Casino Royale (2006)
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When Daniel Craig was announced as the next Bond you could hear many collective groans from much of the fanbase. Fortunately the character was in good hands with Martin Campbell (who also directed Brosnan's first outing, Goldeneye). The action sequences are great, the classic high-stakes poker playing is fantastic, and Craig manages to bring a cold-hearted presence to the role while also showing how broken Bond is inside. Many hate the lack of gadgets but honestly I think a lot of the usual toys would have taken away from the seriousness of the film.
The opening of the film in stark black and white Noir is chillingly good. Without doubt one of the best ways to introduce a new Bond. In that first three minutes and change the main character is given a proper introduction, perhaps the epitome of "show, don't tell" storytelling. You know you're on the right track when the opening scenes of the film are already more interesting and immersive than whole segments of Bond films we've seen in the past.
Thank god for Bourne films which persuaded Wilson/Broccoli to turn to a more serious tone. When watching the parkour scenes or the emotional depth in general in Casino Royale it's hard to imagine that just 4 years ago we had Bond fucking windsurfing in shitty CGI Iceland.
Terrific James Bond movie! Good story, great action, good villian and Graig makes an excellent rough and tough James Bond.
Still holds up after more than 10 viewings. Blu Ray is terrific. One of the best James Bond movies ..period!
Hope they will bring back Martin Campell as director for the next one. Of all the recent Bond directors he handles drama, thrills and action the best.
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In 8 official lists
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This movie ranks #45 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #56 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #97 in iCheckMovies's Most Checked
This movie ranks #170 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Worldwide Box Office
This movie ranks #201 in Reddit Top 250
This movie ranks #290 in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #397 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #441 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office