The Men Who Stare at Goats - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Men Who Stare at Goats Reviews

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½ June 23, 2016
Being a "Star Wars" fan, it's surprising that much of the allusion to the Jedi culture is used to explain a psychic spy branch in the United States Army, of all the strange things the military could ever do. It shines with such a premise that seems zany yet believable, and many cast members who run the gamut from serious to outrageous. The film sets itself apart from other out of this world experiences by separating itself from the usual war parody genre by providing a misunderstood alternative. This is why several scenes will lose its viewers, but it's a puzzling experience never meant to be solved.
June 18, 2016
Not for everyone. It takes a certain level of enlightenment to appreciate this movie.
May 29, 2016
One of those movies you wanted to see because of the trailer, and when it's not exactly how you wanted it to be, you're either really disappointed or like it more than you thought you would. My brain feels both ways.
April 20, 2016
Its not new in Hollywood to present bland silliness and satire packaged with utmost seriousness, 'The Men Who Stare at Goats' comes off initially as a potential winner from this genre. While it had the necessary humor and a stellar starcast capable of enacting that, the script neither reaches the edginess it should have nor pushes the boundry to make this movie memorable.

Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) is a journalist by profession and going through a professional and personal crisis that he is so desparate to get out of. When he meets Gus Lacey (Stephen Root) and hears about the US Army's 'New Earth Army' that deals with parapsychology and psychic capabilities trained by Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), he knows that he encountered the story he has been waiting for that could get him out of his crisis. He meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney) by chance in Iraq and tags along with him into wilderness to cover a 'mission' in action.

George Clooney and Jeff Bridges have played goofy characters in the past - 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' and 'The Big Lebowski' respectively, a little disappointed that they don't share enough screen space. However it was more than compensated with some crackling chemistry and impeccable comic timing between McGregor and Clooney. While the writers, director and editors succeed in setting up an interesting plot taking cues from disjointed real events, the audience would be stuck in a never ending wait for the stakes to go up. Kevin Spacey does a character he has done a thousand times over and seems to have sleepwalked it. The production values are excellent all thanks to the big cast it boasts of, though the quality of humor is great, the jokes are a little too few and far to get wholesome entertainment. Though the director Grant Heslov is not new to Hollywood, it is still his debut of directing a major Hollywood feature and does a decent job.

Watch it for the satire, crackling chemistry and comic timing between Clooney and McGregor. Feels like a meal that finished with just the appetizers.
½ April 18, 2016
really good, funny, smart movie. watch it, it's really worth it.
March 10, 2016
I seriously can't believe how much people overlooked this movie. As a very judgmental film critic, when I say I really like a movie, I mean it. A news reporter (played by fake, but cool American accent McGregor) meets Clooney, and the laughs keep coming. But not laughs like side-splitting, more like constant giggles and snickers. Which this has so far been the only movie to do that for me. Hilariousness is portrayed in subtlety. Magnificent, and not only that, but seeing 4 of my favorite male actors play morons is just awesome. So if you like Clooney, Spacey, McGregor, and Bridges (a.k.a. The dude) not watching this movie would mean missing out on what I think was the funniest movie of 2009 (Sorry Hangover fans)
½ February 21, 2016
Exeptionally terrible, avoid at all costs
January 1, 2016
Saw this movie when it came out. I thought it was funny.
½ December 31, 2015
Very funny and assured throughout.
½ December 24, 2015
This is real government program
November 6, 2015
George was awesome and yeah
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2015
A mildly funny satire that seems to borrow from the Coen brothers' humor and has some very fine and vigorous performances, but after halfway through it starts to lose its comedic charm and ends with a disappointing, quick and easy wrap-up.
October 24, 2015
A real classic. The timing, story, and seriousness portrayed in this film was fantastic.
September 2, 2015
Based on actual conspiracy theoretical events, this satirical piece loses it's audience with uneven pacing and is more dark than it's humorous
August 23, 2015
Weird stuff, but I like weird stuff. Also Kevin Spacey on LSD.
August 21, 2015
Sparkly eyes technique
½ August 5, 2015
This satire comedy led by an all star cast is funny to begin with but soon that novelty wears off and suddenly your left with a boring movie which seems to be going around in circles with no progression to the story and the continuation of overly pretentious jokes. Both Clooney and McGregors characters are likeable its just the story is completely pointless and the jokes fail to carry it over the line. I wouldn't waste your time with this movie at all.
½ August 2, 2015
The particularly strong cast and the interesting inspired by true events premise fall slightly short of the sum of their parts but is still a gently amusing farce.
July 26, 2015
Although its story is at points completely off the wall and hilarious, a cast, that predominantly are fantastic and a script that works reasonably well, The Men Who Stare At Goats, falls short of 1 too many critical moments to make this a memorable classic. That's not to say its not a good slice of fun, it is and there is no better evidence than the actors involved in the picture that prove this. A down on his luck reporter flies to Kuwait, during a tragic break up with his wife, in order to prove to her that he can be the man she needs him to be, considering the second gulf war is under way. During his journey he bumps into a man named Lyn, who comes across as quite special, ranting about a new world army and how he possesses Jedi powers. Bob, the reporter, decides to document Lyn's "Mission" and heads out into the arse end of Iraq in order to see through his wacky journey, unbeknownst to him the extent of the madness he will come across. The source material is hysterical and utterly bonkers, the whole basis of this story itself relies on a post Vietnam task force, led by Jeff Bridges, who get completely high off LSD and practise humane and harmless methods of protection and warfare and do you know what, its fun. Even the moments that build upon the foundation are fun, yes there are traces of messages dropped throughout about war in general and inhumanity but the film is too busy trying to be silly to really warrant their inclusion, let alone impact. As mentioned the cast are all along for the ride, George Clooney, Ewan MacGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey and Robert Patrick all show up to inject their own form of bat shit comedy, the only thing is that, well aside from Patrick, MacGregor is the only one trying to do something slightly different here, the rest go through the motions, to be fair their characters are paper thin, but its George Clooney doing George Clooney, Jeff Bridges practically reinvents The Dude from Big Lebowski and Kevin Spacey pulls the i'm a prick card out, none of the are awful, but they have zero to work with, leaving us watching a bunch of actors really just having a laugh and mostly its okay.The script is whitty enough, regardless of actual content and at moments its extremely self aware, it manages to merge the history of the piece with a very fast paced current setting, which at times doesnt feel right, it feels tacked on, unwanted. Most of the fun from this film comes from the flashbacks, so when we are aimlessly travelling through the desert for, what appears to be, no reason, we as the audience start to lose interest. Its no surprise really, there is only so much silly can hold up before it just becomes a blur and with Men Who Stare At Goats, there is nowhere near enough grounding to really add weight to either side. It looks great, it sounds great and there are moments of comedy gold throughout, the film also doesnt outstay its welcome, counting in at just 1 hour 30 and no more, adding on top the razor sharp edit, the films turbo jets through its narrative, which considering its content is a life saver, but i kind of wish I had more, more time to breath, more meat to chew on and more weight to everything. Men Who Stare At Goats, feels like a group of strong actors got together in an afternoon and just improvised a set of funny sketches and walked away from it laughing and moving straight onto the next job, its fun but nothing more. This is the perfect film to turn your brain off to, not sure thats a compliment considering the films themes, but its true, it will kill time, you will laugh and you wont feel too let down by the end. However you cant escape the feeling that this film, feels like the Coen Brothers quickly whipped up an idea to work on, before being whisked away to do something more important, leaving whoever to pick up the pieces.
July 25, 2015
Bland and uninteresting
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