The Monuments Men features a cast list of favorites including George Clooney playing “Frank Stokes”, Matt Damon playing “James Granger”, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. The setting takes place in numerous locations, many of which were in Europe during the end of World War II (mainly 1943-1945, except for the ending scene). Sent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, this team of older art scholars (the young ones are already fighting in the war) are sent to protect and return art stolen by Nazi Germany. The movie follows the adventures of the men as they attempt save the art. A few men die along the way, raising the question: is a life worth saving priceless artwork? Throughout the film, although Nazi Germany is the main enemy, historical accuracy brushes on the tense nature between the Allies and Soviet Russia showing a soon to be Cold War.
Critics are complaining The Monuments Men seems boring for a movie that is supposed to take place in a war zone. Some believe the movie drags on in some scenes, and other important plot elements and character moments are too quickly skipped over.
Personally being what many call a “history buff,” I highly enjoy films of this type of genre. Being based on a true story and a book brings the story more to life for me. I loved how the movie had many sentimental and moments filled with heart-warmth, yet the underlying tone of humor rarely left the screen. If you like puns, history, or just plain jokes in the middle of a serious moment, this movie is for you. The camera angles reminded me of the historical movie Lincoln, which came out in 2012. Unfortunately some scenes seemed to drag on. The movie consisted of a lot of talking, and only a few scenes of action and suspense. Also, if you are planning to see this movie, especially in the beginning, keep watching. The beginning of the movie layers in several foreign languages and captions appear multiple times. Missing just a few of these captions can easily confuse the viewer. If you do not really like movies with minimal swearing, only art nudity, and lots of history talk, this movie is probably not for you.
If you don't think this movie is right for you, The Lego Movie is currently a box-office hit. Grab a friend, a sibling, or your Valentine’s Day date and hit the theater.