15 Movies Like James Bond to Watch Next





Summary

  • The Courier, A Call to Spy, and The Gray Man are spy films that share similarities with James Bond, offering thrilling plots and clever espionage tactics.
  • These 15 films, like Bond, incorporate real-world events and conflicts, showcasing the characters’ resourcefulness and combat skills.
  • Each film provides a unique twist to the spy genre, highlighting the importance of storytelling, suspense, and the complex nature of espionage.





MOVIEWEB VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

From the moment novelist Ian Fleming jotted down the characteristics and physical traits that would define James Bond, the character was cemented as a pop culture icon. Played by a plethora of actors throughout the decades, the notable spy is known for his resourcefulness, his range of combat skills, and his controversial status as a womanizer. The multidimensional protagonist has led more than 20 films, each finding the MI6 agent in a different corner of the world, battling against rogue agents or international crime syndicates.

While Bond seemingly holds a monopoly over the genre, there are many spy films breaking into the mainstream and captivating audiences all the same. Whether it be similar premises, thrilling fight scenes, or the film’s assertion, these movies will surely entertain and surprise longtime and newfound fans of James Bond. Here are 15 movies like James Bond to watch next.

15 The Courier (2020)

The Courier





The Courier

Businessman Greville Wynne is asked by a Russian source try to help put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Release Date
March 19, 2021

Director
Dominic Cooke
Cast
Vladimir Chuprikov , Merab Ninidze , James Schofield , Fred Haig , Emma Penzina , Mariya Mironova

Runtime
1hr 52min

Based on British business executive Greville Wynne, The Courier stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Wynne and chronicles his collusion with MI6 during The Cold War. Recruited to maintain contact with Soviet agent Oleg Penkosvky (Merab Ninidze), the film follows Wynne’s efforts in deescalating tensions between the USA, its capitalist allies, and the USSR.

How It’s Like James Bond

Like James Bond’s most memorable adventures, The Courier‘s story is founded in reality. Centered around the Cuban Missile Crisis, Wynne and Ponkovsky rely on their intel, quick wits, and combat skills, similarly to the famous 007. While the fish-out-of-water story adds some depth to Wynne’s narrative, The Courier remains an entertaining film with gratifying suspense and multi-layered characterization that most fans of Bond will find impeccable and important. Stream on Prime Video

14 A Call to Spy (2019)

While many World War II tales focus on male soldiers and secret agents, A Call to Spy is one of the many projects to expand the scope of what, and more importantly, who contributed to the Allied war effort. The story of Virginia Hall (Sarah Megan Thomas), Vera Atkins (Stana Katic), and Noor Inayat Khan (Radhika Apte) begins at the beginning of World War II. In desperate need of intel and advantages, British spy Atkins recruits Hall and Khan. The trio conducts a particularly perilous mission in Vichy France, putting their lives on the line to thwart the Nazi war effort.

How It’s Like James Bond

The agents in A Call to Spy carry themselves with a similar craftiness to Bond. While the Bond films have been influential to the modern spy genre, A Call to Spy documents the overlooked lives of these selfless agents while capturing them as people. Where the Bond films establish and rely on a familiar formula, A Call to Spy attempts to illustrate the realities of these three women spies. With Sarah Megan Thomas writing, producing, and starring in the film, it is impossible to miss the sincerity behind it. Stream on AMC+

13 Enemy of the State (1998)

Many films incorporate hijinks into their plots, and Enemy of the State is no different. The film follows Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith), an innocuous lawyer who becomes embroiled in a secret scandal involving the assassination of a high-profile senator. Throughout the film, NSA Agent Reynolds (Jon Voight) and his team of subordinates attempt to sabotage an unsuspecting Dean, by any means necessary.

How It’s Like James Bond

A great spy film understands the power of an entourage. Whether it be a dynamic duo or a vast network of allies, Enemy of the State displays the significance of every piece on the chessboard. What makes this filmparticularly fascinating is the role reversal. While Bond is seen as an exceptional agent within a larger organization, Dean and ex-agent Edward «Bill» Lyle (Gene Hackman) are on the outside, crafting their meticulous retaliation. Nonetheless, both films highlight overarching issues such as government surveillance, corruption, and the carelessness of the world’s most influential people. Stream on Paramount+

12 The Gray Man (2022)

Ryan Gosling as Six, with blood running down his face, in The Gray Man
Netflix

The Gray Man places audiences at the center of an explosive conflict between two CIA agents, chronicling the discord that arises due to one’s disillusionment with the system. Following Sierra Six (played by Ryan Gosling), the film finds his personal life in jeopardy after vengeful rivals hire Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a disgruntled and «sociopathic» mercenary. Their insular conflict soon evolves into an international frenzy, implicating everyone they come across.

