16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tragedy of violence
As other reviewers have said, this is a profound and engaging film that appeals to both your head and heart. I won't repeat the plot, but it does a fine job of making both the Israelis and their targets human, fallible and empathetic. And in this lies the true tragedy of the middle east: that a man who can spent his time translating the Arabian Nights into Italian can...
Published on 10 April 2009 by Roman Clodia
3.0 out of 5 stars Now slightly dated
A sad, brutal story about Israeli revenge attacks on Arab terrorists after the Munich massacre.. Well acted by all the characters.
Published 5 months ago by J Z O
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whose side are you on?,
It's rushes along like a good thriller should at at 2 and a half hours it's good value. You feel totally absorbed into the world of the assassins in the 1970s.
Eric Bana is amazing as an actor. And you really see him struggle at times with his mission. It's a tough watch in places. And overall you dont know whose side to be on. There are no clearcut goodies and badies. It's all political and you find yourself cheering on people who kill (seemingly) innocent people. Is that right?
Luckily the filmn addresses these issues and it finishes slightly unresolved for my liking. Still it's a great flick and deserves all it's academy award nominations.
This film won't change your life, but it is insightful as to what happenned in and around the Munich Olympics of the 1970s.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's no place like home,
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent form, debatable bottom,
Difficult task, as that of the five men. There are the chief, a young man whose wife expects his first baby, one or two experienced pistoleros, an expert in delicate electro – mechanics or devices to explode bombs, and a cautious man specialist in erase the proofs and possible tracks of his actions. Money is provided to them, real identity is eliminated while they carry counterfeit documents, and they are thrown over Europe: Switerland for the funds, France for information and material, when they contact with a curious organization capable of provide information about anybody, for everybody with money enough. Italy, England, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Netherlands and some more are the scenarios of main action, absolutely extra legal. His success isn’t total, but considerable although they also have losses, and over all, being human they are confronted with his soul and conscience. A man effectively can be a good father and husband, but at same time can and must be a killer for other people also human. That affects more or less the moral, mind and life of these five people, and of course, to his targets. This arrives to a psychopathological limit in the case of the chief and the bomb maker.
In seeing this excellent film and as a Spanish, I was slightly amazed, because I’m hardly aware I have a country, better o poor, but at last, a fatherland very old. Perhaps Spielberg is something confused about this, because he’s American and the USA are a young country.
But as it were, possessing a nationality -a fact many of us have for granted without worrying- doesn’t happen to all people on Earth if we have to believe one of the Palestinian personages: he says they are not Arabs. They don’t want to live in Jordania, Arabia, Libya or Egypt, etc.: they want is own country no matter how bad the territory should be.
And so, this movie is very conflictive, as it appears in conflictive times, because we all know the real problem of today’s international terrorism. Spielberg dares to adventure the opinion people we says terrorists possibly have his own reasons, but one has to be very cool and impartial to admit this, if one is from a country attacked by the terrorism. We humans feel and think in a way mostly visceral –as the personages of this movie- is our condition. I think this very day, western or Israeli public, to be pleased by this film need a considerable amount of equanimity.
7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A film of two truths,
However, where this film falls down is that it cannot stand alone. The basis for the film is a real event involving real people. As is the way the true story is much grittier and involving than the movie version. Spielberg presents this with a heavy pro-Isreal bias and seems to, at best, gloss over the real stories involving the Mossad killing of an innocent man as a result of this operation. The events that led to the operation were horrific but if you're going to tell the story - tell the true story not some sanitised, idealistic, personal preference hollywood guff that tries to get away with "based on real events" excuse for totally re-writting history. The team of assassins are protrayed as lucky, bungling and reluctant fighting moral issues over their job, whereas genuine Mossad agents are amongst the most motivated, dedicated and highly trained in the world - but this probably wouldn't fit the image the movie makers were trying to project.
If you don't know the actual story (what details are now released and accepted as truth by both sides) this film makes for reasonable entertainment. However, if you do know more about what happened, it leaves you feeling that Spielberg has dodged the truth to portray history how he sees it.
