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Mixed or average reviews- based on 180 Ratings

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  1. Positive: 93 out of 180
  2. Negative: 41 out of 180

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  1. Nov 25, 2014
    When I saw the preview for The Monuments Men, I was really excited. I've never been all that crazy about George Clooney, but I love Matt Damon, and the film is based on a little known tale from a famous historic event. Stories like this one, are often turned into some of the best films that Hollywood has to offer, and I was sure this film would be a can't miss. Clooney stars and directs this extremely large and diverse cast, which ultimately turns into it's downfall. When you have a large cast of talent, you need to be very careful about how you use them. In The Monuments Men, the cast is split up all across Europe, leading to short scenes, that jump from location to location far too quickly. When the crew is reunited towards the end, the film becomes much better, and in my opinion, this is how the story should have been told right from the beginning. The story centers around a community of art lovers, who are distraught about the Nazi's theft of historic works of art. As the war is winding down and the Nazis defeat is imminent, these men want to make sure that the worlds greatest works of art are protected, and their willing to risk their lives to do so. As I stated earlier, George Clooney stars and gives his usual performance. When Clooney first started doing movies, he was exciting and really gave audiences their moneys worth, but lately all he does is play the same character over and over again. Clooney is the mysterious, handsome stranger, who does a lot without saying much. Some people love that kind of thing, as for me, I find it to be lazy. If you just wanted to direct, there was more than enough talent to carry this film, and in fact, I would have preferred to see Bill Murray or John Goodman in larger roles. The story told in The Monuments Men is extremely interesting, but it's told in these fast paced, short scenes, that do nothing but confuse the audiences and squander the extreme amount of talent this film has to offer. Needless to say, while I thought the film was a great idea, I was far from impressed. Expand
  2. Nov 12, 2014
    The story takes place in Europe when the US was an integral part of the allies in during back the Germans in World War II. Frank Stoles, a Lieutenant, was trying to persuade the President of United States, that winning the war will not be completely successful if all of the priceless works of art were destroyed by the Germans. Frank said, “While we must and will win this war, we should also remember the high price that’ll be paid if the very foundation of modern society is destroyed.” The President half-heartedly agreed with Frank’s statement and gave him permission to recruit a handful of people, nicknamed “The Monuments Men”, to support this mission. Frank was able to recruit six other people who were mainly museum curators and art historians. Almost all of them had no previous military experience but all of them were willing to support this mission since they saw the value in recouping all of those invaluable artworks.
    The Monuments Men were divided into different groups or individuals to try to track down where the Germans were transporting and storing the artworks.
    James Granger went to Paris to understand where the Germans transported all the stolen treasures from France. James was attempting to befriend Claire Simone, a curator in occupied France, who might know the details of the stolen artworks. Claire initially didn’t trust James since she suspected the allies will confiscate all the treasures. But later Claire realized the James returned a stolen art to a Jewish home, and she trusted that James would keep his word and gave him a ledger that contained important information of the stolen art.
    Richard Campbell and Preston Savitz tried to figure out a set of stolen Belgian artworks. They were able to identify and arrest a German officer who was healing as a farmer but decorated his home with the stolen artworks.
    Walter Garfield and Jean Claude Clermont were on their way to look for the stolen treasures. Unfortunately, they accidentally ran into Germans patrol and Jean Claude were hit and died.
    Donald Jeffries went to a Belgian church and was trying to transport the valuable artwork out of the church. However, the Germans came and shot him to death.
    With two members died, the Monuments Men came together again as a team with only five members left. They understood that Hitler would want all the artworks to be destroyed if Germany lost the war. He issued the Nero Decree to his military to do that. The team was rushing against time since Germany is faltering. At the same time, the Russians were advancing from the East, and they would confiscate all the artwork in order to help to rebuild their country. The team realized that the Germans were storing most of the art treasures in mines and castles. The team was able to recover substantial amount of artworks from mines and castles in Austria and Germany.
    At the conclusion if the war, President Truman asked Frank Stoles whether it was worth for two people’s lives in order to rescue those art. Frank had no doubt and responded back it was all worth it. At the end of the movie, Frank took his grandson to visit Michelangelo's Madonna sculpture.
  3. Nov 10, 2014
    It has got a fantastic premise and an all star-cast led by the talented George Clooney, but unfortunately, The Monuments Men wastes them with a very bland and dull script that fails to recreate any of the excitement or the intensity of the subject matter.
  4. Nov 2, 2014
    The Monuments Men is a war-centric film without the typical action and gore found in these epics. Instead George Clooney opts to take a dramatic approach to this non-fiction caper story only to end up with a rather stale product. The terribly slacky narrative brings absolutely no suspense or thrills, filled with corny comic relief. The cast is misused with their powerful star potential on characters with zero development causing the story to drag on until its inevitable anti-climactic end. Expand
  5. Aug 27, 2014
    I do not really get all the hatred for this film. The cast is fantastic, led by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, and Bob Balaban. The story is also very interesting as this group of misfits try to recover art stolen by the Nazis. It is surprisingly funny at times, which I did not expect and there are plenty of thrills and exciting moments. I never really found it boring, though it was of a slower nature, but for me, I was always interested. The whole point here is to argue about the worth of art in a caper film about stealing it back, so that way it can be preserved and displayed by their rightful owners. Ultimately, if you truly do not care about art, you will be left wondering why these idiots are almost getting killed trying to get it back, but if you, at the very least, respect the work of the artists, you will get what is so important. Now, I have heard a lot of debate over its actual historical accuracy, but to me, that is irrelevant. It is, at least somewhat, based on real situations and a real group of people sent to try to preserve art, but made more exciting and funny. You do not hear anybody giving a negative review to Braveheart for not being historically accurate, so I do not understand the different treatment for this one. As a whole, The Monuments Men is a well made, well acted, and well directed film that in lesser hands, could have been worse. Expand
  6. Aug 16, 2014
    Cool movie went there with friends, got some popcorn and had a great time. Movie was awesome, had to see it and recommend it. It is actually real story
  7. Jul 31, 2014
    Very interesting and informative. It is a great look at an often unknown consequence of Hitler's war, and I enjoyed learning about this. I did not have high expectations, so I was not disappointed. I did not find it boring, and the cast was superb in my opinion. It you are looking for nudity, sex, violence, or blatant romance, this movie will disappoint. But if you want an in-depth look at some lesser known consequences of what was happening while Germany and Russian invaded Europe, from France to Italy, this is one I recommend. Expand
  8. Jun 24, 2014
    The movie quickly went from being boring to flat our irritating. This proves once again that George Clooney can't direct or write a film if his life depended on it. A humorless idiotic film.
  9. Jun 22, 2014
    Boring, badly written and illogical. Directed for your Average Joe who has no idea about WW2 history and attention span of a chicken.

    And of course US won WW2, because allies attacked Germany even from Poland side as it was explained at the beginning of the movie. Russians were just making angry faces and stealing art. Because Russians.

    Not mentioning that lots of military-related
    things shown were just plain idiotic and unrealistic.

