The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) Review

A reporter (McGregor) attempting to head into Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney), a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army’s First Earth Battalion, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.


I avoided reading reviews for this movie before seeing it, but could not help but seeing a lot of low ratings in the stars and scores it had been given on reviews. But still I went in with an open mind not really sure what to expect from it and have to admit that I was rather disappointed. It was not as funny as the trailer had made it out to be, and most of the funniest moments were those in the trailer (not really a surprise anymore, as that seems to be the deal with comedies now we show you the funniest parts to get you to see the movie).

The performances from the leading/supporting actors were still very good despite the very weak and strange story. Kevin Spacey really stole the scenes he was in, he is definitely one of my favorite actors and I just love seeing him on the big scene. In quite a bad guy role again which is great, I thought in the limited number of scenes he was in with Clooney they bounced off each other very well.

The main story of the “men who stare at goats” was a special branch in the US Army who were trained to use their minds and referred to as Jedi’s because of this. It was an attempt to encourage a more peaceful army and make things better with peace and love. That they could pinpoint people without even having to leave a room. Lyn (Clooney) was the best Jedi, this made him look totally psycho to Bob (McGregor) a reporter who had heard his name mentioned in an interview before he left in an attempt to get a story from Iraq.

What exactly was wrong with this film, you may ask. It has to be the whole Jedi mind tricks thing they have going on. You cannot help but just think its way to off the page to even believe in a movie. That the soilders picked to be in the group when it was first developed had to be different and be able to use their minds more than most people. