User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 329 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 329
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  1. HappyHap
    Jan 8, 2006
    1
    I saw it and think that if Spielberg wants to make political statements he should go into politics - not use movies as a propaganda to enforce his leftist liberal ideaology. The attack by the terrorists on the Isreali athelets really happened. What follows is Spielberg's fantasy that the retaliation was as bad as the terrorists. He is a fool.
  2. GregS.
    Jan 8, 2006
    8
    Incredible proof that an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, is madness. Good for Spielberg to brave both the Israeli and Arab opinions, let alone America's .
  3. MegA.
    Jan 8, 2006
    10
    The best movie of the year....... Spielberg's finest!
  4. Lefty
    Jan 9, 2006
    1
    Speilberg is a fool if he thinks you can negotiate peaceful resolutions with animals.
  5. ClintM.
    Jan 9, 2006
    6
    Maybe I need to see this filme again to fully grasp all that it's trying to say? I'm not sure? It's not that I didn't enjoy the movie ... the story was fairly compelling ... and Eric Bana is wonderful to watch ... I guess I just went into it with different expectations. I don't see it to be the award worthy film many have made it out to be, but that's not to Maybe I need to see this filme again to fully grasp all that it's trying to say? I'm not sure? It's not that I didn't enjoy the movie ... the story was fairly compelling ... and Eric Bana is wonderful to watch ... I guess I just went into it with different expectations. I don't see it to be the award worthy film many have made it out to be, but that's not to say it's not a good movie overall and worth a watch. Expand
  6. JosiahR.
    Jan 9, 2006
    10
    Compelling.
  7. ThomasR.
    Jan 9, 2006
    10
    If you fall asleep in this movie, it is a judgment of your character, not the movie's.
  8. RichK
    Jan 9, 2006
    8
    Although the first two thirds of this movie were rivetting, the last hour takes so much away. Any sort of message is lost in the dragging conclusion to the film.
  9. TrinimanTrin
    Jan 10, 2006
    9
    Just shy of three hours, Munich is an excellent film that is causing a lot of controversy among Jewish groups in the US and Israel, and among Palestinians. By upsetting both groups, director Steven Spielberg has found elusive middle ground that saves the film from being Oliver Stone-preachy while weaving tension and moral ambiguity, from beginning to end. This is the second film based on Just shy of three hours, Munich is an excellent film that is causing a lot of controversy among Jewish groups in the US and Israel, and among Palestinians. By upsetting both groups, director Steven Spielberg has found elusive middle ground that saves the film from being Oliver Stone-preachy while weaving tension and moral ambiguity, from beginning to end. This is the second film based on the 1984 book Vengeance:The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team by Canadian journalist George Jonas, the first being the 1985 HBO made-for-television movie, Sword of Gideon. Mossad agent and ex-bodyguard for Prime Minister Golda Meier, Avner Kauffman (Eric Bana), is asked to head a secret unofficial team on a very dangerous mission that would take him away from his pregnant wife for many months, if not years. He is assigned four other men, most of whom are seemingly unlikely members of an elite hit squad. The only other athletic person is Steve, aggressive and feisty, played by a crackling, magnetic Daniel Craig, the new James Bond. Craig, blonde with deep blue eyes, as revealed in a sniper scene, looks ironically like a perfect example of an Aryan. Ciarán Hinds, who played the Russian President Nemerov in 2002's The Sum of All Fears, is the clean-up guy who removes evidence. Mathieu Kassovitz plays Robert, the toy-maker turned bomb disposal expert turned bomb-maker. Hanns Zischler is Hans, the document forger. Showing up occasionally as the official liaison between Mossad and Avner's team is Geoffrey Rush as Ephraim. Prime Minister Meier endorses the mission by saying "...every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values." Other dialogue in the film that resonates with the Israeli perspective includes Avner's mother saying that the Jews had to create their own homeland since no one was going to give it to them. These are examples of why Palestinians groups see this film as biased towards Israel, but to dismiss it as such is to sell it short, as it offers dialogue that neither side supports, and that those without a stake in the middle-east - most viewers - will chew on it, right to the film's end. Early on, Avner finds a mysterious source of intelligence who is willing to find the locations of persons of interest who have gone underground, but only on the condition that Avner is working for no government. While he doesn't give up that he is unofficially tied to the Israelis, it's obvious that he is probably Mossad since all his desired targets are Palestinians. As the team assassinate the bad guys throughout Europe, they also learn that the Palestinians retaliate, killing off magnitudes more people. Not mentioned in the film are the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon bombed by Israeli jets in retaliation, four days after the massacre, which