The Monuments Men

A few flashes of brilliance, but frustratingly flat

As WWII winds down in Europe, an elite U.S. Army unit comprising art experts and historians works to rescue the art stolen by the Nazis, keep it out of Russian hands and return it to its owners.

It’s quite amazing that director George Clooney could take such a great concept, cast himself, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, and Hugh Bonneville, and end up with something so frustratingly flat. A few inspiring bits and pieces, and flashes of brilliance. But too many subplots stymie narrative momentum and cohesion. A well-made doc might have been more interesting. Japanese title: Michelangelo Project. (118 min)