Critic Reviews



Based on 33 critic reviews provided by
It’s the psychological duel between the terrific Isaac and Kingsley as captor and prisoner that delivers the film’s most charged jolts of electricity.
For the most part, Operation Finale is a good story, well told. Yet something about it isn’t entirely satisfying either. It deftly eschews the most simplistic takes, but what it offers in return — the banality of evil, essentially — isn’t quite groundbreaking either. Still, it’s more than worth it to watch Ben Kingsley and Oscar Isaac spar for a bit.
You don’t expect a movie about The Holocaust to be flippant, glib almost.
Isaac and Kingsley bring quite a bit to Orton's dialogue, sometimes seeming to mean it at face value and sometimes inviting skepticism.
It’s a shame the filmmakers felt constrained by the import of their subject matter, rather than inspired to take some artistic risks. But even when the storytelling falters, the story itself — not merely extraordinary, but eternally relevant — remains paramount.
The last thing you want a movie like this one to feel like is a slick Hollywood suspense drama with famous historical names plugged in. Operation Finale doesn’t feel like that, yet taken on its own here’s how it really happened terms, the movie is at once plausible and sketchy, intriguing and not fully satisfying.
Weitz and Orton mean to question the individual’s role in a mass atrocity, but the abstract nature of their ideas never squares with the rigidity of their storytelling. As a result, Operation Finale doesn’t feel ambiguous so much as it feels like it lacks a point of view.
Slant Magazine
The film never manages to reconcile the enormity of the Holocaust with how ordinary a bureaucrat Eichmann was.
Operation Finale means to embody the banality of evil, but it’s mostly mired in plain old banality.
The debate over the utility of violence and the dignity owed prisoners of war has raged since time immemorial, and recent developments have only amplified the decibel level. Operation Finale zeroes in on these complex dynamics, only to erase their nuance.

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