|Genre: Thriller, Drama|
Tagline: The world was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. This is the story of what happened next.
Plot: In September of 1972 an unprecedented terrorist attack unfolded live before 900 million television viewers across the globe and ushered in a brave new world of unpredictable violence.
It was the second week of the Summer Olympics, and in Munich, West Germany, the games that had been dubbed “The Olympics of Peace and Joy” were off to a rousing start with swimmer Mark Spitz and gymnast Olga Korbut wowing the crowds. Suddenly, without warning, an extremist Palestinian group known as Black September invaded the Olympic Village, killing two members of the Israeli Olympic team and capturing nine as hostages. The tense stand-off and tragic massacre that ensued played out with stunning immediacy on television before an international populace and ended 21 hours later when anchorman Jim McKay spoke the haunting words, “They’re all gone.”
While the Munich terror was seen and felt around the world, the intensely secret aftermath of the event has remained largely unknown. Based on the events of Munich 1972 and the highly charged mission of retribution that followed—by the covert hit squad known to Israeli intelligence as “Operation Wrath of God,” one of the boldest and most aggressive assassination plots in modern history. In taut, vivid and human detail, the film takes audiences into a
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The ending is not as bleak as it could be, but it will send audiences away in a reflective mood, pondering not only the events of the film, but how close Spielberg's fictionalized world of the early '70s is to our real world in the 2000s.
--James Berardinelli (ReelViews)
With this film he has dramatically opened a wider dialogue, helping to make the inarguable into the debatable. As a thriller, “Munich” is efficient, absorbing, effective. As an ethical argument, it is haunting. And its questions are not only for Israel but for any nation that believes it must compromise its values to defend them.
--Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
In this age of feckless and unapologetic zealotry, with leaders whose passion for extremism has led to the lamentable results we see all around us, "Munich's" even-handed cry for peace is not an act of equivocation but one of bravery. What "Munich" has to say, and its ability to say it to the widest possible audience, couldn't be more needed than it is right now.
In "Munich," Golda Meir states 'Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values.' Perhaps Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner ("Angels in America") have overly compromised their film, letting cool heads prevail overheated emotion. "Munich" is still a good film, but the cooler "Syriana" packs more of a punch. B,B
--Robin and Laura Clifford
On a more mundane level, the film is somewhat problematic. The structure grows repetitive at times, and though technically adroit, it only fitfully connects on the most visceral level. B+
--Rob Vaux (Flipsidemovies.com)
“Munich” is among the important and best-made films of 2005.
For a movie that wants me to care about it more, Munich lacks the focus to pull it off. When it's all said and done, the movie plays like a well-made thriller whose message got buried underneath its own overbearing confidence.
--Lee Chase IV
"Munich" makes the point that responding to terrorism with assassination might not be the right solution. -
--Jonathan W. Hickman
It all ends in shellshock and despair, as any honest film about war must do. Even though Spielberg loses his way at times in the existential labyrinth he’s constructed, and a few of the later espionage episodes are not entirely convincing, he’s made a brave attempt to wrestle with the impossible here. Unmissable.
--Chris Barsanti (FilmCritic.com)
Eric Bana delivers an award-worthy performance as the conflicted but dedicated Avner, while Craig, Kassovitz, Hinds and Zischler offer excellent support as his fellow team members.
Perhaps what’s most impressive about “Munich” is the speed at which it all came together.
--Scott Mantz (MovieMantz.com)
"Munich" is as much about guilt, as it is about revenge. Spielberg has created an intropsective look at what happens when you kill me, and I kill you, but the cycle never ends. It's a movie filled with sadness, and human loss, and for Spielberg, a remarkably mature work.
The problem with "Munich" is simple: It asks hard questions and finds easy answers.
--Stephen Hunter (Washington Post)
This is a taut, fast-paced thriller with terrific acting. Eric Bana gives the performance of a lifetime, and everyone else is great as well. The two and a half hours just fly by, and one is left with lots to think about
| Music By|
Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
|Well, it's too bad we don't have more mainstream narrative filmmakers with that kind of audacity. Munich is the most potent, the most vital, the best movie of the year.|
However, coming from the likes of Spielberg, who can be among the best and most persuasive of filmmakers when he sets his mind to it, it just feels like it should be better and truer and deeper than it ultimately is.
--Peter Sobczynski (eFilmCritic.com)
Presumably, Spielberg is trying to show emotional catharsis through the force of sexual climax, but it comes off as the one, lone indulgent moment (too Tony Scott for me) in a picture filled with efficiency and hard-fought, cautiously planned integrity.
--Brian Orndorf (eFilmCritic.com)
With so much to process during Munich, it’s improbable that anyone can overlook the technical prowess to which Spielberg has crafted in such a short window.
--Erik Childress (eFilmCritic.com)
In "Munich," Steven Spielberg has made his most grown-up film so far. A-
--Eric D. Snider (EricDSnider.com)
The bulk of "Munich" is as good as it gets, but like every Spielberg picture this decade, it loses a little steam towards the finish. It's not that the third act doesn't work, it's just that it's a downer.
--Kevin N. Laforest (Montreal Film Journal)