was in turn condemned by the UN Security Council. They begin to wonder if their mission is worthwhile and even moral, with arguments about why they aren't just arresting people for trial. Also, some of the Palestinians they kill are shown as being regular humans with families, or cultured and intelligent, rather than as one-dimensional bad guys. They feel guilty about some of their killings and one of the characters becomes very heavily burdened. It's this moral conflict that brings the film its best tension. In one of the most electric scenes, Avner, mistaken for a German, has a conversation with a PLO team leader who explains and justifies the Palestinians struggle with Israel for a homeland. This is one of the scenes that is generating criticism among Jewish groups, even though the director is a prominent Jew and supporter of Israel. Meir Jolobitz, executive director of the New York-based Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), told Aljazeera.net: "First, the film which claims to be inspired by true events does not reflect true events. Spielberg is inventive. "Secondly, he tries to humanize Arab terrorists by legitimizing their murder of Jews as their only way to establish a Palestinian state." The ZOA has called for a public boycott of the film. At one point in the film, one of the team members talks about how the Israelis could end up becoming killers like the people they are hunting. Team member Carl replied that they have long been like that, since they had to be killers in order to establish the state of Israel. Now, this sort of statement would be seen to be anti-Israeli since it equates the blood shed by creators of modern day Israel to the Palestinian terrorist - a moral equivalence that some will find outrageous. The film didn't seem like almost three hours long to me. I was totally drawn in as the film unfolded within the murky confines of international betrayal with its lack of assurance. Is the family that sources valuable information playing all sides? Do they betray friends for money? Are they really Mossad operatives carefully feeding the unofficial team the finest information? Or, are they helping the Palestinian leadership do a little house cleaning? The flashbacks to the massacre itself are also riveting. There's a lot of juicy, factual story not included, such as the Israeli offer to send in one of their experienced commando teams, which was rejected. The German offer to trade money for the hostages and then have high-ranking German officials switch places with the hostages, also wasn't mentioned. By not pleasing either the Palestinian or the Jewish communities, and yet ironically supporting both by presenting two sides of the dispute in the film, Munich offers a timely opportunity for discourse about sacrificing values in the face of conflict for survival, the increasingly popular moral equivalency debate and on a more basic level, the future of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, especially in the post-Sharon era. Here's some interesting information from the Wikipedia entry about the Munich Massacre. In the book Striking Back : The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response, published December 20, 2005, by Aaron J. Klein, the author contends that the Mossad only killed one man directly tied to the Munich Massacre, and that was in 1992. He mentions that the real planners had gone into hiding in Eastern Bloc countries and that the ones who were killed off were lesser Palestinian activists. The Mossad made them out to be some of the planners and the PLO trumpeted their importance so the legend of the power of the Mossad grew. The website also contends that in the 1999 book by the only surviving planner of the attack, Abu Daoud, Memoirs of a Palestinian Terrorist, funds for the attack were supplied by Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently the President of the Palestinian Authority. Expand
  10. Richardb.
    Jan 11, 2006
    6
    "Munich" is essentially "mission impossible" with angst; the fingerpointing problem with arabs & jews is small change compared to the paranoid core plot conceit, which makes the big pharma conspiracy theories of constant gardener look reasonable. the acting is good, the lead guy is more than good, but its way too long and theres a montage near the end that will forever be cited in "Munich" is essentially "mission impossible" with angst; the fingerpointing problem with arabs & jews is small change compared to the paranoid core plot conceit, which makes the big pharma conspiracy theories of constant gardener look reasonable. the acting is good, the lead guy is more than good, but its way too long and theres a montage near the end that will forever be cited in film-making classes as something not to do when parallel editing. to the gods of cinema i pray, no more films way too loosely "based on a true story"! pretty please. Expand
  11. PeterG.
    Jan 11, 2006
    10
    One of the most incredible thought provoking movies in years. I was skeptical to view such a long movie at first but this movie kept me on the edge of my seat until the credits began to roll. This may very well be the best movie I have ever seen. Every element from cinematography, music, acting, and plotline were amazingly well executed with exciting action and mind stimulating dialogue. It
  12. DavidA.
    Jan 14, 2006
    3
    I liked "Sword of Gideon" much better!
