The Times' Kenneth Turan wrote, "Earnest and well-intentioned but ultimately inert, 'The Monuments Men' talks a better game than it can deliver. Inspired by true tales of World War II derring-do, it can't decide what kind of a film it wants to be and so ends up failing across a fairly wide spectrum."
The problem, Turan continued, "is that 'Monuments Men's' eyes are bigger than its stomach. In attempting to mix ersatz 'Ocean's Eleven' buddy humor with life-threatening World War II action while doing justice to the true story that underlies it all, the film never finds a consistent tone and ends up lacking in all areas."
Ty Burr of the
He added, "All the pieces are here -- a fascinating story, excellent production values, a handful of solid scenes, and strong performances. ... Yet the pieces never match up, because the script can't decide whether it's a caper comedy, a patriotic drama, or a historical adventure."
The Village Voice's Stephanie Zacharek wrote that "'The Monuments Men,' either despite its clearly noble intentions or because of them, stumbles on the march. ... Clooney can't control the story; it keeps flying out of his grasp like an unruly spring." On the plus side, "Clooney finds glory in the corners. His great skill as a director may be his affinity for actors. The performers in a Clooney-directed movie nearly always have some quiet sparkle about them."
Claudia Puig of
"The Monuments Men" does have its supporters, however, chief among them