Spectre: what the critics are saying

Reviewers are (mostly) loving Daniel Craig’s latest outing as James Bond

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The first reviews are in for Spectre, the latest adventure of Daniel Craig’s James Bond which sees the spy struggling for relevance in an increasingly modern world while attempting to uncover a mysterious evil organisation.

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But what did the critics think of director Sam Mendes’ second take on 007?


Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

★★★★

“It’s pure action mayhem with a real sense of style….It’s deeply silly but uproariously entertaining. At the end, I almost felt guilty for enjoying it all quite so much – almost.”


Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

★★★★

“Thankfully, as an action movie, Spectre is every bit the equal of its predecessor, Skyfall. For at least half its running time, this is as good as Bond gets – a rip-roaring and very stylishly made thriller with tremendous production values.

The hitch is that, in its latter stages, Spectre struggles to reconcile its own internal contradictions. The filmmakers want to have it both ways: to provide slick entertainment while also giving us new insight into Bond’s emotions and into his past.”


Kim Newman, Empire

★★★★

“Even if this is less satisfying overall than Skyfall, there are sequences that rank with Bond’s best. The pre-credits set piece, with a skull-masked Bond in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead, opens with a Touch Of Evil-style tracking shot that’s a stunner (Daniel Craig just walking briskly across precarious rooftops with style is a thrilling spectacle) and delivers a definitive struggle-inside-an-out-of-control-helicopter climax most films would save for a finale.”


Tom Huddleston, Time Out

★★★

“Director Sam Mendes exercises complete control over his material, Craig’s bruised bulldog charm is in full effect and the visuals by crack cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema are rich and ravishing.

“But somewhere between the introduction of Léa Seydoux’s snappy but underwritten Madeleine Swann and some antics in the Sahara that unpleasantly (and, we’d assume, unintentionally) recall the climax of ‘Quantum of Solace’, the wheels come rattling off this Aston Martin.”


Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

★★★★

“If Skyfall, the 23rd film in the Bond franchise, was about making sense of the Bond character in the modern world, finally resetting the clock with that delicious closing scene – Bond, M and Moneypenny restored to the wood-panelled office of old – Spectre, the 24th, is the film that Skyfall made possible.

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“…Spectre pulls it off in the grand old Fleming style. It’s an act of pure cinematic necromancy.”