Munich

Now I know why Spielberg had to make a ridiculous movie like War of the Worlds. It was his money ticket to be able to make Munich. At nearly 3 hours, Munich is about the retaliation assassinations of the Palestinians who may or may not have been involved in the murder of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team. The movie held my attention even with a nearly 3 hour running time. In fact, Munich might be the best movie that I've seen this year.

This is the role that will make Eric Bana’s a star. His portrayal of the bodyguard turned assassin is amazing. Spielberg has gone above and beyond in his casting for Munich and the result is a group of believable characters that represent what might have happened in the lives of people who were hired killers.

Munich does not pretend to be neutral but it isn't all one sided either. We watch everything through the eyes of the Israelis and how they responded to the murder of their athletics. Each decision was made for a reason and a single purpose. What makes Munich such a strong movie is the characters are able to still be themselves when they first come together and as each killing and movement happens, we see the gradual erosion of their beliefs and personal securities.

Timing is everything. Munich is probably going to earn multiple best picture and best director nominations and awards. Eric Bana will probably win a few best actor awards. The musical score by John Williams was original and might also be one of the best that he has ever done.

The lack of emotional connections to the characters may prevent audiences from appreciating everything that Spielberg has to offer. In a year of okay and good movies, Munich stands out by showing us how age-old conflicts never really end. The shootings and bombings are visually graphic and disturbing, even more so when these same events still take place daily over 30 years later. There is no typical Spielberg happy ending here. He is wise enough to know that the impact of Munich is still unresolved and that the story has yet to be resolved.

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