  13. MarkT.
    Jan 14, 2006
    9
    Another Spielberg masterpiece, but not always clear on character motivation. Many loose ends not always explained. Special efects are superb.
  14. RicardoCorona
    Jan 14, 2006
    8
    Suspense, drama, Shocking!
  15. DeanM.
    Jan 15, 2006
    1
    The Movie STUNK... Hired assassins don't second guess themselves, They would never have been chosen in the first place if they did... Do you think a Navy Seal would break down in agony doing his duty... Do you think that Killing a Terroist Of Innocence would cause them any reflection of note... Do you think that an organization that chooses to Kill Innocent athletes would EVER stop. The Movie STUNK... Hired assassins don't second guess themselves, They would never have been chosen in the first place if they did... Do you think a Navy Seal would break down in agony doing his duty... Do you think that Killing a Terroist Of Innocence would cause them any reflection of note... Do you think that an organization that chooses to Kill Innocent athletes would EVER stop. Tit for Tat, Let's open the prison doors, surely all those people if we as a society just said Sorry, would instantly become model citizens... more murders on the streets, we just need to be more UNDERSTANDING... In our society if someone breaks the posted speed limit he pays a penatly, yet Speilburg wants me to believe if you kill 11 innocent athletes you should turn the other cheel and Understand them, Maybe he'll pay my next traffic ticket too. Expand
  16. MisterThomYorke
    Jan 15, 2006
    7
    Wow. When did turning the other cheek become leftist? Pretty sure that's a Jesus thing. What a load of socialist hippie crap, right? You people really need to understand - sometimes movies have a message. Sometimes you may disagree with the message - but don't call it propaganda just because you don't agree. Try closing your mouth for a second and opening your mind to new Wow. When did turning the other cheek become leftist? Pretty sure that's a Jesus thing. What a load of socialist hippie crap, right? You people really need to understand - sometimes movies have a message. Sometimes you may disagree with the message - but don't call it propaganda just because you don't agree. Try closing your mouth for a second and opening your mind to new opinions. Understand that not everyone thinks like you nor are they wrong if they don't. Anywho, as the movie pointed out, the terrorists from Palestine didn't just start killing Jews for no reason. Both sides are equally guilty. It's depressing and hopeless and a neverending cycle (as the film also pointed out) but just blaming Palestinians without acknowledging similar atrocities commited by the other side is ignorant. The movie clearly said that violence leads to more violence - that's nothing political, that's common sense. On the negative side, the movie was way too long, but it was interesting and pretty freakin balanced - especially coming from a Jewish director. A lesser director (and perhaps many of the users commenting here) would have painted the Jewish assasins as heroes and shown no consideration for the Palestinian side of the equation. No one is innocent and no one is a hero for taking another's life. Pretty sure that's a Jesus thing too. Expand
  17. SM.
    Jan 16, 2006
    9
    Did all the people who gave a low score see the same movie as I? Get over the "not historically accurate to the letter' bit - some people are so anal about that!! The movie labels itself as "inspired by true events', maybe people don't understand that this doesn't mean it's a biography. It's a great story with fantastic acting and a good message about the Did all the people who gave a low score see the same movie as I? Get over the "not historically accurate to the letter' bit - some people are so anal about that!! The movie labels itself as "inspired by true events', maybe people don't understand that this doesn't mean it's a biography. It's a great story with fantastic acting and a good message about the fact that terrorists come from all kinds of places and represent all kinds of causes. I reccommend it to anyone with some worldy interest and a love of great film! Expand
  18. RonL.
    Jan 16, 2006
    9
    I just got back from seeing this film. It was excellent. I have read a number of reviews here on Metacritic and I think it's funny that the people giving it the lowest scores treated Munich like a Tom Cruise action film. Munich was a real event and there was retaliation for it. I'm not suggesting, even for a moment that Munich was not a fictionalized account of events. But I just got back from seeing this film. It was excellent. I have read a number of reviews here on Metacritic and I think it's funny that the people giving it the lowest scores treated Munich like a Tom Cruise action film. Munich was a real event and there was retaliation for it. I'm not suggesting, even for a moment that Munich was not a fictionalized account of events. But people should keep in mind killing people is a horrible affair, and when you kill people it affects you. You need look no further than some of our own Vietnam vets and some of the guys coming home from the Gulf. We need to look at this film's real message. Hate breeds hate and that breeds death. I would never suggest that anyone should ever negotiate with terrorists, but perhaps its time to put under the microscope how they become that way? Stop looking to Tom Cruise action heroes for the answers. Munich doesn't have them either, but it does raise some interesting questions about where peace begins. Avoid this film if you don Expand
  19. JohnP.
    Jan 17, 2006
    6
    I must say this movie has sparked lots of comment and Controversey, I personally felt the move needed help, It was way long, and Assassins with a conscious doesn't fly with me. I am greatful that this forum allows many points of view. Agree or Disagree each person here are giving there opinion.
  20. RichG.
    Jan 18, 2006
    10
    Gripping well acted and thrilling. Great use of the handheld camera. A most see for movie makers and movie goers. with a fantastic serious story.
  21. Pye
    Jan 28, 2006
    1
    Very dull. I did not feel emotionally connected at all to the characters. This movie was lifeless. I thought about walking out halfway through. Not recommended.
  22. DavidR.
    Jan 29, 2006
    10
    I think this movie very very powerful to me its very Groundbreaking, and more telling it that i want to see it again, Spielberg is at his very best again, Definitley to win Best Picture and Best Director of the year awards from OSCARS.
  23. JustinK.
    Jan 29, 2006
    10
    One of Spielberg's finest works, a sheer masterpiece. Flawless acting, directing, and writing, the absolute BEST Film of 2005.
  24. RR
    Feb 1, 2006
    9
    Munich is not a movie to enjoy. It is harsh, unflinching and raises uncomfortable questions on a very personal level. It is a film about the roots of violence, the act of denial that it takes to perform acts of violence against your own kind, and the vicious circle of crime and retaliation. The message is: sometimes we do what we feel we have to, even if it means sacrificing that which Munich is not a movie to enjoy. It is harsh, unflinching and raises uncomfortable questions on a very personal level. It is a film about the roots of violence, the act of denial that it takes to perform acts of violence against your own kind, and the vicious circle of crime and retaliation. The message is: sometimes we do what we feel we have to, even if it means sacrificing that which makes us human. The message is: there is no easy answer. And, as with all great works of art, the film doesn't tell us what to think. It simply tells a story, which could be set in Texas, New Zealand, or the moon. It just happens to use a historic tragedy that has modern implications. Naturally, people are (and will continue to be) upset by this. People want black and white, good and evil. Watching likeable characters perform inhuman acts of violence is not easy to stomach. Neither is having to face the fact that "the bad guys" are just like us - they feel they are right, they have families and friends that care for them, and they are scared and horrified and, yes, violent, just like we can be. All of this is centered on a fantastic performance by Eric Bana, who, under Spielberg's masterful direction, manages to squeeze so much life into his confllicted character that I couldn't help but be drawn in. Well worth seeing, but keep an open mind and be aware that this movie is quite violent; it shows what it's really like to shoot another human being: it's ugly and horrifying. And there are no heroes here, just normal people in abnormal circumstances. Thank you, Stephen Spielberg, for showing me that even one of the most famous mainstream director's in the woirld can create art that does what all art should: make the right people feel uncomfortable as hell. Expand
  25. NirmalK.
    Feb 2, 2006
    6
    I think my expectations were too high from Steven Spielberg and all the reviews. It was a good but film could have been less repetitious in number of executions and dealt more with main theme
  26. Jake
    Feb 2, 2006
    10
    Although Munich doesn't give any answers, it does raise a lot of questions about violence and its use against enemies, whether justified or not. The years best. Deserves the oscar, hands down, but I don't know if it has a chance against Brokeback.
