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The Monuments Men (2014)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, History | 7 February 2014 (USA)
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An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

Director:

George Clooney

Writers:

George Clooney (screenplay), Grant Heslov (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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4,173 ( 63)
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Clooney ... Frank Stokes
Matt Damon ... James Granger
Bill Murray ... Richard Campbell
Cate Blanchett ... Claire Simone
John Goodman ... Walter Garfield
Jean Dujardin ... Jean Claude Clermont
Hugh Bonneville ... Donald Jeffries
Bob Balaban ... Preston Savitz
Dimitri Leonidas ... Sam Epstein
Justus von Dohnányi Justus von Dohnányi ... Viktor Stahl
Holger Handtke Holger Handtke ... Colonel Wegner
Michael Hofland Michael Hofland ... Priest (Claude)
Zachary Baharov ... Commander Elya (as Zahary Baharov)
Michael Brandner ... Dentist
Sam Hazeldine ... Colonel Langton
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Storyline

Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys - seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 - possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind's greatest achievements. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It was the greatest art heist in history

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | German | Russian | French | Flemish | Dutch

Release Date:

7 February 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operación Monumento See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,700,000, 9 February 2014

Gross USA:

$78,031,620

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$159,231,620
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Daniel Craig was cast in a role but ultimately dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Matt Damon replaced him. See more »

Goofs

Just-liberated Paris would still have been under blackout, as would Bruges, about to be evacuated by German forces. See more »

Quotes

Frank Stokes: Yesterday we fond 16,000 pieces of art in a copper mine. It seems the Germans take better care of their art than people.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the end credits there are black and white photos of the real Monuments Men with some of the art they saved. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Swim Team (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Night And Day
Written by Cole Porter
Performed by Patrick Peronne (as Patrick Péronne)
Courtesy of Promo Sound Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining search for a Madonna and other great pieces.
6 February 2014 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"This is our history. It's not to be stolen or destroyed. It's to be held up and admired." Frank Stokes

Considering the great art works recovered from the Nazis in 1944 by the Monuments Men, losing 2 lives in the operation might have been worth it. Or at least that's the struggle of the hero in the titular film inspired by the events: Frank Stokes (George Clooney), a curator at Harvard's Fogg Museum, goes back to the Army to head a small art recovery contingent (7—most out of shape and aging like John Goodman), with echoes of the Magnificent Seven and Dirty Dozen recruiting sequences, promising exceptional wit and action that doesn't materialize.

Why is such a high-concept plot lost in a February opening? Possibly because it's enjoyable but not remarkable, a pastiche of brief episodes not always connected to the plot's central vision (shooting at a German sniper youth thought to be an adult?). The episodes may be meant to establish character while sliding over them to chronicle a not always interesting path to the mines and castle where the Nazis have hidden the loot. At least the studio had the good sense not to pit this modest adventure against, say, American Hustle or 12 Years a Slave in the Oscar prelims in November and December.

The action picks up as they find the destinations, but along the way James Granger (Matt Damon) interacts with Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett) in a low-key romance that finds great art but small love. Changing Claire from the original monument woman Rose into a love-seeking operative angers some historians. Another concern besides history and coherence is tone: Reverence for the mission clashes with the jokey camaraderie of old-fashioned WWII movies.

It is a delight to hear the names of artists like Picasso and Rembrandt even though they had little influence on the film's fair-to midlin' screenplay penned by Clooney and Grant Heslov. Looking for Michelangelo's Madonna of Bruges and van Eyck's Ghent Altarpiece is definitely grand, but the grandeur is not matched by the screenplay.

As for directing, Clooney misses the sharpness of his Good Night and Good Luck while he helms here what seems a small story about an odd group of soldiers struggling to rise to the occasion of history's greatest art reclamation. It's an enjoyable film but not a great one.


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