, before leaving again – seemingly for the final time… Until he was tempted back as an older 007 over a decade later in the unofficial Never Say Never Again – directed by The Empire Strikes Back helmer Irvin Kershner.

While Connery was keeping the tuxedo warm, David Niven played Sir James Bond, a retired version of 007, in the unofficial spoof Casino Royale. He wasn't the only James Bond in the movie, either, as the plot revolved around the idea that there were numerous agents – played by the likes of Peter Sellers and Dr No’s Ursula Andress – using the famous name as an alias.

Despite being older than Connery, Roger Moore took over the famous role in 1973’s Live and Let Die, and would go onto play 007 in a record-breaking seven original movies. By the time the risible A View to a Kill rolled around in 1985, however, the years and mileage were starting to show, and Eon plumped for a younger model.

Timothy Dalton only managed two movies as a more politically correct ’80s version of the spy, as the franchise went on hiatus after 1989’s Licence to Kill. When James Bond eventually came good on his promise to return in 1995‘s GoldenEye, he was played by Pierce Brosnan, who'd previously missed out on the role thanks to his commitments to 1980s TV show Remington Steele.

With its invisible cars and giant ice palaces, Brosnan’s final Bond movie, Die Another Day, had carried the series into the realms of parody. So, in response to the successful, rather grittier Jason Bourne movies, Eon took 007 back to basics with origin story Casino Royale. Daniel Craig was their man.

The long-awaited No Time to Die will be Craig’s fifth and final outing as the world‘s most famous spy. By the time he hangs up his Walther PPK, he won't be the oldest Bond – but he will be the longest serving, having first played the role back in 2006. That's 15 years on Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Now speculation is rife about who'll be the seventh actor to (officially) play the United Kingdom’s most iconic action movie hero on the big screen.

Sean Connery

  • Dr No
  • From Russia with Love 
  • Goldfinger 
  • Thunderball 
  • You Only Live Twice 
  • Diamonds Are Forever
  • Never Say Never Again

David Niven

  • Casino Royale (1967)

George Lazenby

  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 

Roger Moore

  • Live and Let Die 
  • The Man with the Golden Gun 
  • The Spy Who Loved Me 
  • Moonraker 
  • For Your Eyes Only 
  • Octopussy 
  • A View to a Kill 

Timothy Dalton

  • The Living Daylights
  • Licence to Kill 

Pierce Brosnan

  • GoldenEye
  • Tomorrow Never Dies 
  • The World is Not Enough 
  • Die Another Day  

Daniel Craig

  • Casino Royale
  • Quantum of Solace
  • Skyfall
  • Spectre
  • No Time to Die

Richard is a freelance journalist specialising in movies and TV, primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. An early encounter with a certain galaxy far, far away started a lifelong love affair with outer space, and these days Richard's happiest geeking out about Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and other long-running pop culture franchises. In a previous life he was editor of legendary sci-fi magazine SFX, where he got to interview many of the biggest names in the business – though he'll always have a soft spot for Jeff Goldblum who (somewhat bizarrely) thought Richard's name was Winter.