The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)



Critic Consensus: Though The Men Who Stare at Goats is a mostly entertaining, farcical glimpse of men at war, some may find its satire and dark humor less than edgy.

Movie Info

Reporter Bob Wilton is in search of his next big story when he encounters Lyn Cassady, a shadowy figure who claims to be part of an experimental U.S. military unit. According to Cassady, the New Earth Army is changing the way wars are fought. A legion of "Warrior Monks" with unparalleled psychic powers can read the enemy's thoughts, pass through solid walls, and even kill a goat simply by staring at it. Now, the program's founder, Bill Django, has gone missing and Cassady's mission is to find … More

Rating: R (for language, some drug content and brief nudity)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 23, 2010
Box Office: $32.4M
Overture Films - Official Site


as Lyn Cassady

as Bob Wilton

as Bill Django

as Larry Hooper

as Brigadier General De...

as Gus Lacey

as Todd Nixon

as Mahmud Daash

as Major Jim Holtz

as Scotty Mercer

as Tim Kootz

as Deborah Wilton

as Lieutenant Boone

as Gus' Mother

as Journalist #1

as Journalist #2

as Vietnam Soldier

as Vietnam Private Chri...

as VC Woman

as General Brown

as General Brown

as Kidnapper #1

as Kidnapper #2

as Iraqi Driver

as Technician

as Lyn's Father

as Lyn (12 years old)

as Insurgent

as Ben Echmeyer

as Krom - Phil Driver

as Krom - Texan

as Krom - Texan

as Krom - Chilean

as Krom - 3rd Security ...

as CIA Agent

as Major General Jack G...

as Clifford Hickox

as Norm Pendleton

as Norm Pendleton

as Major General Pendle...

as PSIC Worker #1

as PSIC Worker #2

as Army Soldier

as Stryker Soldier

as Bob's Editor

as Journalist #1
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Men Who Stare at Goats

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for The Men Who Stare at Goats

All Critics (205) | Top Critics (44)

All in all, Goats would have been groaningly familiar, even back in the 1960s.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Top Critic

It's Heslov's sarcastic, assuming tone, not the actors, that makes Goats so intolerable, and it begins immediately with the opening credits.

Full Review… | March 5, 2014
Stop Smiling

Even at a brief running time of 87 minutes, the film feels stretched, leaving you as "the person who blankly stares at the screen"...until it's finally over.

Full Review… | September 24, 2012

The oddity of its subject matter can't quite find a suitable groove between weird believability and preposterous put-on.

Full Review… | September 30, 2011
American Profile

A genuinely funny film packed with acting talent (...) well worth 90 minutes of anyone's time.

Full Review… | February 3, 2011
What Culture

although Clooney's charm factor helps Cassady rise above the caricatures created by the rest of the cast. ... it won't necessarily elevate a mediocre film into one worth watching.

Full Review… | January 31, 2011

Audience Reviews for The Men Who Stare at Goats

A very strange movie but with a cast of actors that I love. So I fought through it and well it wouldnt surprise me if OUR MILITARY DID do stupid things like this.

John Manard

Super Reviewer

Supposedly based on a true story, this is just a load of rubbish. Would have been better making something up that was actually good.

Stuart Brooks

Super Reviewer

Grant Heslov is mainly known for his producing and writing collaborations on some of George Clooney film's. However, on this occasion he takes the directorial reigns leaving me wondering what might have come of this film had someone with more experience been behind the camera.
In the 1980's, reporter Bob Wilton (McGregor) stumbles onto the story of the 'New Earth Army', a bold, experimental unit formed by the U.S. It's purpose is to train so-called 'Jedi' warriors to use paranormal powers, including mind control, for the use in battle and to help in the interrogation of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Then he meets one of the unitâ(TM)s major players Lyn Cassady (Clooney), now supposedly retired, and tags along for a series of misadventures in Iraq.
Amazingly, this is based on a true story and with this prior knowledge and superior cast, you'd expect something quite special. Sadly, it doesn't provide it. It starts off, looking very good indeed but after the half hour mark I started drifting when the realisation came, that it wasn't going anywhere. The cast are excellent as you'd expect; Clooney, once again shows nice comic touches and expressions, Spacey is under-used but still manages scene stealing moments and Bridges is absolutely brilliant as the spaced out, hippie commander Bill Django - which is a little reminder of his iconic portrayal of "The Dude" from "The Big Lebowski". McGregor also does well, amongst these heavy hitters and has nearly developed a decent American accent. It's just a shame that their performances were not helped with something that resembled a script. To be fair though, there are still some nice comedy moments and there are many interesting components to the story but it lacks drive. Maybe it's because the assembled cast is so impressive that more is expected. Or maybe, it's because it's in the hands of a novice director - punching above his weight. Either way, it disappoints. This is a film that the likes of the Coen brothers could have taken to great heights. It has a similar sense for the brothers' off-beat humour but lacks their creativity.
A passable comedy, that amuses sporadically but relies too heavily on it four performers. It's them that maintain your interest but the material should have been delivered with more confidence.

Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

The Men Who Stare at Goats Quotes

– Submitted by monsieur r (3 years ago)
– Submitted by monsieur r (3 years ago)
– Submitted by monsieur r (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Preston S (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Men Who Stare at Goats on our Movie forum!