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Munich (2005)

Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 62 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

After Black September's assassination of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, Prime Minister Golda Meir okays a black-box operation to hunt down and kill all involved. A team of five gathers in Switzerland led by Avner, a low-level Mossad techie whose father was a war hero and whose wife is pregnant. It's an expendable team, but relying on paid informants, they track and kill several in Europe and Lebanon. They must constantly look over their shoulders for the CIA, KGB, PLO, and their own sources. As the body count mounts -- with retribution following retribution -- so do questions, doubts, and sleepless nights. Loyalties blur. What does it mean to be a Jew? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The world was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. This is the story of what happened next.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence, some sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Release Date:

6 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled 1972 Munich Olympics Project  »

Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,040,860 (USA) (23 December 2005)

Gross:

$47,379,090 (USA) (24 March 2006)
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Avner is referred to as a "sabra" more than once. This is an Israeli term for a native born Jew, as opposed to an immigrant. "Sabra" originally referred to a tough kind of cactus (Opuntia cactus) which grew out in the desert. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, the Munich Olympic kidnappings are on TV. Actors are watching the footage on screen as if it was happening live, but the date of the events is displayed on the ABC news coverage. The news footage is clearly archive footage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
American Athlete: Hey! Oh! Shame, shame! Closing down the beer garden. 100 meter dash powered by knackwurst and lager.
American Athlete: Where are you guys from?
American Athlete: What is your event?
See more »

Connections

References The Valachi Papers (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

El Tahmilla
Arranged by Ahmed El Shair
Performed by El Mastaba Centre
Courtesy of Extreme Production Music USA
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Justice or Vengeance?
7 January 2006 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind." What distinguishes justice from vengeance? This echoes throughout Steven Spielberg's "Munich". "Munich" is powerful and perhaps Spielberg's most compelling and thought provoking work. He weaves a tapestry of political and social threads focusing on terrorism and the cost of violence. "Munich" is truly amazing in balancing linear storytelling and horrific acts of violence, demonstrating the impact of the aftermath. Spielberg's "Munich" seen through the eyes of Eric Bana's Avner is a powerful allegory that even in the most just and noble fights against terror we eventually become that which we despise. "Munich" really serves as a reminder. Mossad team leader Avner played by Eric Bana is absolutely riveting as the man who begins this righteous cause only to find that the cost is his soul. Anver asks, "When does it ever end?"

At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Palestinian terrorists brutally murdered the Israeli wrestling team. This political statement was seen around the world and depicted in gory detail by Director Spielberg. Based on the book "Vengeance" by George Jones, the screenplay by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth tells the story of the aftermath of this tragedy. A great Lynn Cohen who plays Prime Minister Golda Meir says, "Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values." Poetic words for what follows are a search and destroy mission. The Mossad assembles a team lead by Avner (Bana) to track down and kill with extreme prejudice all those involved in the terrorist action in Munich. 11 names are identified for execution. These executions are also intended to serve as statements. Anver though an inexperienced operative and not an assassin is selected for the covert mission by Ephriam (the great Geoffrey Rush) for being a strong and effective leader of men. The assassin team is composed of Steve (Daniel Craig—the next James Bond), Carl (Ciaran Hinds), Robert (Mathieu Kassovitz), and Hans (Hanns Zischler). They are dissociated from the Mossad, i.e. they technically don't exist.

In accepting the lead, Avner must leave his beautiful and pregnant wife Daphna (a very strong Ayelet Zorer) for what could be a number of years. Carl has his doubts about Avner, telling him that he was chosen because he is a "good soldier". Soon Carl respects Avner for his quiet force and conscience. Attack of conscience and paranoia soon engulf the team as they become entrenched in the world of underground intelligence for hire. Avner pays large sums of money for information on the whereabouts of his targets from Louis (wonderfully shady Mathiew Amalric) and his wealthy Papa (weary and noble Michael Lonsdale). Avner soon finds that whomever he kills is eventually replaced, and that he and potentially his family is now a target for the terrorists he was assigned to hunt down and kill. The realization is that it truly never ends. Bana is amazing as a trapped animal in the scene in his thrashed apartment—searching for weapons of his demise. Paranoia sets in, and the path of justice and vengeance become blurred. In a poignant scene Robert pleads to Avner, "When I lose my righteousness, I lose everything…"

Nothing about "Munich" is easy, though it is simple. I believe that is Steven Spielberg's intention. "Munich" could be tighter in spots, though this does not diminish the movie's power and impact. Eric Bana emerges as the noble hero battling to salvage his own humanity and his very soul. "When does it ever end?" Perhaps even in the current context there is no real answer—maybe what Spielberg is getting at. It is a reminder of our humanity, that even the most righteous cause may cost our souls. "Munich" is truly a powerful movie worth seeing.


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