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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film tells the story of human genocide through the beauty of art and the horror of Nazi greed
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...
Published 5 months ago by Nik Young

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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great and forgotten moment of history that is sadly over-processed by Hollywood
We went to this movie with high hopes because, well, what movie wouldn't be awesome that has John Goodman and Bill Murray in it. I mean really. Unfortunately, Laura and I came away from this one rather disappointed.

The premise of this one can be summed up pretty simply. World War II is winding down; the Germans know they're losing so they set out to destroy...
Published 10 months ago by Rob Slaven


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film tells the story of human genocide through the beauty of art and the horror of Nazi greed, 2 July 2014
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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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48 of 52 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 "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Monuments Men [DVD] (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. I very much got the impression that the cast were trying to let that theme carry the film, rather than have it turn into 'Oceans 11 Do WW2'. If you saw the trailers then you've already seen most of the jokes: even one which didn't get included in the theatrical release (possibly to steer the tone of the movie away from too much comedy? Who knows).

The result is patchy and a little ponderous in places. But it is interesting and entertaining, and probably valuable in its own way. if you know a lot about WW2 already then you'll cringe at some of the historical liberties. But if not, this film reveals one of the many untold stories of the European war in an entirely enjoyable fashion.
One thing, however. What did the film-makers have against bicycles? Every time you see a bike in this picture it's being thrown to the ground or dropped in mid-pedal. I do hope 'no bicycles were harmed in the making of this movie...' :-)

7/10
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE MONUMENTS MEN, 9 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Monuments Men [DVD] (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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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great and forgotten moment of history that is sadly over-processed by Hollywood, 15 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Monuments Men [DVD] (DVD)
We went to this movie with high hopes because, well, what movie wouldn't be awesome that has John Goodman and Bill Murray in it. I mean really. Unfortunately, Laura and I came away from this one rather disappointed.

The premise of this one can be summed up pretty simply. World War II is winding down; the Germans know they're losing so they set out to destroy as much of the world's great art as they can before they go. Only one thing stands in their way: motley bunch of aging artists. Dramatics ensue from there.

On the positive side, the film does a great job of portraying the importance of the period of history we're talking about. A thousand years of human art and culture really is on the line. Other reviewers complain about the protagonist's pontifications but this is the whole point of the film. The Nazi's weren't just out to destroy the Jews or rule the world. If they were going down they wanted to take as much of the world with them as they could no matter the price. This story is the ultimate example of "play by my rules or I'll take my ball and go home." So all those prolonged speeches aren't in the way of the real action of this war movie, they are in fact its only reason for being.

To the negative, as a connected narrative this movie was just hacked to bits. It could have made a meticulous and moving 6-hour mini-series but cut down to movie size the whole thing is a disconnected mess. There are, at various points, three distinct story lines but the relationships between them are unclear then suddenly they're all slammed together in a barely sensical manner. Further, the movie suffers from Hollywood over-drama just for the sake of drama. It's almost as if they tried to make an action flick out of a story that wasn't one.

In summary, sadly disappointed. Those looking for a movie about a war... won't really get one. Those looking for a moving portrayal of an important historical event won't get what they want either. The whole thing is at times sentimental but never really manages that either. It's almost as if the movie tried to be 10 things at once and never really accomplished any of them with any deftness. Quite a shame, really.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to pigeonhole this movie, 13 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Monuments Men (DVD)
‘The Monuments Men.’ Maybe I should have found out more about this film before I watched it. I thought I had a round idea... we’re told from the promotional material that a group of ‘misfits’ hunts important pieces of art during the end of the Second World War and prevents them from falling into Nazi hands.

