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Rank the Craig performances

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#1 glidrose


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Posted 23 January 2016 - 09:30 PM

1. QOS
A deficient film that boasts an outstanding performance.
2. CR
Close behind, but lacks the style that distinguishes his performance in QOS. Craig's got that glint in his eye. He was born to play Bond.
[major gap]
Then it's a toss up between SF and SP. His performance hits nothing but wrong notes in SF, which I suspect has much to do with the writing. He gives an exhausted performance in Spectre - he's going through the motions. The spark is gone. He also looks a touch too old in both SF and SP.
Shame about that four year gap between QOS and SF.
Curiously, I have similar feelings about Brosnan's performances: two great performances, followed by two weak performances. http://debrief.comma...nces/?p=1324950
Let me go off-topic for a moment. I shouldn't - this thread is to discuss his performances and not the films themselves but I will. Sadly, at least for me, the Craig era has not lived up to its potential. CR is for me far and away his best Bond film and gave me high hopes for his era which have not been realized. Guess CR got lucky having a solid Fleming story.

#2 Bond... Raybond

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 09:38 PM

Generally I agree with your assessment of Daniel Craig's performances. However I would reverse QOS and CR. As you said DC had a spark about him in CR that never returned for the following films. DC's films and performances have followed a downward trajectory throughout his tenure. His performance in SPECTRE felt very tired, but I can't tell if that was the direction, the script or his own acting choices. The trailer had some of his better line readings. The film version of his line about 'overdue holiday' was far inferior to the trailer version, which was more playful, as opposed to the insolent version which ended up in the film.

#3 DaveBond21



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Posted 24 January 2016 - 10:53 PM

Interesting to read this because I thought SPECTRE was his best. He completely owns the role, looks relaxed and confident. Great delivery of his lines.

#4 blueman


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Posted 25 January 2016 - 05:10 AM

Yeah, his performance in SP rules IMO.

#5 SecretAgentFan



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Posted 25 January 2016 - 09:16 AM

For me, Craig is great in all four films.  And what actually works out for him is that every film gives him the opportunity to focus on another element:


1. CR - the arrogance


2. QOS - the anger


3. SF - the melancholy


4. SP - the nonchalance

#6 Guy Haines

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 09:07 PM

I agree about Craig being great in all four. Like Connery, Craig has been able to really own the part because he hasn't had to look over his shoulder at what went before. Connery didn't because there was no "before" on the cinema screen, Craig because the decision to reboot the series meant that in spite of the knowing nods and winks to the past in terms of props, Craig had to play Bond as a not yet fully formed Double O agent. He couldn't include the trademark mannerisms and the like - he hadn't yet acquired them.

In CR he is raw and direct. In QoS he has had a lesson learned but is still not yet settled. In SF, four years on, he seems to bounce from fed up to basket case to man on the mend, pretty much recovered by the end of the film. And in SP we do start to detect a sense of humour, but in Craig's Bond it's almost sarcastic - the byplay between Bond and M and then Bond and C showing this.

He still gives the impression, though, of a Bond not quite fully formed, to me at least. Maybe Craig's final movie will reveal the complete Bond.

#7 RMc2



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Posted 26 January 2016 - 12:07 AM

For me, Craig is great in all four films.  And what actually works out for him is that every film gives him the opportunity to focus on another element:


1. CR - the arrogance


2. QOS - the anger


3. SF - the melancholy


4. SP - the nonchalance


5. ?



What could he explore in another go at the role? Unsurprisingly seems to have focused on the darker aspects of personality so far...

#8 Dustin



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Posted 26 January 2016 - 07:42 AM

I think I'll have to give CR, QOS and SF a rewatch with an eye on the performance to judge on this...

#9 thecasinoroyale



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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:22 AM

For me, in terms of general Bond enjoyment, portrayal and overall Bond iconography, which is what I want when watching a, shock, Bond film, I go for...



2) Casino Royale

3) Quantum Of Solace

4) Skyfall


Of course, a fine margin between them and all, in general, wonderful for their own reasons.  Never a hater when it comes to Bond! :P

#10 sharpshooter



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Posted 26 January 2016 - 09:05 AM

Interesting to read this because I thought SPECTRE was his best. He completely owns the role, looks relaxed and confident. Great delivery of his lines.

Yep. I think this is pretty much his fully formed version of Bond.

#11 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 06:29 PM

1. Casino Royale -- the best debut performance of any 007 actor


2. SPECTRE -- we finally get a fully formed and FUN Craig Bond


3. Quantum Of Solace -- has a bigger range to go through than in Skyfall and does a good job portraying it


4. Skyfall -- not a bad performance, but the other three are better

#12 BesBond



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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:51 PM

Hmm... In terms of performance I thought he finally nailed it in Spectre, although the film itself was a bit of a mess by the end.


  1. Spectre - Craig mastered it by this 4th film, much like Connery had by his 4th outing (Thunderball).
  2. Skyfall - A good solid performance; a step in the right direction after QOS's solemn, (IMO) one note turn.
  3. Casino Royale  - I do need to re-watch this one, so it's possibly a tie with Skyfall for the time being.
  4. Quantum of Solace - Not a very Bond-like portrayal for my money; he very much comes second best compared to say, Timbo Dalton's (IMO) more layered vengeful portrayal in Licence to Kill.

Edited by BesBond, 29 January 2016 - 01:52 PM.

#13 MISALA1994



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Posted 04 May 2017 - 04:51 PM

1. CR
2. SP
3. SF
4. QOS

Edited by MISALA1994, 04 May 2017 - 04:52 PM.

#14 Hockey Mask

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:04 PM

2. Quantum of Solace
3. Skyfall
4. Casino Royale

#15 Professor Pi

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 04:19 AM

#1 Casino Royale -- Such a bold departure for a first time Bond actor.  Highlights are confronting Vesper on the hotel balcony and the torture scene.


#2 Quantum of Solace -- His last scenes with Green in the desert and Camille in the car are up there with Dalton's exhaustion after the truck chase in LTK.  Also, on the flight with Mathis after consuming six (!) martinis.


#3 Skyfall -- "You know the whole story."  Also, M's death scene, very reminiscent of Tracy's.  Plus, "what a waste of scotch."  People wrongfully interpret this as sexist, but Craig is simultaneously displaying his disgust for Silva, plotting his assertive male aggression, and also camouflaging his vulnerability over the loss of Vesper.  His comradery with Q is well played.


#4 SPECTRE -- A low light is "the late head of SPECTRE" and most of the final act.  "You're dumping me when I'm about to kill Blofeld?!"  What's an actor to do with such woeful material?  Christoph Walz and Daniel Craig should have been a thing to behold, but the script writers wasted this opportunity.  Judi Dench scenes were way better.  But Craig's line at the funeral was brilliant.  "Can't you see that I'm in mourning?"  "No," he calls her out on the bluff, reasserting the upper hand in the facade.  Also, on the train fight with Hinx, he truly seems scared for his life.


I truly consider Craig the best Bond actor (though I give the best performance to Dalton in LTK.)  But he's got weaknesses with humor and romance.  Moore was the best for humor, and Connery for romance (the dress given to Tatiana on the train a prime example.)  But showing that Bond is a killer, dedicated to his employment, is Craig's strength.  Brosnan's best performance was his fourth (after the over acting of TWINE), even though DAD was the worst Brosnan Bond, if not the worst Bond.


But if Craig comes back for a fifth, and they do a YOLT novelization, I think that would give him material to go out with his best performance as Bond.