Directed by: George Clooney
PG-13. 112 mins.
A frustrating film unsure in it’s tone and wasteful of it’s talents, The Monuments Men has predictably fabulous production but fails at instilling a real sense of passion for the subject matter.
Based on the true story of one of history’s most intriguing treasure hunts, the film focuses on the seven men who would later be known to the world as The Monuments Men: 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. From museum directors to art historians, these men weren’t trained as soldiers but soon found themselves risking their lives in the faint hope of protecting these historical works of art for the benefit of future generations.
George Clooney both directs and stars in this film he also co-wrote with Grant Heslov, based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter. With such an impressive cast of veteran actors, the premise seems like it could be fun but overall, there is no real momentum to the plot, despite the honourable true story that inspired it all. The tone shifts back and forth, yet it is never funny enough to reside in the comedic genre, nor compelling enough to fall in action or dramatic categories. Older folks may find this watchable and those with an interest in the subject matter will be pleased that the film does a fine job of demonstrating the importance of this mission, but most audiences will feel at a loss when it comes to actually knowing who The Monuments Men really were as people. Despite the cast, there isn’t much to be engaged with here and it all amounts to quite a dull history lesson on what was, in fact, quite a riveting time in history. Mediocre at best, The Monuments Men proves to be a monumental disappointment.