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5 Best And 5 Worst Sean Connery Films

The world lost an acting legend on October 31, 2020, when Sir Sean Connery passed away at the age of 90. The Scottish-born actor died at his home in the Bahamas, surrounded by his family. Though his prolific life has come to an end, Connery has a massive filmography that we can remember him by.

Seriously, the man starred in some bona fide classics, helped bring ensemble pieces to life, and he played one of the most famous film characters of all time ("Bond, James Bond"). However, like any actor, Connery also starred in a couple of bombs, some of which boast a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In other words, Connery's lows were incredibly low, but on the flip side, his highs were insanely high. So, in honor of the legendary star, we're looking at the very best and very worst Sean Connery movies.

(Also, we're excluding all 007 films from this feature, as James Bond movies are their own thing.)

Worst - A Good Man in Africa isn't very good at all

Guh, this movie. Like Connery himself, A Good Man in Africa feels like a relic of another time. Connery has an excuse. He was born pre-World War II. A Good Man in Africa only came out in 1994! And it's based on a book that only came out about a decade earlier! This movie wasn't particularly strong in its time, and the shift in social consciousness in the decades after its release hasn't been kind. It's problematic in a whole lot of ways.

The premise is based on a British government official who lives in a fictional African country, Kinjanja. He juggles women, alcoholism, political disasters, and the promise of riches during his time there. And as you might expect, the movie isn't exactly what you'd call "enlightened." In his review of the film, Roger Ebert said, "This plot, and the attitudes that underlie it, remind me of the patronizing tone of novels set in Africa 50 years ago, about colorful colonials and backward natives. The movie is not overtly racist. ... But there is an unpleasant undertone."

Ebert went on to say that Connery played the film's most interesting and likable character, but ultimately, that doesn't make the movie particularly watchable. Unless you want Connery's entire filmography under your belt, skip this one.

Best - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the perfect popcorn flick

Sean Connery was a part of some of the biggest franchises in film history. He's probably best known as the original James Bond, but even his best work in that film series can't touch the brilliance that is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It's pretty much the perfect popcorn flick — a breezy adventure full of witty dialogue and tons of director Steven Spielberg's breathtaking set pieces.

The third film in the Indiana Jones franchise, The Last Crusade sees our whip-toting adventurer (Harrison Ford) go in search of his father, Henry, played by Connery. You see, Henry is also an adventurer, but he disappeared while searching for the legendary Holy Grail. Once the two are reunited, they forge an uneasy bond as they decide to search for Grail together, racing against time — and Nazis — to prevent the unthinkable.

The chemistry between Ford and Connery is incredible, and the biblical puzzles they have to work their way through in the film's final set piece are perfectly paced. This is one of those "snowed-in" films –- a great way to pass the time when you're stuck inside, even if you've seen it a billion times before.

Worst - The Avengers can't compare to the TV series

No, Connery didn't somehow sneak into the Marvel Cinematic Universe without you noticing. We're talking about the 1998 spy film The Avengers, based on the 1960s British television series of the same name. You know a movie where Connery plays a supervillain named (sigh) Sir August de Wynter who controls the weather is going either one of two ways — so bad it's good or so bad it's really, really bad.

We regret to inform you that this one is the latter of those options.

When you sit down to watch a movie, and you realize it's bad, the worst thing that can happen is it being boring. You can get entertainment out of a bad movie that has some fun and funny moments or well-shot action scenes. The Avengers has none of those things. Despite a great cast — besides Connery, there's Uma Thurman, Ralph Fiennes, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Izzard, and more — everyone seems totally disinterested in what's happening. It's a shallow parody of the fun and sexy series it's based on. It's not even worth it to laugh at this one.

Best - The Man Who Would Be King features one of Sean Connery's finest performances

Get some literary movies in your life with The Man Who Would Be King. Made in 1975, this movie is based on a story by Rudyard Kipling, and it features three amazing actors in their prime: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, and Christopher Plummer. There's a whole lotta comeuppance in The Man Who Would Be King –- it's one of those movies where you can see things are headed down a dark path fairly early on — but it's still a joy to watch it all go down.

The plot follows two British soldiers who decide to seek adventure and fortune in a distant region called Kafiristan. There, they train a tribe using modern military techniques and set themselves up as military advisors for the tribe's ruler. The two soldiers are super successful, and they take advantage of a few misunderstandings in order to eventually take over, with Connery's character being mistaken for a divine being and the descendent of Alexander the Great himself.

Connery shows off his dramatic acting chops in the part, and you could easily make the argument that The Man Who Would Be King is his best film role ever.

Worst - Entrapment isn't very clever

If you're of a certain age, you probably remember one thing about Entrapment – it's that movie where Catherine Zeta-Jones slinks her way through crisscrossing laser tripwires and looks dang good doing it. Luckily, you can easily remember that bit from the film's trailer or poster art and save yourself the trouble of watching the whole movie.

Entrapment is a heist film with plenty of chemistry between Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery. The two play a duo of thieves (maybe!) who definitely don't trust one another but definitely want to take off each other's clothes. They team up for a major heist (maybe!), all while trying to dig up dirt on the other to avoid being caught.

Entrapment's biggest problem is that it thinks it's a lot more clever than it actually is. If you aren't easily addled by the catsuit-clad Zeta-Jones or the sheer daddy energy of 1999 Sean Connery, you'll figure out where this one is headed right away. That works in a lot of movies but rarely in a heist film.

Best - The Rock combines the charisma of Connery and Cage

Of the pseudo-trilogy of mainstream action movies Nicolas Cage made in the 1990s, The Rock is generally considered to be the actual best movie of the three. You'll find fans of both Face/Off and Con Air, but it would take some clever mental gymnastics to rate either of those films above the "chemical weapons on Alcatraz" plot of The Rock. Plus, it features one of Connery's best performances and a balls-to-the-wall, scenery-chewing turn from Ed Harris.

In The Rock, a team of rogue soldiers led by Frank Hummel (Harris) steal chemical weapons and threaten to launch them on the US after digging in on Alcatraz Island. The US government sends a team in to stop the soldiers, highlighted by a chemical weapons expert (Cage) and the only man to ever escape Alcatraz (Connery). On top of all that, we've got Michael Bay in the director's chair, and it's before the director became a caricature of himself. The movie also has some incredibly tense action scenes and great performances from all its leads. On top of all that, it's immensely quotable (as Connery's character John Mason says, "Losers always whine about their best," and, well, you know the rest), and it has a truly awesome finale.

Worst - Meteor is a disastrous disaster flick

Maybe it's the jaded 2020 film snob in us, but 1979's Meteor is an impossible watch. It's just so boring! This movie had a big budget (for the time), an impressive cast, and the script came from some impressive writers (between them, they helped pen Patton, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Firestarter, and Conan the Destroyer). However, Meteor is really only useful at this point if you need some noise in the background while you take a nap.

Meteor should be super exciting, too. It stars Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Martin Landau, and Henry Fonda! It's about an impending extinction event! There's a race against time! But no, it most certainly isn't exciting. Maybe that's because the special effects of 1979 couldn't accurately portray the devastation that would occur. Maybe the filmmakers thought the gravitas of the cast could carry the day. Whatever the reason, it just didn't work.

Perusing critic reviews gives you a taste of what's in store with Meteor. The Blu-ray review of the film says it "drags out the obvious for far too long," while TV Guide calls it "a major disaster." It's not even so bad it's good. It's just painful.

Best - The Untouchables won Sean Connery his Oscar

One of the best gangster films ever made, The Untouchables is notable in Sean Connery's career because it netted the actor his only Oscar. The feat is doubly impressive when you see who else is in the cast list — Robert De Niro, Kevin Costner, and Andy Garcia. But despite an impressive cast of nuanced stars, Connery is the one who got the nod for Best Supporting Actor and walked away with the award.

The Untouchables tells the story of Eliot Ness, a federal agent who forms a team to oppose and bring down mob boss Al Capone. Sean Connery plays Jimmy Malone, a veteran officer who's grown tired of Capone's hold on the police force, and he risks everything to help bring the gangster down.

The Untouchables stands up to other mobster classics like The Godfather and Goodfellas for many of the same reasons they're seen as classics. A great cast and violent action scenes draw people in, but at their core, they're ultimately stories about power, retribution, and redemption. Connery's role in the film is pivotal, and he helps give The Untouchables much of its soul.

Worst - Highlander 2: The Quickening is an absolutely terrible Sean Connery film

The original Highlander is perfectly fine and deserves the cult following that it's since gained. It's remarkably '80s, with ridiculous fashion, memorable and cheesy dialogue, and some solid (though sometimes suspect) acting. Highlander 2: The Quickening, on the other hand, absolutely shouldn't exist.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, strap yourself in. Highlander focuses on a group of immortals who grow in strength any time they battle and another is killed. The ultimate concept is that, when the final two warriors meet and one is defeated, the winner will essentially ascend to godhood. Spoiler alert: This happens at the end of Highlander, with the heroic Duncan MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) winning the sought-after "Prize" and hoping to bring about world peace.

But in Highlander 2, somehow that hasn't happened. Instead, we get a movie where solar radiation is bombarding the planet, and the immortals turn out to be aliens, and ... it's just terrible. Here, all the fun elements of the original are devoid of anything resembling charm, and it's shoddy all around. And poor Sean Connery. He plays an Egyptian-born Spaniard who still sounds exactly like Sean Connery, and his character is named Don Juan Sanchez-Villalobos Ramirez. Yeah, it's goofy, but it works in the first film, where Connery's character only shows up in the 1500s. However, the whole Ramirez thing just doesn't work in this extraterrestrial sci-fi flick.

Seriously, the movie is so bad that it has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. And to really drive the point home, here's what Roger Ebert wrote about the film: "If there is a planet somewhere whose civilization is based on the worst movies of all time, Highlander 2: The Quickening deserves a sacred place among their most treasured artifacts."

Best: Time Bandits is an all-time classic

It's an absolute crime that more people haven't seen Time Bandits. Director Terry Gilliam, part of the Monty Python comedy troupe, is also responsible for the wonderfully imaginative films Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and Sean Connery looks like he's having more fun in this film than in any other role of his career.

Time Bandits is a film about imagination, and it focuses on a boy named Kevin (Craig Warnock). One night, Kevin awakens to find that six dwarves have made their way into his room. They push open a secret passageway in his wall, and Kevin joins them on a time-traveling heist that sees them meeting historical figures and battling Evil –- literally, as the being the group is up against is named Evil.

It's all delightfully silly in that Terry Gilliam way, but it's also a pretty on the nose allegory for a child's desire to escape reality and have an influence on events around them. As for Connery, he plays King Agamemnon of Greece, and he's the perfect surrogate father for Kevin on his adventures through time.