Friday, February 7 2014, 02:21 PM MST
Movie Review: The Monuments Men
3 out of 5 Stars
Director: George Clooney
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray
Genre: Action, Biography, Drama
Recommended To: Those looking for a nostalgic war film that should be far more interesting and entertaining than it actually is.
Synopsis: A group of seven civilians are enlisted by the arm and tasked with protecting and recovering the art stolen by that Nazis as WWII comes to close.
Review: When The Monuments Men was moved from its original release date and subsequently dropped from the Oscar race everyone assumed it was simply because its comedic tone didn't quite mesh with what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences typically looks for in a historical biopic. Few, if any, thought it was because the film woefully falls short of expectation. To be fair, The Monuments Men is not a terrible film. It's fairly enjoyable as it attempts to recreate the warm glow of old war films, but the cast, which is typically phenomenal, feels under used (or untrusted) as they go about their roles in a rather pedestrian way. It isn't that they aren't trying; they just don't seem to be given enough to work with. It's all artifice and not enough soul and that's too problematic to overcome when you're making a film about the importance of art as a historical record. Art evokes an emotional response that extends beyond its paint and canvas or brick and mortar. It speaks to generations hundreds of years removed from when it was created. The Monuments Men fails to capture that sense of awe and wonder. It tells us that a life is worth losing if it saves a masterpiece, but it doesn't really give you reason to believe it.
-Ryan Michael Painter