Daniel Craig

Beyond Bond: 7 Great Action Pics Starring Actors Who Played 007

Article: Beyond Bond: 7 Great Action Pics Starring Actors Who Played 007

Each actor to step into MI6 Agent Bond’s shoes has made the role his own–we’ve had some suave womanizers (Roger Moore, Pierce Bronsan) and some fierce menacers (Sean Connery, Daniel Craig)–and through it all the action franchise has remained a swaggering and unstoppable force at the box office. It’s a lot of pressure to be cast as a Bond, and it’s no surprise that the lucky men who’ve filled the role each needed some action-thriller practice to cut their teeth. Below we’ve compiled a list of our favorite action pics starring Bond actors, before their stint as the legendary spy.

1. Layer Cake with Daniel Craig
Two years before his first Bond pic Casino Royale, the actor was being primed for stardom via this well-crafted British crime thriller. Craig plays “XXXX,” a London drug kingpin on the verge of retirement who finds himself knee-deep in the drug trade. With its impressively styled action sequences, Layer Cake is more than 007 1.0. It’s also a modern action classic.

Previously unpublished LIFE photos of James Bond castings

Article: Previously unpublished LIFE photos of James Bond castings

Last week we saw the teaser trailer for SKYFALL, the newest James Bond film in the Daniel Craig era. Not shown in the trailer is that instead of ordering a martini “shaken, not stirred” Bond might be only requesting a cold beer (blasphemous!) thanks to a marketing deal with Heineken for supposedly $45 million.

Bring on the Oscar movies! And the Oscar fatigue!

Article: Bring on the Oscar movies! And the Oscar fatigue!

The season of grossout comedies and screechy animated romps is spewing to an end as we brace ourselves for the period when actual quality films might come out of the darkness. And these films know they’re quality.

In fact, the releases from now till December 31 have been aggressively devised to win Oscars and will be prestigiously rammed down our throats until someone votes for them!

The top choices:

* Ages ago, George Clooney went from TV star to Oscar bait, and his new one will hardly stop his pedigree parade from marching on. It’s The Ides of March, directed by Clooney (who costars with Ryan Gosling), and seeing as it examines dirty politics from the inside, it couldn’t be any more tawdrily topical. Opens October 7

* Leonardo DiCaprio gets a star role—and hopefully some nice gowns—as FBI head J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar. It doesn’t take an investigator to smell Oscar potential here. October 21