It's immensely difficult to strike the balance between earnest and funny when it comes to movies about World War II, but if anyone can, it's probably our man George Clooney.
Clooney, who directed and co-wrote the screenplay, creates a funny "Ocean's Eleven"-style heist vibe as an art conservationist who enlists a group of international experts to save art from Hitler's clutches. Roosevelt himself has given the marching orders for the platoon to seek out the irreplaceable artworks stolen by Nazi goons from museums across Europe.
This gang includes Matt Damon (naturally), John Goodman, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, and Cate Blanchett, who each have their own specialty and stake in getting to the most precious works of art before they go into Hitler's archives or are destroyed.
Of course, there are some kooky moments, like when Damon's character finds himself standing on an unexploded land mine, or when Murray struggles to make it through basic training. Then again, we're talking about stolen art here, people! And Nazis! Nazis who love art!
"The Monuments Men" is based on the book "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History" by Robert M. Edsel. It was originally slated for a December release, which would have made it a prime Oscar contender, but it's since been moved to February 7.
[via The Daily Mail]