Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Movie Review: Munich.

One of America's finest trial lawyers, Vincent Bugliosi, has produced a variety of superb law books. Among them: Helter Skelter (about his prosecution of Charles Manson), And the Sea Will Tell, and Outrage: Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder.

In Outrage, Mr. Bugliosi wrote a memorable, and oft-hilarious piece on rampant incompetence. Here's a snippet:

"Incompetence is rampant in our society.... It is everywhere. In fact, it is so prevalent and so bad that the only adjective I've ever been able to come up with in the lexicon that adequately describes it is 'staggering.' " (p. 32.)

If incompetence has become so ingrained in our society, it logically follows that mastery should equally affect one's equilibrium.

Walking out of Munich, I thought of Mr. Bugliosi's observation, but in reverse. One apt adjective for Munich is staggering, but for its distinctive craftsmanship. It's a rare pleasure to see the best performing at their apex. When Steven Spielberg goes serious, he is a master. Munich is the latest in his trio of serious masterworks joining Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. This movie should be assigned in film schools to show how to direct a dramatic film. While nearly two hours forty minutes, it's taut, layered and engrossing.

Some have criticized the film-makers for refusing to take a stand on the subject matter. I disagree. The film's point of view is as overt as a Christina Aguilera music video.

Note: Munich earns its R rating. Not for the squeamish.

Munich receives an "A".