5 Best Moments in ‘No Time to Die,’ Ranked

Daniel Craig’s farewell to the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die drove in $56 million during its opening weekend, according to industry estimates. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s how the movie starts: James Bond is no longer serving MI6, but his peace & quiet with Madeleine (Léa Seydoux) doesn’t last after an attempt on his life. And when an old CIA friend (Jeffrey Wright) turns up asking for help, Bond is lead down the trail of a mysterious villain (Rami Malek in ultimate creep form) armed with dangerous new technology and a backstory tied to Madeleine.

Despite the film’s mixed reviews, it’s hard to dispute Craig’s dedication to the role – even when his version of Bond might seem a bit laissez-faire every now and then. Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 clocks in at almost three hours, leaving plenty to dissect with its many supporting characters and action sequences.

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Breaking Down The Best Scenes In Daniel Craig’s Final Bond Outing, Directed By Cary Joji Fukunaga

Fair warning: Spoilers are sprinkled throughout this list of our top moments in No Time to Die, ranked in descending order. From scene-stealing supporting performances to reliably superb shootouts, there is still plenty to appreciate in the latest 007 popcorn flick directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective, Maniac). And even if you think Casino Royale is still Craig’s best, let’s at least look back at the perks of this potential runner-up.

5. Felix Leiter Rejoins The Party

Felix Leiter Rejoins The Party

Bond’s CIA liaison, Felix Leiter, delightfully resurfaces in No Time to Die after going noticeably missing from Spectre. Speaking to SyFy about his character’s relationship to Bond, Wright said, “I think it’s grown from the first film, in which they didn’t know one another, and they’ve come to rely on one another and come to trust one another over the course of time. And so they find themselves once again in the mix together, because of that trust. And I think they exist in a time and in a place when there’s not much to be trusted, and I think we see that play out as our film unfolds.”

It’s that element of trust that makes Wright’s scenes so refreshing, as Felix goofs around with Bond at a nightclub while always giving it to Bond straight when it comes to business. No Time To Die saw Wright break a franchise record with the most appearances as the frequently-recast Felix, but it was bittersweet in the end. Felix was tragically killed off and replaced, in a sense, by Ana De Armas’ Paloma – which brings us to the next top moment on our list:

4. Ana de Armas Kicks Butt For A Few Minutes

Ana de Armas Kicks Butt For A Few Minutes

Clocking in at less than 20 minutes, Armas’ appearance alongside Daniel Craig could even be deemed a cameo. The red-hot Cuban actor plays the part well nonetheless. Similar to her breakout role in Rian Johnson’s smash hit Knives Out, Paloma initially comes off as a classic newbie, but we quickly learn there’s more to it. When Bond first meets Paloma, she’s set up at a bar, (seductively) sipping through a straw in a stunning gown.

Given this striking introduction, de Armas seemingly fits the “Bond Girl” typecast, but it’s her naive excitement – and admission that she’s had only three weeks of training – that undercuts the role’s presumed prestige. And added to that, we soon see her in action and quickly learn she is highly skilled.

The character also subverts expectations of the Bond Girl persona when she pulls Bond into a wine cellar and starts undressing him. Sure enough, Bond quips about how things are moving quickly between them – to which Paloma immediately replies, “No no no no no…” She’s just trying to get him dressed for the upcoming showdown.

Evidently, Paloma remains a professional, and de Armas demonstrates what makes her uniquely well-suited for the mission, even down to the way she handles Bond’s advances. And seeing her skillfully wield guns and drop-kick the bad guys reminds you why you dig action movies in the first place.

3. Safin’s Army Pursues Bond and Family Through The Forest

Safin's Army Pursues Bond and Family Through The Forest

Léa Seydoux effectively reprises her role in No Time to Die, bringing passion and depth to her otherwise smaller role spawned in Spectre. Madeleine even births a daughter in this 007 installment, who Bond formally meets in the second act. And who’s the father? Hmmm…

Either way, Bond gets them in trouble while visiting their Norway hideaway, ultimately realizing that evil villain Safin (Malek) is coming after Madeleine and Mathilde. They speed off in Bond’s fancy car and meet a not-so-friendly convoy of Land Rovers, motorcycles and a helicopter. The epic chase sequence veers into a forest, where Bond uses some nifty tricks to fend off the henchmen. It’s all super fun to consume, up until the tragic ending when Madeleine and her daughter are taken away from an emotionally intensified Bond.

2. Bond and Madeleine Get Chased Through Matera

Bond and Madeleine Get Chased Through Matera

Speaking of chase scenes – some might argue Bond’s very first action sequence in No Time to Die is the best beat in the film. After a chilling backstory sequence featuring young Madeleine kicks off the story, we then follow Bond with grown-up Madeleine just chillin’ in Italy. However, we quickly remember we’re in a 007 film when Bond almost gets blown up and then chased down along a narrow bridge. Leave it to luck: James Bond dodges a speeding car on the bridge with a live-saving dive behind – oh, look – a piece of concrete. The action soon grows wilder, and the scene’s climax comes when we’re stuck inside Bond’s shielder car as sprays of bullets unsuccessfully try to penetrate the windows. Bond’s stoic stillness in the face of Madeleine’s panic is arguably Craig’s best moment…

1. Bond Climbs A Tower of Enemies In A Single Take

Bond Climbs A Tower of Enemies In A Single Take

But – being the film buffs we are – how exciting was it to hear initially that that none other than Cary Joji Fukunaga would direct this latest 007 film? Remember that long take featuring Matthew McConaughey from season 1 of True Detective? In No Time to Die, we get a dose of something similar in the film’s climax, as a single shot follows a gun-wielding Bond climbing a tower of enemies. Here, we finally see some of Fukunaga’s auteurism shine through, and I couldn’t help but root for the gritty, handheld tracking shot to just keep going and going. The long take lasts for an impressive length (I lost count), but enough for true movie buffs to bask in a moment of cinematic glory.


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