Here's my spoiler-free review of Skyfall. Here's the trailer for Skyfall.
After the jump, I have some thoughts about Skyfall that you probably shouldn't read unless you've already seen the movie. Consider this your spoiler alert.
I watched Skyfall for a second time and I definitely stand by my review: It's a beautiful entertainment. I think it belongs in the upper echelon of Bond movies, surpassing even the excellent Casino Royale. The best sequence was set on the abandoned island where Bond first meets Silva. (Here's the real story behind that island, by the way.) That confrontation was in many ways the purest form of what a Bond movie should be: A villain ranting about his unstoppable plan, with a helpless Bond somehow coming across as the one in command of the situation. The only thing I didn't like about that scene was Bond's crack about a waste of Scotch after Silva kills Sévérine. While Sean Connery could have gotten away with it, Daniel Craig's Bond is too tender, too brooding, for that kind of callous quip.
And sure, the movie steals too much from The Dark Knight—the agent of chaos, the lies from a trusted parent figure, the villain disguised as a policeman—but it doesn't try to follow The Dark Knight into self-importance. Instead, the script knows when to back down from the heavy-handedness. If you're going to steal, steal from the best, and only steal what you can carry.
In the end, my big concern about Skyfall—and the Craig Bond series in general—is that it could be destroying the future of the franchise. Now that we have a Bond origin story, I suspect that it's going to be very difficult to hand the character over to another actor. Bond's not just a wise-cracking secret agent anymore. He's a very specific human being. And Craig's Bond movies are pretty much using up all of the "this time...it's personal" plots, ensuring that whoever the next Bond is won't be able to dig back into the character's past or plumb the depths of grief without a direct comparison to Craig. There's no backward left to explore in James Bond. From here on out, it has to be forward, and James Bond has always had a hard time moving forward.