    Clooney should stick to acting, he's much better at it.

    Waste of time and money.
  10. Jun 22, 2014
    It was far worse than I was anticipating and I didn't have high expectations to begin with. Terribly written screenplay. George Clooney seemed totally incompetent about the components that make a good movie.
  11. Jun 8, 2014
    This if officially the worst war movie I have ever seen. I completely understand why both then users and the critics hated this disastrous movie. All in all, it didn't even make sense. The Monuments Men is just a waste of time.
  12. May 31, 2014
    As an European, I appreciated this film. It's a masterpiece among films about World War II. Many of interesting paintings and sculptures are shown in the film. Moreover, it is an interesting historical fact this movie show to us. Some scenes are funny, others are more serious and quite sad. The Monuments Men is truly a good movie.
  13. May 31, 2014
    It is a bummer when 20th Century Fox rescheduled Clooney’s fifth director endeavour THE MONUMENTS MEN into a lukewarm February release, bodes ill for its craftsmanship which may not up to Oscar’s calibre. But gauging from its stellar cast, a more probable upshot could be a fun-loving teamwork like OCEAN 11-13 fanfare, yet, it does’t even achieve this lesser goal.
    continue to read rest of
    the review on my blog, google cinema omnivore. Expand
  14. May 30, 2014
    While it's great to see this true WWII story being given attention, I just wish it was done in a more interesting way. There's a great cast here, but the story isn't filled with enough humor or action to become compelling. Instead it's almost two-hour running time feels uneventful and largely boring outside of a few high points. I can definitely see history buffs getting enjoyment out of this, but those less interested in the history and more interested in humor or action will be left largely bored. Heck, even the history buffs might have a problem how dull the majority of the film is. Expand
  15. May 29, 2014
    The cast is the highlight of this film. The movie is disjointed with terrible pacing that seems to take away from the experience of watching it. There is little explanation of the jumps in time and distance and this leaves the viewer lost at times. There were unnecessary elements in the movie that did nothing other than take up time that could have been used to more fully flesh out an excellent story. This is a story that is deserving of more than this attempt. Expand
  16. May 26, 2014
    What is wrong with people? I really think people have become desensitized to what a good movie is. It slowly started with the "professional" critics, and now, to my disbelief, the consumer. It's not just about this film being scored low, it's about others as well. Unless a movie has insane violence, meaningless nudity, infidelity, subjects that are taboo to most cultures, then it get's knocked down. Note that, when one of the characters in this movie has a chance to cheat on his wife, he takes the higher road and remains faithful. This is almost NEVER seen in movies anymore, hence, a reason why some critics didn't give it higher marks.

    People, movies are meant for entertainment, not just shock value. Is this movie really deserving below a 8 of 10? Below a 7 out of 10? George Clooney got it right making this film. A return to what movies are truly made for. Feeling, entertainment, chemistry with the viewer, and relativity. Once you begin to break down every scene in a movie, pick it apart, compare it to "the book," and intentionally look for flaws, then you've lost sight of what going to the movies is all about. Why even go? Save yourself the time and $9, and breathe for a little while until you reset and can learn to enjoy films for what they are, an entertaining escape. I don't know, try making a movie yourself that has a fraction of emotion and meaning that this film does. Then, maybe you will come to appreciate a good film when it is staring you in the face.

    The Monuments Men is a true return to American film making. Does it deserve a 10? No, but I will rate it with such, so that more people won't be turned away from it because of unnecessary negative reviews. Sit back, breathe, and enjoy it.... oh and come off your high horse and stick to what you get paid to do.
  17. May 26, 2014
    This movie was loosely adapted from the book of the same name which was originally based on the true story of the world war two. It was a war drama with a theme of the treasure hunt directed by our own George Clooney. The movie had multi top stars who team up for a specially assigned task. Just like the Alistair MacLean stories they lead their way to the war zone to accomplish.

    I don't
    know how much close to the original story it was, but this movie was a bit slow and drag, all the way dull. But not to forget the story intentionally serves its elements to us without surprises and twists. What we really miss was the scenes that pull us to our seat's edge. Yeah, the fast paced furious thrillers, especially in the last few minutes I was desperate for that and it did come, but did not please me. Even the deaths in the movie were not convinced or appeals strongly. Most of the time I thought it was a dark comedy, especially in the last scene of Jean Dujardin.

    Other than cinematically transformation fail, I really liked the story. In the real story with real people it would have been a hell of a job than in the movie, which portrays few pieces of the real incident. Heartbreaks to know that many valuables were destroyed during Hitler's invasion of Europe and also makes me happy that these men saved most of it. No doubt, it was a reasonable attempt by George Clooney. Because this story must reach widely to expose these men's bravery and it's only possible through a movie. This is not a must see movie, but for story wise it is.
  18. May 25, 2014
    This should have been a great movie, one that could have possibly swept the Oscars. A small group of aging artists and art scholars who are physically out of shape get together out of a sense of universal and moral obligation, join the armed forces and undergo a painful basic training in order to undertake Mission Impossible. Theirs was not a separate peace, but actually a separate war—they were trying to save the history of Western culture and civilization. Hitler's criminality as an insane, hysteria-ridden, and sadistic mass murderer was a separate issue from his interest in art. He had started out as an artist who flunked out of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. His paintings and sketches were mediocre, dull landscapes and uninspired figures. Hitler lacked originality, style, and anything that even came near creative imagination. His rejection from the academy reportedly caused him to fly into a hysterical rage that was frightening to witness—it was a harbinger of what was to come.

    In the film,George Clooney, in the role of museum curator Frank Stokes (based on the real-life George L. Stout), is the leader of the seven men who were selected to try to retrieve the millions of paintings and sculptures that were stolen by the Nazis. Most pieces were stored in underground caves slotted to go to German museums. A significant amount of art was destroyed by the Nazis, not because of the “Nero decree” (Hitler's instructions to destroy all military and transportation infrastructure if he should die or if Germany should lose), a decree which apparently did not mention art, but because avant-gardism (Picasso, Miro, Dali, Klee, and others) was considered by the Nazis to be unworthy of the spirit of the Third Reich and of poor or degenerate quality.

    The film, like most Hollywood cinema of a historical nature, is historically inaccurate, which is probably why director Clooney changed all the names of the original team. For a blow-by-blow analysis of all the inaccuracies, read “How Accurate Is The Monuments Men?” at But even as a fictionalized account loosely based on a true story, the film runs amuck because it is difficult to follow the plot as the seven men split up and tackle different aspects of the situation, later reuniting for the final coup that takes place in the underground mines. Some of the best scenes are shown in the film trailer, such as the scene where Matt Damon, playing art restoration expert James Granger, is frozen in place because his foot is firmly planted on a land mine. When Clooney's Frank Stout has to recruit Damon's James Granger, there is an amusing chat at a bar where Stout informs his friend that the entire squad will consist of six men. When Granger objects to the small number, he's informed that he will bring the total to seven. “Oh, that's much better,” Damon (Granger) replies with a dry sarcasm. Clever conversations, which one would presume are Clooney's forte, are not predominant in the film. A much touted scene where Bill Murray, playing architect Richard Campbell, is in the camp shower and hears a Christmas recording from his family over the PA system gives an up-close and sensitive portrayal of his reaction. Nevertheless, the scene was set up in such a way that it was telegraphed well in advance and looked like it could have come straight out of MASH.

