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Overall Rating
4.05

Awesome49.33%
Worth A Look: 29.6%
Average: 6.73%
Pretty Bad: 5.38%
Total Crap: 8.97%

10 reviews, 163 user ratings


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Casino Royale (2006)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"The name is Bland. James Bland."
3 stars

Bond is back — sort of.

In Casino Royale, the new “reboot” of the long-running 007 series, the idea is that we’re picking up James Bond (Daniel Craig now) at the start of his double-oh career. So he bleeds, he lets his emotions get in the way, he’s basically a human learning to be inhuman. Abstractly, all of this is interesting, and probably necessary to get away from the bloated decadence that the Bond films had become. But, as it turns out, some of that decadence was fun. For whatever reason, the 007 series has been trending away from fun since at least the Timothy Dalton days, and now, with Casino Royale, there’s virtually no fun left. Congratulations, I guess?

None of this is Daniel Craig’s fault. He’s got the dead-eyed ruthlessness of Bond down pat, and he’s easily the most robust and athletic Bond since Sean Connery. Craig steps into the role with no fuss, and he’s able to carry the emotional weight Bond must shoulder. (There may be no sadder moment in all of the 007 films than this movie’s shot of Bond eating alone in an elegant dining room after his companion has been called away.) Craig looks at ease in the famous tux, and he looks at ease chasing a car on foot, his heavy arms swinging (though he does this maybe one or two times too many). If there are future Bond films that focus more on escapist fun, Craig has the physique and the attitude. But this only feels like a Bond film in fits and starts.

The cartoonishness is gone — there’s no supervillain this time, just some guy trying to win a bunch of money at poker so he can finance terrorism. There are no superweapons, no Q with the fancy gadgets (well, John Cleese as “R” had replaced Q; hopefully we’ll see him again). This is a realistic spy caper, presumably going back to the Ian Fleming books. And there’s some suave entertainment to be had from watching Bond stare down the bad guy across the poker table. But perhaps the Bond movies had their day, and that day was the ‘60s and ‘70s, when Connery and Roger Moore didn’t dream of taking the movies seriously. (It probably doesn’t help that the Austin Powers series taught a generation to laugh at Bond, not with him.) When you strip the 007 films down for action and “realism,” you lose the soul of those old beloved Bond movies — they might as well be Jason Bourne movies.

Well, the Bourne movies already grabbed Franka Potente, who would’ve made a great funky Bond girl, and the first xXx used Asia Argento (ditto). So what we’re left with, apparently, is the rather wishy-washy Eva Green as an accountant who hangs around to make sure Bond doesn’t blow all of MI6’s money at the poker table. Bond falls in love with her because she’s the one person he can’t figure out. Well, he’s young, he’ll learn. Eva Green looks good in smoky black eyeshadow, but she’s a slip of a girl — how does she go to bed with Bond and not break? — and vastly unmemorable even as eye candy. As in the past few Bond films, Judi Dench’s M remains the one woman supremely unimpressed by Bond and therefore the movies’ true heroine.

One sequence near the beginning, with the amazing Sebastien Foucan leading Bond on a merry chase across various cranes, delivers the old-style thrills. The rest of it is brutal punching and shooting, with a genital-torture scene tossed in for variety. We get it: Being a double-oh agent is rough work. But if that’s all the 007 franchise has left to tell us, maybe it needs a reboot less than a Viking funeral.

"Casino Royale" may bring Bond back, but it leaves behind a lot of what made Bond Bond — the bigness, the outrageousness, the fun. And without those things, there’s really no point to this franchise.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15275&reviewer=416
originally posted: 11/20/06 12:01:29
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User Comments

