Munich

Munich

4.4 19
Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciarán Hinds

     
 

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Much as Steven Spielberg followed 1993's special-effects blockbuster Jurassic Park with a far more downbeat and personal project later the same year, Schindler's List, in 2005 after tearing up the box office with War of the Worlds the director closed out the year with a powerful and thoughtful drama about the human costs of international terrorismSee more details below

Overview

Much as Steven Spielberg followed 1993's special-effects blockbuster Jurassic Park with a far more downbeat and personal project later the same year, Schindler's List, in 2005 after tearing up the box office with War of the Worlds the director closed out the year with a powerful and thoughtful drama about the human costs of international terrorism. The 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, were supposed to be a peaceful gathering of outstanding athletes from around the world, but on September 5, the games took a sinister turn when eight masked Palestinian terrorists invaded the Olympic village, killing two Israeli athletes and abducting nine others. The kidnappers demanded safe passage out of Germany in addition to the release of Arab prisoners in Israeli and German prisons, but when they arrived at the Munich airport they were met by German police and military forces, and in the melee that followed, all nine hostages were killed. In the wake of the killings, the Israeli government gave Mossad, the nation's intelligence agency, a special assignment -- to track down and eliminate the Palestinians responsible for the death of the Israeli athletes. A young and idealistic Mossad agent (Eric Bana) is assigned to the four-man unit created to wipe out the Olympic terrorists, but while he believes in serving his country, as their bloody work goes on he begins to buckle under the weight of his work and wonders if he can morally justify his nation's acts of revenge. Munich also stars Geoffrey Rush, Daniel Craig, Mathieu Kassovitz, and Ciarán Hinds.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
After 11 Israeli athletes were kidnapped and killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, the Israeli government secretly recruited a hit squad from its Mossad intelligence agency and mandated the death of the Black September operatives responsible for the bloodshed. This state-sponsored retribution campaign -- rumored for years but only recently detailed in such books as George Jonas’s Vengeance -- forms the basis of Steven Spielberg’s masterful Munich, a grimly compelling fact-based drama that’s something of an epic thriller. Eric Bana portrays Avner, the young, newly married Mossad agent who leaves his pregnant wife to head the team -- a job he undertakes, at great personal risk, because he believes (initially, at least) that the murders of his countrymen must be avenged. The other four members of his team include: Daniel Craig as tough guy Steve; Mathieu Kassovitz as explosives specialist Robert; Hanns Zischler as forgery master Hans; and, best of all, that versatile character actor Ciaran Hinds as the meticulous organizer Carl. Adopting a much grittier visual style than usual, Spielberg films the key events of this lengthy campaign as a documentarian might, frequently employing handheld cameras and shooting with natural light whenever possible. Moreover, he bends over backward to be evenhanded, turning a gimlet eye on the Israeli government run by Golda Meir. This stance aroused considerable controversy, but Spielberg wasn’t looking to score points with Palestinians and their supporters; he was trying to make a larger point. It becomes apparent in the movie’s second half, when the revenge plot unravels and the assassins become targets themselves. Bana’s character, weary of the killing on both sides, begins to wonder if his side has lost the moral high ground. Spielberg intimates that the never-ending cycle of violence, of attack and retaliation, further exacerbates the Middle East problem and makes peace more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Easily among the master director’s most provocative films, Munich earned five Academy Award nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Score (the work of John Williams).
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Munich differs from all of Steven Spielberg's previous historical epics because, for the first time, the director is using the past to comment on the present. One of Spielberg's peerless talents is the ability to create tension-filled sequences. Munich's structure, following the exploits of a group of Israeli agents hunting down the terrorists responsible for the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, allows Spielberg to put this talent on display throughout the movie. Each of these sequences is varied so that the film avoids becoming visually repetitive even though it clocks in at close to three hours. Though the film works strictly as a thriller, the excellent script traces the gradual emotional and psychological changes that occur to Avner (Eric Bana), the man leading the group. While he never questions the importance of what he does, or really the moral authority to do it, the film does not flinch from the consequences of living in a constant state of alertness fueled by paranoia and fear. The film acknowledges both the visceral thrill and the interior decay that results from vengeance -- a word that once served as the film's working title. Munich does not carry the weight of history that, say, Schindler's List does partly because Munich exists not in a black-and-white world of good and bad actions, but instead reveals a world full of grays. Munich, although about historical events, is very much about what America asks of itself during the war on terrorism. The screenplay is savvy enough to make these themes universal so that the film will not lose its power over time, but setting the film's final sequence with the World Trade Center in the background should tip audiences to the fact that Spielberg has created a very personal reaction to current events. Taken with the same year's politically pointed remake of War of the Worlds, Munich reveals Spielberg to be, at 60, a director committed to making important films that address the tenor of the times.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/05/2015
UPC:
0025192047770
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Time:
2:44:00
Sales rank:
10,404

Special Features

Introduction by director Steven Spielberg; The mission, the team; Memories of the event; Portrait of an era; The on-set experience; The international cast; Editing, sound and music

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eric Bana Avner
Daniel Craig Steve
Ciarán Hinds Carl
Mathieu Kassovitz Robert
Hanns Zischler Hans
Ayelet Zurer Daphna
Geoffrey Rush Ephraim
Michel Lonsdale Papa
Mathieu Amalric Louis
Lynn Cohen Golda Meir
Marie-Josée Croze Jeanette
Makram Khoury Wael Zwaiter
Yigal Naor Mahmoud Hamshari
Omar Metwally Ali
Moritz Bleibtreu Andreas
Mostafa Djadjam Hussein Abad Al-Chir
Gila Almagor Avner's Mother
Moshe Ivgy Mike Harari
Yvan Attal Tony (Andreas' Friend)
Hiam Abbass Marie Claude Hamshari
Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi Sylvie
Meret Becker Yvonne
Brian Goodman Belligerent American
Hicham Nazzal Guard
Guy Zo-Aretz Commando

Technical Credits
Steven Spielberg Director,Producer
Ino Bonello Art Director
Ben Burtt Sound/Sound Designer
Rick Carter Production Designer
Tony Fanning Art Director
Industrial Light & Magic Special Effects
Joanna Johnston Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Kahn Editor
Janusz Kaminski Cinematographer
Kathleen Kennedy Producer
Tony Kushner Screenwriter
Ian McFadyen Art Director
Barry Mendel Producer
Andrew Menzies Art Director
Eric Roth Screenwriter
Adam Somner Asst. Director
David Stephenson Sound/Sound Designer
David Swayze Art Director
Janos Szabolcs Art Director
John Williams [composer] Score Composer
Colin Wilson Producer

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