The Monuments Men Reviews

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David Denby
New Yorker
September 22, 2014
We may have gained something in humor by not taking the saviors in the art-rescue story very seriously, but we've lost just about all of the romantic pleasures of heroism.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 9, 2014
The movie does a good job of illustrating why protecting art from the Nazi scourge was important but it's far less effective fleshing out the personalities of the people who did the protecting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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William Goss
Film.com
February 7, 2014
A frustratingly flat film that drifts from moment to moment with a curious lack of urgency and an overbearing sense of self-importance.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
February 7, 2014
If The Monuments Men never overcomes its unwieldy structure and unevenness of tone, the film still manages to make a profound, even subtle point: that Hitler's darkest impulses and annihilating reach extended from human beings to history itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 7, 2014
This is a sturdy, old-school, big-scale Greatest Generation war movie. It's great escapism.
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
February 7, 2014
Think of them as Inglorious Art Historians. Only this PG-13 entertainment has little of the edge, however complicated, of Quentin Tarantino's 2009 Holocaust revenge flick.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 7, 2014
It's like an over-the-hill gang variant on The Dirty Dozen, except not as much fun as that sounds.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
February 7, 2014
Clooney's movie is a slow-witted, occasionally agreeable retread of numerous WWII band-of-brothers flicks its director no doubt watched on TV as a 1970s teenager.
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
February 7, 2014
This is a solid albeit slow-building film with few dull moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Wesley Morris
Grantland
February 7, 2014
I can't think of another movie that feels as simultaneously rushed and leisurely.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
February 7, 2014
In The Monuments Men, director George Clooney takes a wild, stranger-than-fiction true story and turns it into a dull, prestigious slog.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 7, 2014
The high-minded message about preserving Western civilization often feels at odds with the movie's half-hearted heist-flick approach.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
February 7, 2014
Clooney's obviously going for old-school charm and camaraderie here, but the first half of the film is so scattered, and the characters are so lacking in specifics, that a sense of group bravado never feels earned.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 7, 2014
Alas, it's a throwback that's thrown its back out - limping along, trailed by battalions of stereotypes and ammo rounds of cliche.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
February 6, 2014
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.
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
February 6, 2014
At times, this fact-based film feels like a breezy heist flick, while at others it's a somber tribute to the sacrifices of war. The two tones don't harmonize, and they never ring true.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 6, 2014
Earnest and well-intentioned but ultimately inert, "The Monuments Men" talks a better game than it can deliver.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 6, 2014
Despite its intrinsically fascinating subject matter and winning cast, The Monuments Men is no treasure.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
February 6, 2014
Because Mr. Clooney can't figure out what kind of story this is, he too often slips into pandering mode, including in his own performance, which is filled with too many smiles and speeches.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 6, 2014
Alexandre Desplat's intrusive score keeps telling us what mood we should be in. Moods change from moment to moment, though, and not only in the action sequences.
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Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
February 6, 2014
The Monuments Men - with its shifting tone between light comedy and drama - rarely gets the viewer invested enough to really care what happens to them. And that's unfortunate, because it really is a fascinating footnote in history.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 6, 2014
This film doesn't compensate for its narrow focus with character development, derring-do or robust humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 6, 2014
The actors skew a little bit older than the historical Monuments Men, but their lived-in humanity forms a nice contrast to the inhumane megalomania that they're trying to reverse.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
February 6, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
February 6, 2014
This misfire reduces the Allied effort to preserve Western culture to a series of dim star turns.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
February 6, 2014
When you realize it's not coming together, your first impulse is to ask: What happened?
Full Review | Original Score: C
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 6, 2014
The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, established by the Allies during World War II to protect European and Asian cultural treasures from destruction, deserves a better movie dramatization than this fumbling prestige project.
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David Thomson
The New Republic
February 6, 2014
This is one of the most dreadful, smug, and incoherent films I have ever seen, and a travesty of its many large subjects.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 6, 2014
George Clooney - who stars, directs, produces, and co-writes - dearly wishes his labour of love could be more than this, as might we all.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
February 6, 2014
[Clooney and Heslov] make sure "Monuments Men" is fleet and fun, but wisely stop short of simply making "Ocean's Eleven" with jeeps.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
February 6, 2014
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.
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A.A. Dowd
AV Club
February 6, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 6, 2014
The movie should work like a pip. Instead, "The Monuments Men" is a labored mishmash of tones: Half "Hogan's Post-Doctoral Heroes," half "Saving Private Rembrandt," and half "Ingres's 11."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 6, 2014
"Monuments Men" is often irresistible, thanks to that delightful cast - could Clooney please recruit all of them for "Ocean's 14"?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
February 5, 2014
"The Monuments Men" has many good intentions. It's just unfortunate that it didn't have more spirit and a steady sense of what it should be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 5, 2014
The Monuments Men sounds like a what's-not-to-like? movie, but it turns out to be a bizarre failure. It's not just that the film is dull - it's that there's no there there to like.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 5, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
February 5, 2014
[An] engaging, shamelessly corny and entertaining World War II adventure inspired by true events.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
February 5, 2014
In a way, its familiarity is part of its small charm - and, in a modern world full of imperfect causes, its occasional nostalgic comfort.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 5, 2014
Clooney's attempt to honor unsung real-life heroes while recapturing the ensemble pleasures of some well-remembered Hollywood war pictures ... comes off as a modestly accomplished forgery at best.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Jake Coyle
Associated Press
February 5, 2014
''The Monuments Men'' is ... weighed down by dutifulness. It feels like it's only a third act, lacking any buildup of tension or character development.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
February 5, 2014
Clooney never quite finds the balance between the earnest do-gooding and the broader comedy he's seeking to find.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
February 4, 2014
The Monuments Men feels loose and disorganized, even though all the requisite cogs (including a jaunty ascot of a score by Alexandre Desplat) have been accounted for.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
February 3, 2014
It's a graceful, engaging film -- I enjoyed it. But it could have been called The Tasteful Dozen.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 31, 2014
Escapism junkies may feel betrayed. Clooney has crafted a movie abort about aspiration, about culture at risk, about things worth fighting for.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
January 30, 2014
Another slipshod and banal, if always watchable, Hollywood co-opting of history.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
January 29, 2014
Never strikes the storytelling balance that the material deserves. At times, the film drags, while at others, it rushes through essential character and story elements.
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
January 29, 2014
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.
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
January 29, 2014
Too much of the time, The Monuments Men falls into a compromised middle zone, not urgent and only mildly amusing.