7/29/13 Free dating sites Hi there, I have got to declare, I enjoy your site. The colorings, the layout, the overall 5 stars
7/05/13 Hardric Realistic? In real life Bond wouldn't last 5 minutes. 2 stars
3/25/13 KingNeutron Craig brings an interesting take to the character - pretty good poker movie, + Green is HOT 4 stars
9/03/12 roscoe 3 great action scenes, but too long, too much romance, too much poker = boring too often 3 stars
12/21/09 art JUST WHAT THE WORLD NEED"S ANOTHER JAMES BOND MOVIE. 1 stars
10/23/09 Rachel Worth the investment. Awesome movie. 5 stars
8/30/09 Jeff Wilder Craig best Bond since Connery. Movie best Bond since the Dalton days. 5 stars
6/06/09 R.W.Welch Best Bond flick in a while. Craig has the right stuff. 4 stars
5/21/09 Matt In 20 years this will be a classic. the best written bond and hugely entertaining. 5 stars
4/14/09 dt Bond fans get hit in the "nuts" with this offering. Bond wit is replaced with pure grit. 1 stars
3/16/09 Monday Morning Craig isn't a terribly compelling Bond. 3 stars
2/15/09 WiseGuy The gambling ruined the movie, too boring, and too long 1 stars
1/10/09 Anonymous. daniel craig is a great bond! 4 stars
12/05/08 how can i improve my credit score credit check companies 2 stars
11/26/08 Leo T I like a little darker Bond... but a Bond movie without the humor unthinkable... 3 stars
11/14/08 The Dork Knight Nice balance of realism and nods to the old movies 5 stars
8/30/08 PAUL SHORTT GRIM, RUTHLESS, CRUEL, TOUGH, VIOLENT AND UGLY 1 stars
8/03/08 Flounder The best James Bond movie of all time. Ranking right up there with Goldfinger and OHMSS 5 stars
8/01/08 ben dover chris f more like fucking stevie wonder daniel craig is an amazing actor 5 stars
7/24/08 chris f very dissapointed a very poor portrayal of bond 1 stars
5/29/08 MDH-Matt Daniel Craig dispensed naysayers in this, easily one of the best films of 2006 5 stars
3/03/08 ladavies Daniel Craig could have been my 2nd favorite Bond, but he was pussy whipped in this 4 stars
3/01/08 Ivana Mann One of the best action movies of the decade.Expertly acted, paced, and executed. Bravo! 5 stars
2/05/08 FILM REVIEWER Boring and repugnant 1 stars
1/27/08 Pamela White good action but Craig is not the most alluring Bond 3 stars
12/09/07 Sam Eli The Best Bond Movie Since Goldfinger Action Packed, Fastly Paced and a Great Turn by Craig 4 stars
11/10/07 g webster the way Fleming wrote it,ruthless and non stop action 5 stars
9/04/07 johnnyfog No stupid gadgets this time. Just bullets. 4 stars
7/07/07 olias terrific script,terrific acting by the two leads.best ever action sequences 5 stars
6/03/07 F-Off Execs Better than any Bronsen Bond film, no dumb execs wrecking it? 4 stars
5/03/07 Matt No Q, no Moneypenny? Never mind, this rawer Bond minus the trickery works. 4 stars
4/29/07 Geraldine This movie sold me on the Bond franchise. 5 stars
4/23/07 Chris Redmond Quite simply, the best Bond since the Connery days. 5 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK How about they just stop making Bond films? 2 stars
4/17/07 Indrid Cold Clearly one of the best Bond films in a long time, but doesn't live up to the enormous hype 4 stars
4/01/07 fools♫gold Either I'm an unthoughtful prick, or this film just pretends to be clever. 1/5 or 2/5. 1 stars
3/26/07 Bobo All the Craig-haters are eating their words. This film kicks ass. 5 stars
3/25/07 Hoosier Chick just watched the DVD, Daniel Craig is perfect successor to Connery 5 stars
3/20/07 LIndsay Lowhound New Bond is as violent as Steven Seagal, as inscrutable as Jackie Chan. 3 stars