Reasonable film but could have been much better!
10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spielberg's "Munich" is more dialectical than rhetorical,
The argument that in its struggle to survive the state of Israel has become more like its enemy than it would wish to be in a better world is at the heart of Steven Spielberg's "Munich." The massacre of the Israeli athletes as the 1972 Olympics in Munich is presented as the opening act on the modern age of terrorism, and you do not need the camera's final shot to show the World Trade Center in the distance to know that this drama is still ongoing. Ultimately, the film is not about what happened at Munich but how the Israeli government responded. There is no small degree of symbolism in which some athletes innocently help the Palestinian members of Black September into the Olympic village. Actually footage of the coverage of the hostage drama, including Jim McCay's unforgettable announcement to the world that "they're all gone" is mixed with shots of what the terrorists are doing. But the actual deaths of the terrorists and their hostages comes later in the film, as the main character keeps recalling the events as justification for what he had to do and later for what he has done.
Fulfilling the injunction of an eye for an eye in the Torah, the Israeli government comes up with a list of eleven Palestinians to die for the eleven Israelis murdered in Munich. Avner (Eric Bana), a former bodyguard to Prime Minister Golda Meir (Lynn Cohen) is made the leader of a secret and unofficial group that will track down the Palestinians and kill them. His only link to the government is Ephraim (Geoffrey Rush), who will make sure there is enough money to get the job done. Working with Avner are Hans (Hanns Zischler), who can forge necessary documents, Steve (Daniel Craig), who is always eager to pull the trigger, Robert (Mathieu Kassovitz), who has gone from making toys to building bombs, and Carl (Ciaran Hinds), who cleans up the evidence and who is the only member of the group to question what they are doing.
We question because like the characters in the film we have to take at face value that these men need to be killed. The first has translated "The Arabian Nights" into Italian. The second asks the world to note how many Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since Munich. They are not the terrorists, but they do share their ethnicity and perhaps their politics. But what about a man kissing his daughter goodbye makes him a terrorist? Avren gets information about where to find his targets from Louis (Mathieu Amalric), a Frenchman who could be connected to anybody from the C.I.A. to Mossad for all Avren knows. Meanwhile, as Avren and his men cross more names off of the their list Black September is escalating its attacks, and there comes a point at which the hunters become the hunted, not that this stops them from pushing on with their missions.
"Munich" is inspired by real events rather than an attempt to document what the Israelis did in response to the Olympic massacre. What I know about the true history is that they succeeded in killing many of their targets, who may or may not have been directly involved in Munich. The screenplay by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, based on the book "Vengeance" by George Jonas, goes out of its way to make the attendant ironies of this endeavor palatable. While they use the same weapons in an effort to terrorize the terrorists, what separates Avner's group from their targets is their avoidance of collateral damage, which becomes impossible. But the pivotal scene in the film becomes not an assassination attempt but an moment of black comedy when Avner's team is forced by circumstances to share a safe house with a group of PLO members. Avner has a conversation with a man who is clearly himself as a Palestenian, doing what he is doing in the hope for a home. Devoid of specific reference to ethnicity or religion, the words could be said (and have been said) by those on both sides.
I am reminded of Lincoln's words during his Second Inaugural where he observed that both sides had prayed to the same God, because Arabs and Israelis do not believe that they pray to the same God. Each believes God has promised this dispute territory to them and them along, and the difference between these mirror beliefs that makes us think it will never be resolved in anything other than blood and death is that each holds that there God IS God. The judgment of Spielberg and this film is that the path taken by Avren and his men did not make things better. It is pointed out that those who replaced the dead escalated the violence and the Twin Towers remind us where this road has taken us without an end in sight. The great tragedy could well be that there is no end and suggesting that a particular course of action has made things worse is not a retroactive argument for having done nothing. What is happening could well be as foreordained as any Greek tragedy and those who feel "Munich" attacks them are projecting what they know in their souls onto what they see on the screen.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film of the year...so far!,
1.Lets people know of the horrors of the terrorist acts that certain groups take part in and it's effect on certain people.
