Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Feb 5, 2014
    88
    This is their story. It is true. It is history. As a film, it is riveting, suspenseful, harrowing and exciting, and somehow, it also manages to be something rare among war pictures—a big-scale entertainment.
  2. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Feb 6, 2014
    75
    The film depicts a treasure hunt, only in the sense that the movie has to have a running story. But it doesn't really trade on suspense or adventure, and in the few places Clooney pushes it that way, it doesn't feel right.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Feb 6, 2014
    75
    Except possibly for a superlative supporting performance by Hugh Bonneville of “Downton Abbey,’’ Clooney’s low-key directorial effort is not quite an Oscar-caliber movie, though it’s got a great cast, a worthy theme and plenty of things to reward adult moviegoers.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Feb 6, 2014
    75
    If you’re worried that the re-teaming of Clooney and Cate Blanchett in a World War II movie signals something like “The Good German,” fear not: She’s better here, playing a French art historian who worries the Americans will “rescue” the art in order to steal it for their own country.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Feb 4, 2014
    75
    This is a solid albeit slow-building film with few dull moments.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jan 31, 2014
    75
    Who knew? The work of the Monuments Men is fresh territory for film, and Clooney builds the story with intriguing detail and scope.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Feb 6, 2014
    70
    Rather than juicing each element to blockbuster volume, Clooney has delivered it in the tone of a memorial lecture, warm and ambling, given by one of the distinguished academics he put in his movie.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Feb 4, 2014
    70
    The Monuments Men fails in its grand ambitions, but it's still satisfying in bits and pieces, like a busted statue. Even a tribute made of shining fragments counts for something.
  9. 70
    It’s a graceful, engaging film — I enjoyed it. But it could have been called "The Tasteful Dozen."
  10. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Jan 29, 2014
    67
    Turns out it was even trickier than originally imagined and that for all of its best efforts, The Monuments Men remains an unwieldy, overtly sentimental (but still emotionally distant) epic.
  11. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 8, 2014
    63
    Certainly, the story told by The Monuments Men is worth telling and it's easy to see why a luminary like Clooney would be sufficiently attracted to want to direct it. Unfortunately, this treatment, written by Clooney and long-time collaborator Grant Heslov, isn't the best fit.
  12. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Feb 7, 2014
    63
    The Monuments Men often lets the schematic gears show, succumbing to threadbare formula and sentimental cliches rather than taut, sophisticated drama.
  13. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Feb 7, 2014
    63
    Heart alone does not a good film make.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Feb 6, 2014
    63
    It’s admirable, but Monuments Men just poses on a porous foundation like a statue.
  15. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Feb 4, 2014
    63
    Clooney, for the first time in his directing career (“Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Ides of March”) never finds the sweet spot, and never quite wrestled the script into a shape entertaining enough to make the liberties he and Heslov took with the facts worth it.
  16. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 6, 2014
    60
    There’s great repartee between its cast of this “based on a true [but forgotten] story” of World War II. Yet the film overall isn’t colorful enough.
  17. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Feb 5, 2014
    60
    It comes down to a matter of tone, and Clooney can’t really settle on one. The Monuments Men is in no way a bad movie. Just, with this bunch, a disappointing one.
  18. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jan 29, 2014
    60
    Clooney occasionally shows a surer hand: He gets great work from Downton Abbey’s Bonneville — notably in an emotionally charged scene revolving around Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges — and has a fine monologue himself, in which Stokes dresses down a high-ranking German commander (a moving encapsulation of the American spirit at its best).
  19. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Feb 7, 2014
    59
    Monuments certainly isn’t unbearable to watch, but for all its quality pedigree and good intentions, the result is a frustratingly flat film that drifts from moment to moment with a curious lack of urgency and an overbearing sense of self-importance.
  20. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Feb 6, 2014
    58
    Mostly it's hamstrung by an abundance of reverence and dialogue sounding like an art studies syllabus when it isn't rehashing war movie tropes.
  21. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Feb 4, 2014
    58
    Smothered by its lighthearted approach, The Monuments Men attempts to make a grand statement about the valiance of dying for the sake of art, but fails to create it.
  22. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Feb 7, 2014
    50
    Alas, it's a throwback that's thrown its back out - limping along, trailed by battalions of stereotypes and ammo rounds of cliche.
  23. 50
    By the film’s end, one can’t help thinking that the story would be better served by a well-researched documentary on the real-life MFAA division (monuments, fine arts and archives.)
  24. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Feb 6, 2014
    50
    Genial and well-intentioned, but tepid.
  25. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Feb 6, 2014
    50
    It can be nice to spend time with these actors even when you don’t believe their characters for a single second, and there’s no denying this movie’s easy pleasures... Yet because Mr. Clooney can’t figure out what kind of story this is, he too often slips into pandering mode.
  26. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Feb 6, 2014
    50
    It’s a great story, and much of it’s true. This should work like a pip. Instead, The Monuments Men is a tonal mishmash: Half “Hogan’s Post-Doctoral Heroes,” half “Saving Private Rembrandt,” and half “Ingres’s 11.” That’s three halves, so you can see the problem.
  27. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Feb 6, 2014
    50
    In The Monuments Men, director George Clooney takes a wild, stranger-than-fiction true story and turns it into a dull, prestigious slog.
  28. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Feb 6, 2014
    50
    George Clooney's film boils a big, messy maelstrom of theft and uncertainty down to a digestible, faintly appetizing mush.
  29. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Feb 5, 2014
    50
    The Monuments Men feels not just self-conscious but also a bit self-congratulatory, its creator squashing the spirit of adventure with too many grandiose lines about the Importance Of Art.
  30. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Feb 5, 2014
    50
    Ultimately, however, this film is a collection of vignettes in search of a narrative center. Although it’s enjoyable, the film never coheres into a whole. Instead, it resembles a pile of ill-fitting jigsaw-puzzle pieces rather than a fully formed picture.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 164 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 68
  2. Negative: 14 out of 68
  1. Feb 7, 2014
    4
    Ultimately, The Monuments Men needed to have as much narrative focus and dimension as it does reverence for its subject matter. Director George Clooney's star-studded WWII pic The Monuments Men feels like a work-in-progress rather than a finished and focused feature film. Full Review »
  2. Feb 7, 2014
    6
    This was obviously going to be a tough movie to make from such an excellent book. Go in with modest expectations, and you'll enjoy it. It feels like a companion piece to such other great works as Band of Brothers and Schindler's List. Even though there are only a handful of truly interesting scenes, if you appreciate fine art and the cultural ramifications of war, you'll enjoy this film. If you're an amateur film critic, there's a ton to pick apart here. so just know that and know that this is not an award-worthy flick. None of the actors truly shines and the writing is tepid, but I still had good feelings leaving the theater. Full Review »
  3. Feb 14, 2014
    10
    Better than what I expected. I walked in expecting to drag through some twilight knockoff, but walked out wanting to see the sequel. I've never read the books, and had no idea what would happen, but it had a good story line, and leaves you wanting more Full Review »