Skyfall ★★★★

I mean this in the most complimentary sense possible, given all the parodies and spoofs of James Bond over the years it's genuinely impressive that they're still able to make a great Bond film without contradicting anything that makes the character and his movies classic. This is almost a prestige action film, in large part due to Deakins' always-breathtaking cinematography, but also because of how it treats its characters and story. There are emotional stakes; regret, shame, fear, for Bond and also for the characters that support him. It goes deeper than Bond being the coolest – Casino Royale hinted at his flawed personality, but here his machismo is treated with less reverence. Finally, the franchise's questionable decision to have the character's emotional wounds carry from film to film is paid off here – this is not just James Bond the famous serial character, this is the man we've known for 3 movies now. Unlike previous iterations, the psychological and physical toll of being James Bond is made painfully clear, and that series arc comes to head here with a tired, damaged Bond trying to stay afloat and retain his uber-cool reputation.

good blockbusters

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