3/18/07 AJ Muller Craig is the best since the early Connery, and the flick is the best Bond EVER. Kickass. 5 stars
3/18/07 Nick One of the best, if not the best, Bond movies ever. 5 stars
3/17/07 Charles Tatum The best Bond of the past twenty years 5 stars
3/14/07 action movie fan great action,sets,locales and characters, but abit hard to follow 4 stars
3/07/07 Ann Coulter's evil twin M must speak for whole 007 series when she says, "How I miss the cold war!". 3 stars
2/28/07 Beau Daniel Craig is an outstanding 007! a great movie to add to the sequel 4 stars
2/20/07 ad The best and most believable BOnd ever 5 stars
1/31/07 Albert Stone A more human Bond, and good acting on the whole. A bit too long though. 4 stars
1/30/07 George Finally a watchable Bond movie 4 stars
1/21/07 David A. Well done adventure, and nice to know even James Bond made a few mistakes when he was young 4 stars
1/19/07 Peter Rubbish, far too long 1 stars
1/18/07 Red Dragon This film was awesome; Daniel Craig - Wow! 5 stars
1/14/07 Farnqwo This is crap.... good crap by todays standards. I love 007's new bottom lip! 3 stars
1/11/07 rory rantabulous 5 stars
1/08/07 Stefan Halka Finally, after 20 years, a good Bond. 4 stars
1/07/07 Yorkee YES - Well Done Craig, easily the toughest and meanest Bond. 5 stars
1/05/07 Tim the Enchanter Craig is good, but the movie is better. Darker and grittier than most Bond, but its cooler. 5 stars
12/28/06 rick gardiner Craig brought acting to new level. Should be nomimated for oscar. 5 stars
12/27/06 Man out 6 bucks Bond is back! 5 stars
12/24/06 pin Action is good but, Bond plays Texas Hold'em? - FOREVER - uh, no. 2 stars
12/22/06 Thomas Wynn Daniel Craig is good as Bond. 4 stars
12/19/06 moon EXCELENT debut as Bond good action qnd a good plot 5 stars
12/19/06 John A. Miller No not quite Sean Connery but the best Bond since. 4 stars
12/18/06 Ellen Lopes Great movie! Before this one I thought Bond was a chauvinistic pig! 5 stars
12/18/06 amber young Oh God Daniel Graig is so HOT - sizzling hot Best Bond along with Sean, but so today!!. 5 stars
12/15/06 Richard Paquette Welcome back, 007!!! 4 stars
12/13/06 Derek Tribe Great Bond action...Criag is rock solid as Bond. 4 stars
12/13/06 adslut Daniel Craig is the best BOND and he's hot! 5 stars
12/13/06 jdean62 Yes its true.. the best BOND yet...IM not a Bond groupie but loved this film ! 5 stars
12/12/06 The Deadly Assasin One of the best 007 films ever !!! If you don't like this , rent xXx !!! 5 stars
12/11/06 mckorb Best bond film in years ... 5 stars
12/11/06 Wendy Straw Awesome 4 stars
12/10/06 laura leigh ooooh Daniel Craig is yummy! I can't stop thinking about him! 5 stars
12/09/06 Helen A Bradley Too vilent, too long, Judi Dench needs new teeth 1 stars
12/08/06 BrianDePalma Another Bond shhit. Actions were so bad. Overrated garbage 1 stars
12/08/06 Odie Craig's cold bastard psychology makes us believe that Bond is an assassin. 5 stars
12/07/06 UGB Has the potential to be a good Bond - Great film 5 stars
12/07/06 Nighy I have the title for the next film - PUSSYBOND! 1 stars
12/06/06 dingle great film 5 stars
12/05/06 Shaggy This movie stays true to the franchise in every way. 5 stars
12/05/06 DeepPan#77 The bond movie that kills the franchise 1 stars
12/04/06 shashank movie was awesome,sexy,& wonderful compared to his previous movies. 5 stars
12/03/06 stuart & sarah lane awesome, Craig has re-invented James Bond for the 21st C awesome stuff ,brilliant script 5 stars
12/02/06 Morris Stone Finally !! Awesome, believable, and classy. 5 stars
12/02/06 shagtex he's not Connery but he may be the next best 4 stars
