The Monuments Men 2013

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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.

Starring:
George Clooney, Hugh Bonneville
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

The Monuments Men

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 58 minutes
Starring George Clooney, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, John Goodman, Diarmaid Murtagh, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon, Sam Hazeldine
Director George Clooney
Genres Drama
Studio 20th Century Fox
Rental release 8 August 2014
Main languages English
Dubbing Spanish, German
Subtitles Spanish, German, Turkish
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 58 minutes
Starring George Clooney, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, John Goodman, Diarmaid Murtagh, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon, Sam Hazeldine
Director George Clooney
Genres Drama
Studio 20th Century Fox
Rental release 8 August 2014
Main languages English
Dubbing Spanish, Japanese, Turkish, Polish
Subtitles Spanish, Japanese, Polish
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 Feb. 2014
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nik Young on 2 July 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Fascinating and pretty accurate account of the activities of art historians racing to protect and return artwork stolen by high ranking nazis for their personal and ignorant egos. A number of emotionally moving rescues / returns to the original owners brought an additional dimension to race to protect and conserve a critical element of humanity. The film very adeptly makes the point that the Jewish nations was annhilated not only through murder but through brutal theft and greed. The finding of gold teeth secreted away in their thousands or the return of a single portrait to an empty Jewish home provide a though provoking backdrop to the role of the Monument Men without wallowing in the horror and brutality of nazi criminals. Hugh Bonneville's dying letter to his father is written and delivered with dignity, sorrow, regret and search for his father's forgiveness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By folkfan on 16 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
I wish I could give this film ten stars to redress the balance of those who gave it one. I watched this whilst on holiday and was glad I was in the dark - anyone who can get through without crying is a very hard hearted person in my view. it was realistic, a quiet film full of humanity and humour, just like the people involved, I would imagine, who were so brave and went into the war when they didn't have to. The deaths were seen to be pointless, random acts of which any war is full - if you like war films full of gung ho idiots racing around the place spraying bullets then, no, you won't like this. If you have even one brain cell and half an ounce of empathy, then you will love it and it will stay with you, as it has with me.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jet Lagged TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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