And, to be fair, that is what it’s about. However, I don’t know what I was expecting, but it never seemed to fit into any particular genre. It’s not really a war film. Yes, it’s set in the middle of a war and – almost – every scene depicts a war-torn Europe. However, there’s hardly a shot fired throughout the entire film. The ‘misfits’ label makes it sound like some sort of ‘Dirty Dozen’ film where a bunch of screwballs triumph over adversity (falling down quite a few times along the way). Again, the characters are a bunch of misfits, yet they’re certainly not funny enough to be particularly entertaining. Yes, I know this is a serious subject (i.e. Nazis stealing – and sometimes destroying – precious art during the war), so I wasn’t expecting the central characters to behave like clowns, but I thought their interactions may be a little more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, none of the characters are really fleshed-out enough for us to care that much about them. Despite the cast being full of excellent talent, all seem to be a little underused. The story is simply the main characters sitting in one war-ravaged location after the next, discussing where they’re going to look next for a painting, or sculpture.

There was some attempt to interject a ‘baddie’ element. Early on in the film we meet a Nazi who’s also hunting all the priceless pieces of artwork. However, that story is kind of snubbed out halfway through and feels a little disappointing.

What we’re left with is an important story (as it is based on true events) that find themselves told in the blandest way possible. The cast do their best, but the script just isn’t that enjoyable. Maybe the film-makers were trying to accurately capture the ‘depressing’ feel of the era. If that was their intention then they succeeded. I felt gloomy waiting for it to end, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Piece of History, 13 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Monuments Men (DVD)
An enjoyable of film covering what is part of World War 2 that had been overlooked for many years by Hollywood. The looting of fine art from the captured lands of Europe and be destined for the grand Museum that Hitler was planning for the town of his birth. The film covers the band of 7 select experts tasked with trying to save recover the art, many of which was. Star cast that delivers, sentimentality was kept to a minimum, and the story kept moving along in tune with the actual pace of the actual war. Good acting from the star cast, a film I am happy to recommend.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Monumentally Dull, 13 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Monuments Men (Blu-ray)
How did they manage to make such a boring film out of such an interesting story? The tale of the group of soldiers responsible for recovering art stolen by the Nazis should make for a good film. But this is just agonisingly slow and uninteresting.

The ensemble cast, especially with George Clooney and Matt Damon back together, seems to promise something like a World War Two version of "Oceans Eleven". But this is no fast paced, witty heist and the script is just awful, there is no wit or charm to any of it. And even though many of the characters are played by comedians almost all of the jokes in the film fall awkwardly flat.

Part of the problem is that this tries hard to be a fun family film. In the closing years of the most devastating war in history there is little to laugh at though. This sanitised version of the war sees no bodies, no maimed or injured soldiers or civilians, no refugees crying for lost family members, no concentration camp victims. Instead a few studio sets of ruins and some very clean and cleanly spoken Allied soldiers are all there is to remind you that this is supposed to be an actual war.

It's a missed opportunity really, a film that has lots of potential but fails to deliver in every department. The actors don't seem to be bothering to act, the script is bland and unoriginal, and the directing (courtesy of George Clooney) is dull, slow and plodding. Not one for the history books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film u get drawn into the film and want ..., 4 July 2014
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This review is from: The Monuments Men [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful film u get drawn into the film and want everything found really good film would and have recommended this to my family and friends fantastic
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Story, 23 Feb 2014
By 
P. Waller "Pip" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Monuments Men [DVD] (DVD)
Based on fact one has to guess just how near reality the film actually was as the film is based on just 7 men. Suffice to say another American film that erases the major British involvement in an event in World War 2. In reality the actual operation eventually grew to a group of 350 or so men and women from thirteen nations.One of the English ladies was found and invited to the London premiere. We have one sole British representative who gets killed off anyway.

The background scenes are as good as any you would get for authenticity, (touch of Private Ryan). Nice to see the military in uniforms that look like they have been worn for a change instead of the usual crisp and newly pressed ones they seem to wear in films these days. Plenty of troops which must have been a field day for all the re-enactment groups with their trucks etc.

A superb web site to visit is, 'History Vs Hollywood, then enter the film title, It gives the truth and shows who played who in the film. Well worth a visit.

A war film ? or an action film ?, a bit of both but worth a watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 4 July 2014
By 
Susan Hazelton (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Monuments Men [DVD] (DVD)
Didn't hold our interest all the way through, but ok. Will watch again at some point.
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The Monuments Men [DVD]
The Monuments Men [DVD] by George Clooney (DVD - 2014)
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