Daniel Craig’s best performances, ranked by critics

  • Daniel Craig is best known for his dark and gritty performances as James Bond. 
  • However, before suiting up as Britain's best-known top-secret agent, Craig built up a resume of acclaimed and diverse performances. 
  • He appeared as the English poet Ted Hughes in 2003's "Sylvia" and teamed up with Steven Spielberg for 2005's historical crime thriller "Munich." 
  • Here are Daniel Craig's best performances, ranked by critics. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Daniel Craig's career will undoubtedly be defined by his role as James Bond. Craig's dark and physical portrait of the top-secret British spy helped to revive the struggling franchise and put Craig on the world map as a serious leading man. 

However, long before Craig picked up the Bond mantle he built up a diverse collection of performances in a wide range of films, from the first Angelina Jolie "Tomb Raider" film to his portrayal of writer Ted Hughes in 2003's "Sylvia." 

And by 2005, Craig was drafted in by Steven Spielberg for a leading role in his historical crime thriller "Munich." 

Here's a look at Daniel Craig's best performances, ranked by critics.

His lowest-ranked performance is in 1995's "A Kid in King Arthur's Court."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 5%

Daniel Craig had a supporting role in Disney's critically panned and often forgotten 1995 adaptation of Mark Twain's novel "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." 

In 2011 Craig starred alongside Rachel Weisz in the psychological drama "Dream House."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 6%

After quitting his lucrative publishing job in New York, Will Atenton (Daniel Craig), his wife (Weisz), and their two daughters move into their dream suburban home, which quickly, and rather predictably, turns into a nightmare. 

2000's political drama "I Dreamed of Africa" starring Craig was a huge financial flop.

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 10%

The film retells the true story of the Italian writer and environmentalist Kuki Gallman who left her life in Europe to start anew in the African wilderness with her son. 

Daniel Craig is a desperate scientist in 2007's psychological thriller 'The Invasion."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 19%

Scientists Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) and Dr. Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) are the only two people on Earth who are aware of an incoming epidemic, and the film follows the pair as they desperately try to save the world before it's too late.   

2001's "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 21% 

Craig had a supporting role in the first edition of Angelina Jolie's critically panned video game adaptation. 

He takes the lead alongside Gwyneth Paltrow in "Sylvia."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 37% 

In 2003's "Sylvia," Craig is a charming partner to the troubled but utterly genius poet, Sylvia Plath. 

Daniel Craig plays a washed-up Hollywood actor in 2008's "Flashbacks of a Fool."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 38% 

In "Flashbacks of a Fool," Daniel Craig plays a Hollywood actor who, following the death of his childhood best friend, returns home to England and begins to reflect upon his life and what might have been if he stayed in England. 

Daniel Craig's feature film debut "The Power of One."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 39%

Set in South Africa during World War 2, "The Power of One" depicts the life of Peter Philip Kenneth-Keith, an English South African boy raised under apartheid. 

"Some Voices" is an unlikely romantic tale set in early 00's London.

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 40%

After being released from a psychiatric hospital, Ray (Daniel Craig) moves in with his brother and attempts to control the voices that make noise in his head. 

In 2007's "The Golden Compass" Craig takes on the role of Lord Asriel.

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 42%

Daniel Craig rounds out an impressive ensemble in this well-acted but ultimately facile adaption of Phillip Pullman's novel "Northern Lights." 

Craig completes the A-list cast of 2005's "The Jacket."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 44%

Amnesiac war veteran Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) can't explain why he's been found at the scene of a murder and is ordered to a mental hospital, where he is subjected to the brutal treatment of a sinister doctor.

Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford play a pair of alien-fighting cowboys in "Cowboys & Aliens."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 44%

Jon Favreau directs Craig in the big-budget "Cowboys & Aliens." A genre mix-up with big ideas and performances. 

In 2006 Daniel Craig lent his voice to the animated film noir "Renaissance."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 49%

Set in a futuristic imagining of Paris, Daniel Craig voices a seasoned detective who is drafted in by a huge corporation to help find one of their missing scientists. 