2.Up there with Spielbergs best work; its almost his lash out at his critics, his personification if you like.
3.good pace to the film, never seems like 2and a half hours.
4.Great acting, especially Bana, who gets progressivly more confident about what he is doing but more uneasy about why he is doing it.
5.For once a more original score from John Williams( his music was starting to get a tad stale)
6.Certain scenes are very clever but harsh and will not be forgotten easily.
NOT SO GOOD POINTS-
1.Not as deep as it should be at various points in the film.
2.A couple of, although funny, unneccesary comedic moments.
Can't think of many more sore points, this film had me gripped and i guess because i watched not thinking it would be that great and i came away feeling very strongly about this movie. Definatly not a 2 star film as some have put, 3 at the very, very least would be understadable but in all honesty this is 5 star film making.
Do Watch- If you feel you need to know the outcome of fighting acts of terror in the very same way. And it's reprecussions.
Don't Watch- If you think this should be the most important and rightious film ever made.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping film,
For me the charaters were realistic and well acted, supported by a fairly strong script. The assassination set pieces were all different and edgy, the blurs between cold killers and scared humans well handled.
I liked the fact that the camera did not shy away from blood as it would have detracted from the realism and the dark tone. The family of the main character brought a more personal and emotional aspect to the film which makes the violence the more shocking. Apart from one ludicrous event where members from both sides are in the same hotel talking to each other it is very believable and doesn't take sides.
Overall a surprise - a non-blockbuster style spielberg movie that, even if not true to the real events, does give you a flavour of the issues involved as well as being a genuinely enjoyable film.
6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing,
The film opens with the members of Black September gaining entry to the Olympic village in Munich in 1972. They kill several Israeli athletes and take the rest hostage. Their aim.....to bring the plight of the Palestinian people to the worlds attention. When the terrorists make it to the airport with their hostages all hell breaks loose as the police attempt a rescue. The terrorists and the remaining hostages are killed. The world is outraged but none moreso than the Israeli's who recruit one of their best to lead a hit-squad to Europe to hunt down the 11 people behind the massacre.
As I said it was a good film....it just wasn't great. I think several things let it down. The film is too long for a start and there were a few scenes that didn't add anything to the movie at all and wouldn't have been missed.....particularly the rambling scene in the bar with the female assassin. I also felt that Eric Bana wasn't the best choice of actor for the lead role as he wasn't particularly convincing and appeared somewhat wooden. The emotion (remorse maybe?) that his character showed at the end also isn't something I'd associate with a Mossad agent but that was more the scripts fault than Banas.
I too felt that the film was trying to show the two sides to the story and it took away slightly from the film as it seemed to soften the response of the assassins. I'm sure this was a move to try to appease some groups of society but in my book terrorists are terrorist and they don't deserve a voice.
The cinematography was excellent and the whole film looked like it had been shot in the 70's and the news clips from the day in question added to the authenticity. But overall it was just good.....nothing exceptional and not one I'll watch again.
8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Steven.... what happened man?,
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit clumsy, to be honest,
I don't feel Spielberg knew how to approach Avner, played adequately by Eric Bana. Much of the heart of the film rests with him, yet his motivations seemed unclear - particularly evident in his dreams of the Munich massacre. Did this show the depth of his feelings for Israel? Did he feel he should have been aboard the helicopters? And why intercut it with him making love to his wife? The other acting is ok (Geoffrey Rush is much better than ok), but again everyone seems affected by the sprawling, non-specific nature of the project.
So, I think it's an interesting subject, and a fair-minded treatment, but I'm surprised at Spielberg's lack of expertise in presenting it. Read 'One Day In September' for a really compulsive insight into the whole sorry, ever-continuing mess.
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Munich [DVD] by Steven Spielberg (DVD - 2006)