Daniel Craig’s reign as James Bond comes to an end with “No Time to Die,” which finally hits theaters this week after multiple delays. Since making his debut in 2006’s “Casino Royale,” Craig has gone from a controversial Bond to one of the most beloved actors to ever take on the iconic character, and his swan song is poised to be a major box office event.
Craig’s Bond movies have been more interconnected than previous installments in the franchise, and “No Time to Die” is no exception. The Cary Fukunaga-directed film brings Craig’s story full circle, building on the narrative that was developed over the last four movies.
For that reason, you may be wondering which Bond movies to watch before “No Time to Die.” Obviously, if you want to be most prepared for Craig’s final outing, you should watch all of them. But if you’re in a crunch, here are the ones you should prioritize in order for the story of “No Time to Die” to have the most impact.
“Casino Royale” (2006)
Daniel Craig’s first Bond movie is not only one of the best Bond films ever made, but it’s also required viewing for “No Time to Die.” The impact that Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd had on Craig’s character has been felt in every single Bond movie since, and that’s true of “No Time to Die” as well. There are specific callbacks to events from “Casino Royale” in “No Time to Die,” so in order to get the most out of this latest Bond entry, it’s a swell idea to brush up on Craig’s first installment. Plus, this Bond origin story is a blast and a half, humanizing the character in a way we’d never seen before while delivering on the action and thrills fans expect from the franchise.
Where to Watch It: Unfortunately, “Casino Royale” is not streaming anywhere at the moment. So the best way to watch the film is to either rent it from a digital retailer or buy it on Blu-ray.
The most recent Bond film before “No Time to Die,” 2015’s “Spectre,” is the other required viewing for this latest movie. Filmmaker Sam Mendes’ “Skyfall” follow-up introduced the terrorist organization Spectre to Craig’s run of films for the first time, while also bringing in Christoph Waltz as iconic Bond villain Blofeld (albeit with a twisty personal connect to Bond). Waltz reprises his role in “No Time to Die,” and Lea Seydoux’s “Spectre” character, Dr. Elizabeth Swan, also has a key role in the new film’s story. In that regard, “No Time to Die” is very much a direct sequel to “Spectre,” so if it’s been a while since you’ve seen the film, you might want to brush up before catching the latest installment.
Where to Watch It: “Spectre” is currently only streaming on a service called FuboTV; otherwise you can rent or buy the film.
Extra Credit: “Skyfall” (2012)
While not entirely necessary from a plot perspective, “Skyfall” is a terrific installment in Craig’s run and thus enhances the viewing of “No Time to Die.” Director Sam Mendes’ first Bond film is one of the most financially successful films in the franchise’s entire history, and for good reason. “Skyfall” is a thrilling, sophisticated Bond movie that also introduced new iterations of iconic characters like Q and Moneypenny (and the new M) to Craig’s run of films. So while it’s not exactly necessary viewing for “No Time to Die,” it’s great fun.
Where to Watch: “Skyfall” is currently streaming on Hulu and Paramount+.
“No Time to Die” opens in U.S. theaters on Oct. 8.