Directed by Christian Schwochow, Munich: The Edge of War new Netflix Movie is based on the international bestseller by Robert Harris.
Netflix released their film Munich – The Edge of War of unlimited theaters at the end of 2021, but now it’s coming to the streaming platform. Should you add it to your watch list?
Munich: The Edge of War Movie Review
Edge of War is based on the international bestseller by Robert Harris. In the autumn of 1938, Europe stands on the brink of war with Adolf Hitler, who is preparing to invade Czechoslovakia.
The British government desperately seeks a peaceful solution, and with the pressure building, a British civil servant and a German diplomat travel to Munich for an emergency conference.
I love historical thrillers when they can keep a bunch of the realism but then still interject some drama to increase the tension.
Now, while some of the events that play out are true, I think some liberties are also taken given this is based on a novel and that we weren’t in the room when these happened.
The cast is spectacular with George MacKay, Jannis Niewöhner, and then the incredible Jeremy Irons. Plus, there are a couple of smaller roles with actors that you might recognize.
There’s Liv Lisa Fries from Babylon Berlin, Jessica Brown Findlay from Downton Abbey, and then Mark Lewis Jones from Gangs of London. So did anybody else notice and find it odd that they each use all three of their names? Anyway, I digress.
So we’ve got two College friends, one British, the other German, and both are in positions of either influence or at least access to their de facto leaders of their respective countries. As war seems more imminent, forces on each side are working to prevent the war.
When information is discovered that could have huge ramifications on the negotiations between the countries, the friends must figure out how to exchange that information.
And this becomes a very intense story to watch play out. And then the crazy thing is that this isn’t some just actionfilled storyline. I mean, everyone is fairly reserved in their movements and there aren’t many big scenes that would just make this your typical thriller.
This is incredibly dialogue-driven, but because the stakes are laid out for us, we know what the consequences can be with either success or failure.
George McKay’s character, Hugh is quiet and he’s driven, but also almost obsessively committed to his job. He’s willing to sacrifice much in his life because he truly believes in the cause that he works for.
He’s one of the assistants to Jeremy Irons’s, British Prime Minister Chamberlain. And the way that he goes about framing the character, I think can be relatable, alien and then even frustrating. I found myself sympathizing with a lot of him, but not always with his methods.
Yana’s new owner is Paul Hughes German friend, and Paul, amazingly, has some limited access to the great madman himself, Hitler. I love how Paul is frustrated because of how slow the wheels of politics turn.
There’s this massive impatience to him that we know is just going to get him in trouble at some point, but I also love how he’s incredibly focused and determined in his goals.
Now, if you’ve seen movies where Hitler is depicted, typically we get this loud, overbearing, and maybe even immature characterization.
In the wonderful movie Downfall, Hitler is aggravatingly made to be sympathetic at times, which I found very disconcerting and then emotionally confusing.
Here this Hitler is absolutely terrifying, but not because he’s larger than life. He’s psychotic and unhinged, but in a very quiet and controlled way.
And this is the case of Less is More and that look that Ulrich Mathis, who plays him, is able to capture in the eyes of this madman who has just terrible power. It’s downright unsettling. but I loved it.
He added to the already tense sequences of the story, serving to make a stressful situation into a nail-biting scene.
The musical score in this also really helps to drive the suspense. The score is mostly subtle, but it weaved its way into my ears and then began controlling my emotions, especially as the stakes were mounting and peril seemed imminent.
Now, Jeremy Irons is fantastic in this. You get some wonderful monologues that showcase how he’s able to draw us in with that soothing and patient cadence of his voice. But then he also captivates us through his emotive deliveries.
I didn’t know much about Chamberlain going in, but my wife, who studied a ton of history in College, she filled me in on it. And I like how this narrative gives him a redemption story that he fought for peace, even knowing that he would look the fool if Hitler went back onto their agreement.
But I also like that we see how Chamberlain’s actions allowed the world to get ready. He bought time for the world that otherwise wouldn’t have been there.
I really enjoyed how this story built well. There’s not a ton of character development on the players at the beginning. We do get to know their motivations and what influences them as the story goes along.
And even when it seems like a portion of one of the characters stories might be missing some motivation for a change that they exhibit, the answer does come and it’s actually a very powerful and then touching reveal.
As much as I loved the drama, I’m still blown away by the suspense and the anxiety that is created within the story.
There’s a subtle but ongoing sequence of the game of cat and mouse that works to increase the pressure and the story just builds and builds, not giving us much reprieve from the tension that it’s creating.
Because there’s a time limit built into the story just due to the negotiations and the impending war. There’s a great urgency that’s captured and that really helps to increase the tension also.
I loved the costume and the set design. Every scene felt like I had been transported to that time from the cars and the buildings to the hairstyles and even the clothes. I felt like I was right there right before the world went to heck.
So overall, Munich: The Edge of War movie is an exciting and suspenseful story. The acting is wonderful as characters who are dynamic and captivated are created with that added pressure of at least some of them being real-life figures.
The story works to build a mounting tension in a story that’s already wrought with anxiety. And while this might feel a bit long, a little over 2 hours, the urgency and stress that is created helped to keep the pace steady and driving.
I haven’t read Robert Harris’s novel that this is based on so I can’t speak to how well it’s adapted from the book perspective but what we get here is a wild ride and an excellent historical political thriller.
There’s no sex or nudity, but there is profanity and some violence.
I am going to give Munich: The Edge of War 4.5/5.
Couches do you have any political or historical thrillers that you enjoy? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Guys thank you so much as always for reading this review. See you next time.
Munich: The Edge of War Movie Trailer
Check out the trailer of the historical drama movie Munich: The Edge of War to take an idea about it.