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'Skyfall' Movie Reviews: Lastest James Bond Film is Thrilling

Daniel Craig is back as British Agent 007. Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, and Ralph Fiennes also star in Sam Mendes' movie.

 

Just 50 years ago, British Agent 007, James Bond, stepped from the pages of Ian Fleming's books onto the screen in the person of Sean Connery. Since then, Bond has been shot, kidnapped, tortured, betrayed and beaten. He has seduced legions of women, saved the world, disrupted would-be dictators and left a trail of dead bodies that could be stacked from Istanbul to Paris. 

And he has used and discarded mountains of cool gizmos and machines.

Have you seen the film? Leave your review in the comments below.

The latest Bond adventure, "Skyfall," has the secret agent (Daniel Craig) protecting his friend and supervisor M (Judi Dench) from a would-be assasin (Javier Bardem) who wants revenge. Here's what the critics are saying:

To borrow a line from Depeche Mode, death is everywhere in "Skyfall." James Bond's mortality has never been in such prominent focus, but the demise of the entire British spy game as we know it seems imminent, as well.

Still, this 23rd entry in the enduring James Bond franchise is no downer. Far from it: simultaneously thrilling and meaty, this is easily one of the best entries ever in the 50-year, 23-film series, led once again by an actor who's the best Bond yet in Daniel Craig. So many of the elements you want to see in a Bond film exist here: the car, the tuxedo, the martini, the exotic locations filled with gorgeous women. Adele's smoky, smoldering theme song over the titles harkens to the classic 007 tales of the 1960s, even as the film's central threat of cyberterrorism, perpetrated by an elusive figure who's seemingly everywhere and can't be pinned down, couldn't be more relevant. Christy Lemire, Associated Press movie critic

 

The freshest thing about Skyfall is its embrace of its own old-fashioned values. It's a movie in which the villain's secret weapon is a server farm, in which the high-tech gizmos proffered by the new, hipster Q (Ben Whishaw) are quickly discarded for old-school tools. In the body of 43-year-old, visibly graying Craig, Bond's advancing age is played as both an obstacle to surmount and a virtue. Between the action sequences, the pleasure lies in observing impeccably dressed Brits exchanging barbed witticisms — making it, basically, Downton Abbey with cybercrime and shower sex. Karina Longworth, LA Weekly

 

If "Skyfall" is the new 50, James Bond is handling it remarkably well. Five decades after the first cinematic incarnation of 007, novelist Ian Fleming's agent provocateur, the spy-craft in the new film is sharper, the intrigue deeper, the beauties brighter (more brain, less bare).

And yet if I'm not mistaken, there are perilous emotional peaks and valleys along with all that bloody cheek. Daniel Craig's Bond is not quite as detached, his martini not quite as dry. Even the villain, a masterfully menacing Javier Bardem, is an emotional wreck whose angst is actually explored. Indeed the entire film is shrink-wrapped in self-examination that somehow manages not to dint, much less destroy, the explosive fun. Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic

 

Instead he [Director Sam Mendes] honors the contract that the Bond series made with its fans long ago and delivers the customary chases, pretty women and silky villainy along with the little and big bangs. Whether Mr. Mendes is deploying an explosion or a delectable detail, he retains a crucially human scale and intimacy, largely by foregrounding the performers. To that end, while “Skyfall” takes off with shock-and-awe blockbuster dazzle, it’s opulent rather than outlandish and insistently, progressively low-key, despite an Orientalist fantasy with dragons and dragon ladies. As Bond sprints from peril to pleasure, Mr. Craig and the other players — including an exceptional, wittily venal Javier Bardem, a sleek Ralph Fiennes and a likable Ben Whishaw — turn out to be the most spectacular of Mr. Mendes’s special effects. MANOHLA DARGIS, the New York Times

"Skyfall" is rated PG-13, but parents are strongly cautioned. It runs 2 hours and 23 minutes. It's playing at Beechwood Stadium Cinemas and Carmike Cinema in Athens.

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bill mcdaniel November 11, 2012 at 01:25 AM
my complaint about the recent bond films, starting with Timothy Dalton's debut, is the number of stories about rogue agents or agents feeling they were badly treated and deciding to take it out on MI6 License to Kill - Bond goes rogue, Goldeneye - Bond left an agent behind and he's pissed World is Not Enough - M let someone get killed and his daughter is pissed Die Another Day - M left Bond behind and he goes rogue Skyfall - same song fourth verse Skyfall had some nice touches, the return of the Aston Martin, and the new Q shows definite promise, but the stories need to be bigger and not just about the byzantine squabbles within the British secret service and government. We need another Dr No, but one for the 21st Century. Daniel Criag is a good Bond; he has the cruelty that Connery's Bond showed, but he looks Royal Army, not Royal Navy. Bond is, and always will be, a black haired Scot with a naval background. Crig's blond, buzzcut hair just never says Bond, James Bond to me. Skyfall was good, no doubt about it, but we need a return to villians with schemes of world domination, not chips on shoulders from and workplace grievances.
Emma Perry November 11, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Thanks for this post! I’m excited by all the good things I keep hearing about this movie. A couple of my DISH co-workers and I have been talking about seeing Skyfall together for a long time now. We’re actually having a Daniel Craig Bond night before we go to the theater. I rented Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace from Blockbuster @ Home, which I have through my DISH account. It’s so convenient for me to just have the DVDs mailed to me since I never have time to go rent movies at the store these days. It’s been a while since I’ve seen these movies, so I’m looking forward to refreshing my memory. Daniel Craig is definitely my favorite James Bond.

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