Well, how's that for a comeback? After a second movie that landed with a thud and four years away from the franchise, Daniel Craig is back in action as James Bond, and audiences and critics cannot get enough of "Skyfall."
The critical response has been overwhelmingly positive, with reviews praising everything from Craig's take on the character and Javier Bardem's instantly classic villain, to Sam Mendes direction and Roger Deakins' cinematography.
Before you head to the theater this week — because you definitely should — see what the critics are saying about "Skyfall."
"This time our man James is charged with rescuing a rapidly shifting geopolitical world from a computer-savvy adversary who shares one trait, at least, with the Bond villains of the pre-digital Cold War era: an ability to attract and retain a mini-army of machine-gun-toting minions, ready to take the fall for their leader." — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"But Bond's vulnerability — dare we say, his weakness at times — makes him a much more complicated and captivating figure. He's not always totally smooth and slick. The work is taking a physical and psychological toll. Muscular and sexy as Craig is, he looks beat-up and worn-out here, which adds what feels like an unprecedented sense of depth to a character we thought we'd known so well for so long. Three films into the series and Craig owns this iconic role by now, with his stoic cool and willingness to explore a dark side." — Christy Lemire, Associated Press
"Mendes (American Beauty), a Brit who has worn out his welcome as a social critic of American suburbia, is back on home turf and going for it big-time. He seems hellbent on making the best Bond since 'Goldfinger' — or the best, period, given that he exhumes Bond's old Aston Martin only to shoot it to pieces, the bastard. I don't think there's a shot in 'Skyfall' that isn't intended to make you smile at its elegance, gasp at its audacity, or sit up and salute the proficiency of those high-paid Bond-picture stuntmen. (The cinematographer is the great Roger Deakins.) Mendes had a lot of money to work with, but a look at some other Bond pictures will confirm that you can't buy taste." — David Edelstein, New York Magazine
Placement Within the Series
"In this 50th year of the James Bond series, with the dismal "Quantum of Solace" (2008) still in our minds, 'Skyfall' triumphantly reinvents 007 in one of the best Bonds ever. This is a full-blooded, joyous, intelligent celebration of a beloved cultural icon, with Daniel Craig taking full possession of a role he earlier played well in "Casino Royale," not so well in "Quantum" — although it may not have been entirely his fault. Or is it just that he's growing on me? I don't know what I expected. I don't know what I expected in Bond No. 23, but certainly not an experience this invigorating." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
The Final Word
" 'Skyfall' teaches the cold fact that the world is now run by a new generation of wily players who are adept, almost by birthright, at manifesting both evil and its antidote with the flick of a finger on a computer keyboard. 'This is a young man's game,' says Bond. The future looks scary in an entirely new way. But M also offers her devoted employee even more valuable advice: 'Don't cock it up.' Craig, Mendes, and Logan don't. On the contrary, they keep calm. They carry on. And they save the empire. The James Bond empire." — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
Check out everything we've got on "Skyfall."