A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Casino Royale is the much-hyped re-start to the James Bond franchise. The new 007, however, is darker than previous incarnations. His sly, barely perceptible smile suggests that he relishes revenge and takes pleasure in his violence. The film is full of violence, including spectacular explosions, intense physical fights, shooting, knifing, cars crashing, and drowning. Dead bodies show blood and vacant-eyed faces. A torture scene (featuring a naked Bond) shows him in obvious pain as his genitals are smashed with a large, knotted rope. One main character meets a sad demise. Sex scenes show Bond with two different women, in various states of undress. Lots of martini-drinking as Bond discovers his drink of choice (thanks to liquor sponsors Heineken and Smirnoff). The language is pretty mild.
What's the story?
Starring Daniel Craig as Secret Agent 007, director Martin Campbell's CASINO ROYALE takes viewers back to James Bond's beginnings, when M (Judi Dench) elevates him to the extra-special rank of 007. Bond's early 007 adventures involve all manner of brutality and rule-breaking, as he fixes on his targets with unshakable ferocity. First he chases one man through the "Nambutu Embassy" in Madagascar, wreaking havoc and, as M puts it, violating "the only inviolate rule of international relations." Later, he beds a villain's wife (Caterina Murino) to extract information, leaving her open to terrible retribution. And then he destroys much of the Miami Airport in order to stop a bomb's explosion. All of this is warm-up for the big showdown with the requisite dastardly, damaged villain Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), which centers around a high-stakes poker game. Here Bond is aided by stunningly beautiful Bond Girl and British treasury operative Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), earnest CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), and dapper MI6 agent Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini), though Bond gets impatient when they cramp his style.
Is it any good?
This Bond is cunning and even elegant, providing the franchise with a much-needed shot of raw energy. But although the details are right, Casino Royale is bogged down by the plot, which spends too much time on the poker game and a montage sequence version of Bond and Vesper's inevitable romance. Such generic diversions detract from Craig's strengths, which are based in deft gestures, nuanced glances, and the deadpan delivery of the occasional joke. (Asked whether he wants his martini shaken or stirred, Bond looks annoyed: "Do I look like I give a damn?") This Bond -- fast, mean, and vulnerable enough to appeal to a new generation of fans -- will likely revive the franchise. By the time of the next installment, perhaps the script will keep up with him.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: November 16, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: March 13, 2007
- Cast: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench
- Director: Martin Campbell
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 144 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.