007: Every Roger Moore Bond Movie, Ranked By IMDb
While The Spy Who Loved Me was praised, Roger Moore’s Bond movies are generally considered among the weakest in the series. How does IMDb rank them?
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With seven James Bond movies to his name, Roger Moore has the distinction of playing 007 more than any of his peers. But while Moore’s wry, comedic take on the character is enjoyed by many fans, the majority of his Bond films received negative reviews from critics.
After the relatively grounded Sean Connery movies, Moore’s Bond films were criticized for their slapstick approach and far-fetched storytelling. In one of them, Bond even goes to space. IMDb ranks some of Moore’s movies, like fan-favorite The Spy Who Loved Me, a lot higher than others, like the universally panned Octopussy.
7 TIE: Moonraker (6.3)
In response to the success of George Lucas’ Star Wars, Eon decided to take Bond to space in 1979’s Moonraker. Ian Fleming’s Moonraker source novel was notable for taking place entirely in Britain as Bond set about preventing the launch of a rocket, but the movie adaptation takes 007 out of the atmosphere and plunges him into a Flash Gordon-style space battle.
While the movie’s impressive visual effects were commended, the trip into outer space was considered a step too far for some fans. The mixed response to Moonraker inspired the Bond producers to return to the series’ grounded roots for the next movie, For Your Eyes Only.
6 TIE: A View To A Kill (6.3)
Moore’s final film in the role of Bond, A View to a Kill, sees the iconic 00 agent tracing a microchip to a deranged industrialist – the villainous Max Zorin, one of the movie’s highlights, played by a delightfully eccentric Christopher Walken – who plans to become the world’s leading tech mogul by destroying Silicon Valley.
Derided by critics as one of the worst entries in the Bond franchise, A View to a Kill provided an unceremonious end to Moore’s tenure in the role of 007 – the polar opposite of Daniel Craig’s hugely satisfying finale No Time to Die. Still, the movie has some thrilling action sequences and Zorin gets a haunting death scene on the Golden Gate Bridge.
5 Octopussy (6.5)
In Moore’s second-to-last movie in the role of 007, Octopussy, Bond uncovers an international jewel-smuggling ring that’s being used as a front for a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. While most critics could agree that Octopussy’s action set-pieces were terrific and that its humor didn’t quite land, reviews were generally divided on Maud Adams’ performance as the title character.
On the whole, Octopussy is considered to be one of the silliest Bond movies. Bond disguises himself as a clown in a perfect metaphor for the Moore movies’ hit-and-miss comedic approach.
4 TIE: The Man With The Golden Gun (6.7)
Bond is targeted by the most expensive hitman in the world in The Man with the Golden Gun. While the plot concerns solar cell technology that could be the key to the fate of the world, this movie’s focal point is the dynamic between 007 and his latest foe, Scaramanga, played by the great Christopher Lee. Scaramanga was praised as the dark inverse of Bond – just as skilled, but less morally motivated.
Inspired by the post-Enter the Dragon martial arts movie trend, The Man with the Golden Gun was considered by some contemporary critics to be a low point for the franchise. Interestingly, rather than a traditional large-scale battle sequence, The Man with the Golden Gun culminates in a one-on-one duel.
3 TIE: For Your Eyes Only (6.7)
After Moonraker sent Bond into outer space, the producers returned to the series’ traditionally grounded espionage stories for the next film, For Your Eyes Only. Bond’s initial investigation sees him searching for a missing British ship containing a weapons encryption device that could fall into the wrong hands.
But it’s not really about the missing ship; it’s a straightforward revenge story. The “Bond girl,” Melina Havelock, is seeking retribution for the murder of her parents by Cuban hitman Hector Gonzales. In this sense, For Your Eyes Only is one of the darkest Bond movies.
2 Live And Let Die (6.8)
In Moore’s first movie as Bond, 007 is sent to track down a Harlem drug lord who goes by the nickname “Mr. Big.” With its pimpmobiles, Harlem setting, and story about the illegal drug trade, Live and Let Die drew heavily from the blaxploitation genre. Blaxploitation classics like Coffy and Foxy Brown were wildly popular at the time, so the Bond producers decided to cash in. Drawing from other genres became a hallmark of the Moore era.
Paul McCartney & Wings’ theme song for Live and Let Die is notable for being one of the few Bond themes to transcend the franchise and become a timeless hit record in its own right.
1 The Spy Who Loved Me (7.1)
After Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun both received mixed reviews, 1977’s action-packed epic The Spy Who Loved Me was hailed as a return to form. The plot sees Bond investigating the hijacking of several nuclear submarines, all while partnered with a KGB agent whose lover he assassinated.
A quintessential take on the familiar James Bond formula, The Spy Who Loved Me features some of 007’s most iconic action – namely the breathtaking Union Jack parachute jump in the opening set-piece.