After a seemingly unending series of delays and pushbacks, James Bond is finally back in No Time to Die, and it sounds like Daniel Craig’s 007 swansong was worth the excruciating wait. Featuring the actor’s final outing as the iconic secret agent, the first reviews for No Time to Die are now in, with critics throwing 5-stars at the movie like so much confetti.
We begin with Peter Bradshaw from the Guardian, who gifted No Time to Die a perfect score of 5/5 and praised the movie’s approach to the long-running franchise, maintaining many of the cherished tropes whilst keeping things somewhat cemented in the real world.
“No Time To Die is startling, exotically self-aware, funny and confident, and perhaps most of all it is big: big action, big laughs, big stunts and however digitally it may have been contrived, and however wildly far-fetched, No Time To Die looks like it is taking place in the real world, a huge wide open space that we’re all longing for.”
The glowing five-star ratings continue with Robbie Collin of the Daily Telegraph, who could not be more pleased to have the beloved spy return, especially after such an agonizingly long wait.
“We’ve been expecting you, Mr. Bond, for quite some time – and what a joy and relief it is to have you back.”
Mike Reyes of CinemaBlend similarly could not hold back his applause, also dropping an expectation heightening 5/5 on No Time to Die, assuring fans of 007 that the movie will indeed live up to the hype.
“Put your fears to rest, because Daniel Craig and Cary Joji Fukunaga make their shot count…”
Stefan Pape from HeyUGuys gave No Time to Die a near-perfect rating of 4/5, commending the efforts of Fukunaga saying, “What Cary Joji Fukunaga has managed to do here is capture the essence of Bond without contrivance, all the while bringing the character and world firmly into the present day.” Flickering Myth’s EJ Moreno was equally impressed with the movie, describing No Time to Die as “Polished and filled with life, the Daniel Craig-era of Bond has never felt better. What a way to close this chapter!”
Deadline’s Pete Hammond meanwhile find No Time to Die to be a worthy final outing for Daniel Craig’s iteration of the character, praising the actor’s stylish, emotional performance.
“Bond is back with a vengeance. Daniel Craig takes the assignment just one more time in a film that proves a fitting finale for the actor. He invests the role emotion, power and style.”
Owen Gleiberman of Variety also found a lot to love about No Time to Die, calling it a “terrific movie”, and praising the level of soul and surprise that director Cary Joji Fukunaga and star Daniel Craig have managed to bring to this highly anticipated installment.
“No Time to Die” is a terrific movie: an up-to-the-minute, down-to-the-wire James Bond thriller with a satisfying neo-classical edge. It’s an unabashedly conventional Bond film that’s been made with high finesse and just the right touch of soul, as well as enough sleek surprise to keep you on edge.”
Empire Magazine’s John Nugent felt slightly different about the movie, but was no less enamoured, giving No Time to Die 4/5 and saying, “This is Bond film that dutifully ticks all the boxes – but brilliantly, often doesn’t feel like a Bond film at all. For a 007 who strived to bring humanity to larger-than-life hero, it’s a fitting end to the Craig era.” Jason Solomons of TheWrap was equally blown away saying, “Daniel Craig’s best incarnation of an iconic role, an iteration that sees Bond travel to emotional spaces the character has never been to before, at least not since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service or in certain passages of Ian Fleming’s books.”
Of course, nothing stays positive forever, with Forbes’ Scott Mendelson finding fault with No Time to Die’s attempts at closing off the Daniel Craig legacy of the franchise.
“‘No Time To Die’ is pretty good when it’s focused on just being “the next James Bond movie,” but it stumbles in the back half as a direct sequel to ‘Spectre.'”
The admiration continues however thanks to Mae Abdulbaki of Screen Rant, who, despite some criticism of the movie’s final act, still found No Time to Die to be well worth it; “Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as Bond is replete with fantastic action sequences and an emotional center despite the final act being shaky.” The minor criticisms continue with Total Film’s Matt Maytum, but they were still more than satisfied with the latest Bond effort, rating it 4/5 and saying, “Even a disappointing villain can’t detract from a bold, satisfying climax to Daniel Craig’s time in the tux.”
Finally, Ian Sandwell of Digital Spy sums things up perfectly, describing No Time to Die as the perfect Bond outing, as well as a more than worthy finale for Daniel Craig.
“Delivers all the spectacle you’d expect from a 007 movie, throws a few surprises in along the way and proves to be an entertaining, affecting and bold finale for Daniel Craig.”
Set five years after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, No Time to Die finds James Bond having left active service. His peaceful life is short-lived, and he is approached by his friend and CIA officer Felix Leiter, who enlists his help in the search for Valdo Obruchev, a missing scientist. When it becomes apparent that Obruchev has been abducted, Bond must confront a villain whose schemes could see the death of millions.
No Time to Die is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Rory Kinnear, and Ralph Fiennes reprise their roles from previous films, with Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, Billy Magnussen, and David Dencik joining the cast as new characters.
Following a series of delays, No Time to Die finally had its world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 28 September 2021, and will be theatrically released on 30 September 2021 internationally and 8 October 2021 in the United States.