Review Roundup: George Clooney & Matt Damon Star in THE MONUMENTS MEN
Highly anticipated action-thriller THE MONUMENTS MEN, starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, hits theaters today, February 7th. The all-star cast includes Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and John Goodman. Written by Clooney and Grant Heslov, the film is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter.
The Monuments Men focuses on the true story of a WWII platoon on a mission to recover stolen artistic masterpieces and return the works safely to their owners. However, in order to save 1000 years worth of irreplaceable material, the 'Monuments Men' must cross German enemy lines and somehow pass the powerful Nazi army, all whilst escaping with the masterpieces in hand.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times: It can be nice to spend time with these actors even when you don't believe their characters for a single second, and there's no denying this movie's easy pleasures, including the guaranteed satisfaction that comes in watching, yet again, the Nazis go down in defeat.
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post: If Clooney and Heslov feel the need to underline to a fault their points about the sanctity of Western culture and society and way of life, and if "The Monuments Men" never overcomes its unwieldy structure and unevenness of tone, the film still manages to make a profound, even subtle point: that Hitler's darkest impulses and annihilating reach extended from human beings to history itself.
Marshall Fine, The Huffington Post: Well-made and honorable, it's also a movie that never achieves much momentum. Nor does it build to the kind of climax you'd hope for. Even with a stellar cast of actors, the film feels like an unfortunate mash-up of The Dirty Dozen and a later episode of TV's M*A*S*H (as opposed to Robert Altman's anarchic original film).
Claudia Puig, USA Today: While the cast is impressive, the story lacks a strong sense of character development. Everyone comes off like cardboard cutouts rather than fully drawn individuals. A scene in which the men struggle through basic training fizzles in its comic ambitions.