After recently watching No Time to Die (2021) and admitting that the only other James Bond film I had seen was Casino Royale (2006), many of you highly recommended Skyfall as a worthy entry in the Bond franchise. Since I’m always open to new movie suggestions (especially from you guys!), I immediately gave it a watch a day or two later. Skyfall is an action spy film starring Daniel Craig in his third outing as the titular character. Alongside big names like Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw, the movie had a stunning cast that really lived up to their names. I must say though, you guys all have great taste. Not to be disrespectful to No Time to Die by any means, but I enjoyed Skyfall leaps and bounds more – in terms of story, action, characters, and overall entertainment, I found the execution of this movie to feel far better done.

Daniel Craig as James Bond holding a rifle

Despite Skyfall having a rather long 2h 24m runtime (I guess this is typical of all Bond films?), I don’t actually have any complaints regarding its lengthiness. While many films, particularly those in the action genre, often incorporate unnecessary filler plot points, I honestly didn’t feel that with this movie. Thankfully, nothing felt excessively drawn out and I never once thought, “how are we only halfway through?“. I personally think pacing issues often happen to actions movies that just try to throw too much at you, so kudos to director Sam Mendes for finding the right balance in building a fleshed out story. The pacing in my opinion ran at a solid tempo that did well to keep me engaged while still slowly laying out the intricacies of the plot. The story was just a lot easier to follow and digest in Skyfall whereas in No Time to Die, I really struggled with the choppiness and inconsistency of the plot.

But what I found Skyfall did an exceptionally good job with was creating an intimidating villain. A lot of times a good action movie is determined by its villain – it’s kind of a make it or break it element. Being too generic makes them boring, not enough screen time makes them complicated without purpose, and a lack of charisma makes them forgettable. With Barden playing the role of Raoul Silva in this movie, I was pretty hopeful that he would put on a solid performance, and to me, he really did. I loved how unpredictable he was and part of what I found so fearsome about him was I never knew what he was going to do next. He was a challenging opponent for Bond which upped the interest level and I enjoyed seeing Bardem get a decent chunk of screen time where he was able to explore and play around with the character. In my opinion, the plot for Skyfall had a nice weight to it because it felt like a lot was at stake thanks to how threatening Silva was. This just resulted in a much more intriguing and thrilling ride.

James Bond and Raoul Silva in Skyfall

Craig was again, of course, great as Bond in his third appearance as the character. I’m sure by now, he’s grown quite familiar with the role and finds it decently easy to jump back into. There’s definitely a way in which he embodies the character that makes me doubt he’ll ever not be good in a Bond film. He has the right amount of charisma mixed with polite swagger that is always a delight to see. He also always seems to have great chemistry with whoever he’s on screen with which is a nice talent to have, especially for a character like Bond who thrives in his confidence. While I’m only now running through Craig’s five movie series, I’ve seriously been enjoying his performances which always seem to be the consistent highlight. With Bardem and Dench having large roles in this particular one, I feel like these two talented actors were able to push Craig’s acting to the limit to pump out an exceptionally good performance.

To me, Skyfall had this sort of exciting creativity to it that really emphasized the intensity of the suspense and thrill. I loved the mind games being played between Bond and Silva, the twists and unexpected turns of the story, and even the more quiet moments of thoughtful reflection. It still is first and foremost an action movie, but it’s an action movie with a complexity that makes it more than just a mindless watch. There was some depth to this one that made you think about who’s at fault or even if anyone was right. That being said, I enjoyed all the fight sequences and combat scenes which all felt like such grand spectacles and were each brilliantly shot. While the action does have the element of incredulousness at times, it was never too far fetched as to take you out of the moment.

Daniel Craig as James Bond and Judi Dench as M in Skyfall

One thing that I was especially excited to bring up particularly with Skyfall was how stunning the cinematography was at times. There were some seriously beautiful and breathtaking shots in this movie that really surprised me. When it came to a great shot, it was the combination of a lot of things – the angle, the frame, the colours, the movement, the way the environment was interacting with the actors. This movie was genuinely packed with some great camerawork that made it a treat for the eyes and as a whole, I really enjoyed its look and overall visual style. The cinematography was something that caught my eye early on and I was so excited to write and share my thoughts on it with you guys. Very impressed to say the least.

Of course, before I end this review I have to say a quick word about the music because who doesn’t love that iconic James Bond theme. In all honesty, I’ve been humming it every now and then ever since I watched No Time to Die because it’s strangely stuck in my head. I love the way that classic theme gets effortlessly tied into some of the bigger scores of the film and it’s always perfectly incorporated into a scene but not in a cheesy way. It’s definitely a familiar and nostalgic tune that gives the movie that extra bit of flair that is both dramatic but totally necessary. And hey, let’s not forget Adele’s stunning voice in the title song!

Action-packed, electrifying, and with that notable charming James Bond pizzazz, Skyfall just really hit all the right chords. After having mixed feelings about No Time to Die, I now definitely see the appeal that these James Bond films have and how great Daniel Craig is in this role. You’ll be happy to know that after enjoying Skyfall so much, I’ve moved on to Spectre (2015) so you can expect a review soon! With an overall great movie idea that does well in balancing action with story, Sam Mendes was able to execute it to create an addictive action spy thriller. After much thought, I’ve decided to give Skyfall a solid 8.5/10! As a definite hit for me, this is one I’m sure I’ll come back to in the future and one that I’ll likely recommend to my friends.