7 Days in Entebbe

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
7 Days in Entebbe Movie Poster Image
Violent but dry telling of real-life 1976 plane hijacking.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Tries to explain the conflict after the involvement of the United Nations and how both sides could be seen as "good" or "right" (e.g., the hostage-takers are called both "freedom fighters" and "terrorists"). But the movie doesn't do a very interesting job of illustrating this point.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No one really comes out well here. The terrorists get the most attention, and they pay a price for their actions, but they're not admirable. The hostages don't get much character development. The politicians mainly argue. One minor character is part of the rescue team, but his little screen time is devoted to tension between him and his girlfriend. The two German characters believe that acting is better than talking, and they try to do the right thing, but everything backfires on them; it all goes wrong.

Violence

Guns and shooting. Hitting/punching. Bloody wounds shown. People held hostage. Rifle practice. Mention of a dead woman; talk of whether she committed suicide or was murdered.

Sex
Language

A use of "f--k," a German use of "s--t" ("Scheisse").

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A character pops some kind of "wake up" pills. She eventually gets agitated, a man knocks the pills from her hand, and she tries to pick them up from the floor. Cigarette smoking. Social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 7 Days in Entebbe is based on the true story of a 1976 plane hijacking from Israel by Palestinian and German terrorists (aka "freedom fighters") and the ensuing rescue attempt. It has fairly strong violence, including guns and shooting, threats made with guns, hitting/punching, bloody wounds, and discussions of death. Language isn't frequent but includes a use of "f--k" and a use of the German version of "s--t" ("Scheisse"). Characters drink socially and smoke frequently (accurate for the period), and one character takes several "wake up" pills, with no real consequences. While the movie tries to be factual and detailed, it doesn't do a particularly good job getting its messages across, and it can be quite dry and dull. Teens or adults interested in the facts behind the story are encouraged to seek additional resources.

User Reviews

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
Teen, 14 years old Written bytimdrakebestrobin June 25, 2018
7 Days In Entebbe is directed by Jose Padilha, and stars Daniel Bruhl, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Marsan, and Ben Schnetzer
Teen, 13 years old Written bybatren June 7, 2018
awesome movie!!! not to inaapropaite fro grade 7 and up

What's the story?

In 7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE, it's 1976, and German activists Wilfried Bose (Daniel Bruhl) and Brigitte Kuhlmann (Rosamund Pike) decide that they need to do something in the world, rather than just talk about it. So they join forces with Palestinian "freedom fighters" to hijack a plane that's traveling from Israel to Paris. They land the plane at Entebbe airport in Uganda, a country where Idi Amin (Nonso Anozie) rules and has agreed to help. As time goes on, the hijackers release some of the hostages, but it becomes clear to Wilfried that the Jewish passengers aren't among them; they're being separated, presumably for some darker fate. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (Lior Ashkenazi) knows that Israel has a policy of not dealing with terrorists; nonetheless, he agrees to negotiate. But at the same time, he approves a dangerous rescue plan. Will the hostages be saved before it's too late?

Is it any good?

Based on real-life events, this dramatic thriller somehow lacks both drama and thrills. 7 Days in Entebbe concentrates on motivations rather than personalities, and its focus on details seems more dutiful than interesting. Director Jose Padilha made both the harrowing documentary Bus 174 and the surprisingly solid, action-packed remake of RoboCop; this film falls directly in between. But it lacks any kind of documentary-like immediacy or urgency; it doesn't really get inside the story. And it doesn't come anywhere close to a thriller; its approach is too dry and dull for that.

It's interesting to look at the success of thematically similar movies, like Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. The former managed to take a true story and make crackerjack entertainment based on it, and in the latter, high-powered, behind-the-scenes meetings are made tense and riveting. 7 Days in Entebbe, meanwhile, almost deliberately captures the boredom of the movie's dire situation, rather than its tension. Artistically, the movie attempts to draw parallels by cutting a performance of the Batsheva Dance Company in with the story, but even that feels forced. 7 Days in Entebbe is clearly intelligently written and competently directed, but, as it goes on, the effect is less emotional or thoughtful than it is distancing and clinical.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about 7 Days in Entebbe's use of violence. How did it affect you? Is it meant to be realistic? Is it thrilling or shocking? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Does this seem like a true story? Why might filmmakers decide to change some of the facts in a movie based on real life? How could you find out more?

  • The hijackers are described as both "freedom fighters" and "terrorists." How can their acts be seen as both good and bad?

  • How does the movie depict smoking? Why was smoking more common during the '70s? Does the movie make it seem glamorous?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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