    The musical score is dramatic but at times distractingly grandiose. There's no romantic intrigue, except for an awkward flirtation between Damon's character and that of Cate Blanchett. They should have had an affair—it would have made Damon's character more complex and less dull. But with a brilliant round-up of actors like George Clooney, Matt Damon (replacing Daniel Craig who quit just before filming began), John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin and Bob Balaban, not to mention Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey, this film was surprisingly low key and slow moving, and in the end it's the art that holds the viewers' interest, even though we did not get to see nearly enough of it.
  19. May 21, 2014
    A well acted, but flawed and at times boring film. The acting allows for the recommendation all the performances are strong. Wish there was more character development and more things would, but one watch will be worth it. B-
  20. May 18, 2014
    Not a good written movie. It's not that bad but at the end it looks like a lot of money and good actors were just wasted. Some part of the movie just don't have anything to give to the narration and could be cut without noticing, making it less boring. Some other parts are just dumb...
  21. May 10, 2014
    The movie has an outstanding cast but it's boring. I'm not just talking about action which the movie should had, I'm talking about storyline, so many flaws, a dumb dialogue and a unfunny comedy. There's nothing much to say about Monuments Men despite his clunky narrative and lack of action.
  22. May 8, 2014
    What should have been a serious drama ends up being a pathetically unfunny comedy that fails to even keep you slightly interested in it. Do not bother with this trash.
  23. May 6, 2014
    It has got a fantastic premise and an all star-cast led by the talented George Clooney, but unfortunately, The Monuments Men wastes them with a very bland and dull script that fails to recreate any of the excitement or the intensity of the subject matter.
  24. Mar 31, 2014
    This movie was so painfully lame. It could have had something. The cast is phenomenal. But the characters they play? Eh, not so much. Bill Murray shows some good acting in a few segments. John Goodman and Jean Dujardin's characters almost connected with me. But other than that, everything feels cheesy and slow. It also had some of the most forced scenes ever. Cate Blancett and Matt Damon have some sort of weird, forced relationship as well. Some characters die, and by the end, I had forgotten all about them. Its really a shame. Expand
  25. Mar 31, 2014
    I liked this movie. It has really good acting, a very interesting story, engaging and memorable characters, etc. Honestly there's not much to complain about. It's a good break from all the typical action movies out there now and nice to watch a story about WW2 not focused soley on the war itself.
  26. Mar 31, 2014
    Despite the poor reviews I gave it a shot, due to the talent involved. However, it was quite a letdown. Generally flat and uninteresting performances, dull pacing, and a plot that doesn't make you feel invested at all. Not recommended.
  27. Mar 25, 2014
    It has nice aspiration and strong cast, but the script just isn't up to par. A bit resembling Ocean franchise, George Clooney assembles a squad of intelligent men, not to steal valuable goods, but to preserve artworks from being destroyed at World War II. Contrary to usual war theme movie, The Monuments Men takes a lighter, more humorous view of the brotherhood and their cause. It works moderately in its own way with the interesting concept, although uneven pace, shallow screenplay and feeble dialogue confine the movie in mediocrity.

    The story takes place in dusk of World War II, just as German was about to be defeated by Allied forces. Since the Nazi has confiscated a large amount of art from its occupation time, not to mention the war's toll on many other unprotected objects, Franks Stoke (George Clooney) inspires to save as many historic legacies as he can. The unit he established consists of museum curators, architects and historians, a very unorthodox squad by any means. In the casualty heavy struggle, their cause may seem trivial, and the movie tries to present this angle even though it may not rise in its fullest.

    Cast is composed of famous line up, such as Matt Damon, Jean Dujardin, Cate Blanchett and more. Each contributes in their own way as one only has a couple of fervid scenes. Cate Blanchett delivers the most somber role of the somewhat light-hearted movie, she displays a cynical unyielding will and probably would fit in more intense direction. Bill Murray and John Goodman as veterans give a comedic side as they're aware they might not be soldier material, but they offer vivid reaction when faced with mortality. Jean Dujardin in the few scenes he's in manages to be suave and persistently spirited.

    The most unfortunate thing is the screenplay doesn't allow the talented cast to reach their best potential. Dialogues sound tedious, stiff and frankly inauthentic. Pacing is monotonous, the unit splits into different teams and it's meant as an effort across the war torn Europe, but it never manages to create an intertwined flow. The pace feels fragmented as there's barely any consistency to string everything together. Its dramatic moments mostly seem dull and humor is unsuccessful at times.

    There are some good scenes here, although they are brief and numbered in only a few stretched across the two hours movie. Ironically, the above average length can't form a compellingly structured plot because the content is sparsely divided the many characters. More than half of the movie is spent on comedy, sadly the jokes are stale, and they don't amount to much laughter or enjoyment. Aside from these short-lived moments of fascination, the movie is mundane.

    The Monuments Men is based on cultural achievement, a good intention by George Clooney and it's presented in easily accessible fashion. However, the pace, direction and screenplay are subpar, making the movie muddled and far less inspiring than it could have been.
  28. Mar 21, 2014
    The adaptation of the true Monuments Men's story is bad. In fact, George Clooney did not take the best angle for his story. The screenplay is based only on two artistics painting.
  29. Mar 16, 2014
    George Clooney directed this old-fashioned movie and starred in it looking like Clark Gable. Despite the negative reviews, there is nothing basically wrong with the movie. It tells a straight story, based on facts. It has a short introduction, where we get to meet all the main characters; a development, where we follow the different characters in their adventures and an end that wraps up the whole film.

    Granted, today’s audience, used to fast editing, special effects, gore and over the top scripts may find it difficult to appreciate what is really old school story-telling. However, some of the reviews I read do not make any sense: somebody complained about “lack of character development”, but they should know that in movies with a large cast, character development is hardly a priority.

    Somebody else mentioned that it is “absurd” to leave gold and art in cave. Well, that actually happened for real, as the retiring Nazis could not carry all that stuff with them. Just check the historical records…
    Other complained about “yet another movie about WWII”. Perhaps they should check in advance which movies they are going to see, if they do not care about WWII movies.

    I agree about the fact that given the premises it could have been a better movie, but I still found it entertaining. Murray, Damon and Clooney were good as usual and even Blanchett, in a small role, managed a decent performance.

