The pre-credits scene, filmed in black-and-white when the traitor Dryden says "Well, you needn't worry, the second is..." BAM!. Bond puts one silenced round in his chest killing him instantly; and then finishes his sentence for him, "Yes. Considerably." Several people in the theater who didn't even know each other turned to one another and said, "That is James Bond!"
Let's not forget Bond finishing off of a Not Quite Dead mook that was about to kill him, and the shot turning into a new version of the Bond Gun Barrel. James Bond was back, and ready to kick ass!
In the opening title sequence: "You Know My Name." The whole sequence is probably the best they've done, but at 2:44, when they shoot the two holes in the "7" card? The audience cheered.
And immediately following that, "007 - status confirmed". Hell, that whole Opening Title Sequence was a CMOA for Bond, Chris Cornell, and especially Daniel Kleinman. If those titles didn't make you want to punch the air, you were probably in the wrong theatre.
The second opening gambit, involving a chase scene with one of the pioneers of parkour is filled with awesome moments for both Bond and his quarry. The suspect runs through a building under construction, and leaps through a window above a door. Without slowing down or breaking stride, Bond runs through the wall to continue the chase. That one part defining Bond's methods.
Earlier in the same chase scene, the suspect runs, vaults, and jumps into the construction site, and turns with his gun, waiting for Bond to follow him. Which he does. In a front-end loader.
The bit where the suspect parkoured down to ground level like greased lightning, leaving Bond up above and about to lose him, only for Bond to commandeer a scissor-lift and descend the whole way in one swift drop was pretty cool too: Bond may prefer all-out overkill, but he improvises nicely too.
The parkour sequence is also a CMOA for Daniel Craig as he did it mostly himself.
M's rant about Bond. Also doubles as a CMOF.
M: And how the hell could Bond be so stupid? I give him double-O status and he celebrates by shooting up an embassy. Is the man deranged? And where the hell is he? In the old days if an agent did something that embarrassing he'd have the good sense to defect. Christ, I miss the Cold War.
Also when she informs Bond that she will have him killed if he says her name out loud. Sends shivers down the spine.
Judi Dench has one of the best "Do Not Fuck With Me" voices ever. You really get the feeling that if M wanted Bond dead, he'd be dead and there'd be nothing he could do about it.
The terrorist sent to blow up the plane in Miami is epically Hoist by His Own Petard. That moment where he presses the detonator, looks down at his belt and appears panicked is awesome enough. We cut to Bond's triumphant smirk, and that seals the deal.
He gets a more subtle one before that in a meta-sense. Bond needs to know where Alex Dimitrios is and what his plans are. So, he seduces the man's wife Solange and discovers that Dimitrios is heading to Miami. Cliché Bond logic would dictate that Bond screws her anyway because screwing random women is probably what he gets as a paycheck. Instead, as Solange goes into the bedroom to await the nookie, Bond orders some room service ("For two?" "No... for one.") and leaves to go stop an airplane bombing. Bond manages to subvert 40 plus years of Bond cliche and saves the fucking day, bankrupting the Big Bad in the process by keeping his pants on and his priorities straight.
Doubly awesome in that was exactly how the original James Bond operated, always putting saving the world first and only having celebratory sex when all was said and done.
Actually Word of God confirmed that they did have sex already; they were just getting ready for round two.
The Reveal of Felix's identity, and how he gives Bond the money to keep playing in exchange for the CIA getting a crack at Le Chiffre.
Vesper is a ball of awesome (and hotness) on legs. Her very first scene involves her and Bond having a dueling Sherlock Scan moment, and she quickly establishes that she's not your typical Bond girl:
Vesper: ... MI6 looks for maladjusted young men, who give little thought to sacrificing others in order to protect queen and country. You know... former SAS types with easy smiles and expensive watches. [Glances at his wrist]Rolex? Bond:Omega. Vesper: Beautiful. Now, having just met you, I wouldn't go as far as calling you a cold-hearted bastard... Bond: No, of course not. Vesper: But it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine you think of women as disposable pleasures, rather than meaningful pursuits. So as charming as you are, Mr. Bond, I will be keeping my eye on our government's money — and off your perfectly-formed arse. Bond: You noticed? Vesper: Even accountants have imagination. How was your lamb? Bond: Skewered. One sympathizes.
Bond: Don't worry, you're not my type. Vesper: Smart? Bond: ...Single.
"Aaagh!! Yeah! Yeah, yeah. Yes, yes, yes, yes. [sobs then laughs] Now the whole world's gonna know you died scratching my balls."
"HIGHER! HIGHER! TO THE LEFT!"
007 has Balls of Steel big and hard enough that not only does he No-Sell Le Chiffre's attempts to torture him, he actively goads Le Chiffre into hitting him harder. Cue every male in the audience crossing his legs. No, scratch that, cue everyone in the audience crossing their legs.
Bond, chasing down Vesper's abductors in a Cool Car at a lethally high speed, barely manages to avoid hitting a hogtied Vesper lying on the road within inches, leading to one spectacular 7-cannon roll crash. Needless to say, Bond was left really banged up.
During the filming of that scene, stunt technicians had to install a gas cannon to make the car flip since it was too stable to be done by ramps. In doing so, they accidentally set a new world record for "most cannon rolls in a car".
Bond's confrontation with Mr. White at the end, followed by the cut to the credits and the classic theme tune.
White: (on phone) Hello?
Bond: (on phone) Mr. White, we need to talk.
White: (on phone) Who is this?
Bond shoots White in the knee as the opening notes of the theme begin playing
Bond: The name's Bond. James Bond.
Also, keep in mind this is the first time we've heard the theme or Bond, James Bond all movie.
Bond has spent most of the first act of the film as an impudent loose cannon, rapidly infuriating M, and escalating to the point where he breaks into her home and casually chats about how he figured out the origin of her code name.
Fans of the novel celebrated this line, uttered near the end of the film.
Job's done. The bitch is dead.
Craig's Bond suiting up in a tux for the first time; it gets a nice laugh at first because he's aghast, but then when he sees himself all decked out, even his face has a glimmer of appreciation.
The finale action sequence, where a rage-fueled Bond works his way through countless baddies using his suppressed Walther P99 pistol, a 2x4, a loose electrical wire, a chair, and a nail-gun while Vesper stares on in awe.
Perhaps this is normal in multi-million dollar poker games, but the barman's ability to remember a drink order with seven ingredients that Bond invented on the spot was impressive.
While Le Chiffre is torturing Bond, he hears shooting behind the door. He smugly thinks that this is his minions have killed Lynd... Until Mr. White comes out. And then, White kills Le Chiffre.
The casting of Daniel Craig was very controversial and a huge bet by producer Barbara Broccoli, who chose him personally for the role. When much praise for Craig's performance came in from both critics and audiences alike upon release, it was clear Broccoli won that bet big time.
Eva Green also received much praise, for playing a far more complex, nuanced and witty character than the usual Bond Girls.
The film grossed $600 million, which was the biggest unadjusted worldwide box office total for a James Bond movie at the time. Revisiting the Roots paid off far more from a critical and financial standpoint than the Sequel Escalation and CGI extravaganza of its predecessor. On top of that, some were expecting the film to do poorly in the U.S. due to it going up against the box-office juggernaut that was Happy Feet. The film promptly became the first Bond movie since all the way back with From Russia with Love never to top the box-office... and yet still became the highest-earning film (in unadjusted dollars) in the series stateside until Skyfall.