How It’s Like James Bond

The mutual animosity between the agents not only serves as an integral plot for the film, but also mirrors the relationship between Bond and his treacherous foes in films like GoldenEye. While reception towards the Netflix film varies, the most contentious moments between Sierra Six and Hansen prove to be the most compelling action within The Gray Man, equipped with the same tension and cleverness as most Bond films. Stream on Netflix

11 The Conversation (1974)

The Conversation finds Francis Ford Coppola at the helm of a mystery thriller starring Gene Hackman, John Cazle, and Allen Garfield. While surveillance has been a widespread discussion for quite some time, the film focuses on Harry Caul (Hackman), a surveillance expert stuck contemplating the potential murder he witnessed inadvertently. Throughout the film, Caul’s dilemma offers illuminating insight into the role technology plays in everyday society, offering another perspective on espionage.

How It’s Like James Bond

While Bond’s role as an agent is more formal, Harry and his confidante, Stan (Cazle), stumble upon a mystery. Nevertheless, the mystery at the center of both narratives lead audiences down a complex sequence of events that contain exhilarating revelations and intriguing means of gaining intel on suspected criminals. For fans of Bond looking for an equally suspenseful spy thriller with strong storytelling, The Conversation is the perfect film to get lost in. Stream on Netflix or Paramount+

10 The German Spy Peril (1914)

Considered by many as the first spy film, The German Spy Peril is a silent drama set in World War I. The seven-minute short film follows an unnamed hero overhearing a nefarious plot by the Germans to blow up parliament. In hopes of thwarting them, the hero takes it upon himself to act for the betterment of Britain. While films such as The 39 Steps may align closer to modern definitions of a film, the British propaganda piece still remains an influential foundation for the subgenre.

How It’s Like James Bond

As the Bond franchise originates from Cold War tensions, The German Spy Peril is similarly informed and inspired by World War I. Both films, while varying in length and characterization, illustrate the perceived significance of both heroes and their intervention in international incidents. Films such as From Russia with Love carry the same dramatic tension found within The German Spy Peril, with both protagonists carrying the weight of defending the world from an insidious force and their truly chilling plans to achieve victory. Be it to quench one’s curiosity or trace back the origins of stories like No Time To Die,The German Spy Peril is a concise yet informative watch. Stream on YouTube

Related: Most Realistic Spy Movies of All Time

9 Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Three Days of the Condor is a harrowing thriller that follows Joe Turner (Robert Redford), a CIA researcher who returns after his break to find his co-workers gruesomely murdered. Hoping to discover the motives behind the murder while looking out for himself, the movie soon unveils itself as a particularly enjoyable exploration of paranoia.

How It’s Like James Bond

As fans of great spy films understand, suspense is an imperative aspect to a film’s narrative. Three Days of the Condor includes nothing but stimulating scenes, where Turner evades nefarious superiors and audiences really get a close look at his craftiness and foresight. Much like some of Bond’s best adventures, Three Days of the Condor is just as thrilling: both in the mystery at hand and the looming conspiracy that haunts the titular Condor. Stream on Prime Video or Paramount+

8 Tenet (2020)

tenet

Tenet
Release Date
August 22, 2020

Runtime
195

Tenet has been considered by many to be director Christopher Nolan’s answer to the Bond franchise. Drawing favorable comparisons to Daniel Craig’s James Bond movies, the film focuses on an unnamed protagonist, portrayed by John David Washington, who is intercepted during a CIA mission and later recruited by the titular secret organization. Throughout the film, the protagonist becomes embroiled in a mind-bending conflict impacted by time travel.

How It’s Like James Bond

Aside from the aforementioned associations made by fans and critics, Washington makes for a compelling lead. Furthermore, the plot of Tenet left some feeling puzzled while others felt thoroughly satisfied. Without a doubt, the sheerambition of Nolan’s film and its astute understanding of spy stories will surely pique the interests of cinephiles and Bond fans alike. Rent on AppleTV

7 The Bourne Identity (2002)

Probably the most recognizable spy film next to Bond, The Bourne Identity is an exhilarating drama that follows Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) in his quest to retrieve his identity. However, as his adventure progresses, he quickly unearths an unsettling scheme that connects him with the CIA. Following its 2002 release, the film has been cemented into pop culture as a truly unforgettable exploration of themes like justice, truth, and mortality.

How It’s Like James Bond

Controversially, Daniel Craig’s first films as Bond earned comparisons to The Bourne Identity, with many fans accusing the franchise of imitating Damon’s film. However, the slight controversy pales in comparison to the payoff of diving into the mind of Jason Bourne. Both films have enigmatic protagonists and spend just enough time inspecting the men that make the myth, as they do on crafting engaging spy missions. Rent on AppleTV

6 Atomic Blonde (2017)

Regarded by many to be an enjoyable action thriller, Atomic Blonde sees Charlize Theron starring as an MI6 agent deployed to Berlin in hopes of discovering the truth behind the murder of her fellow agent. While conducting her investigation, she also becomes aware of the double agents within her vicinity. In search of truth, Atomic Blonde blooms into a truly fascinating spy film.

