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Casino Royale Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Silly 007 spoof tamer than Austin Powers.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is not the serious 2006 version of Casino Royale, but rather a wild, pull-out-the-stops comical put-on of the 007 films, done in 1960s "psychedelic" style. It's really a lot like the later Austin Powers spoofs, right down to the disjointed and nonsensical plotting. And, like Austin Powers, this makes much of the erotic content of the James Bond adventures, with luscious women as sex objects. Overall, though, it's at the milder end of the smut and vulgarity scale than Mike Myers' movies, and parents won't be squirming so much through it -- unless they're bored. Still, some parents might also object to the romanticization of high-stakes gambling as a way to defeat the bad guys.

  • Families can talk about the strange story behind this film and the many, many star actors, visual references, and celebrity gag cameos that most kids won't know -- like Jean-Claude Belmondo, George Raft, and the Berlin Wall -- that had instant audience recognition at the time. Their very appearance was meant to get a laugh. Tell kids that when they're grownups, young audiences might fail to comprehend jokes about Britney Spears or Saddam Hussein from today's comedies. Parents might also use Casino Royale to point out the difference between short-lived, topical humor and the more universal comedy of Charlie Chaplin or even Charlie Brown, that still holds up decades later.

The good stuff
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    Messages: The "original" James Bond (David Niven) is a stalwart, upright English gentleman of the aristocracy (even if he has an illegitimate daughter by his lost love), while most of the other characters are slippery, treacherous spies. Of course, everybody's a comical one-note stereotype (especially the Scots!) rather than real people. Gambling is portrayed as a heroic endeavor.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Slapstick brawling, falling, punching, and martial arts (including one sequence in which seductive women are rebuffed by judo-flips). Much gunfire, but rarely any blood. One character is visibly shot in the head, and another is in a phone booth that explodes. Birds are hunted with rifles. Explosions, bows and arrows, and military artillary.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Much non-clinical sexual innuendo and beautiful, scantily-clad girls. One actress is entirely nude and covered just by strategic metal restraints on a table. A few others are fleetingly glimpsed covered in gold body paint. A man and a teenage girl take a bubble bath together. Mostly the sex is all talk ("Doodle me!" a Scottish vixen says), with hallucinatory montages of female faces in ecstasy as the only action. A young woman reassures her own father than she's not a virgin.

  • language false3

    Language: Some use of "damn." Jean-Paul Belmondo repeatedly utters a French swear word (inaccurately translated as "ouch").

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Fancy motorcars on display, with the Lotus Formula Three getting a real salute. The James Bond franchise, at the time this movie was made, was already a commercial industry, with novels, toys, clothes ... even 007 deodorant. You can imagine what it's been like since.

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    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking, with a whole household rendered unconscious from (drugged?) whiskey. One character has a "trip" after his cocktail is drugged. Another character is called a junkie. The villainous LeChiffre puffs a cigar.