Even George Clooney can run out of luck.
The man with the Midas touch when it comes to writing, directing, producing or starring in films could be hitting a rare rough patch with critics, as early reviews are looking negative for “The Monuments Men,” which he directed and stars in. The film opens Feb. 7.
The Sony/Fox co-production centers on a WWII platoon charged with rescuing art masterpieces from Nazi thieves. Despite a high-profile cast including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and John Goodman, “Monuments Men” has only two positive reviews so far on Rotten Tomatoes.
Variety chief film critic Scott Foundas called the film “exceedingly dull and dreary.” Recognizing Clooney’s potential and capability, Foundas also added that “the movie never really springs to life, and that’s a particular disappointment coming from Clooney, who’s smart and tasteful and one of the only people in today’s Hollywood who could get a project like ‘The Monuments Men’ off the ground in the first place.”
Indiewire’s Drew Taylor called the movie “an unwieldy, overtly sentimental (but still emotionally distant) epic” and also pointed out that “despite its title, it’s tragically short on momentum and instead spirals out into a series of rambling, uninvolving subplots.”
Some have suggested that the length and format may be the issue. “Maybe ‘Monuments Men’ would have been better suited as a cable miniseries,” IGN’s Jim Vejvoda noted.
The delay of the film’s release date (originally scheduled for Dec. 18) has been a topic of discussion and speculation. When the film was first pushed back to a 2014 release, Clooney told the L.A. Times that the delay was due to visual effects work that could not be completed in time. As a result, “Monuments Men” wasn’t eligible to compete in the Oscar race.