The Monuments Men | Arts + Culture | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Look, most people who write about movies do it because they love art. But real talk: George Clooney's The Monuments Men, based on a true story of a mostly American team sent to rescue famous stolen paintings and sculpture from the Nazis, spends much of its running time trying to justify its existence, because seriously? "Where is the art?," many characters—played by the likes of Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murray and Bob Balaban—wonder aloud in varying degrees of intensity, producing the same level of boredom. Like plays set in New York and songs about California, World War II has been done, and this latest project from the Lake Como Vanity Project Yacht is all winky Ocean's 11 crap and way too many monologues from Sir George, whose film career has been coasting on alleged charm since Return of the Killer Tomatoes. The single fraulein speaking role in a credited cast of 97 goes to a frowning Cate Blanchett, who provides most of the movie's gravitas while the dudes, half over 60, romp around Europe to jaunty whistling music. There's a reason The Monuments Men was fobbed out of awards season. If only it had fallen on a landmine.

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