Review - The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men (2014), PG-13, 118 minutes - Everything about this film screamed 'Tim you need to see this!'.  It's a war flick, a period piece, it tells a little known WWII story, and it sports a George Clooney gathered ensemble cast.

This film is based on the non-fiction book titled The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel and tells the story of a World War II platoon made up of museum curators, artists, and historians who are tasked with recovering art stolen by the Nazi's before Hitler orders it all to be destroyed as the Reich falls.  This is easier said than done as the Nazi's stashed their stolen goods in the most random of places: mines.

The platoon consists of Frank Stokes (Clooney), James Granger (Matt Damon), Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), Walter Garfield (John Goodman), Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin), Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville), and Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban).  They split into pairs and head in different directions in their attempt to uncover intelligence leading to the stolen art's whereabouts.  Granger ends up in Paris by himself and enlists the help of French curator Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett), who becomes indispensable in the recovery efforts.

I really enjoyed The Monuments Men and would recommend it to anyone who likes being exposed to interesting, little-known stories from our country's past.  I have little doubt that aspects of the story were changed for dramatic effect or to help adapt the story to the big screen, but it points a spotlight on a part of our history that I knew nothing of previously and for that I appreciate it.


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