The film that revitalized the ailing James Bond franchise. Timothy Dalton stars as Agent 007, and he turns in a brilliant performance that, in the opinion of many, rivals Sean Connery himself.

Plotwise, this movie is a rare gem. While most Bond tales revolve around ego-centric madmen attempting to take over the world (or blow it up), this one is more realistic. After helping to facilitate the defection of a KGB general, Bond learns of a Soviet plan to systematically murder the British secret agent force. There is literally no stopping once the story gets going, and this movie really shows us James Bond at his best.

If there's one thing this film teaches us, it's that the retirement of Roger Moore was perhaps the best thing to happen to the Bond franchise in decades. Dalton's Bond is serious, cynical, and dark -- much closer to Sean Connery's original Bond, but perhaps even closer to the Bond portrayed in Ian Fleming's novels. As a result of Dalton's excellent portrayal (and also due to the sleek screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson), this film is a sharp departure from the goofy, unbelievable Bond films of previous years. In addition, long-time Bond director John Glen seems to have cleaned up his act and has made superb advances in production values, something Bond films had always lacked.

In addition to the solid plot, acting, and direction, this movie delivers some of the best action sequences ever filmed. Top among these are the now famous chase scene on the cello and a spectacular mid-air fight to the death with Bond and the bad guy actually hanging out the back of a flying cargo plane.

This is my personal favorite Bond film. Obviously, I highly recommend it. Sadly, this is one of only two films in which Timothy Dalton plays Bond. As much as I like Pierce Brosnan, I can't help thinking Dalton did a better job.

Coincidentally, this movie contains one of my favorite quotes, and one of Bond's best lines: "They have a saying where I come from, Yuri, and you're full of it."