Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on seven over-the-hill, out-of-shape museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians who went to the front lines of WWII to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners. With the art hidden behind enemy lines, how could these guys hope to succeed?
George Clooney starred, co-wrote and directed this interesting wartime drama. It centres around an elite squad sent to try to rescue precious works of art from the retreating Nazi war machine. Not elite in an SAS or SEAL type military sense, but dedicated to identifying and preserving these artefacts that could be anything from a small painting to a life-sized statue. Historically and logistically it is all over the place, but it has a feel-good sentiment to it for the most part. It focusses on another quite visceral, but perhaps less often considered aspect of the atrocities to posterity carried out during WWII. Matt Damon ("Granger") features occasionally as he tries to convince "Claire Simone" (Cate Blanchett) in Paris that they are not just going to loot the art for their own museums and there is enough action involved to illustrate just how dangerous the end of the war was as they race to prevent the destruction. The production is adequate, nothing more to be fair, but this film is enjoyable to watch with a message that endures long after the mediocre performances from the talent have diminished. Perhaps some objectivity behind the camera might have helped - Clooney is too close to what is clearly a labour of love for him, but it's still worth a watch.