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First Reactions to ‘No Time to Die’ Call This James Bond Film ‘Worth the Wait’

·7-min read

As the first worldwide screenings of the latest James Bond installment “No Time to Die” came to a close, journalists and critics took to Twitter to share their thoughts on Daniel Craig’s last outing as the famed secret agent.

Though social media reactions tend to be more positive than reviews, one thing was clear via film Twitter: “No Time to Die,” which was delayed for nearly two years due to creative changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, was well worth the wait.

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Film critic Scott Mantz wrote that though he needed more time to process the film, it was certainly better than Bond films “Quantum of Solace” and “Spectre.” “It’s Daniel Craig’s most grounded and — dare I say it? — most intimate take on #JamesBond with a powerful, unexpected & very emotional payoff,” Mantz said. “Def worth the wait!”

Rotten Tomatoes critic Tessa Smith praised the film’s entertaining nature, despite its runtime of 2 hours and 43 minutes. “‘No Time to Die’ is everything I wanted & more!” Smith wrote. “A great farewell to Daniel Craig but honestly I wanted more Rami Malek! Yes it’s long but whenever it felt like it was about to drag, it jumped right back in with adrenaline! Action packed from the start! Classic Bond!”

Fandango writer Erik Davis said that the film was “a perfect finale for Daniel Craig.”

“Classic Bond, classic villain, classic gadgets & a story that seems to question how much we still need James Bond to save the day,” Davis wrote. “Terrific writing & stunning direction from Cary Joji Fukunaga. Loved every second!”

Variety awards editor Clayton Davis mused that “No Time to Die” was Craig’s greatest movie as Bond. “The final entry of Daniel Craig’s time as James Bond is the finest of his tenure,” Davis wrote. “#NoTimeToDie is effective in action, emotional beats and once again, an artisan mastery helmed by Linus Sandgren, Tom Cross and the sound team. Highly enjoyable & I’m NOT a typical Bond enthusiast.”

Meanwhile, fellow Variety writers Matt Donnelly and Jenelle Riley applauded Ana de Armas’ performance in the film. “Ana de Armas hands down the best part of #NoTimeToDie,” Donnelly wrote. “Tragically is only in one sequence. Funny and sexy and she gets to blow up stuff.”

Riley agreed, writing: “NO TIME TO DIE is great but, like all movies, could always use more Ana de Armas.”

Reviews also began to roll in on Tuesday afternoon.

The Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw gave the film five stars, writing: “Craig’s final film as the diva of British intelligence is an epic barnstormer, with the script from Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge delivering pathos, action, drama, camp comedy (Bond will call M “darling” in moments of tetchiness), heartbreak, macabre horror, and outrageously silly old-fashioned action in a movie which calls to mind the world of Dr No on his island. Director Cary Fukunaga delivers it with terrific panache, and the film also shows us a romantic Bond, an uxorious Bond, a Bond who is unafraid of showing his feelings, like the old softie he’s turned out to be.”

Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman gave a rave review, writing: “‘No Time to Die’ is a terrific movie: an up-to-the-minute, down-to-the-wire James Bond thriller with a satisfying neo-classical edge. It’s an unabashedly conventional Bond film that’s been made with high finesse and just the right touch of soul, as well as enough sleek surprise to keep you on edge.”

The Telegraph‘s Robbie Collin also awarded “No Times to Die” five stars, praising director Fukunaga.

“But as the end credits have always promised, James Bond will return. And return he finally has, with Cary Joji Fukunaga’s extravagantly satisfying, bulgingly proportioned last chapter to the Craig era, which throws almost everything there is left to throw at 007 the series can come up with – including, in a twist of teeth-clenching pertinence, a man-made virus which threatens to overrun the globe,” Collin wrote.

However, CNN’s Brian Lowry was a bit more critical in his review, calling the film “slightly bloated.”

“‘No Time to Die’ feels as if it’s working too hard to provide Craig a sendoff worthy of all the hype associated with it — an excess that might be summed up as simply, finally, by taking too much time to reach the finish,” Lowry wrote.

Forbes critic Scott Mendelson was also not so enamored with the movie, writing: “When it reverts course in acts two and three and tries to be an explicit sequel to ‘Spectre,’ well, it’s hard to make a tasty souffle from flawed ingredients. Moreover, it undercuts the franchise’s appeal as escapist entertainment.”

See more first reactions below.

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