Licence To Kill 1989

Critics score:
77 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune: Dalton revives the cool, ironic detachment of the Connery years, but he also allows a touch of obsession to show through Bond`s surface aplomb. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times: Every once in a while, [the Bond series] pulls in its stomach, pops the gun from its cummerbund, arches its eyebrow and gets off another bull's-eye. The newest, Licence to Kill, is probably one of the five or six best of Bond. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: If the series is ever going to return to its Connery-era glory, it definitely needs some new writers, ones who know how to streamline a story and keep the dialogue tight. Read more

Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer: With Dalton straightening out Bond for the second time, Licence to Kill continues the salvage operation begun in The Living Daylights and rescues a series that was in danger of shooting itself in the foot. With a Walther PPK, of course. Read more

Caryn James, New York Times: Mr. Dalton is perfectly at home as an angry Bond, and as a romantic lead and as an action hero, but he never seems to blend any two of those qualities at once. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: Despite some shaky narrative continuity and muddled motivations, this manages to move pretty briskly, and the action sequences are generally well handled, especially at the climax. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Licence to Kill may be taut and gripping, but it's not traditional Bond, and that, as much as any other reason, may explain the public's rejection of this reasonably well-constructed picture. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The stunts all look convincing, and the effect of the closing sequence is exhilarating. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The Bond women are pallid mannequins, and so is the misused Dalton -- a moving target in a Savile Row suit. For every plausible reason, he looks as bored in his second Bond film as Sean Connery did in his sixth. Read more

Colette Maude, Time Out: It's all very pacy, with the overly straightforward plotting dimmed but not obscured by the hi-tech effects. Read more

Variety Staff, Variety: The thrills-and-spills chases are superbly orchestrated as pic spins at breakneck speed through its South Florida and Central American locations. Read more

Hal Hinson, Washington Post: Dalton plays a straight-faced, humorless, no-nonsense Bond -- all guns and no play -- and it makes for a very dull time. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: You may find yourself shaken -- not stirred -- by the screenwriting cruelty and cynicism behind the 16th Bond. Read more