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The Monuments Men (2014)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, War  |  7 February 2014 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 89,513 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 385 user | 359 critic | 43 from Metacritic.com

An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sam Epstein
Justus von Dohnányi ...
Viktor Stahl
Holger Handtke ...
Colonel Wegner
Michael Hofland ...
Priest (Claude)
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Commander Elya (as Zahary Baharov)
Michael Brandner ...
Dentist
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Colonel Langton
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Storyline

Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys - seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 - possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind's greatest achievements. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It was the greatest art heist in history

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

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Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

7 February 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Operación Monumento  »

Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,003,433 (USA) (7 February 2014)

Gross:

$78,031,620 (USA) (16 May 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Monuments Men," were a group of approximately 345 men and women from thirteen nations, most of whom volunteered for service in the newly created MFAA section during World War II. Many had expertise as museum directors, curators, art historians, artists, architects, and educators. Their job description was simple: to protect cultural treasures so far as war allowed. See more »

Goofs

The first mention of the Madonna is in connection with the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk ("Church of Our Lady"). The church shown in the film, though, is a completely different one. Also, the Madonna is displayed in an altar piece, not standing on its own. See more »

Quotes

Claire Simone: [after listening to Granger attempt to communicate very badly in French] Would you stop speaking French? Or whatever language you are speaking?
James Granger: Well, if it weren't for us, you'd... you'd be speaking German.
Claire Simone: No. If it was not for you, I might be dead. But I would still be speaking French.
James Granger: [Glances away] OK.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the end credits there are black and white photos of the real Monuments Men with some of the art they saved. See more »

Connections

References Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin
Performed by Nora Sagal
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If Wishes Were Fishes...
14 February 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

In bringing together elements from Inglourious Basterds, Ocean's Eleven and Museum Hours, George Clooney certainly had plenty of opportunity for a rich and interesting story. War heroes who appreciate fine art played by the likes of Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman (plus a few "that guy"s), attempting to steal back priceless works of art from the Nazis, it sounds amazing.

So what went wrong? Well, to begin with, for a movie about a team, we're given very little time with them as a group. Almost immediately they pair off on their own little adventures. Instead of using these exploits to let us know a little more about the characters as individuals, we get the usual oddball pairings and some mildly amusing, but ultimately hollow, vignettes. Even when we lose some of our team, it really feels like nothing more than just something that happened on the trip, like "oh, and I also saw a horse." We have hardly any sense of them as a group and far less about them as people. The only character whose motivations we can understand is the one played by Cate Blanchett, but her limited chemistry with Matt Damon dooms what little redemptive quality her character had.

Also, and particularly troubling for a movie involving art, George Clooney's lens has little reverence for the work it shows. Though the film heavy-handedly ponders whether a piece of art is worth a human life, the camera never does. Even when a character lays down his life for a sculpture, it comes off less dramatic than inevitable. The film treats the works as being mostly historically significant and never finds that lover's gaze that tells the audience why.

What we're left with is a bag of spare parts. It's a popcorn movie with no setpieces. A war movie with no battles. A heist movie with no scheming. An art movie with no inspiration. Were they to have found some of Inglourious Basterds' bluster, Ocean's Eleven smarts or Museum Hour's insight, they may have found a formula that works, but that's not the movie we have here. I'll be damned if George Clooney doesn't look good in a moustache, though.


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