Spy Game (2001, dir. Tony Scott)

A veteran spy on his last day at the CIA works to protect a compromised asset. Slick and confident thriller balancing office politics, espionage and action moments. An entertainment in the sense of the kind of film Graham Greene might have directed in the 2000s.

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015, dir. Christopher McQuarrie)

Ethan Hunt and the disavowed MI team track down a terrorist organisation named The Syndicate. Slick, expansive and fast. The series high-point to date, with a breakout performance from newcomer Rebecca Ferguson.

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Mission: Impossible III [AKA M: i: III] (2006, dir. J. J. Abrams)

Ethan Hunt is called out of retirement to track down an arms dealer. Slick third instalment that delivers in terms of action, lead actor stunts, and popcorn flick shenanigans, establishing a template for later series entries.

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Skyfall (2012, dir. Sam Mendes)

Bond battles a former MI:6 agent intent on revenge on M. Superior series entry with lots to recommend it, not least a back-to-basics siege third act. A couple of wobbly moments (beware the oddly-empty tube car), but apart from those, this is superior genre entertainment.

Die Another Day (2002, dir. Lee Tamahori)

Bond teams up with an NSA agent to uncover the truth about a conspiracy involving conflict diamonds and North Korea. Fourth, last, and least of the Brosnan Bond flicks. The central performance is good, but the script is a lazy series of puns and there’s an over-reliance on iffy CG throughout.