In article about No Time To Die, James Bond falls while holding a gun
The new Bond film "No Time To Die" can be watched in the theaters, but should you hold off? (Illustration by Amber Duan, Pratt Institute)

Is ‘No Time To Die’ Worth Watching in Theaters?

James Bond is the star of yet another action-packed film, but there are both pros and cons of going out to watch this new movie instead of waiting for it to stream.

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In article about No Time To Die, James Bond falls while holding a gun
The new Bond film "No Time To Die" can be watched in the theaters, but should you hold off? (Illustration by Amber Duan, Pratt Institute)

James Bond is the star of yet another action-packed film, but there are both pros and cons of going out to watch this new movie instead of waiting for it to stream.

Most people have heard of the legendary James Bond film franchise, and many have likely watched at least one or two of the 27 Bond films that have been created. Based off of Ian Fleming’s writings, the infamous 007 has been adapted on the big screen, morphing the Bond franchise into a blockbuster giant over the span of decades. As of Oct. 8, a brand-new Bond movie, “No Time To Die,” has been released in theaters. This marks Daniel Craig’s final film performance as the secret agent, making “No Time To Die” an especially significant release. But is this movie worth watching in the theaters?

Pros of Watching “No Time To Die” on the Big Screen

Generally speaking, action-packed movies are distinctly entertaining to watch on the big screen, whether it’s a 007 movie or not. Viewers experience surround sound and a captivating screen so that all senses are fully engaged with the movie. Popular franchises, however, are particularly enjoyable in the theaters. James Bond has racked up a multi-generational fan base. So, when viewers step into the theater to watch “No Time To Die,” they become a part of a buzzing, enthusiastic group that will cheer, clap and gasp together. This is a singular, powerful experience that one just can’t get at home with streaming services. In particular, James Bond’s multi-generational fan base makes “No Time To Die” the perfect movie to watch with either family or friends — though going alone is just fine too. Regardless of who you go with, “No Time To Die” will have a diverse fandom that brings people from all age groups together.

As mentioned, “No Time To Die” is also Craig’s last Bond film. This means viewers can expect the biggest plot twists and grandest finale in comparison to Craig’s four preceding movies. Audiences will also become privy to secrets and get reintroduced to characters and iconic moments from the older films. This makes “No Time To Die” a beautiful blend of refreshing and nostalgic. The film also has an impressive lineup of actors, some of which include Daniel Craig, Rami Malek and Ana de Armas. Malek’s antagonistic role is an especially impressive and chilling performance that will have viewers at the edge of their seats.

With a 7.6 on IMDb and an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, “No Time To Die” is also simply just a quality action spy movie that has performed extraordinarily for a blockbuster release during an ongoing pandemic. The movie has a complex plot that balances roaring action sequences and more somber, serious scenes. The antagonists are also layered in an alluring way in which they are both disliked and sympathized with. There’s consistent humor, mostly via quality dialogue, that levels out the seriousness of the film. “No Time To Die” is also visually pleasing at times — especially on the big screen — with its variety of geography and scenery. For example, viewers are taken from Jamaica to Italy to Norway and more. Such a geographically diverse plot makes for a sensually rich experience — one that makes the viewer feel as if they are truly being immersed in a convoluted, global spy crisis.

There is also a healthy dose of mystery to “No Time To Die,” as there should be in any decent spy movie. Audiences are constantly trying to piece together riddles and solve problems alongside their heroes and heroines. At times, “No Time To Die” also subtly evokes psychological thrillers. This is especially true of the torturous mind games that occur throughout the film, many of which are inflicted upon James Bond himself and Madeleine, an old love interest of Bond’s and a psychiatrist, played by Léa Seydoux. All of these aspects of “No Time To Die” make it a surprisingly complex spy movie that viewers may enjoy in the theaters.

Considering the Cons

On the other hand, there are definitely valid reasons as to why some viewers may not enjoy watching “No Time To Die” in theaters. For starters, the movie has an astounding run time of two hours and 43 minutes. This is quite a lengthy film, and it’s understandable if some readers are cringing at the thought of sitting in a seat for nearly three hours. “No Time To Die” is certainly a theatrical commitment. And with plenty of action, explosions and loud noises, the film may grow to be jarring on the senses after hours of such sensations.

With this in mind, it may be more pleasant for some people to watch “No Time To Die” in the comfort of their own home where they can get up, pause the movie and take a break at their whim. Choosing this route also spares viewers from general movie annoyances, such as people making a lot of noise or talking too much. The passionate fandom of the James Bond franchise backfires here, as some theatergoers become overenthusiastic and make too much noise during the film. On top of this, despite the fact that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, many theaters are not enforcing space between groups. Thus, safety concerns are another valid reason why some people may want to opt for watching “No Time To Die” via a streaming service.

As mentioned in the pros section, “No Time To Die” has nostalgic aspects to it as the fifth and final movie with Craig playing 007. This aspect of the film can certainly be a positive for viewers who have been fans of the Bond franchise for a while and who have watched the four preceding movies. However, for people who don’t know much about the Bond movies, this will likely be more of a con than anything else. As a viewer who’s new to this spy world, you may find yourself getting very confused with plotlines — especially situations that deal heavily with events that happened in past movies. So, if you find yourself just now entering this film franchise, it may be better to taste test “No Time To Die” in the comfort of your own home, where you can pause the movie and quickly research plot explanations to help better your understanding.

All in all, “No Time To Die” is a spectacular movie that can be entertaining for any viewer. The venue in which you choose to watch this film, however, is something that all viewers should carefully consider. Some may find that the theater is the most enjoyable option, while others may choose to watch “No Time To Die” at home — and either way has its pros and cons.

Writer Profile

Sonia Noorbakhsh

UC Berkeley

Hello! My name is Sonia. I have always loved anything pertaining to English. In my free time I enjoy traveling, reading and drinking plenty of coffee.

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