Anthony Lane, New Yorker
. . . This means that the sight of Pierce Brosnan driving an invisible car, though bound to dismay every Bond-revering adult, was catnip to the larger constituency of teen-age boys, who were comfortable with a film that felt like a video game. What they will make of “Casino Royale”—no babes, no toyland, and the poker not even online—is anyone’s guess, but the earnings of the new film will doubtless affect the look, and the casting, of the next. If Craig falters, then I guess it’s full speed ahead to Chris Rock as 007 and Borat as Blofeld. That would be a shame, because “Casino Royale,” though half an hour too long, is the first semi-serious stab at Fleming, and at the treacherous terrain that he marked out, since “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” in 1969. . .
David Edelstein, New York Magazine
After serving up a sleek male mannequin in four so-so films, the corporate executives of the James Bond franchise have opted for his opposite in Casino Royale: Bond as a bit of rough trade. And he’s good! Better than that, he’s what Bond hasn’t been in a quarter-century, since a certain rugged Scot said, “Never again.” He’s fascinating . . . In one scene, Vesper presents Bond with a tuxedo for the casino. He slips into it and regards himself in the mirror— he can’t believe how beautifully tailored it is. I hope Craig finds more moments like that in Bond. And I hope he gets to wear that tuxedo again and again and again.