Pierce Brosnan took over the role of James Bond in 1995, portraying the British secret agent in four movies over the next seven years.

The actor’s ascent to 007 was unconventional - he’d originally been considered for the role several years earlier, but was unable to accept due to other contractual obligations. By the time he finally took on the role, the franchise was in peril. The two previous installments - 1987’s The Living Daylights and 1989’s License to Kill - were met with mixed reviews. Some skeptics questioned whether Bond’s brand of espionage and womanizing was still worthy of further films.

Brosnan’s arrival quieted critics and reaffirmed Bond’s place among the greatest heroes of the silver screen.

In total, the Irish-born star embodied 007 for four movies. You can read about them below.

‘GoldenEye’ (1995)
The James Bond franchise was on life support when Brosnan took over as 007, injecting a new sense of suave and sophistication - plus a little wry humor - into the action-packed role. The actor was actually tabbed to take over as Bond a decade earlier, but his TV contract on Remington Steele prohibited it from happening. When Brosnan finally took the reins in 1995, GoldenEye provided him the perfect vehicle. The film brought Bond into the modern era with a mission to keep a powerful satellite system out of the hands of evil. A blockbuster hit, GoldenEye proved that 007 could connect with a new generation of fans.

Read More: How Pierce Brosnan’s ‘GoldenEye’ Revived James Bond

‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ (1997)
Brosnan’s second Bond film centered on a billionaire media mogul’s attempts to start an international war so he could profit from it. Naturally, 007 is the only man on Earth capable of thwarting such a diabolic plan, but what’s more notable is how Tomorrow Never Dies eerily predicted elements of real life. The concepts of “fake news” and online misinformation being peddled as facts align closely with the film’s villainous plot. Though it failed to reach the same financial and critical heights of its predecessor, Tomorrow Never Dies has grown better with age.

Read More: How James Bond’s ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ Eerily Predicted the Future

‘The World Is Not Enough’ (1999)
One of the most polarizing films in the Bond franchise, The World Is Not Enough borders on ridiculous - both for better and worse. In the movie, 007 must stop a terrorist from using a nuclear weapon to destroy much of the world’s oil supply. Even though the plot was straightforward enough, the absurd elements came with the execution: The gadgets were more outrageous, the chase sequences more theatrical and the dialogue more cheesy. Still, the film is probably best remembered for Denise Richards in the role of Dr. Christmas Jones. The character has been lambasted as the worst Bond Girl in history, with many openly wondering how the doe-eyed actress could ever play a convincing scientist. Loved, hated, but never ignored, The World Is Not Enough still managed to rake in more than $360 million at the box office.

Read More: Why James Bond Fans Either Love or Hate ‘The World Is Not Enough’

‘Die Another Day’ (2002)
Brosnan’s final turn as Bond was 2002’s Die Another Day. The film bordered on edgy realism - like the scenes featuring Bond being tortured in a North Korean prison - and cartoonish extremism: At one point 007 drives an invisible car. The story, about a diabolical plot to start a war between North and South Korea using a laser-beam satellite, provided plenty of stakes. Still, it was a generally uneven effort and left many fans wondering if the Bond movies had become too formulaic. The franchise would go in a new direction for the next installment, bringing in Daniel Craig to play James Bond in an effort to once again revitalize the franchise (Spoiler alert: It worked).

Read More: How ‘Die Another Day’ Catapulted James Bond Into the 21st Century

 

James Bond Movies Ranked