Daniel Craig’s Top 5 Films
5. Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
Daniel Craig stars alongside: Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde
This particular film doesn’t have critical or audience acclaim going for it, but hear us out: if the title Cowboys & Aliens piqued your interest at all, you’ll love it; if it didn’t you won’t. It’s as simple as that, really.
Craig plays a mysterious stranger in the old west, who comes to the small town of Absolution in 1873. The town is run by cattle baron Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde, played as you’d expect by Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones). At this point, there’s a jarring tonal shift á la Tarantino’s Dusk Till Dawn, though the title might give it away.
Alien spacecraft begin to attack the town and they must band together to defeat them. There’s really not a ton to say about this film, but honestly if you want to see a lot of cowboys fight some aliens, you know where to go.
4. Skyfall (2012)
Daniel Craig stars alongside: Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench
Daniel Craig’s third outing as Bond, James Bond, is a stylistically beautiful adventure that begins with the fall of James Bond – literally. Bond is gunned down by friendly fire after an action-packed train chase and fight sequence, launching us into the infamous Bond credits (with music from Adele) as he apparently drowns.
Of course, the film isn’t that short and Bond does live. However, he must face a huge challenge in the shape of rogue double-oh agent Raoul Silva, played with aplomb by Academy Award winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Eat Pray Love). As MI6 and M herself (Dame Judi Dench) are under attack, Bond must take drastic measures.
Many critics and fans were disappointed in Quantum of Solace, a direct sequel to Craig’s first Bond adventure, but Skyfall brings Bond back in a big way and is well worth a watch for fans of Britain’s most famous secret agent.
3. Layer Cake (2004)
Daniel Craig stars alongside: Sienna Miller, Kenneth Cranham
This role was part of an early twenty-first century breakout for Craig, who had previously played the antagonist in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Road to Perdition (see below). This was his first major film as the lead, and put him on the map in the acting world.
Craig plays a successful cocaine dealer (named only as XXXX) in the English mafia, looking for an early retirement. Before he can, mob boss Jimmy Price, played by Kenneth Cranham (Oliver!, Maleficent) sets him one final task: track down missing woman Charlotte Ryder, played by Sienna Miller (Foxcatcher, American Sniper).
It seems like a straightforward task, but Charlotte is the daughter of a powerful businessman and there’s the little matter of £2 million worth of ecstasy and a brutal gang of Neo-Nazis. This is a great crime thriller that has been well-received by critics and audiences alike.
2. Road to Perdition (2002)
Daniel Craig stars alongside: Tom Hanks, Jude Law
In this crime thriller, adapted from a graphic novel by Max Allan Collins, Craig plays the psychotic antagonist to Tom Hanks (Castaway, Forrest Gump). The film is noted for its minimal dialogue and symbolic cinematography, for which the late Conrad L. Hall won a posthumous Academy Award. Hall died of cancer shortly after the release of the film.
In this movie, Tom Hanks is Michael Sullivan, a mob enforcer during the Great Depression in 1931. His son, played by Tyler Hoechin (Teen Wolf), witnesses a murder. Connor Rooney (Craig), the unstable and violent son of mob boss John Rooney, kills Sullivan’s wife and other child, failing to kill Sullivan and his son. The film chronicles Sullivan’s quest for revenge against Rooney and also stars Jude Law (Enemy at the Gates, Alfie).
For those who are used to watching Craig play an anti-hero or protagonist, this movie is a great chance to see him in a villainous role.
1. Casino Royale (2006)
Daniel Craig stars alongside: Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen
The gritty reboot of the James Bond franchise was a welcome relief to fans of the famous spy after the overly campy and light-hearted Die Another Day, which many agreed took many aspects of the series too far.
In this, Craig’s first outing as Bond, we are immediately treated to a more brutal and realistic secret agent; this Bond we can believe rose through the ranks of the SAS and secret service. A parkour chase, a bloody fight and a war crime set the tone within the first 15 minutes.
The centrepiece of the film involves Bond taking on the criminal elite in a game of high stakes poker, specifically targeting Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Doctor Strange). This particular poker scene was a boost for the online niche of poker because it is intriguing and a perfect balance of Bond villainy and realism. Eva Green (Kingdom of Heaven, The Dreamers) is the requisite Bond girl, and a remarkable one at that.
The high stakes gambling is joined on screen by a climactic car chase, a torture scene that makes for rather hard viewing and an iconic shot of Craig emerging from the sea that the ladies are sure to love. All in all, it’s a fantastic return to form for the iconic character of Bond, James Bond.
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