Steven Spielberg made us feel exhilarated about killing Arabs with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); a quarter century later he’s decent enough to have second thoughts, but he can’t find much to do with them in this mediocre thriller. Scripted by Eric Roth and Tony Kushner, it chronicles the grim mission of vengeance pursued by Israel’s Mossad after 11 Israeli athletes were kidnapped and killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics. Spielberg moves beyond the Zionist complacency one might expect, but Michel Khleifi and Eyal Sivan’s recent documentary Route 181 addresses the Arab-Israeli conflict with greater courage and curiosity. Munich may have value as an act of expiation but not as entertainment or art. With Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Rush, and Michael Lonsdale. R, 162 min. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.