Rating: A-

When you leave a movie, get in your car, and feel like you've become the main character, I think it's safe to say the movie did its job.
This was the case when I left the theatre tonight. Though my little Chevy is no Aston Martin (sadly), as soon as a car pulled behind me on the road, lights shining into my mirror, I tried to call for M or Q or Moneypenny, only to realize I wasn't, indeed, Bond himself (also, sadly). Nor was I in some exotic locale or Shanghai, Morocco, or London, but I was driving down the street in suburban Atlanta, hardly the best place to look for a good martini or an Aston Martin.
Skyfall is the newest installment in the 50 year history of London's most-cherished agent, James Bond. Daniel Craig sinks his teeth into his third outing as the super spy and is more debonair than ever. The mastery of a Bond film is to not only provide ridiculously harrowing action/stunt sequences, smart dialogue, and ruthless bad guys, but also to present it all in style. Bond 23 (as it was known before it got the title Skyfall) was directed by Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) which is probably why this film seems to have a more caliber-heavy quality than some of the more recent interpretations of the story (I'm referencing to you, Pierce Brosnan, and your 90's-early 00's Bond flicks). Craig has had the pleasure of enjoying a different kind of Bond than audiences are used to. He's more work-oriented, while also still enjoying a drink or girl here and there. But, it's his somewhat cold-hearted attitude that really steps him into almost Batman-like territory, and Skyfall really delves into that more than just the flashy Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace before it.
The story revolves around a corrupt former MI6 agent who is using his skills and knowledge to take down the agency, starting with the agents themselves and then working towards the leader of the pack, M, played to stellar effect by legendary Judi Dench. Her stoic poise throughout every situation proves why she's the one to take down. 007 himself ends up taking the reigns of protecting her, which eventually leads them back to his childhood Scottish manor and leads the movie into an incredible third act, with Home Alone-like boobytraps, an old chapel, and some of the best Bond bad guy scenes ever (thanks to Oscar-winner Javier Bardem).
Like already mentioned, Skyfall thrives on top-notch style and quality, pushing it beyond a run-of-the-mill action film. The scenery. The costumes. The fact that they can destroy thousands of dollars of properties and vehicles and make it look so cool. Plus, the complete quality of performances. These are the ingredients to what makes Skyfall one of the year's most fun rides and definitely knocks itself into top competition for the title of best Bond cinematic adventure. Could Oscar be in Bond's future?

Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 143min.

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