    Definitely not a masterpiece but an enjoyable movie to watch, especially if you like classic movies moving at a slower pace.
  30. Mar 15, 2014
    BOARING historically a documentary with no action and long and nothing to hold your attention don't bother watching it In fact the whole story was slow and hard to follow with scenes that had nothing to do with the story line it just seemed to be fillers
  31. Mar 11, 2014
    Critics set their expectations too high these days. I read the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes for Monuments Men and was surprised to see how many of them were negative. When I saw the film for myself I felt so differently. Here’s my opinion:

    This is a war movie unlike any other. In fact, it’s really not a war movie at all. World War II just happens to be the backdrop. This is a movie
    about art. What it means to our collective culture. The movie stresses that “art cannot have a single owner,” meaning that it was intended for the public. It preserves history and encapsulates the qualities of an era. The public needs to view art to understand the past.

    So Hitler wants all the art. He wishes to use it to create a massive museum called der Führer Museum. Understanding Hitler’s vision for the Aryan race it’s implied that the museum would be a private collection reserved only for the Nazis. George Clooney’s character (Frank Stokes), a professor, is aware of this and asks the federal government permission to create an operation to find the stolen art and return it to its rightful places.

    He recruits a team, most of which are connected to the Arts in some way, and they head overseas into the war-zone. The team is in no way ready for war conditions. Most of them are older and inexperienced. This makes for a humorous tone since the team relies on desperate optimism to get the job done.

    All the actors perform brilliantly, not a surprise since they are all talented. The story does get a little mish-mashed. The team splits up at one point in the film creating separate storylines that are hard to follow. The film as it stands, however, is entirely believable. While watching it I truly felt as if I were in World War II. The music does come off a little patriotic, creating a “cheesey” tone at certain places. All due credit to George Clooney for attacking this project as both writer and director.

    I recommend this movie. It’s not perfect but for what it lacks, it makes up for it with the actor’s performances. Don’t let critics fool you.
  32. Mar 5, 2014
    the mounments didnt have enough violence but i enjoyed anyway . george clooney aka the co star of gravity directors and co wrote this but i loved it but the comedy stinks .
  33. Mar 3, 2014
    Trying to save the memory of a murdered people shouldn't be this whimsical but other than a fun movie . I get the premise of this film but really seems a little shallow how it focuses and their on intercourse being funny. Goal was noble but unnecessary whimsy was not .
  34. Mar 2, 2014
    The movie has many good actors like George Clooney and Matt Damon and many more. The movie doesnt know what it wants. It is a good time wasting movie but nothing special.
  35. Mar 1, 2014
    Great cast (personally way better than the American hustle cast) It was ok it wasn't serious but I didn't hate it I kinda liked it... I liked bill murray John Goodmans and Matt Damon's charecters, Cate blanchett was basically the most serious in the hole film but it is a Greta film for the whole family
  36. Mar 1, 2014
    This is a great movie everyone should watch and based on real events. George Clooney and Matt Damon performance is just amazing really loved it and made me think about the Nazy's actions
  37. Feb 27, 2014
    I can't bring myself to say this is a bad film because there are some genuinely entertaining and heart warming moments but by the same token I can't say it's particularly good either. The whole thing feels very disjointed, jumping around from one place to the next with the tone being equally sporadic. Several times within the space of a minute we're taken from a light hearted, slightly comedic feel straight to a darker melancholy scene and then back to the happier atmosphere just as quick.
    I can't fault the actors, John Goodman in particular puts in an impressive performance but we're never told that much about the characters history, how they all seem to know each other before the events of the film or why none of them seem to object to putting their lives on hold to jump head first into a war zone just because George Clooney said they had to.
    I give this film a 5 because about half of it is really good. Had they taken 50% of the footage from this film and got a better writer and director to fill in the blanks then it could have been much better. As it stands there are a lot of good ideas being poorly executed.
  38. Feb 26, 2014
    I loved this movie, it felt like a throw back to the 1960s WWII adventure action movies. The only drawback were the heavy handed speeches by director/star George.
  39. Feb 26, 2014
    I didn't expect this to be great, but given the cast and sure-fire subject matter, I thought it would be at least passably entertaining. Wrong- it was dull, insipid, humorless, uneven in tone, and at times just plain idiotic.
  40. Feb 26, 2014
    Unsure on why this film is rated so low. I mean, i only gave it a six, but could do 7 too. Quality actors in the flick and a good true story to follow and learn about. But quite a bit of dialog at times and the movie begins a bit slow, then a quick montage style to get the story going. There was some jovial moments as the movie is plotted in war, which leads to a bit of confusion-as in, what is the purpose? Expand
  41. Feb 24, 2014
    Good: -Good acting -Great soundtrack -Good visual presentation -Interesting backstory The bad: -Story "flow" is poorly maintained with long, boring stretches -Stereotypical "All Germans are stubborn, uninteresting Nazis where as all Allied troops are down to earth, lovable guys". You know what I mean if you have seen 90% of U.S war movies. Simply said, there is a lot of fluff in this movie and not a lot of heart. We get a good story, interesting characters and overall a great production value. However, it is brought down by the boring writing and uninspired character development Expand
  42. Feb 24, 2014
    ///sorry for bad english///
    good movie , the truth is not relevant silly jokes , Russians again shows the villains . acting at a high level , the events themselves are quite interesting ,but for an Amateur, many young people do not appreciate say **** , but this is not true ,but the film is not enough actions, but overall a good movie 8 out of 10
  43. Feb 23, 2014
    It has interesting history behind it, and the cast is diverse in their own talents. But there are some spotty points I the script, dialogue, and cinematography. George Clooney has the brains to write and direct, but this just isn't his full potential. It's far from 'Good Night and Good Luck'. But it isn't as bad as people say it is.
  44. Feb 23, 2014
    A group of men who are tasked with recovering stolen art during WWII? A movie with that premise can only be so engaging. However, in The Monuments Men, George Clooney hits mostly high notes in his retelling of a surprisingly exciting and unconventional WWII mission. He combines a simple, straightforward narrative with a distinctly old-timey milieu to weave together an upbeat and wholly enjoyable experience, akin to a nattily arranged appetizer – barely scrapes the surface of content and value, but delivers its however vapid screenplay with a trademark George Clooney smirk.
    The screenplay is a double-edged sword in The Monuments Men. While it smartly and earnestly approaches a textbook-style recounting of a did-you-know factoid from WWII, it’s sometimes just as boring to watch as the premise suggests. The morsels of action are small, fleeting, and somewhat dispensable, but they succeed in providing sufficient depth to the development of the characters (when Damon’s character accidentally steps on a land mine, the ensuing five minutes offer valuable highlights about the personalities of the “monuments men”). The sprinkled humor rarely fails, but never really makes enough of a statement to be memorable, either. Thankfully, a coating of nostalgic cinema charm and a definitive direction save this somewhat imbalanced screenplay.
    The Monuments Men’s silver lining is its characters; they are all likable and good-humored. At first, Clooney makes a safe attempt when it comes to character development, but he is too timid to delve deep until the second half of the film. The brotherly chemistry between Bill Murray and Bob Balaban is sincere and witty. Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett also play off each other pleasantly. And Hugh Bonneville constructs a passionate and memorable character that is sure to steal your heart. However, George Clooney’s character comes across as aloof and self-entitled throwing an awkward wrench in the brotherhood he attempts to establish between these “monuments men.” We all know Clooney is a better actor than director. But in this film, his character feels more like a flat, cardboard George Clooney life-size cutout than anything.
    Is The Monuments Men a bad film? Not at all. It’s highly improbable that you’ll hear its name anytime at the Grammy’s, but its welcoming atmosphere and intelligent appreciation of the real-life events as well as the value of classic art will make for a pleasant Sunday at the theatres. It maintains a lighthearted mood all throughout. You’ll come away feeling like something important really did happen, but you’ll be at a safe enough distance to not have to worry yourself over it, kind of like reading a dramatic, amateurishly written biography.
  45. Feb 22, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Monuments Men fictionalizes the true life adventures of a team of artists, art historians and curators who are drafted and "tasked" (not my term but screenwriter/director/star George Clooney's)to find and recover thousands of art treasures looted by the Nazis. War,larceny and an opportunity to right wrong on a scale unprecedented in history should provide for a spell binding viewing experience. Then why was I not spellbound?

