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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 18 June 2014
THE MOVIE IS A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN MANY CRITIC'S WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE.
The movie is based on a true WWII chain of events.
During their conquest of much of Europe the Germans have stolen countless great works
of Art for their own gratification.
'Frank Stokes' (George Clooney) assembles a small team of unlikely heroes (who are in
truth ill-equipped for what they will face) to try and recover the priceless works before
being destroyed and lost forever as the allied advance was underway.
The group of art-experts would be known as 'The Monument Men'
The Team led by 'Frank Stokes' 'James Granger' (Matt Damon) 'Richard Campbell' (Bill
Murray) 'Walter Garfield' (John Goodman) 'Jean Claude Clermont' (Jean Dujardin)
'Donald Jeffries' (Hugh Bonneville) 'Preston Savitz' (Bob Balaban) and 'Sam Epstein'
(Dimitri Leonidas)
After the Germans had hurriedly left 'Paris' 'James Granger' believes that 'Claire Simone'
(Cate Blanchett) who under German occupation had remained at the museum as curator.
knows where the Germans had taken the treasures from the establishment.
At first 'Clair' because of her experiences with the German occupation force is both reluctant
and suspicious of 'James's' motives.
The Monument team will try to protect the treasures as and if they find them, the risk to
themselves is immense.
Trouble is also, as the Allies advance, the Germans would rather destroy the stolen works
than it fall into allied hands.
Are the priceless treasures worth dying for....
This really is a very well made and well portrayed Film, it has tension, acts of bravery, certainly
well worth at least viewing......more remarkable because it is based on a true story.
There are also many great and possibly unexpected performances on-board.
Good Picture and Sound Quality Throughout.
Features -
* Deleted Scenes.
* In Their Own Words - Featurette.
* George Clooney's Mission - Featurette.
* Marshaling the Troop - Featurette.
* A Woman among The Monument Men -Featurette.
2 people found this helpful
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on 15 August 2015
Sometimes it is very hard to separate a film from the background and the actors / producers and their intent - this is one such film.

It is a surprisingly 'flat' film, subdued and yet very subtle. The shooting and cinematography is very artistic - almost 'Citizen Kane' like in its quality. The attention to setting it in time and place is second to none. Within the film there are cheery and comedy moments probably intended as a contrast versus the horrors of war and the sadness of looted art but they do not quite always hit the spot. Parts of the film are almost 'documentary' like. Other parts reminded me of British and US war films from the 1950s and 1960s - it was never quite clear whether this was intentional.

However what does come clearly across in this film is the efforts of 'The Monuments Men', the sadness of the lost art and frankly how earnest George Clooney is about causes such as this. As family viewing I would highly recommend this - if nothing else for children to think and appreciate the value of art and art galleries, museums and the horrors of war.

In some ways this film demands a sequel, perhaps with more action, following the team chasing a specific bad guy. But as a standalone work overall it is an excellent way to spend a family movie night - and surprisingly thoughtful. I could easily have given it 4.5 for the content and as a tribute to the Monuments Men and George Clooney.
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on 22 March 2015
What an interesting tale to tell. What a shame Mr Clooney got his hands on it.
I am afraid this film has to be added to those where I question the merit of spending over two hours on it - including the various short extras. Don't know what I was expecting but since I like Mr Bonneville and Mr Goodman it went on my rental list. As I type this I am glad I did - preferable to paying a lot at the cinema or buying the DVD (I will never watch it twice). I really enjoyed WW2 films and series especially Band of Brothers which has a somewhat similar theme of a special mission. So too Ingloriuous Basterds which I have watched more than once. Sadly this mess of a movie is not even going to approach them.
OK there are moments that will amuse, raise a wry smile, but sadly there is much more that leaves you with confusion or a bad taste. In fact at times I was wondering if I was watching a rough cut of a film, one that had yet to be finished, polished as it were.
Of course the point of the film makes you wonder, makes you think of the destructiveness of war and what we lose when bad men do bad things on a large scale. But sometimes it is less easy to figure out who really does have God on their side. It made me wonder what was lost as a result of bombing enemy cities. The experts represented in this story rescued many many items of great artistic value but in parallel other actions resulted in irretrievable losses.
Other reviewers have related their opinions of messages in this movie relating to US propaganda that is their choice. For me that is incidental and more to the point is that perhaps film-makers should stick to the one role, either actor or director. In fact there is so much to reflect on but I think this film has already taken up enough of my time.
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on 1 January 2015
Ever since The Guns of Navarone, the film industry has made good use of the retired specialist or devil-may-care criminal to do things the regular army deem impossible or impractical. This movie is no exception except this time it’s a small band of seven entirely ill prepared art specialists rescuing stuff from Nazi clutches.

