Reviews: MONUMENTS MEN

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4 (Out of 5 Reels)

I wanted to see this film because I have learned about Hitler’s plan to steal and stock pile everything he could get his hands on which included art but I had no idea how far he went.  An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners (IMDB).

The cast of this film are spectacular and perfectly cast in their roles.  Most notably for me are George Clooney as Frank Stokes, Matt Damon as James Granger and Bill Murray as Richard Campbell.  Clooney and Damon are strong actors and do a good job portraying their strong willed characters.  Murray, as well as Bob Balaban are the much needed comic relief for the most part and therefore are crucial to the overall feel of this film.  Stokes enlists a rag tag group of art experts to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of saving as much art as possible.  It is hard to believe there were only seven people sent to accomplish this task with no real resources to speak of.  They had to beg, borrow and steal what they needed to get about Europe.  Another character I must mention is Claire Simone portrayed by Cate Blanchett.  She lives in Paris and is forced to help the Nazi’s catalog all of the stolen art.  Her performance is understated but very powerful.

There are really no special effects in this film but the set design especially the cave scenes are well done.  This film is more light-hearted than I thought it would be but the writing is witty and the humor is expertly delivered by the likes of Murray and others.  The only negative thing I have to say about the film is that I thought it dragged a little bit too long.  I think this story is one that needs to be told and I am glad that someone like Clooney is up to the task.  I would recommend this film to anyone because it is well worth seeing.

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