    Casting is always a delicate proposition. With the quizzical casting of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray and John Goodman in the major roles, one is left wondering how this will work. It doesn't. George Clooney, the group's leader and film director, is obviously too busy behind the camera to exhibit much on screen leadership and is therefore relegated to phoning in (literally) his role. Matt Damon, known for his powerhouse parts and some pretty good acting skills, is cast against type. That's okay, if given something to work with, which he isn't. Well Bill Murray is always good for a laugh. Oh right, this isn't a comedy. No matter, lets write some scenes specifically for him. Painful. And poor John Goodman is left lumbering his way through a nondescript part.

    Cate Blanchett's role is by far the one with the most potential. But this is Monuments Men, not Monuments Women. Based on the true life character of Rose Valland, Gallerie Jue De Paume caretaker during the Nazi occupation, the character of Claire Simone (Ms. Valland) is written as a mean spirited, untrusting spinster who comes on to Matt Damon's character out of nowhere. But Damon's character is too vanilla to have any of that. Thankfully, Mr. Clooney does include some of Ms. Valland's indispensable part in recovering the Nazi loot.

    It is understood these men are scholars, artisans, art businessmen and as such, are not the stuff of action heroes. But at least give them some dialog of weight. We never get the sense that these men are subject matter experts but some guys with a passing knowledge of great art.

    In the end, treat an important historical event importantly, even if it is fictionalized. In the 1964 fictional epic "The Train" the French Underground attempts to stop a Nazi train filled with Impressionist Art stolen from the Jue de Paume. Actors of weight are cast - Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield. John Frankenheimer and Arthur Penn direct. Taut screen writing prevails with dialog that conveys the importance of the character's endeavors ("Save the heritage of France"). There's little to none of that in The Monuments Men.

    Apparently, they don't make 'em like that anymore.
  46. Feb 22, 2014
    Unfortunately for Gen X and younger viewers, this is not a special effects, end of the world flick. This is not a Saving Private Ryan or a Schindler's List. It is about a real, historical event or events that focuses on "things" not people.
    There were many teams of art and literature experts, some of them in their 70s, who tried to secure Europe's great treasures. Many treasures were
    recovered. In salt mines, gold mines. In Southern Germany, Austria. Many were carted off to Russia, to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, to private estates, and elsewhere, where even now they are not displayed. Many were destroyed by the Nazis. And many remain hidden to this day.
    I disagree with many reviewers' opinions. IMHO, the story is well-told, it is well-paced, and for the most part, the characters are believable. Sometimes "entertainment" may require the viewer to be more introspective about the meaning and purpose of the portrayal. Before one blows off about this "dull, dumb, and boring" movie, perhaps one needs to realize that the things in this flick represent centuries of works of some of the greatest artistic creators. I hope you will have to opportunity, as I have, to stand before the 15th century Ghent Altarpiece and imagine if Hitler/Goering would have succeeded in destroying it and 30 to 40 million other works of art.
  47. Feb 22, 2014
    A potentially interesting story - looking for the accumulated hoards of Nazi art works - is uncertainly told. Partly because of the Kelly's Heroes approach - slightly wacky gang of misfits pulled together as if for a heist movie - and partly because of the necessity, apparently, to give the audience a map that checks war movie titles rather than history. Enjoyable overall, though mostly because of the armchair comfort of a good cast. Expand
  48. Feb 20, 2014
    This movie was considerably more enjoyable than I expected. In some respects, it is an old-fashioned movie based on a little-known group of soldiers who saved many of Europe's great treasures. A friend who attended with me had read the books and said that the film was generally true to what actually happened. The cast is good, and the viewer who appreciates art should enjoy this movie. Be sure to stay through the credits - I believe that they are showing photos of the actual people who are uncovering the Mona Lisa, in one scene. Expand
  49. Feb 19, 2014
    Lack of focus and actual character depth are what really bring this movie down. The plot isn't taken seriously enough and feels like it could turn into a comedy about bumbling old men in a war, and the actors do nothing to alleviate the boring script and character development. It's a shame that such an interesting topic got such a lackluster treatment.
  50. Feb 19, 2014
    I wanted to like this movie, but it felt like a third-rate Disney movie from the '60s. Clooney tried too hard to make art history interesting with lame and corny humor, self-indulgent closeups and a peculiar whistling-music soundtrack that was slathered all over the film like too much mayonnaise on a southern hot dog.

    If not for Kate Blanchett's convincing performance as a French art
    curator, the whole thing would have been a disappointment. Worst of all, this unfortunate waste of a stellar cast was boring. Save your time and money. Expand
  51. Feb 18, 2014
    I feel obliged to start off by saying that the movie being booed and critically panned at the Berlin Film Festival was wrong and completely unjustified. The Monuments Men is based on a true story just like most of the dramatic movies which have been released over the past 6 months (American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street). Despite many critics commenting on the poor acting quality I though all of the performances were decent, nothing special, surprisingly Cate Blanchett is the weakest and forever trying to make her accent just a little bit more realistic but fails. The least well known member of the almost ensemble Bob Balaban is by far the best but not on one of the posters for the movie at all, probably because he is not well known so the advertising campaign will do better. Again in contrast to what the critics have been saying the plot of The Monuments Men is compelling and believable (probably because it is true). What impressed me the most though was the dazzling cinematography and brilliant sets which were so realistic I can't believe they weren't filmed on location. However you may be wondering why I haven't said anything bad but I have given the movie a pretty low score. The problem is that quite a few minor things are cliched. Lots of minor things to be honest. Just some of these are the hammy dialogue, the cliched Great Escape like soundtrack (a very rare thing) and the period costumes which I really doubt were not what they actually wore, having read sections of the book I can assure they are not even close. Another thing was the stilted attempts at humor in serious situations which took away from the atmosphere, created quite well especially in the death scenes may I add, and I didn't usually laugh at. But the most annoying flaw about The Monuments Men was how Clooney felt the need to do the way too obvious "not showing the Presidents face" gimmick, which always irritates me because it just feels pointless. While it didn't offend me or ruin the true story in any way, my enjoyment of The Monuments Men was severely affected by many minor problems which added up to one big problem. I didn't hate it and it wasn't terrible, but I doubt I will bother watching it Expand
  52. Feb 18, 2014
    Allora, riassumendo: i sovietici non sembrano particolarmente svegli, i tedeschi si rivelano delle perfide carogne e gli alleati sono tutti bravi e buoni nonchè dediti al sacrificio. Fra le fila di questi ultimi, poi, gli statunitensi sono spesso belli e sempre integerrimi (anche se davanti c'è Cate Blanchett che fa le moine, a Parigi è primavera e la città è appena stata liberata), mentre con gli altri la sorte è meno benevola - e comunque il primo a defungere è quello che più ha da farsi perdonare. Se, a questo punto, qualcuno sta pensando a un film di cinquant'anni fa, non ha tutti i torti: il nuovo lavoro firmato da Clooney sembra ispirarsi direttamente alle pellicole di guerra corali (tra 'Il giorno più lungo' e 'Il ponte di Remagen') che sono stati girate, celebrando la liberazione d'Europa dalla barbarie nazista, fino alla metà degli anni Sessanta e all'irrompere del conflitto vietnamita. L’impressione è rafforzata dalla partitura classicheggiante di Alexandre Desplat (che ha anche una piccola parte) e persino dai titoli di coda, così che l'unica, vera differenza può essere cercata nei combattimenti che restano sullo sfondo, o forse sarebbe più corretto dire di lato: ispirato al libro di Robert Edsel che ne narra le gesta, il film racconta infatti la storia di un piccolo gruppo di intellettuali che si dedicò al recupero delle opere d'arte rubate dai tedeschi mentre le truppe alleate avanzavano nel cuore del continente. Il fatto che i protagonisti non siano più giovanissimi (e, viste le loro professioni, non abbiano mai tenuto un'arma in mano) ma vengano comunque inquadrati nell'esercito favorisce il tono di commedia che, diffuso nella prima parte, si mantiene, malgrado lo sfondo tragico, lungo tutta la pellicola, favorito dalla capacità degli attori di affrontare ruoli in cui il registro brillante prevale su quello drammatico. Ben presto, i Monuments Men si dividono in coppie, fra le quali il regista tiene per sè quella che meno si fa notare (anche se la sua parte è quella del loro capo, Fred Stokes): in ordine crescente di efficacia, Damon va nella capitale francese a cercare informazioni presso la diffidente Blanchett, Dujardin e il sempre ottimo Goodman hanno la tendenza a ficcarsi tra i guai (cioè tra le pallottole), gli irresistibili Bill Murray e Bob Balaban iniziano da cane e gatto e finiscono per apprezzarsi a vicenda (e, anche in questo caso, non si può dire che uno non se l'aspetti). Il cast ben assortito e fatto di solidi professionisti è uno dei pregi della pellicola che, in fondo, fa trascorrere due ore senza troppi pensieri celebrando comunque uomini che hanno rischiato in proprio perchè gli strascichi della seconda guerra mondiale fossero anche solo un po' meno dolorosi. Il buon intrattenimento, però, non fa per forza il bel film e bisogna dire che, con 'Monuments men', Clooney dà vita alla sua regia meno convincente: non è un fatto di vecchio stile o di sviluppo più che prevedibile, ma di uno svolgimento a volte un po' didascalico e lento (specie nella prima parte) che non sempre sa sfruttare appieno anche i momenti più interessanti. Questo vale sia per gli spunti umoristici - il pessimo francese del personaggio di Damon parte bene, ma poi lasciato cadere troppo presto - sia per quelli seri, come l'incontro della coppia Murray/Balaban con lo spaurito soldato tedesco o l'improbabile situazione che porta alla morte di Clermont/Dujardin. A parte qualche bello sprazzo – la notte di Natale nelle Ardenne, la morte di Jeffries/Hugh Bonneville - la conseguenza è una certa piattezza emotiva, con lo spettatore che, malgrado i frequenti pistolotti sparsi lungo le due ore di durata, fatica a farsi coinvolgere dalla narrazione persino nei momenti che dovrebbero essere clou, come, ad esempio, il ritrovamento della ‘Madonna di Bruges’ di Michelangelo: malgrado il budget non indifferente, ‘Monuments men’, pur non facendo rimpiangere i soldi spesi per il biglietto, si rivela così un’occasione sprecata. Expand
  53. Feb 17, 2014
    If you're looking for an epic WWII movie, this isn't it. Docudramas rarely are. The Monument's Men is one of those human interest stories that has resurfaced like the art they searched for. Among the lost were not only the epic works of art by the great masters, but also the collectors who never returned from the concentration camps. Everyone who is wanting to see explosions and gun fights is sure to be disappointed, but for those of us interested in the underlying tales of WWII we are entertained and educated. There are sure to be more compelling stories hidden in the archives but none will be as far reaching. You see The Monument's Men saved generations of culture for the generations saved by the Allies, even if today's generation is to young to appreciate it's importance. Congratulations Columbia Pictures. Expand
  54. Feb 17, 2014
    A Stellar Cast, A Interesting Plot, Historical Accuracy, But Some Underdeveloped Characters And Some Slow Moments Other Than That It's A Fun World War 2 Heist Film
  55. Feb 16, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It does not explore the depths its talented cast and crew are capable of, and its relatively lightweight script is at odds with its heavy subject matter, never quite exploring the depths it could. Nonetheless, "The Monuments Men" still manages to be an entertaining war caper, particularly due to its nimble pace and the reliably good performances of its cast, particularly from Cate Blanchett, Hugh Bonneville and George Clooney. Not a great film, but not a bad one either. Expand
  56. Feb 15, 2014
    There actually was an Allied unit whose purpose was to recover art stolen and looted by the Nazis However, this movie has nothing to do with that unit though its claim to be 'based on a true story' might lead you to think otherwise. This is a George Clooney 'caper' move; a sort of Ocean's 7 versus the Nazis tale. It has a cast of big name stars who must have absorbed 99% of whatever it cost to make because there doesn't appear to be a script. The story, such as it is, is a series of alternately maudlin and banal vignettes intended to illustrate the characters of Clooney's team and, by means of a voice over, Clooney's relationship to them. Put them all together, and its a crappy movie, a vanity project. I want my money back! Expand
  57. Feb 14, 2014
    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
  58. Feb 13, 2014
    Through his career as an actor, George Clooney has offered audiences with a well-to-do list of fine performances that bring to life vivid influential fictional and exciting non-fictional characters. There is no doubting that currently Clooney is a highly regarded, respected and powerful force within Hollywood. And thankfully his work as an actor has yet to be complete. It is in my humble opinion that Clooney, as a director, has excelled in the medium quicker than as an actor of his time. As a director, Clooney has elevated the mainstream storytelling technique as well as contributes to having a tremendous, natural execution of developing his characters, especially when it comes to telling the true stories of some of the most influential behind-the-scenes men that were born and raised in the United States. Clooney’s intent in his films is to preserve culture, history, and a way of life, bringing to life as well as sharing the many amazing stories of men (and women) who make him proud to call himself an American.

    From Chuck Barris, creator of the Gong Show and supposed CIA agent (played perfectly by Sam Rockwell) in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind; to Edward R. Murrow, the man responsible for the censure of Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism (played gallantly by David Straitairn) in Good Night, and Good Luck; to Dodge Connelly, a mimic of Herald ‘Red’ Grange, an icon of American football (played by Clooney himself) in Leatherheads; to Senator Mike Morris (Clooney) in the political-thriller The Ides of March based loosely on the 2004 Democratic primary campaign of Howard Dean, Clooney has quite the knack for bringing to life the controversial stories of some great American men and their great patriotic accomplishments and failures.

    With The Monuments Men, Clooney finds hints of the potential essence that surrounded his greater directorial body of work, but unfortunately, falls into a formulaic routine that solidifies the film as a quasi-informative, melodramatic and somewhat predictable clichéd piece of American cheese. Bound to make its way into library halls and fall under the categories of ‘forgettable’ and ‘unaffecting’, The Monuments Men becomes an outdated artifact of recycled ideas that would see itself in the historical section of the museum collecting dust and being completely forgotten in the years to come.

    With scenes as predictable and numbered as the Dewey Decimal System, The Monuments Men is still a hard film not to like. Lead by a profound group of talented actors, the film tells the true life story of a small group of men who searched high and far through the immense rubble and destruction of the Second World War for the very fabric of humanity, culture and history. Lead by Frank Stokes (Clooney) and his hand-picked team of artists; James Granger (Matt Damon), Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), Walter Garfield (John Goodman), Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin), Donald Jefferies (Hugh Bonneville), Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban) and the young Sam Epstein (Dimitri Leonidas), the main objective for the men is to safely find, preserve and return famous and amateur art; art that Hitler was stealing with the intention of opening up his own museum.

    One of the biggest reoccurring elements throughout the film is the value of human life and the value of art. Clooney, throughout his narration, continuously makes clear that no artwork, no matter how valuable, is worth a human life. Yet, this statement seems somewhat impossible and disapproved during one of the most notorious wars in the history of world, responsible for countless casualties. Although stark and heart-warmingly affective, the narration by our protagonist serves as some of the films most thought-provoking segments of the film, yet takes away from the actions depicted on screen. The narration instead serves as an almost ‘in case you missed it’ captioning to the often times laughable and overly-comedic action on screen.

    Like with any Clooney directed feature, he is always able to round out a talented and multi-faceted cast that sometimes drive the stale action and narration itself. Comedians Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, as well as recent Oscar winner Dujardin, deliver an abundance of unneeded comedic relief that often takes away from the heavy subject matter and serious drama the film is attempting to sculpt. Finding the humour and humanity of a war that didn’t seem to have much during its occurrence, The Monuments Men is a light-hearted take on a solemn historical piece of time.

    Having the only female lead in the film, Cate Blanchett proves here more than anywhere, even amidst all the comedy and juvenile goofiness, that she is next in line to be our generation’s Meryl Streep. Camouflaging herself in her French accent and wholly Parisian character, Blanchett is one of the film’s saving graces. The other, as always, is the charm and bravado of the always impressive Matt Damon.
  59. Feb 11, 2014
    Director George Clooney has assembled a strong cast (including himself, Matt Damon, Bill Murray & John Goodman) to play the men who traveled to Europe at the end of World War II to rescue thousands of works of art from the Nazis. This true story is full of amazing events, but it's not sure what kind of movie it wants to be. It's a war adventure, a comedy, a drama and an art film, literally…and that's the problem. The story lacks a strong focus. It's an entertaining history lesson, but it's a less than thrilling movie. Expand
  60. Feb 10, 2014
    It is a light-handed movie on a serious subject. Somehow it might be a bit too light-handed but the spirit of its people shines through. Enjoy the movie if you're looking for an entertaining evening and want to learn something. Or did you really know about these "Monuments Men?
  61. Feb 9, 2014
    It is a quality movie with a spectacular cast that is completely appropriate. The only problem is that it lacks too much action or comedy. It is basically a lower level drama that talks a lot about art and only has 2 people die.
  62. Feb 9, 2014
    This movie failed, and it was supposed to be awesome! Unfortunately this noble idea wasn't realized well, the script is just bad, no proper characterization, no reason to see this one!
  63. Feb 9, 2014
    Perhaps one of the worst movies I have paid money to see since my wife dragged me to Yentil. The only thing that would have made this movie more hoary would have been if Babs had been cast in lieu of Cate Blanchett. Great cast and interesting story. Just a complete dud as entertainment.
  64. Feb 9, 2014
    Sometimes the point of a movie is to take you somewhere nobody has gone before, to thrill or chill, but there are other reasons for making a movie. This move memorializes people who were trying to salvage what it means to be human in the midst of inhuman atrocities. Our culture reflects who we are, or even makes us who we are, and this move clearly (and painfully) points this out.

    really appreciate that screenwriter, producer and director George Clooney took a balanced approach, mixing painful emotion with humor without resorting to gratuitous violence. Mature, intelligent moviegoers don't need blood splatter everywhere to get it that someone was shot.

    People who pan this movie are missing the point. While I am sure there was at least some literary licence, as far as my scant research can tell, they stayed within reasonable sight of the true story. They respected the historical events enough to avoid the temptation of catering to the violence-numbed populous. I respect George Clooney for that. He knows the business well enough to know he was making a "dull" movie, but the story was more important to him than making some extra $$$.

    The characters involved were not easy to get to know, but it seems that every actor did a good job in capturing what was known of the personalities (after being filtered through the book...?). There was a lot of talent on the set, but no detectable egos run amok - all the performances seemed professional as works of love and respect. Some could rightfully claim that these were not the best performances of these actors' careers, but I would claim they were among the most dedicated and heartfelt.

    I give it a nine instead of a ten because I am rather certain it would have been a better movie if Barbara Hall had not been involved. I'm sure George had his reasons for including her, and we will never really know what it may have been without her (perhaps we can thank her of the absence of the gratuitous violence!)