Craig took a bold turn in WW2 drama "Defiance."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 58%

In 1941 as the Nazis make their way through Eastern Europe, three Jewish brothers — Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Liev Schreiber), and Asael (Jamie Bell) — escape and join Russian resistance fighters to fight against the fascist occupation. 

Craig starred in the British psychological thriller "Enduring Love."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 59%

After randomly witnessing a fatal accident on the street, Joe (Daniel Craig) and Jed (Rhys Ifans) becoming increasingly close, resulting in dangerous consequences.  

"Spectre" is Daniel Craig's lowest-ranked appearance as 007.

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 63% 

Craig plays an aging version of the world's most famous secret agent in 2015's "Spectre," British director Sam Mendes' last Bond film. 

Daniel Craig is out for revenge in "Quantum of Solace."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 65% 

In his second and arguably most formulaic outing as James Bond, Craig seeks revenge for the death of his lover. 

Craig starred in the 1998 TV movie "Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 68%

"Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon" is a 1998 British television film about the life of painter Francis Bacon starring Daniel Craig, Tilda Swinton, and Derek Jacobi. 

In 2011 Craig lent his voice to Steven Spielberg's sprawling animated epic, "The Adventures of Tintin."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 74%

Craig plays a mischievous villain in this thrilling animated adventure from legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg. 

Craig starred in 2006's Truman Capote biopic "Infamous."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 74%

The film is based on George Plimpton's 1997 book "Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career" and follows Capote, played by Toby Jones, as he researched and wrote his bestselling novel "In Cold Blood."

Six years earlier, Daniel Craig worked with Spielberg on 2005's "Munich."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 78%

In Steven Spielberg's thrilling historical drama, Craig is recruited by the Israeli government to secretly assassinate 11 Palestinian terrorists involved in the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

Daniel Craig is a mid-level drug dealer in the cult classic "Layer Cake."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80%

Daniel Craig plays a drug dealer who has decided to leave his criminal life behind when he is pulled into one final job: kidnapping the daughter of a rival mobster. 

Daniel Craig boasts another big performance in Sam Mendes' ensemble thriller "Road to Perdition."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 81%

Straight after the success of "American Beauty" British director Sam Mendes enlisted Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, and Jennifer Jason Leigh for his 1930's set mob thriller. 

Craig plays a murderous priest in the classic historical drama "Elizabeth."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 82% 

In 2011's "Elizabeth," Daniel Craig plays the infamous priest John Ballard who was hung, drawn, and quartered for his role in a scheme to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. 

Craig is a Swedish journalist in 2011's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 86%

In David Fincher's psychological drama, Daniel Craig plays a journalist who enlists a computer hacker played by Rooney Mara to uncover what happened to a woman who has suddenly disappeared.

"Skyfall" is one of the most successful Bond films of all time, raking in over $1 billion worldwide.

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 92%

In his first attempt at the Bond franchise, British director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and Craig rejuvenated the long-running franchise with dark action sequences that stand as some of the best in its history. 

2017's "Logan Lucky" was Steven Soderbergh's first film after coming out of early retirement.

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 92%

With his dyed bleach blonde hair, Daniel Craig provides the most memorable performance in Steven Soderbergh's wacky ensemble crime comedy-drama. 

Craig starred as an American soldier in the Hungarian war drama "Fateless."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%

"Fateless" is a moving drama based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by the Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész, who also wrote the screenplay. It tells the story of a young Jewish boy who is sent to Auschwitz during World War II. 

Daniel Craig's highest-ranked Bond film is 2006's "Casino Royale."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 95%

"Casino Royale" is a stripped-down and serious Bond film with Daniel Craig, in his first outing as 007, offering fans a slick and intense performance.  

Daniel Craig's highest-ranked film is 2019's murder-mystery hit "Knives Out."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 97% 

The circumstances surrounding the death of famous crime novelist Harlan Thrombey are mysterious, and when the eccentric Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) journeys to New England to solve the crime, he finds a suspect in each member of the dysfunctional Thrombey family. 

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