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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 181 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? Expand
  • 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: 38 out of 76
  2. Negative: 14 out of 76
  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 8, 2014
    8
    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?
    Expand
  3. Mar 31, 2014
    7
    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. Collapse
  4. Feb 11, 2014
    6
    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
  5. Nov 2, 2014
    5
    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. Feb 7, 2014
    4
    Ultimately, The Monuments Men needed to have as much narrative focus and dimension as it does reverence for its subject matter. Director George Clooney's star-studded WWII pic The Monuments Men feels like a work-in-progress rather than a finished and focused feature film. 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 76 User Reviews

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