What: “The Monuments Men”
Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett
Writers: George Clooney and Grant Heslov
Director: George Clooney
The story: Seven unlikely heroes — museum directors, artists, architects, curators and art historians — hit the front lines of World War II to rescue thousands of pieces of art looted by the Nazis in this based-on-a-true-story adventure.
The buzz: Alarm bells sounded when the movie’s release date shifted from Dec. 18, smack in the heart of Oscar season, to this Friday. But Clooney insisted it was never designed to be an Academy Awards contender and that he just needed more time to finish it. Still, early reviews have not been kind. Or at least not as gushing as they’ve been over some of his previous efforts.
— CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE