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Every Daniel Craig Movie Ranked Worst To Best

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When Daniel Craig blasted his way onto the screen as the new James Bond in 2006's now-classic "Casino Royale," he was already a veteran actor with a diverse array of projects under his belt. A number of those early roles drew enormous praise from critics, while others quietly drifted into obscurity, but each performance was essential in establishing Craig's blend of charm and intensity. These characteristics allowed the actor to tackle complex parts later in his career, leading to Emmy, BAFTA, and Golden Globe award nominations. 

While Daniel Craig will likely forever be known as one of the best iterations of 007 to grace the screen, one cannot discount his fearlessness in tackling challenging characters in smaller projects, even if the results aren't always up to par. With that in mind, here is every single Daniel Craig movie performance to date, shaken (not stirred) and ranked for your eyes only. 

34. The Invasion (2007)

A loose remake of the 1956 film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (itself an adaptation of the 1955 novel "The Body Snatchers" by Jack Finney), "The Invasion" gets off to a promising start but devolves into a generic action thriller that falls far short of its predecessors. Starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, the film revolves around a fungus-like organism that infects everyone it comes in contact with. The substance converts its hosts into mindless drones unable to commit crimes or acts of violence. The caveat is that the victim must fall into REM sleep before the effects can permanently take hold. 

Following a disastrous early cut, original director Oliver Hirschbiegel's film underwent major reshoots with none other than the Lana and Lilly Wachowski brought on to patch up the script. "V for Vendetta" director James McTeigue shot additional footage but, alas, the final product was certainly not worth the price of admission. 

33. I Dreamed of Africa (2000)

Following her Academy Award-winning performance in "L.A. Confidential," Kim Basinger employed a one-for-the-money/one-for-the-critics strategy with the commercial thriller "Bless the Child" and the would-be epic "I Dreamed of Africa," and failed on both accounts. The former, a satanic thriller, flopped at the box office, while "I Dreamed of Africa" (based on Kuki Gallmann's memoir) is a dreadfully boring affair that strives for the greatness of similar epics — notably "Out of Africa" — but plays like a TV soap opera in dire need of resuscitation.

The film bombed, earning just $14 million against a $50 million budget, and was panned by critics and audiences alike. Daniel Craig occasionally pops in as a land manager but isn't given much to do with a one-dimensional, pint-sized role that wastes the burgeoning star's talents. On a positive note, the film features some glorious scenery of the titular country, and the score by Maurice Jarre effectively conveys a grand scope. Too bad the script and performances don't follow suit.  

32. Dream House (2011)

By all accounts, "Dream House" should have been a slam-dunk psychological thriller considering the talent involved. Unfortunately, the final product is a slog, stuffed with twists and turns the audience can see coming a mile away. Daniel Craig stars in the film (alongside real-life spouse Rachel Weisz) as Will Atenton, a man who moves his family from the bustling city of New York to a "dream house" in New England in order to focus on his writing career. All is well until a series of strange occurrences lead to deeper secrets hidden within the house itself, prompting Will to investigate and ultimately confront his dark past.  

There are certain aspects of "Dream House" that do work. Craig and Weisz make a believable couple and deliver a pair of sturdy performances. For all the eye-rolling induced by the predictable "big reveal" unveiled midway through the plot, the second half does venture into some interesting territory even if the final results lead to more shrugs than thrills. 

31. A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995)

In 1995, a little-known Daniel Craig sported an awful bowl haircut for his role as Master Kane in Disney's goofy yet intermittently enjoyable "A Kid in King Arthur's Court," which at 5% fresh ranks as the actor's lowest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences mostly steered clear of the family-friendly pic, which earned just $13.4 million despite the presence of up-and-comers like Kate Winslet in her pre-"Titanic" days. The film's lead, "Rookie of the Year" star Thomas Ian Nicholas, was still four years away from his stint in the decidedly grown-up "American Pie" franchise and shared some memorable moments with his co-stars.

Craig displays his natural charm in the supporting role but can't overcome a flat script, shoddy dialogue, or a relatively meager production (even by '90s era Disney standards), leaving "A Kid in King Arthur's Court" as a curious if not slightly embarrassing entry on the actor's grand resume. Still, there's a charm inherent in these old Disney flicks that makes them, at the very least, watchable if only for nostalgic purposes. 

30. Kings (2017)

A well-intentioned though poorly executed drama, "Kings" wastes its appealing subject matter and a talented cast to deliver a film that, according to IndieWire, "is so determined to be hopeful that it forgets to be honest."

The plot is centered around the Los Angeles riots of 1992 instigated by the beating of Rodney King by police officers on national TV, an incident that reverberated across the nation. Halle Berry stars as Millie, a young woman attempting to create a sort of sanctuary for orphaned children in her home, while Daniel Craig co-stars as her ornery neighbor prone to blasting his shotgun into the air when his temper gets the best of him. The duo delivers strong performances, but the film as directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven has such a deeply unfocused narrative as to render its actual message moot. What should have been a powerful film about hope amidst the cloudy skies of violence and racism becomes a saccharine mess that certainly aims high but falls well short of its goal. 

29. Hotel Splendide (2000)

A curious oddity from the year 2000, "Hotel Splendide" boasts strong Terry Gilliam-style visuals but falls flat in terms of story and character. Directed by Terence Gross and starring Toni Collette and Daniel Craig, the pic takes place on a remote island off the coast of England in the titular spa-resort Hotel Splendide. Run by the Blanche family led by Craig's irritable chef Ronald, the near-inhospitable retreat serves its guests an eel and seaweed diet before administering enemas, thermal mud baths, and flavor-free cuisine. Into this fold drops Kath (Colette) whose arrival turns the vile location on its head and threatens to upend Blanche's unconventional style.

Critics were generous to the performances by Craig and Collette, but felt the script needed a lot more work. As Variety put it, "Pic boasts a few random moments of droll wit" but spends far too much time focusing "on mildew-encrusted tiles, drippy and corroded water pipes, and dining room walls as cruddy-looking as an unattended aquarium."

28. The Power of One (1992)

What happens when the makers of "The Karate Kid" and "Rocky" tackle apartheid? Well, "The Power of One" happens. A brutal, violent bit of misguided filmmaking, the drama wastes its star-studded cast (including Stephen Dorff, John Gielgud, Morgan Freeman, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and Daniel Craig in his film debut) on a formulaic plot that leans more on action than the controversial South African politics it depicts.

Craig has a small but critical role as a ruthless sergeant called Jaapie Botha, an older incarnation of a bully who antagonized Dorff's character early in his life. The character appears late in the film to enact more ruthless violence. As directed by John G. Avildsen, "The Power of One" contains some strong performances, beautiful scenery, and Hans Zimmer's powerful score, but is far too one dimensional (particularly for its subject matter) to be taken as anything more than trite entertainment.

27. Renaissance (2006)

"Renaissance" is an ambitious animated thriller from director Christian Volckman that attempts to blend sci-fi fantasy with film noir to decidedly mixed results. Despite a star-studded voice cast featuring Daniel Craig, Catherine McCormack, Romola Garai, Ian Holm, and Jonathan Pryce, the film flopped at the box office with a meager take of $1.8 million against an $18 million budget. While it has an astonishing visual flair, its overarching narrative and decidedly grim tone don't match the technical creativity that took an astonishing six years to achieve.

Said narrative revolves around the search for a missing high-ranking scientist (Garai) who works at the Avalon Corporation, a purveyor of youth and beauty. Craig lends his voice to Barthélémy Karas, a distinguished cop who quickly discovers not everything is as it seems. Thankfully, Craig would return to the animation fold with Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin," which utilizes the actor's personality and charm to much greater effect.   

26. Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Following "Casino Royale," Daniel Craig struggled to translate his sudden fame to additional success. Disappointing efforts such as "The Invasion" and "The Golden Compass" were followed by Edward Zwick's underwhelming would-be epic "Defiance" and Jon Favreau's bafflingly flat "Cowboys & Aliens." The latter posits Craig as a "man with no name" type who wanders into a town presided over by a ruthless cattle baron (Harrison Ford) moments before it is attacked by — you guessed it — extraterrestrial beings. Seeking to remember his past and save the town's kidnapped denizens, Craig teams up with Ford to find the secret behind these mysterious otherworldly beings before they take control once and for all.

Featuring an absurd amount of talent in front of and behind the camera (notably Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Paul Dano, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Damon Lindelof, and Favreau, among others), it's astonishing "Cowboys & Aliens" never takes flight. Favreau infuses the production with the same style he draped over "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2" a few years prior, but the overtly serious tone and dark visuals mar what should have been a rip-roaring, old fashioned sci-fi western bonanza. The entire affair is positively lifeless and, even worse, boring.

25. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

Hollywood has yet to produce a great video game adaptation, but actually came closer than they had any right to with 2001's action bonanza "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider." Featuring Angelina Jolie in the title role she was practically born to play, the $115 million Simon West pic never rises above its generic (and confusing) plot and makes the same mistakes as other films based on games in that it leans too heavily on its source material to really take off, but still works as a trite bit of B-movie entertainment.

Daniel Craig co-stars as Alex West, Lara's rival/ally depending on the circumstance, and does his best with the material given. He is ultimately wasted in a rather thankless role that caters more to his impressive physique than his acting chops. Critics dismissed "Lara Croft" upon its release, and the film certainly lacks what one would call quality filmmaking. Even so, all these years later it actually stands as one of the better big screen video game adaptations.

24. Love & Rage (1998)

Marketed as a sweeping epic, Cathal Black's "Love & Rage" is anything but. Starring Greta Scacchi and a very young Daniel Craig, the pic tells the violent true-life tale of James Lynchehaun (Craig) who ruthlessly beat his employer Agnes MacDonnell (Scacchi), leaving the young English woman disfigured for the remainder of her days. The film focuses on the strange relationship between the two lovers in an attempt to understand what drove the man to perform such cruel acts of violence, but according to Variety "provides few answers" and suffers from "abrupt changes in tone and logic in the late reels." 

Fans of tragic romance should enjoy the sexual frivolities on display, even if they lead to more questions surrounding the pair's motivations. The third act leans into theatrics while the climactic confrontation between the mutilated Agnes and Lynchehaun offers a powerful emotional punch for those patient enough to stick around. 

23. Flashbacks of a Fool (2008)

On paper, "Flashbacks of a Fool" must have sounded like a powerful coming-of-age drama directed by a burgeoning young talent (Baillie Walsh) with the support of James Bond himself. Alas, the story as seen through the eyes of Daniel Craig's aging Hollywood actor builds to a revelation too outlandish to take seriously. The finale doesn't quite ascend to the operatic heights it clearly strives for.

Too bad, because Craig — who also produced — is perfectly fine in what amounts to a supporting role, using his piercing blue eyes and moody gaze to great effect. Harry Eden (Craig's character as a younger man) and Felicity Jones lend strong support during the extended flashback sequences, while Walsh absolutely nails the period details and musical trappings of the '70s era where the majority of the story takes place. Yet the film, for all its promise, is ultimately let down by Walsh's underdeveloped script that usurps deeper reflections on life in favor of half-cooked melodrama.

22. Defiance (2008)

Edward Zwick's "Defiance" contains the proper ingredients for a powerful motion picture experience, ala "Schindler's List," but is far too aloof for audiences to latch onto emotionally. The result is a technically sound, though hollow, imitation of better films. Based on Nechama Tec's 1993 book "Defiance: The Bielski Partisans," the drama features Daniel Craig (neck-deep in his brooding-era that consisted of "Flashbacks of a Fool," "Quantum of Solace," and "Cowboys & Aliens") as Tuvia Bielski. A real-life hero, Bielski was a Polish Jew who — along with his brothers Zus (Liev Schreiber), Asael (Jamie Bell), and Aron (George McKay) — successfully hid 1,200 Jewish resisters in a forest near Belarus during World War II. Zwick's film chronicles the group's struggle to survive the harsh wilderness, their conflicts amongst each other, and occasional attacks from German forces over the course of the war. 

At a lengthy 137 minutes, "Defiance" relies far too much on genre troupes to sustain our attention. There are obligatory scenes of blossoming romance and noble heroism. A dark color palette and use of handheld camera all but underline the seriousness of a true-life tale, but where's the humanity and emotion? It's as if the filmmakers decided to drench the film in gloom as a means of hiding its earnest intentions, a decision that robs "Defiance" of its soul.

21. Sylvia (2003)

Three years before "Casino Royale" made him a bonafide superstar, Daniel Craig lent his good looks and charm to the misguided biography "Sylvia" opposite Gwyneth Paltrow. While the pair deliver fine performances and exhibit plenty of chemistry, the film as a whole never finds a perfect branch to hang from, so to speak, and gets lost amidst an array of hokey melodrama that amounts to little more than a daytime soap opera.

"Sylvia" attempts to recall the life of famed poet Sylvia Plath (Paltrow) and the events that led to her eventual suicide in 1963. We see her early career as a talented young poet, endure the tragedy of her father's death, and experience her problematic relationship with fellow poet Ted Hughes (Craig). Yet, director Christine Jeffs and writer John Brownlow fail to help audiences truly understand the remarkably talented writer, leaving the film as little more than a collection of individual scenes that don't amount to much depth. It doesn't help that Plath's daughter derided the film as a cynical cash grab, with The Guardian adding that it voyeuristically rakes "over the ashes of her mother's death." Yikes!

20. The Golden Compass (2007)

"The Golden Compass" was one of the dozens of failed big screen young adult novel adaptations that arrived following the "Harry Potter" boom, but far from the worst. Boasting incredible Oscar-winning visual effects, an all-star cast (headlined by Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, and Daniel Craig), and a sweeping scope on par with other fantasies of its ilk, "Golden Compass" establishes a fascinating new world that might have really taken off in subsequent sequels. 

Unfortunately, thanks to less-than-stellar box office receipts, New Line Cinema canceled the planned franchise leaving behind an abundance of talent and fascinating material in its wake. While the property would eventually get rebooted on the small screen with the HBO/BBC One series "His Dark Materials," there will forever exist a certain "what if" for the big screen iteration of Philip Pullman's novels. Could it have evolved into a "Lord of the Rings"-style franchise had the studio patiently waited for audiences to discover the magic?

19. Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998)

Daniel Craig took on a number of risky roles early in his career, the most prominent being 1998's "Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon," in which he plays the lover of renowned painter Francis Bacon (played by Derek Jacobi). The film, based on the biography "The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon" by Daniel Farson, follows the pair's acidic relationship that unexpectedly begins when Craig's thief enters Bacon's home seeking materials to pawn off and is offered the painter's bed instead. 

"Love is the Devil" doesn't shy away from Bacon's horrible persona, a result of his endless drinking with Soho's low-lives. Indeed, director John Maybury visualizes Bacon's world in a manner similar to the artist's paintings: Contorted, hypnotic, and frightening. The man was certainly celebrated for his artistry, but "Love is the Devil" doesn't hold back on unveiling the true persona behind the work, resulting in a fascinating-if-not-haunting film experience.

18. Enduring Love (2004)

"Enduring Love" deals with ethics from a very unique perspective. Daniel Craig plays Joe, a university lecturer who is shaken after a bizarre accident leaves a man dead. See, Joe and two men including a stranger named Jed (an appropriately creepy Rhys Ifans) attempted to save a young boy from drifting off in a hot air balloon that was not secured properly. Except, as the balloon soared higher and higher, Joe and Jed naturally let go, leaving the third man to drift too high and eventually plummet to his death.

The event leads Joe on a complicated existential journey to understand the very nature of ethics and love which, naturally, sends him spiraling out of control. This is heightened when Jed begins following him, claiming the pair felt something akin to love on the day of the tragedy. Craig and Ifans are great in the film, but the narrative eventually devolves into clunky thriller territory that proves far less interesting than the issues raised in the first two acts. The Roger Michell pic certainly has its admirers, including Empire Online which hailed it as one of the 500 Greatest Films of All Time in 2008.   

17. Infamous (2006)

Based on George Plimpton's 1997 book "Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career," "Infamous" tells the tale of Capote (Toby Jones) and his endeavors to write the bestseller "In Cold Blood," about the murders of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Released one year after the Academy Award-winning "Capote," in which Philip Seymour Hoffman memorably played the famous writer, "Infamous" takes an ostensibly different perspective on Capote's life. It leans in on the decadence and flamboyance of his persona but doesn't go far enough in any direction to become anything more than an addendum to the previous movie. 

Performances are mostly solid from the large ensemble, which also includes Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Peter Bogdanovich, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sigourney Weaver. Craig in particular stands out as Perry Smith, one of the Holcomb killers who develops a close personal relationship with Capote that forms the emotional crux of the story. As explained by The New York Times in their review of the film, Craig "endows Smith with a coiled, frightening sexual intensity. Unlike Clifton Collins Jr.'s volatile lost boy in the earlier film, Mr. Craig's Smith is more predator than prey, even when he's at Capote's mercy."    

16. Quantum of Solace (2008)

"Quantum of Solace" may not reach the high bar set by the other Daniel Craig Bond flicks, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Directed with fury by Marc Forster, utilizing the "Bourne" technique of slicing and dicing action sequences until the audience grows nauseous, "Quantum" picks up directly after "Casino Royale" and sees 007 seeking to take down the organization responsible for Vesper Lynd's death. 

The pic is chock full of frenetic chase sequences and fight scenes. It does its damndest to stand out from previous Bond entries, but can't quite decide if it wants to be a dark tale of revenge or an out-and-out action extravaganza. As such, the constantly shifting tone and rotating story elements make for a frustrating viewing experience that certainly underwhelms in many ways. Yet, as Bond films go, "Quantum" still manages to thrill in spades. Olga Kurylenko's vengeance-seeking Camille makes for a strong counterpunch to Craig's brooding super-spy, and the continued focus on down-to-earth villains such as Mathieu Amalric's pragmatic Dominic Greene makes for a welcome change of pace compared to the bloated shenanigans of Bond's world-conquering foes of the past.

15. Some Voices (2000)

Daniel Craig's stardom certainly took some time to develop. After basking in TV dramas and the occasional supporting role on the big screen throughout the '90s, the actor landed the role of Ray in Simon Cellan Jones' fascinating love story "Some Voices" and showed the world why he was capable of so much more. The actor plays Ray, a schizophrenic recently released from a psychiatric hospital whose personal relationships — notably those with his brother Pete (David Morrissey) and girl-next-door Laura (Kelly Macdonald in a stellar performance) — are tested when he skips his medication and begins a gradual descent into madness. 

Despite the film feeling far too small for its own good, a result of its stage-based origins, "Some Voices" is actually an involving little flick that looks at mental illness from a unique perspective. Despite its gritty visual look, it offers a certain amount of optimism rarely seen in this type of picture. 

14. The Mother (2003)

"The Mother" is one of those movies you either love or dislike tremendously. The story about an older woman (remarkably portrayed by Anne Reid) dealing with the newfound freedoms and uncertainties following the death of her husband, is endearing enough. It works as a sturdy, often humorous reminder that elderly folk are just as needy as their younger counterparts in terms of companionship, adventure, and sex. Yet the plot mechanics, particularly in the film's second act, become more absurd with each passing scene, which obstructs the realistic nature of the production.

Many of the characters are utterly despicable, right down to Daniel Craig's promiscuous carpenter who has a roll in the hay with the main protagonist and her daughter. He is also prone to snorting cocaine, stealing drugs, and throwing the occasional violent temper tantrum. While the actor delivers a strong performance, bested only by Reid, you don't much care for his (or anyone's) denouement, which is probably the point. "The Mother" leans into hard truths and uncomfortable realities of life. Those who appreciate its unconventional nature will likely walk away fulfilled, even enlightened, while others may decide it's best to sidestep this difficult journey altogether.

13. Spectre (2015)

For much of the epic 148-minute runtime of "Spectre," you get the sense that you're watching the greatest James Bond film ever made. This is due to its splendid mix of high-octane action, memorable villains (notably, Dave Bautista's Jaws-like Mr. Hinx), and captivating mystery centered around Léa Seydoux's sensual Madeleine Swann and Christoph Waltz's maniacal Ernst Stavro Blofeld. 

Unfortunately, a somber and confusing third act — a consequence of last-second reshoots — ends this otherwise exciting film on a disappointing low note. Returning director Sam Mendes and a legion of writers try their best to connect Daniel Craig's Bond then-quadrilogy in a satisfying manner, but foolishly resort to a contrived plot twist ripped straight out of "Austin Powers" that induces more eye rolls than gasps. The results are astonishingly miscalculated, leaving "Spectre" as a spectacular misfire that would have forever tainted Craig's tenure as 007 if not for the splendid "No Time to Die." Still, "Spectre" is certainly worth a watch. There are a number of throwbacks to previous Bond films that will delight fans, plenty of amazing stunts, set pieces, and more than enough dazzling spectacle to justify its existence. 

12. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Director Steven Spielberg lends this computer-animated adventure his usual razzle-dazzle flair, evoking a boisterous spirit not seen since his early forays into adventure cinema. While "The Adventures of Tintin" doesn't quite reach the glorious heights of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "Jurassic Park," the pic still offers enough high-flying escapades to rank it among the Beard's better efforts. Superbly animated, "Tintin" sees the titular intrepid reporter (Jamie Bell) join up with his adorable dog Snowy and the drunken Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) to locate a missing pirate ship's lost treasure, resulting in a globe-trotting race filled with action, peril, and mystery. 

Daniel Craig is on hand as the film's key villain, the debonair Sakharine, who craves the fortune for himself, while Simon Pegg and Nick Frost lend support as the bumbling Thomson and Thompson. John Williams' score is appropriately bombastic, while the action (notably an extended one-shot chase sequence in the final act) is genuinely thrilling and beautifully rendered. Sadly, "The Adventures of Tintin" failed to make much noise at the box office, which all-but-halted a planned franchise with Spielberg returning in a producer role alongside director Peter Jackson. Too bad, because "Tintin" offers the type of edgy family entertainment rarely seen in cinemas, all while pushing the astonishing possibilities of computer animation.

11. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," based on the best-selling and award-winning Swedish "Millennium" book series written by journalist Stieg Larsson, is perhaps the bleakest, weirdest, and most involving psychological thriller released in the last decade, even if it falls just short of Niels Arden Oplev's 2009 foreign counterpart. Slick, stylish, and pitch black in tone, "Dragon Tattoo" centers around a long-running murder mystery involving one of the wealthiest families in Sweden and the two individuals — disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and spirited Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) — who reluctantly take up the case. The film explores everything from sexual violence against women to the misogynistic attitudes that linger so prevalently in modern society. 

Craig delivers a sturdy performance as the well-mannered Blomkvist, though it's Mara as the intense but ultimately likable Lisbeth Salander who steals the show. As is the case with most mysteries, the big reveal disappoints. Some of the more contrived plot mechanics — notably a bit about a photograph taken during a parade — will induce a few guffaws. Yet, thanks to Fincher's always steady direction and strong performances from the entire cast, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" provides plenty of dark thrills for moviegoers to enjoy. However, you may be better off skipping Fincher's one-off altogether to watch the completed Noomi Rapace trilogy instead.     

10. Elizabeth (1998)

Daniel Craig has a small but pivotal role in the Academy Award-winning drama "Elizabeth," playing the religious zealot John Ballard who plots to kill Cate Blanchett's titular Queen Elizabeth in hopes of replacing her with Mary, Queen of Scots. Ballard is eventually caught, hung, drawn, and quartered for his role in the devious conspiracy — a death that was even more gratuitous in real life — but not before earning some degree of sympathy from the audience. To Craig's credit, he plays Ballard as a man who vehemently believes in his Catholic ideology, willingly risking his life for the betterment of the country. As such, his unyielding devotion coupled with the actor's performance garners a certain amount of sympathy that lends Shekhar Kapur's film an extra layer of tragedy.

As an aside, according to James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, Craig's performance in "Elizabeth" is what convinced her to cast the actor as 007. "I went, 'It has to be him,'" she says during the documentary "Being James Bond," noting a scene where the actor walks down a castle corridor draped in a long hooded cap. "It was clear that he was a movie star. And, a great actor to boot."

9. Munich (2005)

Taking cues from Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" and "The Conversation," Steven Spielberg crafts an intense, visually opulent, violent spy thriller with "Munich." The story is centered around the Israeli government's covert retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after the Munich massacre during the 1972 Summer Olympics. Eric Bana's Avner Kaufman leads a unique assortment of men (including Daniel Craig's ruthless South African driver, Steve) to hunt down and kill those responsible for the tragedy, a journey that leaves the squad questioning their individual morality as the circular nature of violence escalates.

Spielberg's film remains as relevant and ballsy today as it did upon its release in 2005, confronting the problems centered around the endless violence in the Middle East. "Spielberg did not have to make 'Munich,'" Roger Ebert said at the time, "but he needed to. With this film he has dramatically opened a wider dialogue, helping to make the inarguable into the debatable." At a lengthy 163 minutes, "Munich" occasionally hits a few bumps — notably a bizarre sex scene during the climax of the film in which Avner imagines the "Munich" tragedy, despite not having witnessed it — and certainly bites off more than it can chew. It remains a powerful political thriller that tackles its difficult subject matter head-on.     

8. Road to Perdition (2002)

Tom Hanks turned heads in "Road to Perdition" with his surprisingly convincing performance as a world-weary hitman who takes his son on a revenge tour through Chicago to take down the sniveling goon who murdered his wife and child. Daniel Craig (working under future "Skyfall" director Sam Mendes) plays Hanks' target, Connor Rooney, delivering a performance as sleazy as it is captivating. You understand his internal struggle — he merely wants the love and acceptance of his father, played by Paul Newman — but can't abide his depravity. 

Mendes and cinematographer Conrad L. Hall (who won a posthumous Oscar for his splendid work) lead the viewer on an ethical journey that explores how a corrupt society can ravage families, destroy relationships, and leave grown men with no other choice than to kill. Screenwriter David Self, working from the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner, finds hope in the bleak darkness via the unexpectedly tender relationship between Hanks' character and his son (played by Tyler Hoechlin) without resorting to simple conclusions. "Road to Perdition" offers a unique spin on an age-old genre ... call it the feel-good mob movie of our time. 

7. Logan Lucky (2017)

Call it "Ocean's 7/11" all you want, but Steven Soderbergh's "Logan Lucky" is considerably more than just a heist film. The comedy follows a couple of good ol' West Virginia boys played by Channing Tatum and Adam Driver who decide to turn the tables on Uncle Sam by robbing a motor Speedway.

Daniel Craig pops up in a key supporting role as intelligent (albeit slow-witted) safecracker Joe Bang. He enjoys some of the film's best moments, notably a bit where he stops mid-heist to explain how a particular mix of explosives works to his slower compatriots. The veteran actor clearly had a blast playing against type, but still layers his performance with the same charm and wit fans have come to appreciate. One can certainly enjoy "Logan Lucky" for its low-key brand of humor and clever twists, but that's missing the larger point. Really, this is a film about people screwing the system that continues to screw them, and that larger narrative makes the picture stand out amongst similar films of its ilk.

6. The Trench (1999)

"The Trench" is an effectively gritty World War I film that focuses on a group of British soldiers who convene in a trench during the days leading up to the tragic Battle of the Somme. Daniel Craig features as a battle-hardened sergeant who sips his wife's strawberry jam for comfort and does his best to handle the stress caused by his surroundings.

As described by The New York Times, "The Trench" rises above other war films in the way it sympathizes with the soldiers in combat who are "weaned on anti-German propaganda, are naively gung-ho, even though they have little or no idea of what they're fighting for beyond the necessity of destroying a demonized enemy." As per custom, the film by William Boyd doesn't shrink from showing brutal carnage, even if its focus lies more on the poor souls sent carelessly to the slaughter than the slaughter itself. It also features Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Danny Dyer, and Paul Nichols.

5. No Time to Die (2021)

Daniel Craig's 007 goes out with a bang in Cary Joji Fukunaga's action-packed and surprisingly emotional finale. This time the superspy with a vow to kill must take down a new organization led by the mysterious Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), a man with ties to Bond's love interest Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). "No Time to Die" certainly follows the trajectory of most Bond flicks, but does so with style and class. The action is fierce and the stakes are high, even if Safin's dastardly plan feels more rudimentary than those of previous villains in the Craig era.

What makes this particular Bond entry stand out are the supporting characters, notably Lashana Lynch's Nomi, aka the new 007, who struggles to work alongside her old counterpart; Ana de Armas, who practically runs away with the film in a brief-but-memorable scene as a new recruit who meets up with Bond in Cuba; returning players Ralph Fiennes, whose M feels more connected to the overarching narrative than ever before; Naomie Harris, who continues to shine as Moneypenny; and Ben Whishaw as the always resourceful (and playful) Q. Make no mistake, this is still very much Craig's movie and the actor does some of his best work in the role, but over the course of five movies spanning two decades it's nice to see Bond go out surrounded by good company.

4. Layer Cake (2004)

If films like "Elizabeth" and "Some Voices" demonstrated Daniel Craig's acting talent, "Layer Cake" showed his knack for playing a cool, charming, gun-wielding protagonist with a deft sense of humor. His performance as XXXX, which many fans consider the best of his career, is cheeky enough to keep first-time director Matthew Vaughn's often gruesome violence at bay, and riveting enough to anchor the sprawling supporting cast, namely Sienna Miller, Michael Gambon, and Tom Hardy, among others. 

Vaughn keeps the action flowing at a frantic pace, while screenwriter J.J. Connolly, adapting his first novel, throws enough twists and turns at the audience to necessitate multiple viewings. Still, for all its style and gangland substance, it's Craig who runs away with the production as if he's auditioning for the part of a certain spy with a license to kill. Luckily, "Casino Royale" director Martin Campbell noted his performance and chose Craig's steel-blue eyes over rival Henry Cavill who, ironically, went on to appear in Matthew Vaughn's "Stardust" before his breakout role as Superman in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel."

3. Skyfall (2012)

It's fair to say that, with "Casino Royale," "Skyfall" and "No Time to Die," Daniel Craig's go as James Bond was an enormous success. The actor, who endured a bit of controversy prior to his casting, fit the role like a glove, delivering a fiery intensity not seen since the early Sean Connery flicks.

Impressively directed by Sam Mendes, "Skyfall" marked Craig's third outing as the legendary character and arguably gives him the most to do in the role. The storyline surrounding Bond's efforts to apprehend Javier Bardem's deranged former MI6 operative-turned cyber-terrorist also explores Bond's struggles adapting to the modern era. It then literally transports him back to his roots where we learn about his problematic upbringing at the titular Skyfall estate. Bond's relationship with M (Judi Dench) also receives more attention, while new additions Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw offer welcome support with fresh spins on familiar faces. The results are a film as action-packed as it is moving, with an explosive finale that owes as much to "Home Alone" as it does "Die Hard."

2. Knives Out (2019)

In-between his time as James Bond, Daniel Craig struggled to land consistent roles that allowed him to show off his unique versatility. Enter Rian Johnson's "Knives Out," in which the actor wraps his meaty arms around the amazing character Benoit Blanc and doesn't let go until the credits roll. Charming, intelligent, lovable, and prone to quoting Stephen Sondheim, Detective Blanc is a role Craig was born to play, and the actor leaps into the part with all the enthusiasm a veteran actor can muster.

The film itself is a blast from start to finish thanks to Johnson's sharp script and a powerhouse supporting cast including Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, Don Johnson, and Toni Collette, who each get their moment to shine. When wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) is murdered by a member of his dysfunctional family, it's up to Detective Benoit Blanc to apprehend the culprit. Predictably nothing is as it seems, leaving Blanc to navigate the treacherous waters swimming with Thrombey's heirs, all of whom are champing at the bit to inherit the dead man's massive fortune. As murder mysteries go, "Knives Out" supplies a fair share of clever twists and turns that effectively leave audiences' heads spinning. If that weren't enough, Johnson sprinkles the film with cheeky commentary and takes aim at everything from social media to modern-day politics. 

1. Casino Royale (2006)

"Casino Royale" not only stands as a great James Bond film but remains one of the best action pictures ever. Period. Directed by Martin Campbell (of "Goldeneye" fame), "Casino" ushered in the Daniel Craig 007 era with wit, style, and class, presenting a Bond as susceptible to emotional anguish as he is physical pain. The plot revolves around a high-stakes poker game, which pits Bond against the villainous Le Chiffre (a terrific, pre-"Hannibal" Mads Mikkelsen), but Campbell still packs the 140-minute film with enough slam-bang action and wild stunt work to satisfy thrill-seekers.     

More pivotally, "Casino Royale" introduces Vesper Lynd (played exceptionally by Eva Green), the chief architect behind 007's buried pain, which makes her the Bond girl of all Bond girls. Her complicated relationship with Bond makes for engrossing drama, while her tragic denouement stings long after the credits roll and reverberates throughout the rest of the franchise. For Craig, "Casino Royale" marked a turning point in his career and instantly shot him to superstardom, despite worries that this "Blond Bond" would destroy the series altogether. Quite the contrary. Nearly two decades have passed since the actor took up the mantle, and to this day you can't think of 007 without first thinking of Craig ... Daniel Craig.