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Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics What's this?

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5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 176 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men focuses on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR to go into Germany, rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys—seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1—possibly hope to succeed? Collapse
  • Director: George Clooney
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Biography, Drama, History, Thriller, Comedy, War
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 118 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Feb 5, 2014
    88
    This is their story. It is true. It is history. As a film, it is riveting, suspenseful, harrowing and exciting, and somehow, it also manages to be something rare among war pictures—a big-scale entertainment.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jan 31, 2014
    75
    Who knew? The work of the Monuments Men is fresh territory for film, and Clooney builds the story with intriguing detail and scope.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 8, 2014
    63
    Certainly, the story told by The Monuments Men is worth telling and it's easy to see why a luminary like Clooney would be sufficiently attracted to want to direct it. Unfortunately, this treatment, written by Clooney and long-time collaborator Grant Heslov, isn't the best fit.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jan 29, 2014
    50
    Something less than monumental, The Monuments Men wears its noble purpose on its sleeve when either greater grit or more irreverence could have put the same tale across to modern audiences with more punch and no loss of import.
  5. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Feb 7, 2014
    50
    Alas, it's a throwback that's thrown its back out - limping along, trailed by battalions of stereotypes and ammo rounds of cliche.
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Feb 6, 2014
    50
    In The Monuments Men, director George Clooney takes a wild, stranger-than-fiction true story and turns it into a dull, prestigious slog.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jan 29, 2014
    30
    Clooney has transformed a fascinating true-life tale into an exceedingly dull and dreary caper pic cum art-appreciation seminar — a museum-piece movie about museum people.

See all 43 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 71
  2. Negative: 14 out of 71
  1. Feb 14, 2014
    10
    Better than what I expected. I walked in expecting to drag through some twilight knockoff, but walked out wanting to see the sequel. I've never read the books, and had no idea what would happen, but it had a good story line, and leaves you wanting more Expand
  2. Feb 22, 2014
    9
    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.
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  3. May 26, 2014
    7
    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.
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  4. Feb 13, 2014
    6
    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.
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  5. Mar 31, 2014
    5
    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. Expand
  6. Feb 18, 2014
    5
    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
  7. Feb 9, 2014
    0
    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. Expand

See all 71 User Reviews

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