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The Monuments Men [DVD]

Matt Damon , George Clooney , George Clooney    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Matt Damon, George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman
  • Directors: George Clooney
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Jun 2014
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DHJT4DU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

George Clooney co-writes and directs this adaptation of Robert M. Edsel's book that follows the men tasked with saving the world's greatest works of art from the Nazis during WWII. In the last months of the war, with the Third Reich teetering on the brink of collapse, the German army are ordered to destroy every piece of looted art in their possession. In a race against time, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt mobilises a seven-man platoon comprising museum directors and art historians to rescue the cream of the world's artistic and cultural treasures from the hands of the enemy, and return them to their rightful owners. But with no previous experience of weapons and tactics, the hastily assembled group soon face a rude awakening when they experience their first live action behind enemy lines. As well as Clooney, the all-star cast includes Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin.

Review

Starring a phenomenal ensemble cast led by Matt Damon and George Clooney and based on a true and untold story of World War II, The Monuments Men is suspenseful ticking-clock adventure-thriller about a ragtag team of unlikely, but charismatic heroes, embarking on the greatest treasure hunt in history, taking on the seemingly impossible high-stakes mission to rescue the world's greatest works of art which the Nazis are hellbent on destroying.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An old fashioned film which nearly hits the mark 18 Feb 2014
By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is an extremely interesting film. It's excellent in some places; outright odd in others. It's not an action-adventure, nor a comedy, nor an historical drama, nor a revisionist post-modern cynical reinterpretation. It's more like the kind of film made 50 years ago: it's an old-fashioned, heart-on-its-sleeve 'innocent' film, one which applauds the efforts of honest men trying to do their best in difficult circumstances.

At times, The Monuments Men feels a little simplistic -- Germans bad: Americans good -- and it can be sentimental to the point of mawkishness (the Christmas shower scene is a bit over the top for most audiences). The performances are rather muted, also, as if the excellent ensemble cast are deliberately keeping their Hollywood star wattage on a dim setting, in order not to overpower the film's moral message. There has obviously been a deliberate intent to avoid glamorising the inevitable violence of war, so when fatal incidents occur they are delivered with the same flat presentation as the rest of the film and are depicted in matter-of-fact fashion as everyday idiotic happenstance. In this respect, MM is both unusual and laudable. Similarly, the scene where an SS officer who has been pillaging art is found out and arrested is underplayed with a delightfully light hand.
It struggles a bit with one unnecessary scene where Clooney's character confronts a camp commandant and delivers a strange speech about how the Nazi's accomplishments will come to naught when America goes back to normal life -- this just didn't seem to fit the narrative or serve any real purpose.
The true quest, to find and save thousands of paintings, sculptures, manuscripts and other works of art before they could be sold, stolen or destroyed is extremely powerful, however.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE MONUMENTS MEN 9 Feb 2014
Format:DVD
"If you destroy an entire generation of people's culture - it's as if they never existed."

The war is going badly for Germany. If it was being lost then Hitler's "Nero Decree", or scorched earth policy, was to come into effect. Everything of value was to be destroyed or torched by the Nazis. The ultimate in pure spite.

A team of middle-aged men was formed to try and locate and rescue the art treasures. Art treasures that were looted by the Nazis. This undercover unit of artists was Art's answer to Dad's Army. This unlikely bunch, most of whom were not exactly in the first flush of youth, were then propelled into the war zone. They were the so-called "Monuments Men" of the movie's title.

Interestingly, it was the Monuments Men who found the famous fake Vermeer in Goering's stash. The fake was done by Dutch forger Hans van Meegeren. ( An excellent account of van Meegeren's life and works can be found in "I Was Vermeer: The Forger Who Swindled the Nazis" by Frank Wynne).

The film stars and is directed by George Clooney. Matt Damon stood in for Daniel Craig (Who had scheduling problems). Bill Murray is perfectly cast as the architect from Chicago. John Goodman and Cate Blanchett also star, the latter giving a particularly good performance.

This film shouldn't be compared with Ocean's Eleven and all that. It's a slightly different type of film we have here. One that acknowledges the historical reality involved. Even so, Clooney tries to put a kind of jaunty "Great Escape" spin on some of the film - as well as a touch of Alan Alda's MASH.

Despite all the acting talent, the film never quite clicks into high gear. You feel as if something is missing. Nevertheless I would recommend this film. The story should be told and not forgotten. And it's a reminder, lest we ever forget, of the Insanity of War.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacklustre 15 Jun 2014
Format:Blu-ray
Sounded promising but failed to deliver. Despite the big names it is lacklustre and a 'monumental' struggle to maintain interest.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
"The Monuments Men" (2014 release; 118 min.) brings the story, "based on true events" we are reminded at the beginning of the film, of 8 men, tasked by President Roosevelt himself, to try and protect and/or recover the troves of art looted or threatened to be looted by the Germans during WWII. As the movie opens, we are in Ghent, Belgium, where Jan van Eyk's Altarpiece is being dismantled and whisked away. The scenery shifts back to the US where Lt. Frank Stokes (played by George Clooney) is putting together his team. There is the architect (played by Bill Murray), the sculptor (played by John Goodman), etc. etc. Once they get to Europe they split up and head out to various areas (Belgium, France, Germany). In a parallel story, we also get to know Claire (played by Cate Blanchett), a Parisian secretary working for the Nazis but secretly keeping track of everything. To tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: this film is very much driven by (a labor of love for) George Clooney, as he co-wrote, co-produced and directed this (his first since 2011's excellent "The Ides of March", and his 5th overall). Second, notwithstanding what I just wrote, the move is an ensemble performance of mostly all-stars. Besides the ones I've already mentioned, there is also Matt Damon, Jean Dujardin (he of "The Artist" a few years back) and the always reliable Bob Balaban, just to name those. Third, even though this is NOT an 'action' war movie in any way, there are nevertheless a number of impressive looking production scenes, with a cast of hundreds, as Clooney is trying to recreate the chaos that existed in the latter phases of WWII.
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