It can’t be easy making the longest running film franchise fresh and interesting… it can’t be easy at the best of times, but on this 50th anniversary year, the producers and new director Sam Mendes had their work cut out.

Last week critics got their claws on the film for the first time, and the reviews appear positive. The Rotten Tomatoes website is currently listing at an aggregate score of 96%.

Here’s a few soundbites from some of the reviews – some of which are spoilerific.

Skyfall swipes the best and most established Bond elements from every actor’s tenure and combines them into a film so satisfying as a stand alone story it’s nearly impossible to envisage how it could be improved. – Clothes of Film

On his third outing Daniel Craig’s Bond finally feels like he’s come into his own, a strong balance of old and new but a rugged, clever character all his own. And Skyfall is the suave yet wry, superbly confident and perfectly executed movie to match him. – Cinema Blend

Bardem, who created such a memorable screen villain in No Country for Old Men‘s Anton Chigurh, repeats the trick with Silva. He’s camp, creepy and reptilian, and his first encounter with Bond is enough to make you laugh one moment then squirm the next. – Digital Spy

Ultimately, Mendes delivers an assured, accomplished Bond film that stands somewhere between delivering what the public expects from a Bond film and creating something original and new. His Bond is certainly more nuanced and intricate and instilled with a sense of Britishness that befits 007′s fiftieth year on the screen. – MI6

Ably directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall – the 23rd official 007 outing – is at its finest during a bruising, tumultuous opening half, fired by an electrifying pre-credits chase scene and a script that nods shrewdly to the Wikileaks furore. Cyber-terrorists have stolen a hard drive containing a complete list of Nato operatives that they proceed to leak online, in weekly instalments, five names at a time. – Guardian

One of the pleasures of Skyfall is the amount of screen time given to characters who in previous films have had only a marginal role. Dench’s M in particular is foregrounded. She’s at once a maternal figure and someone (we learn) who has behaved very ruthlessly towards her spies. Ralph Fiennes registers strongly as a bureaucratic type, breathing down her neck but with hidden reserves of courage. There is enjoyable banter, too, between Bond and Ben Whishaw’s very youthful but very boffin-like Q. An added treat is Albert Finney as a bearded Scottish gamekeeper/vigilante. – Independent

Further Reading


About James Bond 24 (2015)

James Bond 24 will be released in October 2015. It is produced by EON Productions, with Sam Mendes returning from Skyfall to direct. Daniel Craig is contracted for two further 007 films — Bond 24 and 25 — and will star as the British agent of MI6. Also returning from Skyfall are Ralph Fiennes as M and Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny. Although it is unconfirmed, many expect Rory Kinnear to reprise his role as M’s chief of staff. Roger Deakins, cinematographer, and Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, screenwriters, will not return. The screenplay is being penned by John Logan.

About Skyfall – James Bond 23 (2012)

The new Bond movie will star Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Albert Finney and Judi Dench, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The 007 screenplay will be written by regular James Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, working with John Logan (Gladiator & The Last Samurai). Director of American Beauty and Road To Perdition, Sam Mendes will be directing the new James Bond movie. MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment in a joint statement on 2nd June 2011 announced that “Bond 23″ will go on release in the UK on Friday, 26th October, 2012 and in the USA on 9th November 2012. The first major announcement from EON Productions and Sony Pictures came on 3rd November 2011 in London when the principle cast was announced, along with a rough plot line. In Skyfall, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.