I apologize in advance if this isn't a fitting question for this SE site.

I've never seen a James Bond movie, but I know the basis of a Bond movie from the millions of references I've seen growing up in all sorts of locations. I don't know if I would enjoy Bond movies, so the first movie I watch will likely determine whether or not I'm willing to watch others. I imagine the answer would vary depending person to person.

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    Hi. Welcome to M&TV, sorry but this is primarily opinion based. However you are more than welcome to ask this question on chat, and I'd be delighted to give you my opinion!
    – iandotkelly
    Feb 10, 2014 at 4:59
  • Hmm, when thinking about it, maybe there might really be an interesting objective question in here, something along the lines of which movie captures the essence of James Bond movies best and why. Yet, even that is hard to formulate in a non-opinion-based way (what is the essence of a James Bond movie, has this changed over time anyway?).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 10, 2014 at 17:30
  • I like the idea of asking about what captures the essence of James Bond, but it will definitely still be opinion-based and wouldn't fit with this Stack Exchange. I can't really come up with a question that could fulfill what I'm looking for that fits this criteria.
    – agweber
    Feb 10, 2014 at 17:44

2 Answers 2


They don't really follow a building story (meaning the next one doesn't build on top of the previous), so you will not miss anything if you decide to watch them "out of order" if there was such a thing.

If you are a purist and you absolutely want to see the evolution of style and tech in the stories and want to build upon the legacy to get to where we are now, I would recommend you just watch them in the order they were released.

Now, a note up front, they are not all created equal, they are not all good, but even the bad ones give you perspective into the character. So you can go by the golden list (the ones voted by fans as being the best) and then work your way down the list. You can watch them by actor, although that will get hard at some point as there are a lot of turnovers in the role.

This is why I would personally recommend you watch them in the order released. Take the different actors, the different style of effects, the good and the bad as they come to have a better appreciation for it. Warning through, there are a lot of them, so know that it's a journey, so enjoy it; don't go for the quick watch and done: it will frustrate you.

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    I would like to point out that while you are mostly correct in saying Bond films don't play off one another I must point out that there are several with joining plot lines. First is "On her Majesty's Secret Service" and then to "Diamonds are Forever" where Bond is hunting Bloefeld in the latter for killing his wife in the former. Then the most recent Daniel Craig films they all tie into each other with :Quantum of Solace" taking place not to long after "Casino Royale" and then they move straight into "Skyfall"
    – chcuk
    Feb 10, 2014 at 3:22
  • @chcuk you are absolutely right about that and only a true fan like us would know or even notice but for someone coming into it, if they were to bounce around a bit, they won't lose too much. Think of it like when the main story is revealed and they do a prequel and so on. We can keep up, right? Just saying in the grand scheme of things, they won't lose much but that's why I mentioned the golden list to ensure that the ones with continuity are not lost on them :) Feb 10, 2014 at 8:36
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    IMHO, almost every Bond film can be seen as the 'first' film without needing too much backstory. The only film that would confuse someone watching that film as their first Bond film would be Quantum Of Solace, as that film really is a direct sequel to Casino Royale. In every other Bond film where they reference something from an earlier film (like Diamonds Are Forever or the beginning of For Your Eyes Only), there's usually a brief explanation that would catch the viewer up with the rest of us. Though it's not my favorite, I'd vote for OHMSS - a good film that has elements referenced later. Feb 10, 2014 at 16:25
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    There are a lot of turnovers in the roll. I'm trying to work out whether this is an excruciating pun, or simply a misspelling of role.
    – TRiG
    Feb 27, 2015 at 14:42
  • Thank you for the edit, I usually catch those but a couple misspells seems pretty good for an old answer :) Feb 28, 2015 at 0:17

The movies styles change over the years, so you really need to try a few.

From the '60's, I'd say From Russia With Love - a great example of a movie which sticks close to the novel it's based on and which works well as a period piece.

From the '70's, The Spy who Love Me - a 70's tech adventure style of film.

Skip the next two decades, and try 2006's Casino Royale, the well-regarded reboot of the series. You really can't fairly compare Casino Royale and the following movies with what went before.

  • "The movies styles change over the years, so you really need to try a few." - Good suggestion, but - "Skip the next two decades" - Any reason for that in this context?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:14
  • There is a long run of mediocre films there. Enjoyable fluff, but nothing to really hook you. Feb 10, 2014 at 10:21
  • I feared it was a subjective reason. Any way to elaborate on that and give it some more objective backing in the answer (if possible)? (But I guess the point is moot anyway, now that the question is closed.)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:27
  • ... tough to give any sort of objective answer to this kind of question. I stand by the strategy of watching ones from different eras, though. Feb 10, 2014 at 10:37
  • "I stand by the strategy of watching ones from different eras, though." - And that is a very good strategy, of course (with two fitting examples). I just thought there might also be a reason in this context to drop two eras (e.g. if the ones from the 80s and 90s were all similar to The Spy Who Loved Me, which isn't the case, though).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:39

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