MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -3

Following the murder of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics, the Israeli government vows revenge. They put together an unlikely team of assassins led by Avner Kauffman (Eric Bana), an Israeli patriot, family man and former army officer. Working out of Europe, the assassins receive secret funding from their Israeli contact, Ephraim (Geoffrey Rush), and locate their targets with help from a shady French informant (Mathieu Kassovitz). Together they seek out and kill several of the scattered Palestinian leaders whom they believe are responsible for planning the Munich murders. But with each operation, tensions and violence seem only to escalate, and soon every assassinated leader is replaced by someone worse, until finally Avner and his team become targets themselves. On the run and unable to complete his mission, Avner wonders if he has done any good for Israel, the world, or himself.

From director Steven Spielberg, Munich tells the tragic true story of terror and revenge that still rages today. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict draws reactions from people worldwide, and this film will be no exception. Based on Genesis 12:13, Christians are sometimes told to offer unswerving support for Israel, no matter what actions they take. But Munich may help challenge that position. Matters of prophecy aside, one of the assassins speaks accurately when he voices his doubts about their actions: As Jews, he says, we are supposed to be righteous (Lev. 19:2). In contrast, other characters in the film freely compromise such values or claim that only Israeli blood matters. In the end, Avner is nearly consumed by the cycles of terror and human vengeance before he recognizes the futility of it all (Rom 12:19). Though important and thought-provoking, Munich contains language, nudity and graphic violence that make it unacceptable for families.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
DreamWorks SKG, Universal

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times mild (hell 1); strong (-ss 1, SOB 1)

Obscene Language: Many (29) times moderate (p-ss 1); strong (f-word 17, s-word 10, finger gesture 1)

Profanity: Few (2) times strong (GD 2)

Violence: Many times moderate (defenseless man shot to death, several gun battles involving Israelis and Palestinians, several explosions with death implied but not shown, man shown bleeding to death); strong (terrorist activities, men perform assassinations, men shot at close range with machine guns, men shown bleeding and lethally injured by gunshots, bombs maim and injure people, bloody body parts shown after man is killed by bomb, woman shot to death shown naked and bleeding)

Sex: Few times mild (man shown naked after taking a woman to his room); strong (married couple shown partially naked in bed with sexual motions in two separate scenes)

Nudity: Few times moderate (man shown naked from rear/side but genitals not shown, woman shown partially naked); strong (man shown completely naked but in a dark room so that details cannot be seen, woman shot to death and shown completely naked from the front)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times moderate (woman attempts to seduce a man, woman invites man to her room with strong implication that she desires sex)

Drugs: None

Other: Portrayal of the Arab/Israeli conflict, revenge and its ill effects as a theme, portrayal of terrorism and assassinations carried out in a covert and illegal manner, man forced to choose between the demands of the country he loves and his personal convictions

Running Time: 150 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.