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The Monuments Men

6/10
Action . History . Drama . War
 

Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on seven over-the-hill, out-of-shape museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians who went to the front lines of WWII to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners. With the art hidden behind enemy lines, how could these guys hope to succeed?

 
Actors: Dimitri Leonidas , Holger Handtke , Bob Balaban , Jean Dujardin , Hugh Bonneville , John Goodman , Bill Murray , George Clooney , Cate Blanchett , Matt Damon
Directors: George Clooney
Country: USA , GERMANY
Release: 2014-02-07
More Info:
  • Rex Reed

    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.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The film depicts a treasure hunt, only in the sense that the movie has to have a running story. But it doesn't really trade on suspense or adventure, and in the few places Clooney pushes it that way, it doesn't feel right.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Except possibly for a superlative supporting performance by Hugh Bonneville of “Downton Abbey,’’ Clooney’s low-key directorial effort is not quite an Oscar-caliber movie, though it’s got a great cast, a worthy theme and plenty of things to reward adult moviegoers.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    If you’re worried that the re-teaming of Clooney and Cate Blanchett in a World War II movie signals something like “The Good German,” fear not: She’s better here, playing a French art historian who worries the Americans will “rescue” the art in order to steal it for their own country.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    This is a solid albeit slow-building film with few dull moments.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Who knew? The work of the Monuments Men is fresh territory for film, and Clooney builds the story with intriguing detail and scope.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    Rather than juicing each element to blockbuster volume, Clooney has delivered it in the tone of a memorial lecture, warm and ambling, given by one of the distinguished academics he put in his movie.

    Time Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    The Monuments Men fails in its grand ambitions, but it's still satisfying in bits and pieces, like a busted statue. Even a tribute made of shining fragments counts for something.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    It’s a graceful, engaging film — I enjoyed it. But it could have been called "The Tasteful Dozen."

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Drew Taylor

    Turns out it was even trickier than originally imagined and that for all of its best efforts, The Monuments Men remains an unwieldy, overtly sentimental (but still emotionally distant) epic.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    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.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    The Monuments Men often lets the schematic gears show, succumbing to threadbare formula and sentimental cliches rather than taut, sophisticated drama.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    Heart alone does not a good film make.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    It’s admirable, but Monuments Men just poses on a porous foundation like a statue.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Clooney, for the first time in his directing career (“Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Ides of March”) never finds the sweet spot, and never quite wrestled the script into a shape entertaining enough to make the liberties he and Heslov took with the facts worth it.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    There’s great repartee between its cast of this “based on a true [but forgotten] story” of World War II. Yet the film overall isn’t colorful enough.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It comes down to a matter of tone, and Clooney can’t really settle on one. The Monuments Men is in no way a bad movie. Just, with this bunch, a disappointing one.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    Clooney occasionally shows a surer hand: He gets great work from Downton Abbey’s Bonneville — notably in an emotionally charged scene revolving around Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges — and has a fine monologue himself, in which Stokes dresses down a high-ranking German commander (a moving encapsulation of the American spirit at its best).

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • William Goss

    Monuments certainly isn’t unbearable to watch, but for all its quality pedigree and good intentions, the result is a frustratingly flat film that drifts from moment to moment with a curious lack of urgency and an overbearing sense of self-importance.

    Film.com Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Mostly it's hamstrung by an abundance of reverence and dialogue sounding like an art studies syllabus when it isn't rehashing war movie tropes.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Smothered by its lighthearted approach, The Monuments Men attempts to make a grand statement about the valiance of dying for the sake of art, but fails to create it.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Alas, it's a throwback that's thrown its back out - limping along, trailed by battalions of stereotypes and ammo rounds of cliche.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    By the film’s end, one can’t help thinking that the story would be better served by a well-researched documentary on the real-life MFAA division (monuments, fine arts and archives.)

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Genial and well-intentioned, but tepid.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    It can be nice to spend time with these actors even when you don’t believe their characters for a single second, and there’s no denying this movie’s easy pleasures... Yet because Mr. Clooney can’t figure out what kind of story this is, he too often slips into pandering mode.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    It’s a great story, and much of it’s true. This should work like a pip. Instead, The Monuments Men is a tonal mishmash: Half “Hogan’s Post-Doctoral Heroes,” half “Saving Private Rembrandt,” and half “Ingres’s 11.” That’s three halves, so you can see the problem.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    In The Monuments Men, director George Clooney takes a wild, stranger-than-fiction true story and turns it into a dull, prestigious slog.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jesse Cataldo

    George Clooney's film boils a big, messy maelstrom of theft and uncertainty down to a digestible, faintly appetizing mush.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    The Monuments Men feels not just self-conscious but also a bit self-congratulatory, its creator squashing the spirit of adventure with too many grandiose lines about the Importance Of Art.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Louis Black

    Ultimately, however, this film is a collection of vignettes in search of a narrative center. Although it’s enjoyable, the film never coheres into a whole. Instead, it resembles a pile of ill-fitting jigsaw-puzzle pieces rather than a fully formed picture.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Clooney's attempt to honor unsung real-life heroes while recapturing the ensemble pleasures of some well-remembered Hollywood war pictures, notably "The Great Escape" and "The Guns of Navarone," comes off as a modestly accomplished forgery at best.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    It’s like an over-the-hill gang variant on “The Dirty Dozen,” except not as much fun as that sounds.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    The story of the rescue of these priceless artifacts is absolutely worthy of as much attention as Hollywood can provide. But by the final, self-congratulatory, groan-inducing scene, it's more than clear that this telling of it is a monumental mess.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    The Monuments Men sounds like a what's-not-to-like? movie, but it turns out to be a bizarre failure.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    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.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Paul Bradshaw

    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.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    All aspects of this great story are drawn toward the middle ground of mediocrity.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    There's lots of information, some nice images, plenty of earnest sermonizing about culture and almost no suspense, or tension, or character development, or structure. Or, well, art.

    NPR Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    It can't decide what kind of a film it wants to be and so ends up failing across a fairly wide spectrum.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    The movie's tone is at war with its subject, and sometimes with its wavering self.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    While the film is often playful, it never attempts to be particularly funny, perhaps out of a fear that too much levity in a World War II-themed movie would be in poor taste. Instead, it loads on great quantities of tacky crowd-pleasing moments and clichés.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    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.

    Variety Full Review
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