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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:
Hugh Bonneville, Diarmaid Murtagh
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 58 minutes
Starring Hugh Bonneville, Diarmaid Murtagh, Matt Damon, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, 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 Hugh Bonneville, Diarmaid Murtagh, Matt Damon, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, 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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: 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.
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