Perhaps Americans have grown to accustomed to Hollywood's idea of good and evil. I believe that Spielberg has portrayed, not only a very definitive line between good and evil, but one of the most realistic delineations in recent history.
The story is about an Israeli man who is recruited by the government to track down and kill the suspected masterminds behind the 1972 massacre of the Israeli Olympic team. The rationale is a mix of revenge and protection of the Jews from Palestinian terrorists.
Throughout the movie, the main character is conflicted in his task. He is sent to hunt down and kill. It is at this point, I think most of the movies nay sayers miss the point.
This moral equivalency thing has to stop now. Terrorists are not on the same moral plane as those who kill terrorists!!!! This movie tries to achieve this unholy equation by potraying the terrorists as complicated human beings who are no different from anyone else.
This first commenter seems to think that terrorist are somehow formed from an ethos. No mother, no father, they just sprang forth from the dirt with a shoulder fired rocket in their hands. They don't have wives and children. They don't eat and sleep. They are just robots in a room that are tasked to do one, and only one thing... Kill Jews. This, of course is not the case. We strive to believe that is true. It makes it easier to combat an enemy that is not, in all trappings, just like us. But there are, regardless of what you may want to think. They may be evil, but they do not live in a cave. Reality, no matter how much we want to believe otherwise, will often conflict with necessity and our own morals.
What a piece of crap. To attempt to show a moral equivalence between the terrorists who killed innocent Israelis and the Mossad agents that assasinated them is beyond one's comprehension.
Again, like the first commenter, this commenter missed the point. Spielberg does not make a moral equivalence. In fact, he does the exact opposite. And, this is where I think most Americans have been too conditioned from Hollywood. The difference between good and evil in reality is not like an old western or a Rambo movie. The good guys don't where white and the bad guys don't wear black. Evil, like good, does not exist in a vacume.
In Munich, Spielberg gives the Palestinian terrorists a face. But that does not create good out of an anonymous enemy. The difference that Spielberg creates between good and evil is more real and more true.
First, as the above commenter missed, the terrorist does give a rationale for his deeds. But, Hitler gave rationale for his deeds. Manson gave rationale for his deeds. Every monster in history can give rationale for causing evil. Measuring rationale against morals is completely different.
Second, the terrorist do not show confliction for their deeds.
This is how Spielberg does such a good job of delineating good from evil. The main Jewish characters show both remorse and confliction for what they are doing. This is the line between good and evil when evil is committed. Four men are sent to do a job. That job is an evil task. It was a justified task, but none-the-less, an evil one. Killing, no matter how justified or necessary, is never "good." An eye for an eye is a justification, not a furtherance of good.
An evil job is easily done by an evil person.
An evil job is never done easily by a good person.
Thus lies the difference between good and evil when the task at hand is evil itself. Even when the good are forced to commit justified evil, the good will question. The evil will just do. In the movie, the Palistinians justified their actions as a desire for a homeland, but the means are never questioned.
Spielberg even goes further into showing the difference between a "good society" and and "evil society." The fact that the Israeli government debated and questioned their own deeds. A good society is one that hesitates and asks questions of its deeds. It wants to balance its own morals against the needs of protection and revenge. Sometimes necessity will require evil acts, but the good should never enjoy it.
So, in conclusion, I think it is a must see movie. And if you go see it, remember that good and evil are more than black and white hats.
Update: this is a good article in the Jerusalem Post on the movie: Steven Spielberg's unforgivable 'sin'
H/T The Last Amazon