12/01/06 Richard Diangelo Roger Moore is the only real Bond,Brosnan and his clown make a mockery of the role! 1 stars
12/01/06 Mark Lawrence A great story which Thrills from beginning to end 5 stars
11/30/06 Drew Galletti I was very happy with this movie, though I could just be geeking out 5 stars
11/30/06 rach this is a mint film, i would recommend it to any1, whether they like bond or not!! 5 stars
11/29/06 actorbot I'm a great fan of Sean Connery but, boy this guy is good. 5 stars
11/29/06 Erin This film has everything! Daniel Craig is the best bond yet. Thank you for making him real! 5 stars
11/29/06 Dottie AWESOME...riveting on all levels, could barely contain myself in my theatre seat.!! 5 stars
11/28/06 jrod101 BEST. BOND. EVER. 5 stars
11/28/06 Chris Bellman It sucked, No gadgets, no car gadgets, that's Bond not a love story. 1 stars
11/28/06 Louise Craig is superb, great casino scenes, but didn't like Eva Green 4 stars
11/27/06 mlg didn't like it 2 stars
11/27/06 MaggieH GREAT!!!! 5 stars
11/27/06 mat crap no gadgets bond without gadgets un heard of 2 stars
11/27/06 Bitchflaps Too long, cheesy script and no suspense. Craig and Dench are superb though. 2 stars
11/27/06 Nick Loved the first half! Great Promo for the sport Parkour! Jumping and climbing buildings! 4 stars
11/26/06 Matt excellent film really enjoyable 5 stars
11/26/06 James Yacobacci Never thought I'd say it - better than Connery! 5 stars
11/26/06 Dan A great action film, it gets a little too long at the end, but definately worth seeing it. 4 stars
11/26/06 EDDIE KWIT GREAT GREAT SCENERY - GOT A LITTLE OVER THE TOP ON SOME SCENES 4 stars
11/26/06 piers Excellent and i have seen all 10 out of 10# 5 stars
11/26/06 kerr crap 1 stars
11/26/06 earl hofert fun. 4 stars
11/26/06 Anthony Feor Its a great movie, but why did it have to be a prequel 4 stars
11/26/06 G.T. If you actually like Fleming's novels, you'll love this film! Read the books! 5 stars
11/26/06 Todd Craig is a fucking badass! Best Bond Ever! 5 stars
11/25/06 pete.chesworth new bond superb but the film did tail off as little bit with a bit of needless soppiness. 4 stars
11/25/06 Maverick Started off ok then gets really boring, card game runs far too long. 2 stars
11/25/06 chris f great bond film craig is definetly better than connery 5 stars
11/24/06 Charlene Javier Best Bond film in years. 5 stars
11/24/06 matt Teriffic action and performances, but weak plot structure. Still better than that DAD p.o.s 4 stars
11/24/06 giddo Digger has not seen the film as his mum would not let him! Great Film! DC is great! 5 stars
11/23/06 dani Riveting!Craig may not be the best looking JB,but he's the best Bond iv seen.More!! 5 stars
11/23/06 E An unexpected pleasure - SMERSH was real btw 4 stars
11/23/06 Rosalie This is a very sexy movie! Loved it. 5 stars
11/23/06 Brian Mckay Great first half, then runs out of steam. Trying to cram too much into one film. 3 stars
11/22/06 TONY DOYLE Wish I hadnt wasted my Bandwidth.Total Shite 1 stars
11/22/06 Rev. Marc Fuller Finally Ian Flemmings Bond has come to the screen. Well done Daniel craig. 5 stars
11/22/06 jdean62 Not a fan of BOND... but after seeing Daniel Craig... loved it... cant wait til the next! 4 stars
11/22/06 JM Synth Much better than any of the Brosnan ones, but lets not go nuts 4 stars
11/22/06 tekmage Possibly the best Bond EVER...definately not slow at all, I loved the action, old school! 5 stars
11/22/06 ad it's ok to have high expectations. Rob G is right but outweighed by Craig's performance 5 stars
