Director George Clooney’s war epic about historians racing to save art from the Nazis looks and feels like it was just taken out of a time capsule buried in 1958.
The Monuments Men is quite breezy for a war movie, peppered with laughs provided by a strong cast, including Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban and John Goodman. They all play men trying to thwart Hitler’s plan for a giant museum. The film has one of those whistle-infused soundtracks, and it doesn’t hurt that Clooney and Dujardin look like Errol Flynn and Gene Kelly.
The movie moves briskly, and is perhaps a bit too weightless for a movie with such a heavy subject at its heart. It also has a useless subplot involving Damon and Cate Blanchett that is deserving of the cutting-room floor.
Still, Clooney has great command of the camera here; the ensemble shines (especially Murray and Goodman); and it’s fun to watch.
This is an interesting piece of World War II history, and it’s great that somebody has made a decent movie to cover this chapter of Hitler’s insanity.
The Monuments Men is playing at theaters across the valley.