“Monuments Men” Review

Initially intended to be released in December with the awards season in mind, Monuments Men was pushed back to a February release as the special effects weren’t complete. Written, directed, and starring George Clooney, this film is a biopic about a WWII platoon tasked to rescue art from Nazi’s.

Monuments Men has a big ensemble cast, including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin. It appears as if each actor is working hard with what they’re given, but they aren’t given much. All of the characters in the film are more caricatures than real people. The real problem is that the script doesn’t give the characters enough time to develop. Almost immediately after they are introduced, they split up and start the mission. There’s no opportunity to get to know the characters, and so you end up not feeling anything for any of them.

The script on a whole is very weak. The dialogue is mediocre, never settling on a tone. The pacing is unbalanced, as if the story doesn’t know what plot points are important and what aren’t. And it’s not at all self-aware. It takes itself pretty seriously, so you have to be on board from the get-go, or else the film quickly gets uncomfortable. 

There’s nothing particularly grating about Monuments Men, but there’s just not a lot there. There are some nice moments, but an underdeveloped script prevents the film from eliciting a significant emotional response. If this is your thing, by all means check it out, but just remember to lower your expectations a bit. 4/10.

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