Skyfall

Skyfall ★★★★★

I was actually rather cool on "Skyfall" in theaters, but in my defense: I'm going to argue this works better as an evolution of and tribute to the series as a whole than it does as Daniel Craig's third outing. (After waiting four years for a follow-up to "Quantum of Solace," it always bugged me that we were told Craig was now over-the-hill and unfit for 00 status, when he never even got his pure 007 adventure a la "The Spy Who Loved Me"). In fact, "Skyfall" feels designed that way, tipping its hat to the franchise's past for its 50th anniversary while delivering one of the most visually sumptuous entries in the entire series; and while we've had strong villains in the past, I don't believe we've had one whose motivations and, indeed, pain feel so vivid and justifiable, nor a performance as captivating as Javier Bardem's Silva. He really should have earned an Oscar nomination for this one.

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