Monumental’ disappointment

Bombs, stolen art and big stars pervade “The Monuments Men,” directed by and starring George Clooney.

Based on a true story, the movie tells the tale of a group of men assigned to protect artwork during World War II. In the movie, Hitler orders his men to collect artwork from across Europe to establish the world’s largest museum. They hide thousands of paintings and sculptures across Germany and the special task force, named the Monuments Men, journey through Europe to retrieve these priceless cultural artifacts.

Clooney recruits some major star power for this feel-good American movie including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and John Goodman. The actors fit into their roles perfectly and complement each. The characters take different paths and end up in many different places, which allows for a variety of locations. The scenes shot in the countryside were beautiful and none were more breathtaking than the beaches of Normandy, France.

“National Treasure” comes to mind when you watch this movie. Both movies involve a treasure hunt that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat with every twist and turn.

However, “The Monuments Men” differs in its message, emphasizing a true American pride in the noble quest to keep the cultural identity of the free people intact.

Clooney has many inspirational monologues, giving his men hope and exuding admirable leadership.

Although the film is under two hours, some parts felt as if they were dragging. The premise of this movie is interesting but would be better as a television show where the individual missions could be more fully explored.

The characters were typical, yet still enjoyable, but they needed to be developed more. A seven-member team, each member with unique characteristics and personalities, was too ambitious for this film, especially with all the other thrilling action. Consequently, the pacing produced a superficial feel.

That being said, the message is clear: The audience can stand behind this movie as an admirable depiction of the nobleness of Americans and their allies during World War II.

Overall, “The Monuments Men” is an exciting tale that is easy to watch.

Emily Balan can be reached at

Author: Emily Balan

Emily is the news editor for The Setonian and writes for the news section. She also writes for The Diplomatic Envoy where she holds the layout & copy editor position. She will be graduating in spring 2016 from the School of Diplomacy with a BS in diplomacy and international relations and a BA in philosophy, with minors in French and journalism.

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