Daniel Craig stars as Bond in No Time to Die - film review

Published By Alexandra Heilbron on Sep 29, 2021

No Time to Die is the latest in the James Bond movie franchise, and the final one to star Daniel Craig as the popular spy.

No Time to Die doesn’t lean as heavily on tropes previously used in the 007 franchise. Sure, there’s the requisite Aston Martin and tuxedo, and Bond has his drink shaken, not stirred, but there are no flings – instead, it begins with a meaningful relationship as he and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) check into a hotel in the gorgeous town of Matera in southern Italy. Time is definitely one of the themes of this film, as he tells her, “We have all the time in the world.”

Unfortunately, he’s mistaken, and his sense of foreboding as he constantly looks over his shoulder turns out to be spot-on when an explosion knocks him to the ground while he's visiting Vesper's grave. He races to find Madeleine, but believing her to be the only person who knew where he was, he becomes suspicious that she’s the one who leaked his whereabouts to Spectre.

Five years later Bond is living a quiet life, alone in Jamaica when he’s approached by his old CIA pal Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), who wants Bond to come out of retirement long enough to help him find a missing Russian scientist in Cuba. There Bond meets new CIA agent Paloma, who boasts that she has three weeks of training. That turns out to be a very modest claim, as she turns out to have the skills of a highly trained agent. The character, as played by Ana de Armas is a real highlight of the movie — and an incredible asset as a partner to Bond — but unfortunately, once the action moves on from Cuba, we don’t see her again — hopefully she'll be written into the next film.

Having also met Nomi (Lashana Lynch), the new 007, in Cuba, Bond is then called in by M (Ralph Fiennes) and reluctantly agrees to team with Q (Ben Whishaw) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) to stop his old nemesis, Blofeld (Christoph Waltz).

But a new criminal mastermind also demands Bond’s attention — Safin (Rami Malek), who, as it turns out, has a history with Madeleine, although it’s something she’d rather forget.

Malek plays the villain with a quiet deliberation. He’s soft-spoken, pleasant, and even has a heart, as we learn at one point. Although he’s frightening — he lives on an island complete with a poisonous garden and a high-tech laboratory where he's plotting the demise of millions — he also has a calm exterior that masks his dangerousness. Safin, who as a child was the only one to survive an attack on his family, wants revenge.

Craig has played the role of Bond four times previously, and has it down pat, although he has more at stake personally in this one, which gives him a chance to use more of his range as an actor. As Madeleine, Léa Seydoux also turns in a nuanced performance as a woman with a tragic past who gets dealt yet another blow.

Beautifully directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, this installment can even be viewed as a single film -- if you have friends who are somewhat unfamiliar with Bond movies, they'll still be able to follow what's going on -- at least, enough to immensely enjoy the film.

There’s plenty of action to please fans of the spy franchise, including magnificent car and motorcycle chases through the tight backstreets of Italy. The locales take us from Italy to Jamaica, Cuba, Scotland, Norway, England and the Faroe Islands of Denmark.

But there’s also a new layer to Bond in this installment. He personally has something major to lose in No Time to Die and that desperation gives this film a new urgency that keeps the audience engaged.

Without giving anything away, the ending to Craig’s fifth and final outing as Bond is spectacular, with an equal amount of action and emotion. ~Alexandra Heilbron

5 out of 5 stars

No Time to Die opens in theaters on Friday, October 8, 2021.
Daniel Craig in No Time to Die

Comments & Discussion

  1. Bob • 9/30/2021 10:25:10 AM

    When are they going to retire Daniel Craig as James Bond

  2. Tom • 9/30/2021 10:31:38 AM

    I never like Daniel Craig as James Bond. I found he changed the character of James Bond to a depressing level. He acts and looks sad & depressed and angry. The original James Bond showed super confidence and contentment of who he is. I have nothing against Daniel Craig as an actor but they should never have given him the James Bond role.

  3. Hev • 9/30/2021 5:31:28 PM

    I've enjoyed watching every James Bond movie over the years. Daniel Craig is definitely the best 007

  4. Paul • 10/1/2021 5:48:11 AM

    Daniel Craig brought humanity to Bond. Bond In my opinion was a super spy. The first superhero. Well there are now many superhero's in the movie's so it's nice to see a human Bond, Who can be killed, falls in love, is vulnerable and never gives up. I like all the Bond movies and Daniel Craig is an excellent Bond.

  5. Fudd • 10/3/2021 7:52:37 AM

    shallow people. nothing about how he can fly anything. or kill everyone. and screws every chick the world. dah....you are reason, they made comic books. cause....thats all ya talk about is the out side of the cover of the book. hope you step in dog shit today

  6. Dara L Bornstein • 10/3/2021 12:11:33 PM

    DR. NO, Diamonds Are Forever. are films that are my favorite Bond films! The Bond music of John Williams is also great! Daniel Craig is charming as we get to bring humanity and plenty of action! I am patiently waiting for October, 8, 2021!

  7. Al germano • 10/5/2021 10:31:39 AM

    The best Bon movie

  8. Will • 10/6/2021 2:11:17 PM

    When Craig was named the NEW 007 I though NO Way !!! Was I wrong !! He is gritty he is physical, he is the Best 007 Ever.

  9. Sherry • 10/7/2021 7:21:46 PM

    I love Daniel Craig as Bond! Don’t tell him but a 75 year old woman has a crush on him! I first saw him in Soectre then went back to see the ones he did before! I am mesmerized by Bond! I also liked Sean Connery but not really any of the others!

  10. jeanette dryer • 10/8/2021 2:45:59 PM

    enjoy the site

  11. Cosette DeGroat • 10/9/2021 4:24:46 PM

    Adore this movie. Daniel craig was excellent. Tears actually rolled down my cheeks when Bond dies.why couldnt they just have him retire. OMG i cried at the end. It really touched me.

  12. Cosette DeGroat • 10/9/2021 4:31:21 PM

    To the guy Fudd. You wouldn't know a good movie if it hit you in the head. You, Elmer Fudd stay home you not need to go to movies.

  13. Sara • 10/9/2021 5:22:33 PM

    James Bond will be back as the movie says in the end and I hope it will be Daniel Craig. I just love the song Louie Armstrong sings at the end. He sang it in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. No Time To Die deserves to receive some Oscars. Just a note MGM and Leo will be roaring again after House of Gucci, Licorice Pizza and Cyrano.

  14. smooth 14 • 10/10/2021 3:42:57 AM

    Dara, Dr. No and Diamonds are forever were middle of the pack of 25 Bond films. I would rate the best Bond film a tie between From Russia With Love and Daniel Craig`s Casino Royale. As for best Bond, once again a standoff between Sean Connery and Daniel Craig. As for No Time To Die, I give it a 6 on a 1-10. The lack of pace for the first half of the film was a major disappointment. Loved the fitting Louie Armstrong rendition during the final credits.

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