Casino Royale ★★★

Watching it today, it’s hard to remember how badly this franchise needed to be reset at the time. That’s a testament to how well “Casino Royale” wiped the slate clean and gave us a new, fully imagined take on the James Bond character. The principal accomplishment here is casting, of course. Daniel Craig is note perfect as a “blunt instrument”; Eva Green is fully his match as Vesper Lynd; and Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre is effectively menacing without being cartoonish. The script though ambles along and is only partially successful; it transitions into its third act clumsily at best.