For the man who can play an iconic spy, southern sleuth, alien-fighting cowboy, and so much more!
Having now become known as the modern-day James Bond, Daniel Craig has had quite a prolific acting career. While some films are well known, such as his turn as Bond, or his more recent success as Beniot Blanc from the Knives Out series, he has also made some incredible films that he may not be as well known for. For instance, did you know that he was a knight in A Kid in King Arthur’s Court?
Whether he is fighting crime as a spy, solving mysteries as a private detective, or simply saving the princess as a knight, Daniel Craig is an amazing actor and has proven time and again how fantastic he is throughout his diverse career. Some of his lesser-known films quite possibly demonstrate the absolute weight of what he can carry as an actor, and how immeasurable his talent truly is.
In what is likely his most notable and known-for role, in 2006, Craig stepped into the shoes of 007 – James Bond, himself! Following in the footsteps of many greats before him, Craig soared to the top of the box office and all our hearts as James Bond, as he absolutely nailed the role. He is the perfect mix of playboy and secret agent. He truly exudes what it means to be Bond, James, Bond.
After his initial take on the role in Casino Royale, he has gone on to play the part in four more films, including his most recent take, No Time to Die, in 2021. Craig has established himself as the quintessential Bond, racking up the second most appearances as Bond (the first is a tie between Sean Connery and Roger Moore). Craig is definitely one of the best.
With Some Voices, Craig tackles what is likely his most influential film ever. Starring as the main character, Ray, who suffers from schizophrenia, he sheds a compassionate and important light on the illness and demonstrates the necessary love and support needed to come alongside those who struggle with these types of difficulties.
Craig’s acting is incredible and elicits every set of emotions from the audience. With a talented supporting cast including David Morrissey, who plays Craig’s brother, and Kelly Macdonald, who plays Craig’s girlfriend, the film soars to amazing heights as it brings the audience on a journey that is not only beautiful but beneficial, as well. It is a lovely film and absolutely one worth enjoying.
We all know the video game, and likely, all are familiar with this film series, as well. With Angelina Jolie as the titular lead, this film was one of Craig’s earlier, and quasi-leading roles. Starring as Alex West, a rival treasure enthusiast, opposite Jolie’s Croft, Craig demonstrates his ability to dive into adventure and excitement (à la Indiana Jones, perhaps?), and showcases his ability to steal the screen as a heart-throb.
As something of a villain for the majority of the film, Craig’s character is one that you love to hate and hate to love. He is so suave, but so diabolical, which makes him the perfect mix of cherished and loathed by audiences. His chemistry with Jolie is truly incredible, as the two balance the love-hate atmosphere needed to create the perfect cinematic tension.
Tackling maybe his most taboo role to date, The Mother has Craig playing Darren, a young man who is involved romantically with a mother-and-daughter duo. It is a rollercoaster of events and emotions that the audience takes and eventually finds themselves bewildered by the journey. Craig’s acting in this film is unparalleled and brings to the surface so many thoughts.
For Craig to play this role to such perfection is a gift for the viewer. With such a convoluted story and with every twist and turn of the plot, Craig navigates with his character in such a way that we are rooting for him, despite his easily recognizable flaws. Much like a few of his other roles, he makes it easy to both love and hate him, and surely leaves a lasting impression of his character.
Munich is based on the 1984 book which serves as an account of Operation Wrath of God, a secret Israeli government response after the 1972 Munich massacre at the Summer Olympics. This Steven Spielberg film not only has an incredible cast (Craig, Eric Bana, and Geoffrey Rush), but it sheds light on a brutal incident in history. While some controversy surrounded the film, it was universally well-received.
Portraying Steve, the South African driver for the mission, Craig plays the part as an absolute stoic and presents himself as a force to be reckoned with. Despite not being the main leading actor, Craig clearly demonstrates his leading ability in this role and showcases his sheer brilliance as he steals each scene that he is in. Not for the faint of heart, this film is a great piece to watch and experience the history of the events that took place.
Taking up the role of a real-life convicted murderer, Craig portrays Perry Edwards Smith in this film about Truman Capote’s research and writing for his novel In Cold Blood. Craig plays this character with hauntingly beautiful brilliance. To assume the identity of this murderer and to play the part with such care and attention to the intricacies is frighteningly fantastic.
It is one thing to play a character that is entirely fictional but to take on the role of a real person and portray that person with particular care is another thing entirely. Craig does so with a sense of beautiful amazement and despite the awful nature of this character, he makes the character lovable and helps the audience see beyond the horrific actions and into his heart.
In what is likely one of his oddest films, Cowboys & Aliens is a western and sci-fi crossover that packs quite an entertaining and delightful punch. It has all the fun and excitement of a classic spaghetti western all coupled with the insanity that is alien invasions. While it all appears to make no sense through most of the film, the whole story comes together at the end.
Craig plays Jake Lonergan, an outlaw with total memory loss. As the story unravels and aliens begin arriving in the old west of 1873 New Mexico, he begins remembering things and being more involved in the battle of the aliens. The truly outlandish nature of the story, coupled with the amazing cast, make this definitely a film to be enjoyed and to see how wild Craig can be.
A not-so-classic heist film, Logan Lucky follows its characters as they attempt to steal a bunch of money from the motor speedway (similar to Ocean’s Eleven). What follows is a basket of hilarity and nonsense that can only work in such a film. The comedy and even action in this are enjoyable and incredibly delightful for anyone to appreciate.
This is simply a hoot of a film. Craig portraying a safe-cracking criminal is just hilarious. He plays the wacky character perfectly, and honestly, no one else could have taken on this part. It shows that Craig can be serious, action-packed, and even downright ridiculous. Craig’s bleach-blonde hair and his random tattoos are just an extra bonus in this cinematic journey.
An unlikely team of a single black woman with eight adopted children and her neighbor, the only white man in the neighborhood, come together to bring light and encouraging support to their growing family as the Rodney King riots were breaking out in Los Angeles in the early 1990s. The two work to navigate the cultural and societal extremes following the Rodney King verdict.
While the film was not necessarily considered much of a success, the story and the acting are absolutely worth seeing. Halle Berry and Craig are such a dynamic team and have such great chemistry together that their union in the film is entirely believable and relatable. While definitely a movie with very intense moments, it truly showcases the talents of Craig and what he can truly bring to the screen.
Talk about an absolutely dynamite cast! Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Christopher Plummer and so many more, all topped off with the impeccable talent that is Craig. This mystery whodunit film was an instant success and truly a wonderful film to enjoy over and over again.
Craig plays Benoit, a private detective hired to solve the mystery of the supposed suicide of a rich family’s patriarch. After some wildly outlandish investigating, and hilarious antics, the truth is fully revealed, and the case is ultimately closed. The abundant success of the film has now spawned the creation and eventual release of multiple sequels, the first of which arrives at Netflix in December 2022.
NEXT: Ranking the 30 Best Movie Remakes of All Time
Adam Lowe is a husband, father, and author living in Southern California. With a degree in writing and an advanced degree in leadership, he strives to bring his educational background into his passion of writing and making a difference in the world. More of his writing can be found at his personal website.