The Monuments Men

Director: George Clooney

Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Bill Murray

Sentence Summary: Danny Ocean and some new friends go to Europe to save some art.

This film left me with an overwhelming feeling of…passivity, I guess would be the most fitting word. I didn’t hate it, but I definitely didn’t love it.


I was wary right from the start when the recruitment scenes were strangely reminiscent of Ocean’s Eleven, and things didn’t really improve from there. This film is based on a true story, and these people deserve to have their stories told; they saved some very important art. Unfortunately, they didn’t really get that. Instead, they got some unmemorable jokes, some weak monologues, and some underdeveloped characters to sort-of tell their tale.

I think one of the major faults that I found with this film is that it fails so completely at tapping into my emotions. There are a few resonating scenes, but overall, everything is so casual that the attempts at emotion end up being flat and forced.

There are a few reasons why I felt this way; firstly, the music. Anytime there was any scene with any semblance of emotion, the dramatic music would swell up in the background. I almost felt like they were trying to trick audiences into feeling something.

Secondly, they simply did not put this overwhelmingly excellent cast to good use. Some lacked screen time, some lacked lines, and all lacked character development. We know that every one of these people has the potential to be amazing, but I felt like most of them didn’t even get the chance to be good. Maybe with the exception of Clooney, who delivered every single “emotional” monologue. In his case, a lack of screen time wasn’t the problem, just unconvincing acting.

Any small victory in this tragic and taxing war has the potential to be conveyed in a tragically beautiful way, even if it is done in a lighter tone. Unfortunately, this film failed to deliver that emotion. Being by no means an art expert, I was unable to connect with the true importance of this mission. Maybe it’s something that my Art History professor could have connected with, but for me, being relatively ignorant, I felt that any attempts to justify the sacrifices that were made for this mission seemed too forced, and too over-explained. These people deserved a better rendition of their story.

Verdict: There’s not much selection in theatres right now, so if you really want to go this probably won’t be the worst possible choice, but under other circumstances, I would probably say skip it.

Have you seen it? Tell me your thoughts!

Photo courtesy fo Google Images

6 thoughts on “The Monuments Men

  1. Honestly, I didn’t even read past your sentence summary; this movie just looks dull as hell. I just cannot get interested in this, and I don’t know how you sat through it. Great cast. Boring premise. I’m sure some will love it and that’s fine for them. Just not for me. Judging by your summary atop of the page, you don’t feel much differently from me. But I was smart enough to save my time and money. lol.

  2. Good review. And agreed. I called this one emotionally hollow, which is more or less what you’re saying too. I also bemoaned the lack of character development and wasted acting talent. I don’t know if this is precisely bad, but it certainly isn’t good.

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