11/21/06 Jiz Awesome until like 45 minutes in, then it just DRAGGED ON big time. Rob's review nails it. 3 stars
11/21/06 J.R. Different, but excellent. 5 stars
11/21/06 Bird Best Bond since Connery - Excellent 5 stars
11/21/06 Luisa Great stunts, well done Daniel Craig...Jeffrey Wright was under-used. 4 stars
11/21/06 Bond Rocks I expected more seduction scenes and more gadgets, otherwise it was excellent! 4 stars
11/21/06 Ken E Craig nailed it. Best bond yet. First bond film I have ever wanted to go back & see again. 5 stars
11/21/06 Tim Two words: Chick Flick 2 stars
11/21/06 Benoit D What a deception So boring 1 stars
11/21/06 Liz D Best Bond movie Ever, Wll done to Daniel Craig 5 stars
11/20/06 007 1/2 Only gripe - M for continuity. But this longtime Bond fan loved the movie - great restart!! 5 stars
11/20/06 Jason Stringer Everything a Bond film should be. SUPERB 5 stars
11/20/06 socrates17 The only real (ie Ian Fleming) JB film ever. 5 stars
11/20/06 Graham Messy third act, but a more-than-promising new beginning - for Craig, and the whole series 4 stars
11/19/06 mister stupid after 40 years, a real james bond again. brosnan and moore are a pair of vaginas 5 stars
11/19/06 Wayne S. Excellent job by Craig, but FORCED romance with NO chemistry. 4 stars
11/19/06 Wayne S. Very good Bond film, craig was very intense as a young Bond, but I thought that there was n 4 stars
11/19/06 50send At last a Bond who looks like he could do some damage ! 5 stars
11/19/06 Kevin A welcome reinvention. Watch Bond go from a lump of raw iron to tempered British steel. 4 stars
11/19/06 Elizabeth I was confident Craig would be an excellent Bond -- and he is! 4 stars
11/19/06 Alex jones well well well i love the sexy james bong! hubba hubba but i h8 the movie ! booooooooooooo 1 stars
11/19/06 Randy L Well done 5 stars
11/19/06 Mike D. Very different, yet very satisfying! 4 stars
11/19/06 prashanth great stunts fine acting but thewrong casting 4 stars
11/18/06 Fringe Went to the theater planning on hating it but I absolutely loved it. 5 stars
11/18/06 Ole Man Bourbon Just a total stupid POS movie. Crap plot, crap action. Craig was pretty good though. 2 stars
11/18/06 Quigley Daniel Craig was superb as "Bond, James Bond." First action scene made the movie; too long 4 stars
11/18/06 Raymond Scott Where's Timothy Dalton when we need him? 2 stars
11/18/06 kenkhoo A gripping roller coaster of action, suspense, drama, romance, deception & emotion. 5 stars
11/18/06 BK Total waste of money. I wish I could rate it 0. 1 stars
11/18/06 Jack Sommersby Lumbering and dull and overlong. A real disappointment. 2 stars
11/18/06 annie By jove, I think he's got it! Bond is back! 5 stars
11/18/06 James Hamster What can I say, where can I start, I was anti DC, but now I'm a believer, well done my boy 5 stars
11/18/06 robert bond fans have needed this for a long time- Craig is giving Connery a run for his money... 5 stars
11/18/06 ProSneakyD DC is the new bond and is perfect for this is a terrific film, Flemming would be happy. 5 stars
11/17/06 Ben Smith unbievable, best bond since connery 5 stars
11/17/06 sj Bond the way he was meant to be. Viva! 5 stars
11/17/06 Digger James Bond is such a pussy. I can't believe people actually still watch this shit. 1 stars
11/17/06 Joe Dickson Somewhere up there, I hope, Sir Ian Flemming is smiling. At last they finally got it right. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Nov-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 13-Mar-2007

UK
  17-Nov-2006

Australia
  07-Dec-2006




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