Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in "Skyfall." / Francois Duhamel/Columbia Pictures
The new James Bond movie "Skyfall" hits theaters on Friday, and critics are raving over director Sam Mendes' take on the iconic franchise.
"Skyfall" is the 23rd Bond film and actor Daniel Craig's third go-round as the superspy. The film has been noted by many critics as a departure from Craig's last Bond film, "Quantum of Solace," which was not as well received.
Judi Dench returns as spy chief M and Javier Bardem makes his Bond debut as a villain seeking revenge. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris.
"Skyfall" has received a 93 percent on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with critics in overwhelming favor of the movie. See what some critics have to say below:
Claudia Puig of USA Today: "Over the past half century, audiences have been shaken and stirred by 007 movies, and entertained in varying doses by a succession of brawny Bonds. Consistently high-caliber, Skyfall is the ideal way to celebrate the 50-year mark."
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone: This is Bond like you've never seen him, almost Freudian in his vulnerability. And a dynamite Daniel Craig, never better in the role, nails Bond's ferocity and feeling. Mortality lurks in the shadows as Craig digs deep into Bond's past. Citizen Kane had his Rosebud. Bond has his Skyfall.
Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times: "In "Skyfall," Mendes has given us a thrilling new chapter in a franchise that by all rights should have been gasping for air -- which really makes him the hero of this saga. Saving Bond, after all, is rather like saving the day."
Manohla Dargis of the New York Times: "Whether Mr. Mendes is deploying an explosion or a delectable detail, he retains a crucially human scale and intimacy, largely by foregrounding the performers. To that end, while 'Skyfall' takes off with shock-and-awe blockbuster dazzle, it's opulent rather than outlandish and insistently, progressively low-key, despite an Orientalist fantasy with dragons and dragon ladies."
Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly: "Of all the marvelous feats that make 'Skyfall' such a thrilling addition to the James Bond movie canon, the greatest may be that the 23rd entry conveys the melancholy of loss, mortality, and future-shock anxiety, while at the same time leaving us plenty of space to enjoy one of the most complexly unhinged villains in Bond history."
Peter Debruge of Variety: "Putting the "intelligence" in MI6, 'Skyfall' reps a smart, savvy and incredibly satisfying addition to the 007 oeuvre, one that places Judi Dench's M at the center of the action."