Operation Finale ★ 1/2

Even if Steven Spielberg hadn’t made the similar and much better Munich in 2005, Chris Weitz’s Operation Finale—a dramatization of the daring capture of Adolf Eichmann, chief architect of Hitler’s “Final Solution”—would feel like reheated leftovers, complete with the ticking-clock theatrics and last-minute airport escape straight out of Ben Affleck’s overpraised Oscar-winner Argo. Ben Kingsley, who famously won his own Academy Award portraying the nonviolent, titular leader in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, goes further in the opposite direction, playing Eichmann as a devilish cartoon who even gets a “You can’t handle the truth!” moment. That comes as he’s questioned after being tackled and captured in 1960 by Israeli Mossad agent Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac, who also produces) near the small brick apartment in Buenos Aires where the Nazi SS officer was in hiding with his wife and children for a decade. It’s cliches like this that stack up in novice writer Matthew Orton’s script, adding unnecessary drama to a true story that already has plenty, while detrimentally robbing the film of some power as it trumps up needless suspense. This includes the score by Alexandre Desplat, who deploys his musical cues as if he’s composing for a heist picture. Despite these issues, the film still offers a cathartic look at evil being brought to justice, made at a time when modern Nazis have been emboldened to freely spew their hate in public and fascism once again threatens to overtake freedom. (At Assembly RowBoston CommonFenway, Kendall Square, SeaportSouth Bay  and in the suburbs.)

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