The Monuments Men: Movie Review

Gabriela Sanchez, Arts and Entertainment Editor

A-list celebrity George Clooney released his sixth film, The Monuments Men, a war film based on a true story, that debuted to the public in theaters on Fri., Feb.7. The action drama created a raging hype, but to much disappointment, was pelted with harsh reviews and criticism.

The film revolves around a group of middle-aged men, all experts in the art field, who march into Nazi Germany, during the last years of World War 2, to recover priceless pieces of art that Adolf Hitler has hidden away.  The odd bunch of soldiers find themselves in life threatening situations and begin to question “Are paintings and sculptures truly more important than human lives?” The cast includes a long list of familiar faces such as George Clooney, who directed as well as wrote and starred in the film, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett.

Although popular names drew audiences in, and each individual actor gave a commendable performance, Clooney’s choppy and dragged plot did not allow for the group’s chemistry to flourish. The Monuments Men lacked in character development and, as consequence, viewers had no emotional connection with any member of the crew.  Throughout the film, some members of the art group fall victim to the brutalities of war, but audiences had a hard time sympathizing with a character they were not familiar with. It seemed that the director and Hollywood heartthrob was too busy trying to create a film with a deeper meaning (which he did not convey) that he failed to provide a vital element to a successful movie: bringing characters to life. The plot was dragged on for too long and there were only a few moments trickled throughout the war drama that can be categorized as exciting. Clooney throws in various hints of comedy, giving it a lighter feel, but then slides to the other side of the spectrum and attempts to be thought-provoking and dramatic.

Critics like Rashid Arini from the Hindustan Times simply called The Monuments Men “a bad script” and writer for the Geoffray McNab pins down the film as “profoundly frustrating and unsatisfying”. One of the main reasons for the movie’s failure was its inability to set on one tone. Because of this unfocused vision, Clooney creates a mediocre and unforgettable 1 hr. 53 min. film that will go down as a disgrace to a great historical adventure.