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Munich (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Thriller  |  6 January 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 169,644 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 820 user | 297 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hanns Zischler ...
Gila Almagor ...
Meret Becker ...


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


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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled 1972 Munich Olympics Project  »

Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Some details from the real mission were left out in this movie. One of them was when the group found one of the terrorists in Norway. The target was exiting a bus with a pregnant woman, and they killed him. The authorities tracked down the agents' license plate number and arrested them, but it was later revealed that they had shot the wrong man. He wasn't even Palestinian but a Moroccan waiter and the pregnant woman was his wife. Another hit was executed with two of the agents dressed in drag, one of whom was Ehud Barak, who went on to become Prime Minister of Israel in 1999. See more »


Israeli weightlifter Yossef Romano is portrayed as a fit man who attempts a rescue, which eventually results in his death. At the time of the kidnapping, Romano was injured, and walking with crutches. See more »


[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 »


References The Conversation (1974) See more »


Ain't No Sunshine
Written & Performed by Bill Withers
Courtesy of Columbia Reecords
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Depth and detail - with no sides taken
26 January 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This movie relates more than just a story of "Vengeance". Besides proving that killing begets killing - it consists of numerous fine details that reveal the hard work done at getting to the depth of things:

For instance, only characters that get shot in the head slump to the ground. The rest take time to die - they walk a few steps, spurt blood and express a look of helplessness and inevitability before going out. Yes its horrifying to look at, which is the point, but it is also real.

Every character is different, and though common in their desire for vengeance, their temperaments are clearly distinguishable in the way the hit men approach their task. Even the terrorists are not stereotyped into hysterical, screaming lunatics. They range from the visibly nervous to the cool Abu Salameh with the movie star style. They are poets, intellectuals and guerrillas each with his story of the conflict. They speak passionately about home - a recurring theme, along with "family". Moreover, Spielberg does not attempt to mitigate the grotesque manner of their deaths, for the blood of the targeted men flows as freely as that of their victims - and when they are blown up, their body parts dangle from ceiling fans. You are not here to feel satisfaction over anyone's death, Spielberg says to the audience. Or as Caine would say in Kung Fu: "The taking of a life does no one honour."

There are no easy "shoot-em-dead" eliminations. There are neighbors, bystanders and obstacles that must be avoided and protected - with variable success. Innocent people may be harmed - and one has to live with that.

There are no mathematical certainties about the potential damage a bomb will cause.

Perspectives and convictions can change, sometimes regrettably. "Don't think about it - just do it" says Avner at one stage when a member of the team expresses doubts about a target's guilt. But at the end he wants evidence that the men he despatched were justifiably killed. Implausible? No; it is only when he has been reunited with his family and experiences the affection of wife and child that he allows himself to reflect from a different perspective - their targets had families too - what if he had killed the wrong men?

The paranoia that permeates the world of spies and assassins is built up gradually - to the point where every survivor mistrusts everybody else. One is doomed all one's life to walk with ears strained for following footsteps. The length of the movie creates the right atmosphere for this idea.

The end dissatisfies many because they would like a reassurance, a note of optimistic finality - but Spielberg rightly offers none. It would be dishonest of him to offer a false but comforting illusion.

It is interesting to contrast this movie with "Paradise Now" that has no violence, a modest budget, and views the conflict from the Palestinian camp. Both narrate completely different stories - yet, in their respective ways, both humanize their subjects, defuse myths about glory, and arrive at the same conclusion: "There's no peace at the end of this."

376 of 497 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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