Veteran MI6 agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) is off the map. After dropping seemingly to his death on a failed mission, his presumed demise leaves the job of boss M (Judi Dench) on the line.
Back in London, her tenure is scrutinised further when a bomb decimates the MI6 building, forcing their operation underground. Chillingly eloquent villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) claims responsibility, before holding M to ransom with stolen top-secret information.
Bond is desperately needed, so when he reappears from the dead, M ensures he's thrust straight back into action. As he goes gunning for Silva, can the jaded agent rediscover his lust for the job and save Queen, country and M once again?
No longer the unflappable smoothy of yore, Craig's Bond is flawed, disillusioned and bitter. Against this, director Sam Mendes brilliantly balances action and fun, while paying homage to all the Bonds that have gone before (look out for the classic Aston Martin DB5 and clever references, including, "What did you expect, an exploding pen?"). As M, Dench is finally given the screen time to develop a fascinating character, and her exchanges with Craig are great.
This 23rd official Bond feature is arguably the best yet, and ensures that one of the UK's most cherished film heroes will live to die another day.