The whole film has a very vintage feel; you could easily be watching one of the classic war films from the 60’s and 70’s and I assume that is an intentional washed out Technicolor homage to the genre rather than just lazy, corny dialogue & soundtrack.

The basis of the film is rooted in the true story of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (MFAA) which did genuinely rescue art works and find vast hoards of art salted away by the Nazi destined for Hitler’s museum project. The whole story has, however, been thoroughly Americanised (just for a change!), playing down the role of the British in founding the organisation and completely unnecessarily altering the actions of one of the key Nazis who actually defied the Nero Decree. [Thanks, as ever, to the splendid Wikipedia for the background.] The Russians are also reduced to acquisitive louts, completely downplaying their role in the war – something the Americans either don’t know or don’t want to admit.

Anyway, that notwithstanding, this isn’t a bad little film; a safe & gentle war film to watch with the family on a wet Sunday afternoon. It has a light, comedic touch and some great acting talent, but the script doesn’t really give them the opportunity to shine, the pace is a bit uneven to say the least and the French accents wander about all over the place.
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on 19 August 2015
Quite a good film, based on a true story, shows what the Germans did in the second world war, removing art and gold from places they swept through, when trying to take over Europe and become a super power, and what some people did who worked for them, and how one of the main looters hid himself and his family in a cabin near Switzerland, where people thought he was Swiss.

Did end a bit abruptly when the Russian Army were advancing across Europe, in the wake of the retreating German Army.

Interesting, quite a mixed bunch of characters, put together to perform the task, which they pulled off with aplomb, I think it could have gone on a little longer and come to a better ending.
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on 17 January 2015
"Based on a true story" films do not have to be dull and unexiciting, just look at The Great Escape. This film is not dull but it could have been so much better. Some of it is good and some is funny although it is not a comedy. I just loved the fact that Matt Damons character was so bad at speaking French that all the French characters prefered to speak to him in English. Why Clooney used the "Have youself a merry little Christmas" song I don't know. Hasn't he seen 'The Victors' or did he think we'd all forgotten this film. The Monument Men is worth seeing but as I said it could have been a lot better. If you want to see better films about saving art etc from the nazis try 'The Train' or my favourite 'Operation Amsterdam'.
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on 15 December 2014
Far better than expected. The story of a team of older US serviceman tasked with rescuing stolen art works from the nazis. It features several well known actors, and I initially took the film a simply a vehicle for them. The story however is a good one and does highlight one of the less well known episodes of WW2, the theft of art works from public and private collections across Europe.
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on 3 March 2016
Such an interesting topic, a goldmine really. Yet they managed to make an astonishingly boring movie out of it. Sometimes it feels that it's not even the intended film but a random string of deleted scenes. It doesn't have a clear focus, there's no rhythm, the pace is all wrong, it picks up a lot of different threads only to abandon them halfway. I don't know if this is how it happened but it seems a little far fetched that even after it gets clear that all the stolen artefacts are hidden in mines, and they find 100 tonnes of gold in one of them, the army/US government still couldn't give a damn and let these 5 losers wander around in Germany (a huge country) to map out 2-3 more mines. All the while the Russians are closing in on them.
It just doesn't add up to a good film. Sorry.
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on 17 July 2014
Given the strength of the actors involved in this film I was disappointed in the extreme. The film was 'Bitty' to say the least. What could have been a good and involving story ended being a series pastiches with no real linkage. Cate Blanchette's character was, to say the least somewhat superfluous and could have been dropped with no effect on the overall plot and film.

The film was also spoilt for me by by trying to give each character a story line that didn't have time to be fleshed out. Would probably have benefitted from a giving more time to the length of the film, albeit I assume
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on 27 February 2016
An easy to watch film. Humorous throughout and has enough action to keep anyone interested even if they aren't particularly interested or knowledgeable about art. I think it would be a good watch in an art lesson at school- makes you think about art in a way that is often not presented, and it also shows that it is an important part of culture- it has at least changed my perspective slightly although I can safely say I won't be sacrificing my life for a sculpture no matter whose it is
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