How It’s Like James Bond

Both Lorraine (Theron) and Bond are admirable protagonists through and through. Be it for their exceptional combat skills or their remarkable discernment, the respective films are truly sublime. Watching Lorraine navigate the murky network of spies in Berlin is truly fascinating, and as the film inches closer to the truth, her experience twists and turns into something much more mind-boggling, but ultimately fulfilling. Rent on AppleTV

5 Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

kingsman

kingsman
Release Date
December 13, 2014

Runtime
129

Kingsman: The Secret Service and the following sequels take a step back and follow a spy organization from the perspective of its multiple employees. Based on the comic book franchise of the same name, the film introduces the fictional organization through the lens of Gary «Eggsy» Unwin (Taron Egerton), a formerly rebellious soul, who is tapped to join the network due to familial ties. As Kingsman: The Secret Service progresses, audiences are treated to an amusing yet close-knit group of talented agents as they go on daring missions.

How It’s Like James Bond

Not only does Kingsman: The Secret Service grant audiences satisfying examples of character development and worthwhile action scenes, but the franchise also leans into humor, successfully incorporating comedic lines into serious storylines. With a cast including Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, and Mark Strong alongside Egerton, the film benefits from vibrant personalities that understand the power of comedic timing. For those in search of a franchise that crafts amusing narratives but doesn’t sacrifice the appeal of action and suspense, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a perfect start. Stream on Max

4 The Ipcress File (1965)

Considered to be one of the best British films of the 20th Century, The Ipcress File is a spy film that opens with the kidnapping of a scientist, but soon transgresses into a stunning exploration of British espionage, sabotage, murder, and corruption. Michael Caine’s performance as agent Harry Palmer is stellar, wholly captivating the audience with his cunning personality.

How It’s Like James Bond

In spite of the many comparisons between Palmer and Bond, The Ipcress File finds stronger inspiration from film noir and the irony it shows. The sarcasm that comes to define Harry is born out of a resentment towards his employers, frequently finding ways to avoid the monotonous stream of paperwork that seems to follow him everywhere. However, as the mystery slowly reveals itself, The Ipcress File truly transforms into a gratifying and unforgettable film worthy of celebration. Not Currently Available to Stream or Purchase

3 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Set in the Cold War, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy stars Gary Oldman as George Smiley, a highly coveted agent, whose retirement process is interrupted after his former employers inform him of a Soviet mole within his friend group. Throughout the film, we come to learn about Smiley’s lifelong friends and the legacy he left behind. As much as it is a harrowing spy film, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy also operates as an insightful character study and a poignant look at the Cold War.

How It’s Like James Bond

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy similarly delivers drama and suspense in the same manner as James Bond. While both films have explored betrayal and the resounding effects of said deception, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy masterfully highlights themes of paranoia as Smiley investigates his close relationships. Alongside Oldman, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong deliver powerful performances and all the more enrich the film watching experience. Stream on Starz

2 North By Northwest (1959)

north by northwest

North By Northwest
Release Date
July 8, 1959

Cast
Cary Grant , Eva Marie Saint , James Mason , Jessie Royce Landis , Leo G. Carroll , Josephine Hutchinson

Runtime
131

North By Northwest is an Alfred Hitchcock espionage thriller starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason. Roger Thornhill (Grant) is an advertising executive, who is targeted by a group of foreign adversaries after he is mistaken for a CIA agent. The film is a puzzling yet thrilling escapade that plays with the viewers’ sense of reality while also following traditional mystery tropes.

How It’s Like James Bond

Like much of Hitchcock’s catalog, North By Northwest has been highly coveted and considered revolutionary by many. Known for being the first film to incorporate kinetic typography into its opening, the film has also been heralded for its uniquely spectacular performances and capability to capture Cold War anxieties. While Bond’s stories remain in conversation with contemporary political trends, North By Northwest pushed the envelope and exists as a twisted elegance that spy film enthusiasts will surely enjoy, especially considering its impact on the Fleming-penned protagonist. Rent on AppleTV

Related:Best Cary Grant Movies, Ranked

1 The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1966)

Based on the John le Carré novel of the same name, The Spy Who Came in fromt the Cold is a mid-60s spy film starring Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, and Oskar Werner. The movie centers around Alec Leamas (Burton), an MI6 agent tasked with disguising himself as a defector in hopes of gaining intel on an influential East German intelligence officer. After successfully infiltrating the agency, Leamas learns of a greater truth that upends his own perspective on the mission.

How It’s Like James Bond

Suspense is a powerful device, and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold excellently toys with Leamas and the viewers, twisting and turning towards the truth and providing audiences with engaging dialogue and distinctive moments of clarity. In comparison to the Bond franchise, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is often considered to be the more serious of the two. Furthermore, the filmstood as one of the few prominent spy films just as Bond was dominating the genre. In hopes of expanding one’s horizon on spy films or indulging in a fascinating British spy thriller, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is just the film to digest. Rent on AppleTV

Manuel Rivas

Fernando Rivas. Compagino mis estudios superiores en ingeniería informática con colaboraciones en distintos medios digitales. Me encanta la el periodismo de investigación y disfruto elaborando contenidos de actualidad enfocados en mantener la atención del lector. Colabora con Noticias RTV de manera regular desde hace varios meses. Profesional incansable encargado de cubrir la actualidad social y de noticias del mundo. Si quieres seguirme este es mi... Perfil en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/manuel.rivasgonzalez.14 Email de contacto: fernando.rivas@noticiasrtv.com

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *