Munich (2005) – The Historical Spy Drama – We Want Death


DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

The opening act of Munich begins as you watch the Black September terrorist group  attack during the 1972 Olympic games where eleven Israeli team members were taken hostage and killed.

The script is tight while watching a very secretive and off the record squad of covert operatives assigned to assassinate the Palestinians. They are believed to the brains behind the killings.The film has very strong affecting moments in it thanks to the human dialogue that all operatives have with each other about what exactly their doing and the motives behind it all. In the wrong directorial hands Munich may have been passed off as a tired thriller or an ensemble with no story but here Spielberg proves to the cinema world that he knows his craft. He has actors like Bana, Craig, and Rush giving strong subdued performances. Acting schools will always say that the first lesson in acting is “Never to Act”. What does that statement mean?  The human condition is to hide what we are feeling, if one wants to cry then they will fight their tears so much eventually breaking down. In Munich,  Bana and the cast around are strongly reacting to their conscience and attempting to deal with it.


The film is procedural so it doesn’t follow the pattern of a Mission Impossible film but zeroes in on how operatives work. Consider it a Operative in the field 101 documentary. At times it does borrow from documentary genre to tell the story which makes this film work all the more. There is action inside the film and we find ourselves watching it but living in the scene as these characters make choices only they can make.

” It’s strange, isn’t it, to think of oneself as an assassin?”

                                           “Think of yourself as something else then.”

There are scenes in the film where you want to turn your head into your shoulder and wait for the scene to pass. One scene is when a Palestinian Professor’s young daughter is about to answer a rigged telephone that will set off an explosive bomb. The underlying theme of the film is death and killing. Revenge. The very book that this film is based on is called ” Vengeance” by George Jonas is telling that these people are fighting for one cause.

Munich is a great film that is confrontational to its viewers and asks questions that other directors wouldn’t dare ask and Spielberg has the balls to ask some important questions. He leaves you to answer them.


Eric Bana as Avner

Daniel Craig as Steve

Geoffrey Rush as Ephriam

Michael Lonsdale as Papa

Malthieu Amalric as Louis



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