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Mixed or average reviews- based on 181 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 93 out of 181
  2. Negative: 41 out of 181

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  1. Nov 27, 2014
    The Monuments Men unfortunately is an average movie. I was hoping for so much more and the worst part is that it wastes such a great cast. I never thought for a second that these actors were these real men not to mention the extremely boring plot. While this is a story to be told and these men need to be known, this wasn't the representations they deserve.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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-
  21. 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...
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.

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.