George Clooney. Matt Damon. John Goodman. World War II black comedy. Cate Blanchett. Treasure Hunts. Nazis. Why the hell isn’t The Monuments Men any good? Let’s take a look.

John Goodman and George ClooneyJohn Goodman and George Clooney read the reviews...

The comedy drama sees Clooney compile an unlikely group of heroes, put them through basic training and take them over to strategic in Western Europe in a bid to perverse the very culture Hitler is attempting to destroy. It’s a fantastic premise and, needless to say, the star power attached to the movie certainly got people excited.

But since the critics have gotten ahold of it, opinions aren’t so positive.

The most prevalent criticisms include an unerring quest to raise important questions without truly answering them; a vapid, messy structure that doesn’t satisfy the grand plot and acting performances full of set piece and virtuoso but lacking substance. It has been, for want of a better phrase, an ‘epic fail’, and has settled down to a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which won’t satisfy anyone.

“Because Mr. Clooney can't figure out what kind of story this is, he too often slips into pandering mode, including in his own performance, which is filled with too many smiles and speeches,” wrote Manohla Dargis of The New York Times. "Alexandre Desplat's intrusive score keeps telling us what mood we should be in. Moods change from moment to moment, though, and not only in the action sequences,” said Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal.

With such widespread criticism, it’s difficult to escape the feeling that Clooney must have known how bad his film was. Did he perhaps delay it to escape the ignominy of Oscar snubs? Conspiracy theories ahoy!

Monuments Men poster