Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond

Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Jan 27, 2014
    91
    Their [John Brownlow and co-writer Don Macpherson's] saga is so vividly shaded, even minor characters resonate.
  2. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 29, 2014
    80
    With fine supporting players like Anna Chancellor as Fleming’s wartime superior, Second Officer Monday, and Rupert Evans as Ian’s brother Peter, this four-part series makes us care about people whose fate neither we nor they can easily summarize.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 29, 2014
    80
    Directed with aplomb by Mat Whitecross, who periodically decides, in the course of this four-hour feast, to stop making a movie about a man and instead make a Bond movie, Fleming is the kind of movie that winks at you constantly and you never get annoyed by the intimations.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 29, 2014
    80
    Actually, his greatest gift was that of imagination, and Fleming is especially enjoyable as it dramatizes the exploits that would give birth the immortal 007.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Jan 28, 2014
    75
    The performances here are all good, and the chemistry between Cooper and, particularly, his lovers is palpable.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 29, 2014
    70
    Despite its troublesome subject, the series succeeds, moderately, in letting you know that it knows that Bond, as his creator conceived him, is a relic, and that Fleming's pulp-novel aspirations are worth skewering.
  7. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jan 29, 2014
    70
    The Bond stuff is, on the whole, more enticing than Ann and Ian’s psychological pas de deux, which skirts up against real issues--and rape fantasies--before giving them a gauzy gloss of true love.
  8. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 31, 2014
    63
    Cooper is compelling as an overconfident hothead who sees creative potential around each corner. Trouble is, no matter what the writers dream up for Fleming, Fleming has already dreamed up better for Bond. [10 Feb 2014, p.48]
  9. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Jan 28, 2014
    63
    If only writers John Brownlow and Don Macpherson focused more on Fleming's wartime spy-jinks than on his extended mating dance with the already married and cheating Ann.
  10. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 27, 2014
    63
    Fleming’s life could have used an editor; the four-part series feels repetitive and should have been cut in half.
  11. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 28, 2014
    60
    Cooper does a solid job with the title role, and the early installments have an engaging briskness. However, Fleming drags a bit in its second half; given its slender budget, it might have worked better as a three-episode miniseries.
  12. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Jan 28, 2014
    60
    An enjoyable if inflated and overwrought four-part mini-series.
  13. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 30, 2014
    58
    Cooper and Pulver are fine in the lead roles, although there’s little to like about either character’s comportment. The music swells on cue but the story just doesn’t jell.
  14. Reviewed by: Liane Bonin Starr
    Jan 29, 2014
    58
    Fleming seems to want to have it both ways--a warts-and-all portrayal of a famous writer paired with heart-stopping adventure and intrigue. The problem, of course, is without Bond at the center of the excitement, we don't care much about what happens to Fleming.
  15. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 29, 2014
    50
    Ultimately, Fleming will leave you neither shaken nor stirred.
  16. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Jan 28, 2014
    50
    The mini-series and its characters are all over the map, stylistically, seeming unable to find the right tone for the time period.
  17. Reviewed by: John Teti
    Jan 28, 2014
    50
    Fleming’s problem is not the story it tells, but the details it chooses to enhance.
  18. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Jan 27, 2014
    50
    Fleming sketches the inspirations for Bond and also indulges the criticisms of Bond (misogynistic, brutish) via his boorish creator (played by Dominic Cooper). Yet there's little depth to Cooper's rake, and the female characters are Bond-girl problematic. [31 Jan/7 Feb 2014, p.96]
  19. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 24, 2014
    50
    Fleming works only fitfully, despite conjuring an impeccable period look and feel filming in a trio of locales.
  20. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jan 24, 2014
    50
    When not trapped in the effort to wring excitement from Fleming's adventurous sex life, the series rolls on compellingly with his spying adventures, his role in creating a special operations unit.
  21. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 24, 2014
    50
    Fleming has its moments, but they are too few and even farther between. The last of the four episodes is the best, but you have to slog through the other three to get there.
  22. Reviewed by: Alan Jones
    Jan 27, 2014
    38
    Fleming the character is Bond without the mystery, and Fleming the miniseries is a Bond epic reduced to the most generic of redemption stories.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 31, 2014
    9
    Loved all the visual references to the movies in the first episode. Found myself really engaged in the story, looking forward to the nextLoved all the visual references to the movies in the first episode. Found myself really engaged in the story, looking forward to the next episode. Wish I could binge watch the whole thing. Full Review »