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‘The Monuments Men’: Clooney brings us a true story about saving history

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‘The Monuments Men’

Rating:
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During World War II the American and English leaders began to be more concerned about Europe’s national treasures. With Hitler’s wrath bearing down on Europe, the Allies put together a small team of men that were responsible for tracking down and locating priceless artifacts.

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The project was presented to the US defense committee by Professor Frank Stokes (George Clooney), in which he convinced them of its importance. The Committee in turn entrusted this task onto Stokes and for him to find a team qualified to complete this mission. He chose museum directors, curators, and art historians, such as, James Granger (Matt Damon), an artist, Sgt. Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), an architect, Sgt. Walter Garfield (John Goodman), a sculptor, Pvt. Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban), a play director, Major Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville), a British artist, Lt. Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin), a Frenchman, and Sam Epstein (Dimitri Leonidas), an American soldier who was born in Germany. With this team of eight soldiers they research and try to locate where the Nazi Germans will be taking the stolen treasures.

Their objective is to locate a specific set of art which includes the Madonna and Child Statute located at a church in Belgium, the Gent Alter Piece originally located in a church in Italy, one of the largest treasures of the Catholic Church, and many other famous artworks. Their journey will bring them all over Europe and eventually they need to meet up with Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett), the curator of a French museum, who will help them locate some of the largest collections of art that were stolen.

George Clooney, who also wrote the screenplay and directed this classic film, does an excellent job recreating this historic event. The true story is based on the book “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History”, by Robert M. Edsel, and it follows their journey to locate the monuments, fine arts, and archives stolen or damaged by Hitler during World War II. Clooney helps recreate this heroic event that helps preserve our world history for generations to come.

This is an eventful film that not only gives historical information about the mission, but also entertains the audience with its unique undertaking. It does include some war scenes, ruins, and Nazi domination. Lastly, it shows how hard it was for these few men to save these national treasures.

Final Grade: I give this a C+ for its historic relevance and interesting storyline.

Release Date: February 7th, 2014

Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas, and Cate Blanchett.

Director: George Clooney

Writer: George Clooney (screenplay), Grant Heslov (screenplay), Robert M. Edsel (book), and Bret Witter (book).

Runtime: 118 minutes (1 hours and 58 minutes)

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking.

Genre: Action, Biography, Drama, and War.

Production Company: Columbia Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, and Smokehouse Pictures.

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