    Anyway, well done. It is an enjoyable look at what may be one of the last unique looks at WWII...
  65. Feb 9, 2014
    "The Monuments Men" is a bad title- they should've called it "World War II Fluff". The movie is jovial in a bad way as it features a cheery soundtrack when the men drive into war zones, training barracks, etc. I also can't figure out whether it was a comedy or a drama. The plot was already a rarely visited angle to the war, and a risky one at best. Acting was okay, and the film was marginal, but the flaws can't be overlooked. Expand
  66. Feb 8, 2014
    This movie was so bad that I rooted for the Nazis. George Clooney usually has such good judgment and taste, but this was flatter than a xerox of a Van Gogh.
  67. MCS
    Feb 8, 2014
    This is a movie that could have been great, were it not for the script, which was dumbed down to the 6th grade level. The story is such a great one, and I anticipated a story line with more depth and history than cliche dialogue. Here are some of the missing elements which I believe could have made it better: 1. more on who owned the art originally and how it was stolen, 2. more about how the Nazis moved the art, 3. how did it get back to its owners and if there were no owners alive, what happened to it, 4. how did Cate Blanchett's character get involved, and 5. what art was lost and never retrieved. The musical score was a little strange, more like Hogan's Heroes at inappropriate time. What a disappointment. I will read the book for the details and history. Expand
  68. Feb 8, 2014
    As war movies go, the bar was set back when "Saving Private Ryan" shook up the world with what may be the most realistic and horrifying movie about any war ever, so even though Matt Damon is in The Monuments Men" and in a fine cast, don't expect a movie on the caliber of "Pvt. Ryan" or "Apocalypse Now". However, it's still an engaging film, with the focus on saving precious works of art from Europe's museums and private collections before Hitler's retreating army can destroy what they don't steal.
    George Clooney is his usual self assured self, but maybe the real joy is seeing John Goodman and Bill Murray take on serious roles, which they've of course done before, adding to their already impressive resumes.
    The story is based on a true story, and it's an engaging one that manages to have some war action, but more focus is paid to the actual paintings and sculptures that could be lost forever, and we leave the movie with more of an appreciation for such works. It's sort of salvaging the creativity and artistic beauty man is capable of out from under the nose of horrifying cruelty, giving a picture of a species that is always walking the perilous line between good and evil, creation and destruction. "The Monument Men" isn't a mind blower, especially in the "Private Ryan" mode, but it's a good story nonetheless, and offers a look at the war many of us probably overlooked.
  69. Feb 8, 2014
    So what if I'm the only one that didn't hate this movie, I enjoyed it! I really did! It has a great cast to start off with, it has a very engaging story premise and it's a WWII movie. What more can you ask for. While the movie doesn't feel completely focused, it still shows sorrow and delves into its subject matter to an extent. Overall, even with its flaws, it's still one that I think is at least worth checking out. I give it a B! Expand
  70. Feb 8, 2014
    I thought this was very well executed World War II genre adventure, and up to the standards of The Great Escape, Guns of Navarone, and The Dirty Dozen, all-star entertainments that don't pretend to convey any great moral lesson [other than Nazis are Evil and yay we beat them] a notable exception being Bridge on the River Kwai, which was about the high price honor can exact. I found what I thought were deliberate tips of the hat by Clooney: the main title is in a 60s modern design, the music is that jaunty war-movie type like the kind that predominates in Dozen, and one of the team, the Brit, is played by Hugh Bonneville, who bares an uncanny resemblance to Jack Hawkins in Kwai.

    No reviewer I have read has cited what I consider to be one of the movie's greatest strengths: its concision, and I don't just mean its 118 min running time in an age when movies now seem to start at 140 minutes and go up from there. I wasn't using a stop watch, but afterward I had the strong sense that no single sequence ran longer than six minutes, no speech longer than 3. It would very easy to drag out scenes on the grounds of suspense: one early dramatic moment plays like the opening of Inglourious Basterds in reverse: will the retired Nazi be caught in his own cottage? Director/writer Clooney could have shown the serving of an entire meal, while our Nazi continues to sweat; instead, the question is answered in less than 3 minutes [and note the sly references to Basterds in which a Monuments Man asks if the Nazi's wife speaks English].

    I always make the same point about genre pictures: of course they are predictable, of course they have to hit a certain number of beats. The question is, how will they do so? To say that Clooney did so "tastefully" is to damn with faint praise; the French despised the Nazi's? Show two women spitting into a a Nazi officer's champagne glass. The art is in danger of being burned? 30 seconds of the biggest blowtorches on film. I will leave out the references to Jews: their very "tastefulness" means they draw you in before you have a chance to marshal your defenses and nowhere to which you can recoil afterward.

    Just as there are a million ways to play The Wrong Man accused [from Hitchcock to 12 Angry Men, or, in reverse, The Verdict] or every single romantic comedy [would you really complain that you were two steps ahead of the screenwriters when you figured out the unlikely couple would get together in the end? ] this picture is as notable for both its genre strengths as to the its plainspoken, no nonsense approach to what is still, and one can only hope pray, remains the single darkest chapter of human history. What, have we told that one too often yet?
  71. Feb 7, 2014
    ‘The Monuments Men’ is the type of ‘Hollywood movie’ that they don’t make anymore--for good reason. The film depends strictly on the charms of the actors which are many, there are no surprises and you are usually a couple of steps ahead of the screenwriters George Clooney and Grant Heslov, which is based on a true story, and director George Clooney does bring one or two new shots to the screen Along with this the star George Clooney does one too many voiceovers. Would anyone be surprised to hear that George Clooney also produced this movie along with Grant Heslov?

    In my opinion if anyone has starred, co-wrote, co-produced and directed a film I would say it was exhibitionism but this is George Clooney, a good actor when need be and has proven himself as an director and has produced winners previously.

    The film is about a group of men who get together to recapture an unaccountable amount of art stolen by the Nazis during WW2 and then was threatened to be confiscated by the Russian army. The 8 men are, of course, a rag-tag team but each is brilliant in their own way. Frank Stokes (George Clooney) is a art historian who convinces President FDR to allocate money to get the stolen art and return it to the original owners. James Granger (Matt Damon) is the curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art while Walter Garfield (John Goodman) is a sculptor. The other 5 men are French art dealer Jean Claude Clemont (Jean Dujardin), Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville) an art expert, Sam Epstein (Dimitri Leonidas) a German Jew who Stokes enlists to be their driver and translator along with Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban) and Richard Cambell (Bill Murray) as an architect. Along the way Granger connects--no, not that way! Not that she didn’t want to!--with Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett) who is a Parisian and was in a position to keep meticulous records of where all the art works were sent by Hitler, for a future Fuhrer museum, and Goering who took them for his own collection.

    There are no spoilers because whatever happens you have seen before. Would it really surprise you that someone (won’t say who as that might be a spoiler until 15 minutes into the movie) finds the piece of art they are searching for? The only big surprise and possible SPOILER is that Granger turns down Simone when an advance is made. How do you turn down baby faced, dimpled, gosh, gee Matt Damon?!

    The musical score by Alexandre Desplat would make any of the older Hollywood scorers proud with its pounding, ‘pay attention to what’s happening on screen’ score.

    ‘The Monuments Men’ is a movie for the fans of the actors, for those who remember how ‘they use to be made’ and for those who want to see what the old folks are talking about.
  72. Feb 7, 2014
    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.
  73. Feb 7, 2014
    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. Expand

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: Tim Robey
    Feb 18, 2014
    The problem isn't a lack of weight, but of lightness. It's stuck with lead feet for a historical caper and serves no other worthwhile purpose.
  2. Reviewed by: Paul Bradshaw
    Feb 18, 2014
    An amazing story and an amazing cast don’t always make an amazing film. Too light for drama, not funny enough for comedy; it’s unlikely anyone will ever risk their lives for this.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 8, 2014
    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.