Casino Royale is definitely my favorite James Bond movie. I haven't even come close to seeing them all, but I don't need to--sometimes these decisions are just no-brainers.
This movie starts off with the most exciting and intriguing chase scene I've ever seen, probably because it's on foot, and the two characters are performing feats that kept causing me to exclaim, "No WAY!" Even if one could leap with that kind of precision and from that kind of distance or height, one would stand up moaning, if at all, but certainly not running!
This James Bond is a departure from what I'd expected. Daniel Craig's version of Bond is hard, mean, and scary, especially at first. One of the fascinating features of Craig's Bond is a complexity that slowly emerges during the film, a Bond that is presented at first as a freak, but slowly morphs into a human being. And okay, a sexy one, too.
Casino Royale has an interesting and curvy plot, as well as excellent pacing and direction. All the actors were superb. Eva Green and Daniel Craig created extremely layered characters that are worth all the acclaim they've gotten.
Casino Royale is based on the 1953 novel Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, and was directed by Martin Campbell
Daniel Craig ... James Bond
Eva Green ... Vesper Lynd
Mads Mikkelsen ... Le Chiffre
Judi Dench ... M
Jeffrey Wright ... Felix Leiter
Giancarlo Giannini ... Mathis
Caterina Murino ... Solange
Simon Abkarian ... Alex Dimitrios