Every Pierce Brosnan James Bond Movie, Ranked


The Bond franchise was in a tricky position when Pierce Brosnan signed on to steer 007 in a new direction through the 90s and early 2000s. Through the legacy of Sean Connery and the prolific output of Roger Moore, the saga was cemented as an ongoing blockbuster franchise, but it had struggled to consistently churn out quality spy thrillers for decades. George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton had presented underperforming stints as Bond, while Moore’s era was marred by erratic inconsistency, meaning Brosnan had to return the franchise to its former glory while re-defining it for a new generation in a post-Cold War era.

Brosnan had been slated to appear as Bond almost a decade earlier, but a troublesome television contract prevented him from snagging the role despite many fans being convinced he was a perfect fit. His eventual debut in 1995’s GoldenEye marked the best Bond movie released for well over a decade and also affirmed the high hopes of his supporters by introducing him as a Bond who exhibited a ravishing blend of wry humor, effortless charisma, daring bravado, and flashes of dramatic intensity. While his ensuing outings weren’t quite as captivating as his dazzling debut, they still warrant careful consideration as pivotal films which explored what a new-age Bond could be.

4 ‘Die Another Day’ (2002)

Directed by Lee Tamahori

Image via MGM

While GoldenEye was a hit, the following trio of Brosnan Bond films has perhaps been too dismissively labeled as a forgettable mess of blockbuster pulp. Die Another Day was the only entry within his tenure that was truly worthy of such disdain. The actor’s fourth and final Bond film, it marked a sad and sorry farewell for Brosnan and was a disappointing way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the franchise’s cinematic debut with Dr. No. Perhaps that’s why, despite talk of a potential sequel for Die Another Day’s Bond girl Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson (Halle Berry), the project was scrapped.

With Bond’s 00 status suspended following a year of grueling interrogation and torture whilst held in captivity by North Korea, the film tracks his efforts to uncover the mole in MI6 who betrayed him. Rife with jarring tonal imbalances, lackluster action sequences, dull plot points and characters, and some truly terrible CGI, Die Another Day resides among the worst Bond movies ever made. Even with its apparent efforts to recapture the wry charm of the franchise’s earlier installments, it was little more than squandered potential which, tragically, is emblematic of Brosnan’s time in the role. Die Another Day stands as the lowest-rated film during Brosnan’s run as James Bond, with only 6.1 stars on IMDb.


Die Another Day

James Bond is sent to investigate the connection between a North Korean terrorist and a diamond mogul, who is funding the development of an international space weapon.

Release Date
November 22, 2002

Lee Tamahori

133 minutes

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3 ‘The World Is Not Enough’ (1999)

Directed by Michael Apted

Pierce Brosnan and Sophie Marceau in The World Is Not Enough
Image via MGM

Following Bond as he protects an oil heiress and discovers a catastrophic nuclear plot with assistance from an American nuclear physicist, The World is Not Enough represents some of the very best and worst of the Bond franchise. It is probably best remembered for its questionable writing and some of its poor casting choices, which is a shame because beneath its glaring flaws there was plenty to admire about Brosnan’s third Bond movie.

The most apparent aspect of the film that worked a treat was Brosnan himself, who looked to be at his most comfortable as the character and struck a perfect balance between 007’s suave demeanor and his underlying, tormented intensity. It also boasted some of the franchise’s most underrated action sequences and featured an even more underrated performance from Sophie Marceau as a Bond girl/villain hybrid and the only major female antagonist in the Bond franchise to date. Like with any popular franchise, fans will always be divided about how they might feel about an installment. But on Rotten Tomatoes, The World is Not Enough scores a measly 51%.


The World is Not Enough

Release Date
November 17, 1999

Michael Apted


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2 ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ (1997)

Directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Michelle Yeoh as Mai Lin and Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies
Image via MGM

Where GoldenEye presented an instant burst of Bond extravagance for audiences to enjoy, Tomorrow Never Dies needed to wait a few years before it would find even a fragment of the reception it deserved. One of the more underrated Bond films – and the most underappreciated from Brosnan’s era – it has earned plenty of praise retrospectively due to the intelligent and prescient design of its villain, the more sophisticated utilization of Michelle Yeoh’s Wai Lin, and an abundance of impressive action sequences throughout.

Focusing on media tycoon Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) who tries to manipulate international conflict as a means to have his news network expand across the world, the film casts a daring lens on the timely theme of control over the distribution of news media to the public. A welcome departure from scheming Russians and SPECTRE operatives, it offered another evolutionary step forward for the Bond franchise, which was defined by its engaging social contemplation without sacrificing any of its trademark panache.


Tomorrow Never Dies

Release Date
December 11, 1997

Roger Spottiswoode


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1 ‘GoldenEye’ (1995)

Directed by Martin Campbell

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond with a pile of guns
Image via MGM/UA Distribution Co.

It should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody to see GoldenEye prevail as Brosnan’s best Bond movie. The long-awaited 007 inauguration for the Irish actor became a landmark achievement for the Bond brand, not only because it was the most successful film the franchise had seen for quite some time, but also because it emphatically silenced growing commentary that, with the Cold War over, Bond movies would become an outdated relic of a bygone era which modern audiences would have no patience for.

Tracking Bond as he is dispatched to get answers on a hijacked nuclear satellite weapon and learns of an evil scheme hatched by a former ally, it flaunted the high-stakes spectacle that made the franchise a cornerstone of the spy thriller genre while also showing a timelier social maturity in its toning down of Bond’s more risqué tropes. Unequivocally the greatest of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond movies, it also stacks up well against the franchise at large, still being viewed as one of the better Bond films almost 30 years since its release. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 80%, GoldenEye is the tenth-highest rated Bond film in the franchise – an incredible accomplishment for Brosnan’s inaugural film as the famed secret agent.



Release Date
November 16, 1995


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