HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
   
 
Newest Articles
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
   
 
  Monuments Men, The Keeping art out of Nazi hands
Year: 2014
Director: George Clooney
Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas, Justus von Dohnányi, Holger Handtke, Michael Hofland, Zahary Baharov, Michael Brandner, Sam Hazeldine
Genre: War, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: As the Second World War rages on while Allied Forces prepare for D-Day the Nazis loot the great art treasures of Europe. On Adolf Hitler's orders masterpieces from Michelangelo to Picasso, many stolen from Jewish collectors sent to die in concentration camps, are destined for the Third Reich. Art historian Professor Frank Stokes (George Clooney) believes passionately such treasures are worth rescuing from Nazi hands. To that end he convinces the American government to help form the Monuments Men, a special unit comprised of six museum curators, directors and art historians. Many of these men are old or out of shape and the task they face is not easy, yet they do so bravely. While James Granger (Matt Damon) liaises with French curator Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett), Stokes leads Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), Walter Garfield (John Goodman), Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville), Jean-Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin) and Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban) across war-torn Europe on the greatest treasure hunt in history.

Based on the true story adapted into the like-named book by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter, this passion project for actor, director and co-writer George Clooney, working with regular collaborator Grant Heslov, had some expecting a jaunty Ocean's Eleven Goes to War. There is an element of the ever-watchable men-on-a-mission in World War Two sub-genre about The Monuments Men, all the more compelling for switching the focus away from fresh-faced young action heroes onto graying, paunchy yet much beloved comedians and character actors. It is kind of cool to see the likes of Bill Murray and John Goodman in fatigues, pulling guns on Nazis. But this is not The Sea Wolves (1980), thank goodness. Clooney has a much broader agenda and keeps the focus on character over action.

Central to the film is this question of whether it is worth men risking their lives for something as seemingly frivolous as art. In fact the film opens with Clooney's Professor Stokes debating this very point with no less than President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Throughout the story the Monuments Men face as big a challenge from their own incredulous military as they do from the Nazis, superiors who don't see the point in sacrificing lives for the sake of a few old paintings. Which on one level is a fair point to make. Indeed sacrifices are made, lives are lost and the protagonists, in particular Stokes himself, grapple internally with the question of whether it is worth it. Yet through Stokes, Clooney the filmmaker argues that art is more than merely decorative. Art is the soul of humanity. Our culture embodies our way of life, its history is the cradle of our civilization and that which Adolf Hitler sought to possess, pervert by 'purging' it of any 'corrupting' Jewish influence or destroy. Clooney stresses the value in protecting mankind's greatest achievements from destruction as equal to safeguarding lives.

Truth be told the film overreaches. Its splintered narrative tracks different characters through different locales around Europe, jumping between sub-plots in an occasionally awkward way. It is a film of lively, well-crafted vignettes that while not cohesive remain engaging, e.g. a running gag about Granger's faltering French, Campbell's reaction to a recorded Christmas message from his family, Garfield and Clermont stumbling into a shootout and a brilliantly tense, funny confrontation between Campbell, Savitz and a Nazi art thief in hiding capped by a perfect zinger from a deadpan Bill Murray. Sure enough many of the high points come from the seasoned SNL scene-stealer. If Clooney tries to cram a whole mini-series worth of incidents, ideas and vignettes into a film that ends up unwieldy as a consequence, one still can't fault his ambition or the sincerity of his belief in the enduring value of art.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1541 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

George Clooney  (1961 - )

One of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Clooney became a household name with the TV hospital drama ER before going on to star in films like Three Kings, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Ocean's Eleven and Gravity. Set up production company Section Eight Ltd with Steven Soderbergh, and made a successful directorial debut with the skewed Chuck Barris biopic Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Clooney's second film at the helm was 2005's acclaimed drama Good Night, and Good Luck which he followed with sporting drama Leathernecks, political drama The Ides of March and wartime caper The Monuments Men.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: