No Time To Die reviews roundup

We’ve been expecting them.

Now, the No Time To Die reviews are here – and the movie media are throwing more stars than a ninja army in a super-villain’s volcano base.

Here’s our pick of the plaudits…

“It’s better than good, it’s magnificent…” ★★★★★
The Times

In a five-star assessment that set the tone for the No Time To Die reviews, The TimesKevin Maher praised director Cary Joji Fukunaga for restoring the saga’s mojo after “a stunning opening entry (Casino Royale) and three middling instalments”.

He singled out the outgoing 007 for particular praise: “Craig is a towering charismatic presence from opening frame to closing shot, and he bows out in terrific, soulful style”. And then, just in case that didn’t seem overtly gushing enough, Maher gave it to us straight: “It’s better than good, it’s magnificent.”

James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) in NO TIME TO DIE, an EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios film.


“Craig’s final film is an epic barnstormer…” ★★★★★
The Guardian

Just one of a constellation of five-star No Time To Die reviews, Peter Bradshaw was shaken/stirred by the script from Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, which hit on “pathos, action, drama, camp comedy, heartbreak and macabre horror”. Driving the movie forwards, he continued, was Fukunaga’s “terrific panache”, with the director showcasing the “pouting disdain” of Rami Malek’s villain, Safin, and excavating the depths of “a Bond who is unafraid of showing his feelings”.

Most gratifying of all, came Bradshaw’s sign-off, is that No Time To Die is the cinema spectacular we’ve all been waiting for. “Big action, big laughs, big stunts… you can see the pleasure everyone takes in this gigantic piece of ridiculously watchable entertainment”.

“Extravagantly satisfying…” ★★★★★
The Telegraph

Reviewer Robbie Collin also bestowed the maximum five stars on No Time To Die, commending Daniel Craig’s swansong for tying up the threads of a narrative arc that began with 2006’s Casino Royale, and for giving the franchise-restoring actor the leaving party he deserves.

“Fukunaga's extravagantly satisfying, bulgingly proportioned last chapter to the Craig era,” wrote Collin, “throws almost everything there is left to throw at 007”.


James Bond (Daniel Craig) in NO TIME TO DIE, an EON Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios film.


Crucially, Collin added, that hefty remit includes humour: “It's often very funny indeed. The mood is often closer to the perkier passages of the Connery films, and the humour feels contemporary and British: the Phoebe Waller-Bridge script polish evidently yielded the desired result”.

And for Bond fanatics, he felt Q Branch has pulled off a blinder. “There are gadgets which are both improbable and outrageous. Ben Whishaw's Q has come up with a stealth glider whose wings unfold in mid-air – perhaps a sly tribute to Little Nellie, the natty gyrocopter from You Only Live Twice”.

“There’s a muscularity to it, with flashes of a paranoid conspiracy thriller…” ★★★★

If there was a time when Bond operated in the shadow of Jason Bourne, argued Empire’s John Nugent, those days are gone, with No Time To Die cleaving closer to the stylish ultra-violence of John Wick, and putting “an emphasis on sharp, savage gunfights and intense chase sequences”.

Brains and brawn collide in a movie that “has a groundedness and muscularity to it, with flashes of a paranoid conspiracy thriller”.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Paloma (Ana De Armas) in Cuba in NO TIME TO DIE, a DANJAQ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.


And while Craig’s last hurrah dominated the No Time To Die reviews, Empire was not alone among the commentators to pick out the supporting cast, from “Ana de Armas in a tiny but winning repeat of the Knives Out chemistry she shared with Craig, [to] Lashana Lynch as a rival 00 agent with her own brand of swagger”.

Official poster for NO TIME TO DIE, a DANJAQ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.


“It rarely stops for breath…” ★★★★
Digital Spy

While No Time To Die’s running time at first suggested MGM were too shy with the editing scissors, Digital Spy countered that the broader canvas allowed the adventure to stretch out and throw fans all the bones they desire, including a “stunningly designed” old-school lair for the villainous Safin. “The weighty 163-minute runtime did have us worried that Craig's final outing would get bogged down in exposition,” wrote Ian Sandwell, “yet it proves not to be the case. It's densely plotted yet snappily paced, meaning that the movie rarely stops for breath before the next big action sequence or another revelation.”


“A lot of bang for your buck…” ★★★★
Total Film

Since 1962’s Dr No, Bond has been in a state of glacial evolution, but by planting one foot in the saga’s grand traditions while sprinkling modernist touches, Total Film felt No Time To Die walked the tightrope in style. Matt Maytum’s review noted that Bond 25 “largely adheres to the formula” – serving up “spectacle galore in terms of action set-pieces, incredibly shot locations and attractive characters wearing the hell out of killer costumes” – but spiced this with “significant deviations” that ensure we never feel like 007 has flicked the autopilot.

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“High finesse and just the right touch of soul"

Never one to pull his punches, Variety’s Owen Gleiberman loved Casino Royale, found its follow-ups “profoundly disappointing”, but was thrilled by this “brisk, heady and sharp” curtain-closer to the Craig era.

In Hollywood, action films are elbow-to-elbow, he points out, but when it hits these peaks, the Bond franchise has that almost-indefinable something that elevates it above Mission: Impossible et al.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) in NO TIME TO DIE, a DANJAQ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.


“You need an ingenious weave of elements: the perfect layered rhythm of brashly timed fights and great escapes and bedazzling chases and delectable quips and cool gadgets and sexy one-upmanship and the ultimate in world-domination stakes”.

The revelation is that No Time To Die hits those marks, and then some. “I never thought I’d wipe away a tear at the end of a James Bond movie,” concluded Gleiberman, “but No Time To Die fulfills its promise. It finishes off the saga of Craig’s 007 in the most honestly extravagant of style.” 

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