  27. JonathanH.
    Feb 3, 2006
    0
    Just left this movie half an hour before it ended. When it's not just plain dull its indulging in little orgies of pornographic violence. I left at the moment two Israeli agents decided it would be a good moment to kill a half-naked Dutch assasinette using guns disguised as bicycle pumps. Well, they were in bicycle saturated Holland after all. I didn't wait to see anyone be Just left this movie half an hour before it ended. When it's not just plain dull its indulging in little orgies of pornographic violence. I left at the moment two Israeli agents decided it would be a good moment to kill a half-naked Dutch assasinette using guns disguised as bicycle pumps. Well, they were in bicycle saturated Holland after all. I didn't wait to see anyone be bludgeoned to death with a baguette in France, stabbed through the heart with a brolly in London or smothered with a pizza in Italy Spielberg reveals the same clumsy touch as Woody Allen in Matchpoint when it comes to European characters and places. How does he announce a move to Paris for all the dummies in his audience? Huge pan across the skyline with the Eiffel tower playing the lead naturally. Pathetic. And the French godfather character! Please! Invites his Israeli guest to help him cook. Wow, what an amazing juxtaposition of hardman/softman, he who does all the nasty, viscious things in order to protect and provide for his family, because of course no family could survive without millions of dollars blood money being drip-fed into their bank accounts, could they? Well that crap didn't wash in The Godfather (you don't get involved in violent crime in the first place - that's the best way to safeguard your family, and maybe you get a job... bozo!) Inbetween tedious meetings with Day of the Jackal refugees we get a lot of emotional stuff too. Wrestling with consciences and the rest, but when the story has done nothing to generate sympathy or interest in the paper thin characters its all utterly meaningless. I wouldn't dignify the politics of this film with any serious political analysis. Don't know the end but I hear 9/11 makes an appearance...oh dear, Mr Subtlety strikes again. Expand
  28. LindaL.
    Feb 4, 2006
    4
    Spielberg knows how to make a movie; the performances held my attention despite the film's length. But I'm really disturbed by the way he twists the truth, here. There are major efforts to humanize the Palestinian terrorists, while we don't get more than a glimpse of the Israeli athletes who were slaughtered. Yeah, we know this is a conflict in which lots of people suffer Spielberg knows how to make a movie; the performances held my attention despite the film's length. But I'm really disturbed by the way he twists the truth, here. There are major efforts to humanize the Palestinian terrorists, while we don't get more than a glimpse of the Israeli athletes who were slaughtered. Yeah, we know this is a conflict in which lots of people suffer and die. No news flash there. But the clear implication that this is what led to 9/11 is ridiculous. All violence is not morally equivalent! Why not conjure your own (fictional) film rather than fabricate one around real events you claim "inspired" your movie? Expand
  29. LarnerM.
    Feb 5, 2006
    9
    Good drama film i enjoyed watching every sec but this is a hard film to understand not everyone would understand who why what is going on if you miss any part of the film you would have 2 see it again.
  30. Joe
    Feb 5, 2006
    10
    Did the fate rest in the hands of these five men? No, although they thought it at the time.....for those of you that listen closely, in the end Kaufmann's boss (forget his name) asks him "you think you were the only team?" Come on, if you are going to complain about a movie, make sure it's not because you failed to pay attention to subtlties. As for complaints about violence, Did the fate rest in the hands of these five men? No, although they thought it at the time.....for those of you that listen closely, in the end Kaufmann's boss (forget his name) asks him "you think you were the only team?" Come on, if you are going to complain about a movie, make sure it's not because you failed to pay attention to subtlties. As for complaints about violence, why the hell did you go and see a rated-r film about assassins? Good Lord people! And for those of you that interpreted seeing the twin towers in the background as "implication" that these events led to 9/11, it seems that is your own interpretation, and again, your complaint is again derived from you seeing what you wanted to see in this picture. If you're going to critisize, find something that doesn't stem from bias and assumption. Expand
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    100
    A superbly taut and well-made thriller that jumps from Geneva to Rome, from Paris to Beirut, from Athens to Brooklyn, each lethal assignment staged with a mastery Hitchcock might envy.
  2. 88
    Bana is magnificent in the role.
  3. A mesmerizing, richly nuanced inquiry into Israel's revenge of the Munich massacre of its athletes.