Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Already have an account? Log in here
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
We encourage our community to report abusive content and/ or spam. Our team will review flagged items and determine whether or not they meet our community guidelines.
Please choose best explanation for why you are flagging this review.
Thank you for your submission. This post has been submitted for our review.
Sincerely, The Rotten Tomatoes Team
The ending shot is pure gold
Films that focus on the Israel-Palestine conflict are almost always subject to controversy but very few actually manage to say something sensitive and insightful about the issue. Munich is one of those films along with Promises (2001) and Omar (2013). Steven Spielberg takes a well crafted screenplay from Tony Kushner and Eric Roth and models a story involving espionage and action around a deep exploration of the effect that revenge can have on a man's soul. This isn't Schindler's List (1993) or A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) but it represents a more thoughtful, contemplative type of Spielberg movie that is fortunately also geared to a wide audience and manages to entertain throughout the majority of it's running time.
The film concerns the fallout from Black September murdering eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics as Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Lynn Cohen, decides that Mossad agent Avner Kaufman, Eric Bana, must assassinate the eleven Palestinians connected to the murder. Kaufman begins to doubt his own motives as he takes increasingly more depraved actions in his attempts to capture and kill the perpetrators. He and his partner Steve, Daniel Craig, discuss the morality of what they are doing and at one point Kaufman even talks to a PLO fighter about their similarities and differences. Finally his mental state deteriorates completely as he is unable to escape his guilt and has become a ruthless killing machine.
The simplicity with which films approaches the opening scenes of horror as we realize what is occurring through newsreel footage. The scenes of deliberation between various Israeli officials culminating in Meir making a difficult but arguably correct decision is similarly serious and treated with a sparseness that belies just how inescapable the tragedy of this conflict is. It is impressive then that Spielberg is able to significantly accelerate the pace of the film after this and make us feel tense as he builds the suspense slowly in certain scenes without losing what makes these events so tragic. His talent is in how little he chooses to do in this film as he chooses to save his dazzling directorial skills for the scenes of characters planting bombs and shooting female spies on houseboats. In terms of ‘political' films that Spielberg has made this may be the most subtle as it still sends a very clear message but does not feel the need to show this message through an image of a little girl in red or to show a German losing a coin flip to a British soldier.
The screenplay weaves together an interesting discussion about the ambiguity of the political situation in Israel with a story about the impacts of what is essentially warfare on man. Some of the discussions get a little obvious as the scene in which an Israeli and a Palestinian express that they are not as different from one another as you would think felt reminiscent of a film like Heat (1995) which is probably not what you want to evoke in your moody drama but the scene is still able to get it's point across effectively, if only Israelis and Palestinians could realize that they are not that different and live together in harmony. The a man's actions in battle on his personal life and mental state are seen primarily through Kaufman who finds that he can not forgive a female spy for murdering one of his associates and so tracks her down and brutally murders her. We also see scenes of Bana tortured and unable to sleep at night which work because we understand that this is a quiet, self contained man who does not outwardly express himself and is unlikely to tell Craig's character about his inner struggle.
In many ways this film feels representative of the mediocrity of 2005 as while I think it is a very good film it never quite achieves greatness. At the same time I think the film is quieter than most films would have been and I appreciate the fact that it never inserted in a scene in which someone tears down an Israeli flag or sets fire to something because "symbolism." The film earns it's Best Picture nomination and might have been the second best film nominated that year behind the lovely Brokeback Mountain (2005).
I’m not a big fan of Spielberg, but thought this was one of his better movies in that it was less formulaic than most his films although it could have been a lot shorter than its 2.75 hours and was thin in places. The performances were good, it had intriguing characters, and I thought the script asked interesting questions about hate, revenge and lessons.
Great movie. Riveting right from the start. One of Spielberg's best. Total sham this didn't win the Oscar for best film (the terrible movie Crash won). Acting was great all the way around. Only seen Bana in the great Black Hawk Down Movie. Does a great job here. Movie test your morals of what the old saying goes - eye for an eye...
There's a few reasons why I want to love this movie but sadly I don't. It didn't touch me and I never got attatched to any of the characters.
Tried hard boring as shit. I thought i had been watching for 90 mins and i check the dvd player, it said 29 mins i said nope, no, no way possible i got 2 hours 15mins left. It was possible but i never found out what happened, maybe try again in 2030
Munich hits its target with much effort.
The movie is based on actual historical events of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack, the retaliation against the terror groups by Israel and the physiological effect it has on the agents forcing them to quit the operation. The casting and the acting were great, my only problem was the length of the movie, at 163 minutes it was a way more length than it needed to be.
It is an unexpected tale, not at all generic to the spy and assassination genre, it not as thrilling and the action sequences are realistic instead of heroic. Although not as exciting as other fictional Hollywood blockbuster, it still works under the hands of Spielberg.
From fact-checking I read, it's accurate on the retaliation style used, the names of the people and places involved, although many more experienced teams were used in actual then just one group of misfits. Also, the physiological effect part seems to be all made up, the actual reason why the attacks were stopped was a bungled up operation.
Literally the worst film I've ever seen.
A superb Spielberg movie that deserves more credit than it gets.. Possibly one of the best un-biased views of the massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympics you ever see or read. Spielberg does a great job of portraying both sides of the story without malice for either side. What Spielberg did with superb accuracy was to depict the continual loop of violent attack and reprisal that continues to this very day. Thought provoking, emotional and a good adaptation of George Jonas's book Vengeance