Casino Royale

In theaters.

James Bond isn’t just a spy; he’s a killer. Before I saw Casino Royale, I had never really thought about that. Previous Bond movies and actors make the character so smooth and debonair that one never really considers the blood (however guilty and megalomanic) on his hands. Not a drop of red stains the crisp white shirt of his tux.

Casino Royale and actor Daniel Craig reimagine Bond by making the British superspy not so much cool as cold, delivering barbed double entendres rather than playful ones and taking as much pleasure in a succesful hit as a sexual conquest. The contrast between old Bond and new is striking—and perhaps not to everyone’s taste—but it brilliantly reinvigorates the stale franchise.