Operation Finale

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Operation Finale Movie Poster Image
Effective take on post-WWII story has violence, language.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 109 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Raises interesting/thought-provoking topics. Can one man be responsible for the death of six million? Should his name be remembered or buried forever? What is a life worth? Is this a revenge story? Most importantly, why must we continue to tell stories about the Holocaust?

Positive Role Models & Representations

Peter Malkin is appealing because he's a rebel who doesn't always follow the rules. He's also quick to anger and sometimes thinks of revenge. But when the time comes, he absolutely does the right thing, risking his own safety to protect others. (He's also a real person, worth reading more about.)


Disturbing flashbacks to large groups of Jews being shot by Nazis. A truck full of dead bodies. A young woman hangs by the neck from a tree. A young woman is briefly tortured; a swastika is carved in her chest, and she's poked with something sharp in her arm. Guns are drawn. A man is shot, offscreen; bullet wound in chest. Characters practice fighting techniques. A man is kidnapped, and a brief struggle occurs. Description of a baby being shot, wiping brains from coat. Images from real Holocaust films.


A man puts his hand on a woman's knee, though only for show.


A use of "f--k." A use of the "N" word in a movie characters are watching (Imitation of Life). A few uses of "s--t." Single uses of "a--hole," "ass," "hell," "son of a bitch." Disturbing, hate-filled dialogue from Nazi characters about Jewish people.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several instances of social drinking and/or cigarette smoking. Drugs are given to a Nazi to make him groggy/put him to sleep.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Operation Finale is a drama/thriller based on the true story of a manhunt for one of the Nazis' top architects of the Holocaust. It has brief but upsetting/shocking sequences of mass killings, dead bodies, a hanged woman, and a tortured woman (a swastika is carved into her chest). Viewers will also see guns and shooting, some fighting/struggling, brief footage from real Holocaust films, and more. Language includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word, as well as some disturbing, hate-filled dialogue from Nazi characters about Jewish people. Casual drinking and smoking are shown (accurate for the era), and a man places his hand on a woman's knee in a sexual way, but it's only for show. Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley co-star.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byJustin314159 September 9, 2018


As a Jewish father of three with a Grandparent dying in the Holocaust, I know how important this movie is for the entire world to see. Operation Finale gives th... Continue reading
Adult Written byOliviaReviewsIt June 12, 2021

Movie Relates History of Infamous Nazi Capture

Adolf Eichmann, one of history's most notorious Nazis-fled to Argentina to escape his fate as a German war criminal. This is the story of how the Israeli I... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byAbby.O December 3, 2018

Good movie but very violent

It is a good movie and it represents the Holocaust in a very real way but it will definitely be scary and too dark for younger kids.
Kid, 10 years old September 3, 2018


No. NOT GOOD. This is GORE.

(i'm kinda typing like kids parents, xd

What's the story?

In OPERATION FINALE, it's 1960, and word comes down that Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), the so-called architect of the Nazis' "Final Solution" during World War II, has been located, living quietly in Buenos Aries with his wife and two sons. Israeli secret agent Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) is assigned to get him, but there's a catch: Eichmann must be brought back to Israel alive to stand trial. Malkin assembles his team, including his ex, Hannah (Melanie Laurent), a doctor he can trust to administer sedatives to Eichmann. The grab goes well, but then there's a delay, and in order to secure a plane back home, they must get Eichmann's signature on a letter of agreement. Malkin starts interacting with Eichmann, putting everything at risk. Meanwhile the Nazi-sympathizing Argentinian authorities have stumbled on a clue to Eichmann's whereabouts, and time is running out.

Is it any good?

Director Chris Weitz softens the edges of this true Holocaust-related story, providing a familiar Hollywood thriller template that works without demeaning the events at the center. It's less grim than it could have been, making it (for better or worse) more palatable. Screenwriter Matthew Orton starts Operation Finale with an unrelated incident that establishes Malkin as an unorthodox rebel, making him appealing in a Humphrey Bogart-like way. There are montages of the team getting ready for their assignment and the introduction of the ex-girlfriend character to provide some playful male-female banter from time to time.

While the rest of the cast members are mainly placeholders, Isaac plays Malkin with a smoldering confidence, and he's hugely appealing. Kingsley has the more difficult role, playing a man who's definitely guilty and possibly a monster, but who's more complex than we might imagine. His scenes with Isaac have an electricity as they bash their heads together in an effort to come to some kind of truth. A few well-placed, well-framed flashbacks reveal the actual horrors of the Holocaust, underlining just what was done -- and what was lost. Yet Weitz doesn't try to get too artsy or too self-important. He brings the same popular sheen he gave to The Golden Compass and his entry in the Twilight series, while maintaining the proper respect and dignity that the material deserves.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Operation Finale's violence. What impact do the images of Holocaust atrocities have? How does that compare to what you might see in an action movie?

  • How accurate do you think the movie is to the facts of what happened? Why might filmmakers decide to change things while making a movie? Does that lessen the power of the original story?

  • How are drinking and smoking portrayed? Do they seem like a product of the time, or are they glamorized in any way?

  • When Eichmann says, "you're not interested in what I have to say unless it confirms what you already think you know about me," what does that mean? Does that statement apply to anything today?

Movie details

  • In theaters: August 29, 2018
  • On DVD or streaming: December 4, 2018
  • Cast: Oscar Isaac, Melanie Laurent, Ben Kingsley
  • Director: Chris Weitz
  • Studio: MGM
  • Genre: Drama
  • Topics: History
  • Run time: 109 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: disturbing thematic content and related violent images, and for some language
  • Last updated: September 21, 2019

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