7 Days in Entebbe

7 Days in Entebbe

In Theatres: 
Mar 16, 2018
Running Time: 
107 minutes

Based on a real terrorist attack at Entebbe International Airport in 1976, 7 Days in Entebbe follows a group of rebels and the government officials trying to stop them as they hijack a plane and take its passengers hostage, all in an effort to free Palestinian militants from Israeli prison. It’s a film that is far less interesting than its subject matter with no tension whatsoever and characters you couldn’t care less about. You’re better off reading a book about the terrorist attack than watching this film.


German citizens Wilfried Böse (Daniel Brühl) and Brigitte Kuhlmann (Rosamund Pike) partner with two Palestinian rebels to hijack a plane flying from Tel Aviv, Israel to Paris, France via Athens, Greece. Landing in Entebbe, Uganda, they take the Israeli passengers hostages and negotiate the release of Palestinian militants with the government. Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces must quickly organize a counter-terrorist operation to rescue as many hostages as possible and not give in to the terrorists’ demands.


On paper, 7 Days in Entebbe sounds intense, but the film’s execution is so dull and bland that you don’t care about anyone. Brühl and Pike’s characters are the main focus, so right off the bat it’s strange the film wants you to connect with the terrorists more than the hostages. Even worse, it doesn’t do a good job at making you understand their motivations to begin with. They’re German, not Palestinian so already they’re outsiders. They are less brutal than the other terrorists involved, but that doesn’t exactly make them likeable in any capacity.


Furthermore, there’s no connection to any of the hostages either. They are just a group of nameless faces; a singular object meant to drive the plot forward and not individual persons. Frankly, the film doesn’t give you any reason to care about them. As a result, there’s absolutely no tension as the terrorists negotiate their release. I wasn’t eager to see them be freed or worried that they would be killed at any moment. Everyone is just going through the motions until it’s over.


The only character whose backstory is actually given any thought to is a soldier within the IDF who’s a part of the operation to rescue the hostages. I would have liked to have seen the film revolve more around the planning and execution of the rescue, with the focus being on the soldiers going in rather than the terrorists. That being said, I think there’s definitely potential in telling a hostage situation story from the perspective of the terrorists. I just wish the film did a better job at making their motivations clearer.


7 Days in Entebbe seems like it goes on for that long. With nothing to latch onto, it’s a slow drag that doesn’t end. It’s a film that doesn’t live up to its subject matter, which is disappointing because I find that the actual events that happened in Entebbe to actually be interesting.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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