The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

R   |    |  Comedy, War


The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) Poster

A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.

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6.2/10
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  • Ewan McGregor in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
  • George Clooney and Kevin Spacey in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
  • George Clooney at an event for The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
  • George Clooney in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
  • Kevin Spacey at an event for The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
  • Ewan McGregor in The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

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7 November 2009 | Gareth_Pontin
6
| A good film, but not without its flaws
Well, I must say that I was looking forward to this movie - after reading the cast list and hearing a brief overview of the plot I felt that it had good potential. And whoever made the trailer did a very good job of making me want to see it.

Unfortunately, there seemed to me to be a certain amount of confusion about the film - were the directors entirely sure what type of film they were making? There are elements of comedy, satire, drama, action... but without having enough of each of these things to really give the movie a proper feel or direction. It veers close to being funny... and then veers off. It comes close to satirising American military tactics... and then goes off in another direction. I felt that a little more focus was needed overall to bring the film together.

In terms of acting, I think that generally the actors can be pleased with their work - I don't remember any specific cases of over or underacting, and the characters were about as believable as they could be in a film like this. As far as the comedy goes - this film was primarily marketed as a comedy - there are some genuinely funny moments! Overall, however, I felt that some bits needed to be trimmed down - the constant Jedi references were funny the first time but quickly wear thin.

The plot also needed a little bit of work: it started off with a promising storyline, and good editing I might add, but seemed to lose its way towards the end. It seemed as if the film-makers didn't really know where to go next. There were a few scenes that really didn't need to be included either - Robert Patrick's contribution to the film really added nothing, and could easily be removed. It was entirely forgettable and was simply a device to get the characters to the next place that they needed to be.

Overall I'd say this this is a fairly good film, certainly worth seeing. As for buying the DVD, that I'm not so sure about. If you're looking for a way to spend and hour and a half of your evening, while there are better films to see than this there are also considerably worse ones.

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