I’m 24 and I still have no idea how to play poker
Release date: November 16, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Who should watch this movie: Dedicated fans of the James Bond cinematic universe. People who read the book.
When should you watch this movie: When you fall in love. When you’re prepping for poker night with your buds.
The sell: What makes a James Bond movie? This is the question plaguing the 2006 Casino Royale production team, and is – I believe – a question they answered effectively. What the production team did Not ask, is “what makes a Good James Bond movie?” and this question remains unanswered. (Of course, in the back of everyone’s head there is the ever-present third question: Have James Bond movies ever been Good? but we won’t go there right now.) Thus Casino Royale sets off the latest iteration of the Bond franchise, not with a bang but with a unconvincing “here we go.” This movie is hyper-concerned with the legacy behind it and therefore stifles its own innovation. Though there are hints at an exciting new dimension to Bond, no longer a cardboard cutout spy but a character with depth and real-world attachments, the script rushes through these moments in favor of action. As a result, the plot feels halting, the forward momentum of the story getting interrupted by disconnected action sequences. Certainly, there are some fabulous set pieces behind this entertaining, pseudo-origin story for the beloved spy. Daniel Craig is an excellent Bond, and he manages to bring something fresh to an old and conservative franchise. Due to his performance and a little help from Eva Green, Casino Royale wobbles but ultimately lands the routine.