[Movie Review] The Monuments Men

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

There wasn’t much chemistry between the actors, and scenes felt disconnected.

The Monuments Men had all the right ingredients to cook up a powerful war drama. It’s based on an incredibly unique true story, following the dangerous adventure of World War II soldiers sent by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves. How cool is that? However, the movie falls incredibly short of its A-list talent and fascinating source story for two simple reasons: it jumps around too much between characters and it unsuccessfully mixes together drama, comedy, and artsy seriousness.

Despite top-notch acting talent like George Clooney (who also directed the film), Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and John Goodman, the plot either speeds right by important events or slows down during the least interesting ones. Furthermore, the zigzagging story jumps back and forth so often between the frequently split up team of art-hunters, it never really gains momentum and seems unfocused.

The jerky, uneven pacing might have been fine if the drama hit hard or the comedy triggered a deep-bellied laugh. However, this otherwise powerful combo of history and Hollywood stars feels stuffy and fake, like a dusty stitched quilt unboxed from your attic. Rather than a tale of dashing heroes rescuing fragile artwork for future generations, it’s more of a boring tour guide rattling off some facts at a World War II museum. It’s no surprise that the film, which cost $70 million to make, is limping along a week after release with just under $30 million in ticket sales. This, despite the big name talent and ultra-exciting story material.

The final verdict? We give it a “C”.

Images courtesy of The Monuments Men Facebook.