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The amazing men who outwitted Hitler

Monuments Men: Sam Epstein, John Goodman, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bob Balaban. PA Photo/Fox Uk Film

Monuments Men: Sam Epstein, John Goodman, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bob Balaban. PA Photo/Fox Uk Film

As history lessons go, The Monuments Men is lightweight and mildly entertaining.

President Roosevelt (Mike Dalton) sanctions Harvard art historian Frank Stokes (Clooney) to venture behind enemy lines and save as many treasures as possible.

Stokes recruits six men - curator James Granger (Matt Damon), Sergeant Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), Sergeant Walter Garfield (John Goodman), Lieutenant Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin), Private Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban) and Major Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville) - and despatches them to key points to search for the loot.

“Take no chances and remember - your lives are more important than a piece of art,” Stokes tells his men.

Granger heads to Paris, where he hopes to extract vital intelligence from Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett), curator at the Jeu de Paume in Paris.

However, she is reluctant to help, believing the Allies will relocate the recovered treasures to collections in Russia or America.

The Monuments Men strikes an uneven tone between comedy and drama, which sometimes jars.

 

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