I love James Bond movies and if you are reading this you probably do too. There have been more 007 Top 10 Lists than you could shake a stick at posted on the internet so I figured I might as well put one more out there for people to disagree with.
The Pre-Title sequences are usually a highlight of the series so let’s dive into what I consider the 10 best in the series.
1. Thunderball (1965)
I think this is the best one by far. It has Bond fighting a man dressed as a woman, which was aped in the Austin Powers series.
It also features a kick-ass jetpack and the legendary Aston Martin that first appeared in the preceding movie, Goldfinger.
2. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The parallel storytelling between 007 and Agent XXX and the subsequent skiing sequence between XXX’s lover and Bond that results in the former’s death sets the stage for the rest of the movie. The ending features a terrific ski jump that’s one of the best real stunts in the series.
3. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
All 4 of the Brosnan movies are represented on this list with his sophomore effort taking the top spot.
A high octane action sequence at an arms bazaar where 007 has to steal a fighter jet carrying nuclear warheads before the Navy’s airstrike annihilates everything in its wake.
4. Goldfinger (1964)
This one pretty much set the standard for the title sequences that followed. It features 007 infiltrating and destroying a drug factory in Latin America, a beautiful woman Bond uses as a shield during a fight with a thug and a zippy one-liner after 007 kills him.
5. Goldeneye (1995)
After a 6 year hiatus, the series returned with the first of the Brosnan movies. In the opening, they delay showing his face for a while. This one really sets up the rest of the movie and the origin of the adversarial relationship between 007 and the film’s main villain 006, a rogue agent that fakes his own death. Great action with some humor thrown in for good measure.
6. The World is Not Enough (1999)
The pre-title sequence for this one is long and it’s also the best part of the whole movie. Starting in Spain with an assassin and a briefcase filled with ransom money it moves quickly to MI6 HQ in London where the briefcase explodes. 007 chases the assassin in a fantastic speedboat sequence on the Thames, which ends with suicide by a hot air balloon explosion.
7. Skyfall (2012)
By far the best of the Daniel Craig era openings. This one has some great action all around but what makes this one stand out is that they have Moneypenny shoot Bond off of a speeding train. Oops! I guess she shouldn’t have traded in her typewriter for a sniper rifle.
8. The Living Daylights (1987)
Timothy Dalton’s introduction to the series has Bond involved in a training exercise that soon turns deadly when an assassin infiltrates the proceedings. Somehow the fact that it ends up with 007 on a yacht drinking champagne with a beautiful woman just adds to its 1980s awesomeness.
9. Moonraker (1979)
James Bond vs. Jaws plummeting towards Earth without working parachutes. ‘Nuff said!
10. Die Another Day (2002)
Easily the best part of this movie features 007 on a mission in North Korea. Similar to the other Brosnan era openings this one delivers action in spades. The only difference is this one ends with Bond being captured by the enemy.