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THE MONUMENTS MEN

                 

For Hicksflicks.com, May 16, 2014

"The Monuments Men" (PG-13) is yet another allegedly true story that has been Hollywoodized, which is to say muddied to such an extreme that it could be a Frank Capra flag-waver.

But, as suggested by the blog above, it is also so much fun, it's so entertaining, exhilarating and funny, and I had such a good time, that I don't really care how untrue much of it is.

The true part is that a group of soldiers and recruited civilians were put to work trying to rescue European art that had been looted by the Nazis.

The exhilarating part is watching these works of art being saved in exciting ways in the midst of World War II by a hapless group of over-the-hill "soldiers."

And the fun comes from the cast, a great ensemble filled with bright personalities that work well together and are often very funny — George Clooney (who also directed, co-wrote and co-produced), Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.

                  

               George Clooney with Matt Damon in 'The Monuments Men.'

Clooney contends in interviews that the film is 80 percent true but historians suggest that he plays pretty fast and loose with everything, including his adaptation of incidents that actually occurred. And reviews have been so-so to dismal.

But from this corner comes a strong recommendation. I enjoyed this film more than any other I've seen so far this year.

Although, admittedly, that's not saying a heck of a lot.

"The Monuments Men" arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday (May 20).