Casino Royale (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Casino Royale (2006)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007.

Casino Royale Videos

Casino Royale Photos

Movie Info

James Bond's first 007 mission takes him to Madagascar, where he is to spy on a terrorist Mollaka. Not everything goes as planned and Bond decides to investigate, independently of the MI6 agency, in order to track down the rest of the terrorist cell. Following a lead to the Bahamas, he encounters Dimitrios and his girlfriend, Solange. He learns that Dimitrios is involved with Le Chiffre, banker to the world's terrorist organizations. Secret Service intelligence reveals that Le Chiffre is planning to raise money in a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro at Le Casino Royale. MI6 assigns 007 to play against him, knowing that if Le Chiffre loses, it will destroy his organization. 'M' places Bond under the watchful eye of the beguiling Vesper Lynd. At first skeptical of what value Vesper can provide, Bond's interest in her deepens as they brave danger together--and even torture at the hands of Le Chiffre. In Montenegro, Bond allies himself with Matthis, MI6's local field agent, and Felix Leiter, who is representing the interests of the CIA. The marathon game proceeds with dirty tricks and violence, raising the stakes beyond blood money and reaching a terrifying climax.

Watch it now

People Who Like this movie also like

Cast

Daniel Craig
as James Bond
Eva Green
as Vesper Lynd
Mads Mikkelsen
as Le Chiffre
Jeffrey Wright
as Felix Leiter
Simon Abkarian
as Alex Dimitrios
Isaach De Bankolé
as Steven Obanno
Daud Shah
as Fisher
Tom Chadbon
as Stockbroker
Dayo Ade
as Infante
Madame Wu
as Tsai Chin
Lazar Ristovski
as Kaminofsky
Tom So
as Fukutu
Veruschka von Lehndorff
as Gräfin von Wallenstein
Carlos Léal
as Tournament Director
Christina Cole
as Ocean Club Receptionist
John Gold
as Card Player
Jerry Inzerillo
as Card Player
Diane Hartford
as Card Player
Leostránsky
as Tall Man
Paul Bhattacharjee
as Hot Room Doctor
Crispin Bonham-Carter
as Hot Room Doctor
Simon Cox
as Hot Room Technician
Rebecca Gethings
as Hot Room Technician
Peter Notley
as M16 Technician
John Chancer
as Police Commander
Pater Brooke
as Airport Policeman
Jason Durran
as Airport Policeman
Robert Jezek
as Arresting Officer
Félicité De Jeu
as French News Reporter
Michaela Ochotská
as Shop Assistant
Michael Offei
as Obanno's Leutenant
Makhoudia Diaw
as Obanno's Liaison
Michael G. Wilson
as Chief of Police
Martina Duravolá
as Police Chief's Girlfriend
Marcela Martincáková
as Police Chief's Girlfriend
Vladimir Kulhavy
as Croatian General
Valentine Nonyela
as Nambutu Embassy Official
Dusan Pelech
as Bartender
Phil Méheux
as Treasury Bureaucrat
Veronika Hladikova
as Tennis Girl
Regina Gabajová
as Hotel Splendide Clerk
Miroslav Simünek
as Disapproving Man
Ivan G'Vera
as Venice Hotel Concierge
Jiri Lenc
as Hotel Splendide Limo Driver
Jaroslav Jankovsky
as Hermitage Waiter
Richard Branson
as Miami Airport Check-in Desk
View All

News & Interviews for Casino Royale

Critic Reviews for Casino Royale

All Critics (251) | Top Critics (53)

Unlike recent Bonds, whose kills had no more weight than the one-liners that generally accompanied them, Craig's tend to be intimate, bloody, and devoid of glamour.

November 2, 2015 | Full Review…

Bond as a human being? Who'd'a'thunk?

October 18, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Casino Royale has the answers to all my complaints about the 45-year-old James Bond series, and some I hadn't even thought of.

August 17, 2007 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

I hope Craig finds more moments like that in Bond. And I hope he gets to wear that tuxedo again and again and again.

June 29, 2007 | Full Review…

I consider Daniel Craig to be the most effective and appealing of the six actors who have played 007, and that includes even Sean Connery.

April 25, 2007 | Full Review…

Craig is also the best Bond in the franchise's history.

