In Goats, Ellis (Graham Phillips) is the most adult member of his eccentric family at 15 years old. His mom (Vera Farmiga) is a New Age hippie that spends all of her time working on self-help rituals with her hustler boyfriend (Justin Kirk). His dad (Ty Burrell) left home years ago and is more focused on his new wife (Keri Russell) and family. And then there's Goat Man (David Duchovny), the goat-herding sage who has lived in their pool house since Ellis was a child, teaching him the meaning of stability, commitment, and expanding one's mind. When Ellis decides to leave Tucson to go to the same East Coast prep school that his father went to, he easily assimilates to his new environment - even gaining the attention of a local girl (Dakota Johnson). But as he re‐connects with his estranged father, he finds Goat Man's influence and his life out West thrown into stark contrast. -- (C) Image … More
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Critic Reviews for Goats
If Mr. Neil had the tonal mastery of Wes Anderson, "Goats" could have been so much more than an episodic sequence of whimsical little psychodramas.
[The] solid cast ... can't make the film feel like anything more than a meander through the familiar-feeling angst of a privileged teenager.
... a stubborn, mangy, tangled-haired mutt of a movie -- one that could have used a little more guidance and construction and a little less free-range 'quirkiness.'
A sweet junket into the land of the new agers, and youth that refuses to grow old.
A strong cast and the sweet and simple nature of the script (based on the novel by Mark Poirier) makes Goats a charming little indie tale worth the viewing.
A movie that isn't terrible, but--apart from the goat fixation and Duchovny's zonked-out turn--doesn't offer much that hasn't been done elsewhere, and often better.
This is a very effecting drama about a teenage boy buffeted by starkly contrasting role models from the adult world.
The actors struggle to seem off-handed, much as the script does. Goats needs to be more goat-like in every way - unbridled, untamed, randy - and it never is.
Pretty, confused and thrilling to analyze and revisit, Goats is just like adolescence.
Christopher Neil's film is more location-scouted and photographed than directed and acted.
Audience Reviews for Goats
Strangely endearing, but not very exciting. I most likely added a half a star due to David Duchovny being in it. He is a funny, lovely man...More
"What an odd but enjoyable film. If you like a good dysfunctional family film, then this is a movie for you. The mother, Wendy, is far, far out there. I have never seen David Duchovny this way, and I liked it. Goat Man is very cool, lol. It's your usual story of a boy who is estranged from his father, has a crazy loon of a mother, and hippie substitute for a father. It's definitely one of the more quirkier films I have seen this year. I liked Ellis. I felt bad for the kid though. His mother is way to dependent on him which makes her take the childs role while he plays grown up. Goat Man steals every scene he is in. He's definitely one of the most interesting characters I've seen in awhile. It's a fun little indie flick. I would see it again."More
In "Goats," 15-year old Ellis(Graham Phillips, of "The Good Wife) is leaving home for the first time to attend a prep school back east and will not be around anymore to do the bookkeeping for his mom(Vera Farmiga). What she is really angry about is that this might bring him into the orbit of the estranged baby daddy(Ty Burrell), but at least she has Bennet(Justin Kirk, always where the pot is) to keep her company. And at least Goat Man(David Duchovny) promises to send Ellis some weed which would not be such a big problem if Ellis and his roommate Barney(Nicholas Lobue) were not caught smoking by the track coach(Anthony Anderson) who in turn blackmails Ellis into trying out for the team.
In the entry in the dictionary for the word scattershot, there should be a copy of the movie poster of "Goats, as aimless it can be, emphasizing the strange places some of us have to go for our Vera Farmiga fix. So, maybe you can't make a very good movie involving goats. The important thing is the movie is also brimming with non sequiturs which in the right place, namely here, can be sort of fun, as the movie follows a teenager coming of age and choosing who he wants to be while being torn between two very different lifestyles. And it does not hurt that David Duchovny gives a surprisingly relaxed performance while Keri Russell proves that "The Americans" is no fluke.
Even though "Goats" is a coming-of-age story about a boy, played by Graham Phillips, David Duchovny's character, Goat Man, is the center of attention. He can do no wrong and when he disappears, you're wondering more about him and his tribulations, than what is happening to the boy and his family. While there's really nothing new at work in this film, the cast fills out nicely and Duchovny proves he has a true gift for acting.More
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