From Russia with Love Reviews
It has more in common spiritually with Le Carre than Fleming. Only after James Bond's vulnerabilities have been further exploited than in "Dr. No" does he succeed. "Russia" is about as far as it gets from the biggest Bond, but it's easily the best.
It's not too different from the non-Bond action thrillers of the same era, in which company it falls well short of the top film, North by Northwest. Plenty of period charm, though, and a few of the Bond franchise's most Austin Powers-esque moments.
One of the finest Bond outings, this flourished in the paranoia of the times before the franchise was devalued by an over-reliance on gadgets, camp quips and a skittish lack of focus or direction.
The narrative is plodding, time has not been kind to set-pieces that were once so thrilling and now seem oddly perfunctory, and 007's misogyny and casual slapping of several women is more than faintly repellent.