February 3, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Casino Royale

½

Rebooting a film franchise can often come across as an act of desperation: an admission that the characters or story have been taken as far as they can possibly go, and a cynical means of luring in a new generation on the pretence of giving them ownership over 'their version' of a property. Perversely, the more successful a given reboot is, the easier it seemingly becomes to pull this same trick again the second that a particular instalment mildly underperforms. It may seem hard to believe in an age of cinematic universes where knowledge of superhero continuity is a badge of honour - but then we remember that Spider-Man and Superman have both been rebooted twice in the space of a decade. Die Another Day marked the Bond series' 40th anniversary in the most deeply disappointing way possible, serving up a glorified greatest hits compilation which played out like reheated leftovers. Faced with its deserved critical kicking and Pierce Brosnan's subsequent departure, the guardians of the series must have felt that starting from scratch and going back was the only way forward. Casino Royale is a worthy exception to the rule that reboots are pointless and underwhelming, delivering just the sort of reinvention that the franchise needed. It may even be the best film in the entire series. Part of the secret behind the Bond series' longevity is that it has always adjusted its character and storylines to the culture and politics of a given period. Sometimes it has done this so nakedly that the films in question date badly, whether it's Live and Let Die's attempts at aping Shaft, The Man with the Golden Gun cashing in on Enter the Dragon, or Moonraker trying and failing to be the next Star Wars. Often Bond has been at his best when he acknowledges his mortality and the world changing around him, while retaining the character elements which made him so popular in the first place. Goldeneye made a big deal about the Cold War ending, but it still felt like a story in which Bond had a rightful place. The spectre hanging over Casino Royale, and indeed all of the Daniel Craig era, is the Bourne series. The first three films shifted the goalposts of what constituted a modern action-thriller, innovating with its gripping storylines, sharp camerawork and relatable yet remarkable protagonist. Even Brosnan admitted that the series would have had to raise its game in the face of what The Bourne Identity did; watching that and Die Another Day now, it's hard to believe that they came from the same decade, let alone the same year. Casino Royale manages to match The Bourne Supremacy for quality, borrowing some of its aesthetic touches (particularly in the chase sequences) while also capturing the intrigue of Ian Fleming's original novel. Like Paul Greengrass, Martin Campbell understands the need to knit action and character scenes together to create a holistic, gripping package; the action feels like an integral and natural part of the drama, rather than interrupting it in order to show off the budget. Campbell brings the same calm, steady and methodical touch that he brought to Goldeneye; having saved Bond from irrelevance once, he does it again in some style. Skyfall so often gets praised for acknowledging Bond's past while still being modern and relevant, but Casino Royale manages to pull off this same trick, and arguably does it slightly better. Where Skyfall consciously tips its hat to the older films through costumes, characters or props (such as the iconic Aston Martin DB5), Casino Royale is more subtle; all the classic elements are there, but they've been modernised and refined so that they make more sense in the real world. It's still fitting for Bond to drive an Aston Martin, and it's a nice touch to see its distant predecessor roll by. But it wouldn't make sense for Bond's car to have many gadgets that he doesn't need, and having the car be wrecked to save Vesper makes complete sense. Where Roger Moore or Brosnan's films glorified the gadgets, this restores some welcome credibility and keeps the hardware under wraps unless absolutely necessary. Along these same lines, the screenplay takes all the best elements of Fleming's novel and transposes them into a contemporary setting. It still has all the glamour of the classic casino scenes from the Sean Connery era, but the playful banter and flirting has been replaced with high stakes, tense glances and much more serious consequences. Le Chiffre's relationships with arms dealers and dodgy speculation on the stock market felt current for its day and still feels very fresh; great effort is expended to ground the character's motivations while maintaining an air of intrigue, mystery and threat. The film takes itself seriously, but not too seriously; it wants to have fun, but it puts credibility above out-and-out entertainment, unlike many of Moore's entries in the canon. Le Chiffre's characterisation is also an interesting departure from what the Bond villain archetype has become. Where the likes of Drax, Stromberg and Blofeld wanted to single-handedly destroy or take over the world, Le Chiffre is essentially a middle-man; he is to the Craig era what Kristatos was in For Your Eyes Only, but better written and with a more interesting, more murky motivation. Like Bond, he is ultimately a pawn of bigger forces who struggles at times not to buckle under the pressure (as the torture scene demonstrates); by making him so small, he becomes more believable and more intimidating, even without the bleeding eye. He may look like the lead singer of Franz Ferdinand in his haircut and dress sense, but Mads Mikkelson plays him brilliantly, bringing a cold, dead-eyed feel to the character which both intrigues and repulses an audience. Creating convincing poker scenes in films is pretty difficult. The vast majority of efforts go for a highly stylised or choreographed approach, where audience expectations are pandered to through needless editing trickery; think of the final hand in The Cincinnati Kid, or the royal flush sequence in Maverick. Casino Royale's poker scenes may be more stylised than those in, say, The Sting or Rounders, but they are still very well-executed with good pacing and a frisson of unpredictability. What really makes them work, however, is the build-up in the script; there are little poker motifs dotted throughout, with comments about tells and misdirection. Because the film makes such a big theme out of bluffing and people not being what they seem, the card games don't feel like isolated set-pieces, and the later developments with Mathis and Vesper feel credible and yet still surprising. The relationship between Craig's Bond and Vesper is very much a modern-day version of the relationship between George Lazenby's Bond and Tracey in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It isn't just that both characters ultimately don't make it past the final reel; the characters are both instrumental in the making of Bond, an affront and a challenge to his impulsive, playboy instincts and a safe refuge from the madness of his job and the people he has to kill. Eva Green is every bit as gripping and electric on screen as Diana Rigg before her; Vesper goes toe-to-toe with Bond and we get genuine character development, making her betrayal and death all the more shocking and heartbreaking. Craig's Bond is a changed man by the end of the film - it's just a pity that the resolution to his heartbreak in Quantum of Solace was as underwhelming and mishandled as the similar attempt in Diamonds Are Forever. The heartbreak surrounding Vesper brings us onto another of Casino Royale's great successes: it hurts. Desmond Llewellyn's Q may have advised Bond that he should never let his enemies see him bleed, but the best Bond films have never been afraid of putting him through the mill, getting him into dangerous situations which can only be resolved at great cost - a cost often numbed by women and alcohol. The fight scenes in Casino Royale feel brutal, just as they should do; it isn't interesting to have someone waltz through conflict as though it was nothing. The torture scene and the defibrillator scene are great in isolation, but they are matched by Bond's emotional torment of losing Vesper. For the first time since Timothy Dalton's era - or Goldeneye at a push - Bond's pain feels real and meaningful. All of which brings us to Daniel Craig as Bond. While his subsequent films have been hit-and-miss, his performance here is more than enough to silence those who criticised his casting (all those 'James Blonde' jokes sound all the more desperate now). He takes the suffering and burnt-out approach that Dalton brought and fuses it with some of Connery's unabashed cool to create a truly modern and contemporary Bond. He also has the confidence to eschew convention as much as he chooses to reflect or inhabit it; we get a build-up to a cliched sex scene, but then he's quickly on his toes and back to the plot. Casino Royale is a great, gripping spy thriller and arguably the finest of all the James Bond films. While it is slightly too long and a little too candid with some of its product placement, it remains an extraordinary reinvention of a franchise which had long been in need of a boost. Craig impresses in his first and finest performance as Bond, and Martin Campbell directs with great common sense and precision to create a majestic and immensely enjoyable film. Whether looking at the newer films or the franchise as a whole, this has set a very high bar which has yet to be beaten.

Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer

With Daniel Craig reinventing the role like never before, Casino Royale reboots the Bond franchise with gusto and intelligence not seen before in the long running franchise. Thanks to the best story of the series to date, Casino Royale features the right blend of exhilarating action and heart pounding drama. Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery and for my money the best actor to play the character. The fact that the series hasn't reach the heights of this film before or since only makes it an easier decision as my all-time favorite film in the franchise. Even casual fans can get their money's worth out of this. If you only watch one Bond film, make it this one.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

Daniel Craig revitalizes the Bond franchise the same way Bale saved Batman. This was a throwback to the good ol days of Connery Bond.

John Manard
John Manard

Super Reviewer

Casino Royale Quotes

News & Features