Clive Owen seemed like the natural choice, but in casting Daniel Craig as the new James Bond, franchise owners Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson opted for someone who looked cold enough to kill a man with his bare hands. That he does, in a brutal black-and-white opening sequence, and for the rest of the movie Craig's wardrobe seems to alternate between crisp evening clothes and other people's blood. The script updates Ian Fleming's first Bond novel to a post-9/11 world and scales back the silliness that always seems to creep into the series; director Martin Campbell (The Mask of Zorro) contributes some superior action set pieces but keeps the camp and gadgetry to a minimum. With Eva Green, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, and liver-lipped Mads Mikkelsen as the villain, an international terrorism financier who weeps drops of blood.
By J.R. Jones