• 12
  • Sam Mendes (2012)
  • US / UK
  • 137 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Director Sam Mendes brings all the classic Bond elements together to make this 23rd film in the series one of the very best. The ever-impressive Daniel Craig begins his third 007 outing all washed-up, having been left for dead after a mission backfires. When national security is compromised, it's a bestubbled, battered and booze-soaked Bond that reports back for duty, casting serious doubts on his fitness for the job. Likewise, the future of M (an outstanding Judi Dench) is called into question by a parliamentary committee eager to see her made accountable for her department's failings. Although Mendes is still best known for the Oscar-winning American Beauty, any doubts that he can deliver on the thrills front are quickly put to rest by a breathless pre-credits sequence through Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. But perhaps the biggest stunt he pulls off is creating a convincing human drama - centred on the complex relationship between M and Bond - to ground the all-important action. Mendes is also helped by an intelligent, witty script (no cheap double entendres here) delivered by a fine cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Albert Finney. But it's Javier Bardem as Silva, the campy, (almost too) Hannibal Lecter-like villain with a pathological need to settle old scores, who gets all the best lines. The sheer class of the production is felt in Roger Deakins's polished cinematography, Adele's emotionally charged theme song and a beautifully judged appearance by that ultimate Bond accessory, the original Aston Martin DB5. Released 50 years after the first Bond film Dr No this production not only pays tribute to the series in style but paves the way for its form in the future.

Plot Summary

Spy adventure starring Daniel Craig as agent James Bond. When an operation to retrieve a computer hard drive containing the names of agents goes wrong, the authority of MI6 boss M comes under scrutiny. Her only ally seems to be Bond, who is assigned to track down the mastermind behind the theft. It's a mission that will reveal long-hidden secrets from M's and Bond's pasts.

Cast and crew


James Bond
Daniel Craig
Judi Dench
Javier Bardem
Gareth Mallory
Ralph Fiennes
Naomie Harris
Bérénice Marlohe
Ben Whishaw
Albert Finney
Bill Tanner
Rory Kinnear
Ola Rapace
Clair Dowar
Helen McCrory


Sam Mendes

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Violence, swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 26 Oct 2012
Certificate 12
Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent.