The Monuments Men (2014)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Its intentions are noble and its cast is impressive, but neither can compensate for The Monuments Men's stiffly nostalgic tone and curiously slack narrative.

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Movie Info

Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning 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? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind's greatest achievements. From director George Clooney, the film stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. The screenplay is by George Clooney & Grant Heslov, based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter. Produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney. (c) Sony
Rating:
PG-13 (for some images of war violence and historical smoking)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

George Clooney
as Frank Stokes
Matt Damon
as James Granger
Bill Murray
as Richard Campbell
John Goodman
as Walter Garfield
Jean Dujardin
as Jean Claude Clermont
Bob Balaban
as Preston Savitz
Hugh Bonneville
as Donald Jeffries
Cate Blanchett
as Claire Simone
Dimitri Leonidas
as Sam Epstein
Justus von Dohnányi
as Viktor Stahl
Holger Handtke
as Colonel Wegner
Michael Hofland
as Priest (Claude)
Zahari Baharov
as Commander Elya
Sam Hazeldine
as Colonel Langton
Miles Jupp
as Major Feilding
Diarmaid Murtagh
as Captain Harpen
Emil vonSchoenfels
as Sniper Boy
Serge Hazanavicius
as Rene Armand
Luc Feit
as Aachen Vicar
Emil von Schönfels
as Sniper Boy
Udo Kroschwald
as Hermann Goering
Aurélia Poirier
as Young French Girl
Grant Heslov
as Doctor
Matthew Maguire
as Young Dying Soldier
Mike Dalton
as President Roosevelt
Christian Rodska
as President Truman
Stefan Kolosko
as German Commander
Thomas Wingrich
as German 2nd in Command
Oliver Devoti
as Colonel at Caen
James Payton
as Hitler
Lucas Tavernier
as St. Bavo Priest
Oscar Copp
as French Truck Driver
Declan Mills
as Siegen Private
Richard Crehan
as Brit Private
Corin Stuart
as Brit GI Translator
Andre Hinderlich
as German POW
Maximillian Seidel
as German POW
Marcel Mols
as Bruges Priest
Matt Rippy
as Colonel Gregg
John Dagleish
as ADSEC Sarge
Andrew Byron
as Supply Sargeant
Nicolas Heidrich
as Stahl's Child
Aidan Sharp
as Shahl's Child
Xavier Laurent
as French Armed Man
Ben-Ryan Davies
as Brit Private-Bruges
Nick Clooney
as Older Stokes
Joel Basman
as German Soldier at Ghent
Andrew Alexander
as Major Piper
Adrian Bouchet
as Sarge Near Altaussee
Claudia Geisler
as Stahl's Wife
Joe Reynolds
as Stokes' Son
Levi Strasser
as Stokes' Grandson
Piet Paes
as Priest In Truck
Audrey Marnay
as Jean Claude's Wife
Nora Sagal
as Voice of Campbell's Daughter
Avery June Jones
as Voice of Campbell's Granddaughter
James Audrey Jones
as Voice of Campbell's Granddaughter
Zachary Baharov
as Commander Elya
Emil von Schoenfels
as Sniper Boy
Justus VonDohnanyi
as Viktor Stahl
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Critic Reviews for The Monuments Men

All Critics (228) | Top Critics (52)

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.

Full Review… | September 22, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

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… | February 9, 2014
ReelViews
Top Critic

A frustratingly flat film that drifts from moment to moment with a curious lack of urgency and an overbearing sense of self-importance.

Full Review… | February 7, 2014
Film.com
Top Critic

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… | February 7, 2014
Washington Post
Top Critic

This is a sturdy, old-school, big-scale Greatest Generation war movie. It's great escapism.

Full Review… | February 7, 2014
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

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… | February 7, 2014
Denver Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Monuments Men

The premise is fun, making you think of 70s WW2 caper movies. I don't know how they managed to combine such a fantastic cast and yet make every single character and actor feel underused. The decision to split up the team didn't help. The direction and look of the film are great and there are glimpses of what could have been. But the plot remains somewhat undecided, sometimes hinting at the terrors of war while being entirely unexciting at the same time. Entertaining but also a missed opportunity. Pity.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

½

Not bad but not too great either. With the subject matter and that cast this should have been so much better.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

½

When George Clooney made his directorial debut in 2002 with the off-beat Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and followed it up with the superb McCarthyism drama Good Night and Good Luck it seemed that he had just as much talent behind the camera as he did in front of it. However, the dull Leatherheads and largely disappointing The Ides of March came next which threw some doubt over his ability to call the shots. With The Monuments Men I'd, unfortunately, have to say that this has more in common with with his latter efforts. During World War II, Frank Stokes (George Clooney) learns of Hitler's intention to steal the world's greatest works of art for his own personal museum. Under the permission of President Roosevelt, Stokes assembles an unlikely platoon of art experts to enter into war-torn Europe and rescue thousands of years of cultural heritage before the Nazis and the Soviets get their hands on them. Credit to Clooney for trying to evoke old-fashioned Hollywood movies as, for the most part, he succeeds. There's a pleasant feel to the proceedings that brings reminders of John Sturges' The Great Escape or Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen. Like those films, it has an abundance of quality actors onscreen and despite their roles seriously lacking in characterisation they bring a certain playfulness and much needed charisma. In fact, if the stars weren't as easily watchable as they are then the film itself would completely fall flat. Despite it's easy going nature, though, there are glaring shifts in tone. Just as your relaxing into the whole caper vibe, it throws in some serious dramatic moments and events that are jarring. I suppose I may be being overly critical when the film is all about a race against fascism but it just struck me that Clooney couldn't fully realise his intentions here. An admirable attempt to replicate an old-fashioned movie but it only really works on the surface. Once you dig a little deeper, it's all very two dimensional and superficial. That being said, if all you're looking for is some unabashed entertainment without having to think too much then this should go down without much fuss. Mark Walker

Mark Walker
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

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