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Munich is a 2005 film directed by Steven Spielberg.
In 1972 the eleven Israeli athletes at the Summer Olympic Games in Munich were captured by Palestinian gunmen and killed, and the Israeli government decided on an "eye for an eye" retaliation, drawing up the names of eleven people they wanted killed.
The story follows Israeli-born German-raised Mossad agent Avner as he assembles his team and starts to work on their targets. But with each person killed, he's in danger of losing more and more of his humanity.
Keep in mind that due to its volatile subject matter this is a highly controversial film, and edit accordingly.
- Black and Grey Morality: One of the more controversial and brilliant aspects of the film is its refusal to show either side as being necessarily more righteous or dignified in what They do.
- California Doubling: Scenes set in Tel Aviv, Beirut, Cyprus, Athens and Rome were filmed at Malta, and scenes set in London, Rome, Paris, New York City and a German airport were filmed in Budapest
- Call Forward: The shot of the Twin Towers at the end, as Avner contemplates everything that's happened in the name of justice and vengeance.
- Christmas Rushed: Spielberg rushed it into production and post-production in just five months so he could open it in time for Oscar qualifying. Though the film was a box-office disappointment (due to advertising not being ready until two weeks before opening), it did get some Oscar nominations.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Averted/played straight/averted in a disturbing scene. Carl's Honey Trap assassin, seeing that his friends have come to avenge him, opens her robe and exposes her breasts in an attempt to distract/dissuade them. It doesn't work.
- Downer Ending: Ephraim will not break bread with Avner, indicating that Avner and his whole team were disavowed and considered expendable, and most of them died for nothing. In addition, Avner and his team were already told in the beginning how far out on the edge they'd be, with no support or backing from Israel beyond funds and target profiles. Ephraim refusing to break bread with a former citizen and soldier, even under Avner's olive branch of sharing Jewish heritage, is him saying he doesn't even consider Avner a Jew like he is. The homeland Avner sacrificed almost everything for has rebuked him completely.
- Fake Nationality: Israelis Avner and Ephraim are played by Australian actors Eric Bana and Geoffrey Rush respectively. South African Steve is portrayed by British actor Daniel Craig while Israeli Carl is portrayed by British actor Ciarán Hinds. Belgian Robert is played by French actor Mathieu Kassovitz.
- Fan Disservice: The female assassin's death, due to any sexiness from the fact that she's completely naked being canceled out by the fact that she's dying.
- He Who Fights Monsters: One of the more controversial aspects of the film is the way it depicts the operation as being an example of this.
Robert, "the Bomb Maker": We're supposed to be righteous. That's a beautiful thing. And we're losing it. If I lose that, that's everything. That's my soul.
- Honey Trap: Jokingly mentioned by one of the team members then she gets him for real.
- Instant Death Bullet: Graphically averted.
- It Gets Easier: Played horrifyingly straight. The first kill is quite tense for both the characters and the audience, but then after that it becomes much easier on them and us. The first kill is a poet whom we see buying groceries and chatting with the lady behind the counter; the second is a political activist whose young daughter is featured front and center and whom the team almost blows up by mistake. After that there aren't so many humanizing moments.
- It's Personal: After one of them is killed by an assassin.
- Jerkass: Louis. His dad is more of a Punch Clock Mercenary.
- Karma Houdini: The team fails to assassinate the purported mastermind of the Munich killings, though it's subverted in the epilogue which reveals that he was assassinated several years later. Played straight/subverted in the fact that only 9 of the original 11 targets were killed, though Ephraim admits that Mossad is not positively sure that the targets were involved with the Munich killings at all.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: In-universe, Carl's assassin has no redeeming qualities (minus her cat), compared with the first two targets (see It Gets Easier above) but somehow her death seems more morally dubious and distressing than the other deaths to several of the agents.
- Morality Pet: The second target's daughter. And Carl's assassin has a cat that she tries to hold as she's dying.
- No Place for Me There: Avner risks his safety, his family, his sanity and does things he will never forget or forgive himself for. All for the sake of a country that makes it clear people like Him and his team have no place in the new peaceful future They have fought for.
- No Pregger Sex: Averted; after having sex with his visibly pregnant wife, the main character asks her "How long into the pregnancy should we stop having sex?" Between heavy breaths, she responds: "labor."
- Not So Different: Of two kinds. The first is that all militants and spies and are cut from the same cloth, all fighting for their own idea of good. The second is how vengeance begets more vengeance. When they kill the woman assassin, they are taking vengeance for her taking vengence on them, for taking vengeance for the Munich killings, which were the vengeance for brutal policies.
- Spiritual Successor: Could be considered as this to Schindler's List. Jon Stewart at the 2006 Oscars:
Schindler's List... Munich. I think I speak for all Jews when I say, I can't wait to see what happens to us next! (crossing fingers) Trilogy!
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The depictions of the Olympic massacre and the assassinations are closely based on historical fact. The rest is either based on "Avner's" memoirs, the accuracy and even authenticity of which are disputed to this day, or is otherwise total fiction.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The entire team though They have Their doubts about what They do.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Daphna claims "I'm not the hero's nice wife", but that is, in fact, what she is.