Movie Review: The Monuments Men

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Monuments_menSometimes a story that looks good on paper doesn’t really translate on film. The Monuments Men is based on a true story tells about a group of art scholars who go into combat during World War II in an attempt to make sure the art of the world is saved. Beginning with Frank Stokes (George Clooney) trying to convince the US government that this art needs to be saved. Once he’s approved we get him gathering his guys and I had an Ocean’s 11 flashback.

Matt Damon is his right hand man James Granger. He also is the one that spends the least amount of time in harms way. He goes about collecting his team. Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, those are his Americans. Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey is the Englishman Donald Jeffries a drunk who has a bad reputation and is looking for redemption and Jean Dujardin is the Frenchman Jean Claude. After basic training, Granger is sent to question and get help from Clare Simone (Cate Blanchett). Clare worked for Stahl, one of Hitler’s men who was stealing the art for Hitler’s Fuhrer museum. Clare is sitting in prison after being found out by both sides. The German’s knew she was helping the resistance and moved everything. And here’s where The Monuments Men goes downhill.

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We get a different view of war but is it interesting? Not in the slightest. The Monuments Men isn’t a bad movie, I’ve seen some dreadful things but there’s nothing remotely exciting about it either. I didn’t feel invested in anything, the characters, the story, the art. It was one long monotone film. Is this story important? I’m sure it is but I would have probably enjoyed sitting through a documentary about it over this dramatization. The only moments the film had life were went 2 key characters are killed off and well Bill Murray.

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The Monuments Men achieves only mediocrity. This film is so easily forgettable that without its high profile cast it would have probably be largely ignored. There’s no one thing that goes wrong here. It al just doesn’t work. I feel like I sat through Ben Stein giving me a slideshow about the stolen art of World War II without an intermission.

My Rating: Wait for Cable
Director: George Clooney
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: February 7, 2014
Run time: 118 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13

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