Expert’s view

No Time to Die reviews: ‘It’s better than good - it’s magnificent’

What the film critics said about Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond

1

Kevin Maher in The Times 

Craig delivers the best of 007 to end his service with a bang

After a “stunning opening entry” with Casino Royale and three “middling instalments of water-treading inanity”, a Daniel Craig’s cinematic journey as James Bond has finally delivered on its initial promise, said Kevin Maher in The Times. Craig’s latest and last 007 film is “all heart, a moving portrait of an antiquated hero facing his own obsolescence”.

At 2hrs 43mins long, No Time to Die is a “huge thundering epic” that is “expertly directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. “It’s better than good,” Maher wrote. “It’s magnificent.” Craig has “occasionally been a divisive figure during this five movie stint” but in his final appearance as Bond, he bows out in terrific, soulful, style. “His, perhaps, is an impossible act to follow.”

2

Claire Gregory on Sky News 

Genre-bending Bond film is relentless but worth the wait

It’s now clear why much has been made of the “secrecy shrouding” the 25th installment in the superspy franchise, wrote Claire Gregory on Sky News. No Time To Die is a “genre-bending Bond”. Chock-full of tech, explosions, guns and car chases, 007 fans will be pleased that all the classic lines are delivered, “sometimes with such humour that you can’t help but suspect they were improved by Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s pass at the script”. The film’s makers promised to view women through a more modern lens, and Lashana Lynch is a “brilliant addition” as the “antithesis to Craig’s 007”. No Time to Die “makes no apologies” for giving Craig a send-off which is “almost reverential”, said Gregory. But doors are “left open for some characters” and we may see Bond taking a “very different shape in the future”.

3

Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian 

Craig dispatches Bond with panache, rage - and cuddles

Daniel Craig’s final film as the “diva of British intelligence” is an “epic barnstormer”, said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. The script, by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Waller-Bridge, delivers “pathos, action, drama, camp comedy (Bond will call M ‘darling’ in moments of tetchiness), heartbreak, macabre horror, and outrageously silly old-fashioned action”. It all adds up to a film package that is “very enjoyable and gleefully spectacular”, wrote Bradshaw. Along with Craig, stars Lea Seydoux (Dr Madeleine Swann) and Rami Malek (Safin) “sell it very hard and you can see the pleasure everyone takes in this gigantic piece of ridiculously watchable entertainment”.

4

Owen Gleiberman in Variety 

Craig’s Bond gets the send-off he deserves

This is a “terrific movie”, said Owen Gleiberman in Variety, an “up-to-the-minute, down-to-the-wire” James Bond thriller with a “satisfying neo-classical edge”. No Time to Die is the longest Bond film ever, yet it’s “brisk and heady and sharp”. Yes, “this is a traditional Bond film, and that’s part of its pleasure”, Gleiberman continued. “But it’s not just the running time that feels more epic than usual.” The movie wants to do “full justice to the emotional thrust of this being Daniel Craig’s exit” from the much-loved series. “And it does.”

5

David Rooney in The Hollywood Reporter 

There’s plenty here for diehard Bond fans to savour

No Time to Die allows Daniel Craig to “dig deeper” on the “rewarding character work he’s been doing since his 21st century reinvention of the role”, said David Rooney in The Hollywood Reporter. There may be some “plotting deficiencies” and the “occasional pacing lags”, but “there’s plenty here for diehard fans to savour”. Hans Zimmer’s “stirring score” adds a further “frisson of excitement” by sneaking in a few bars of Monty Norman’s classic original Bond theme. The new flick “may not rank up there with Skyfall”, Rooney concluded, “but it’s a moving valedictory salute to the actor who has left arguably the most indelible mark on the character” since Sean Connery.

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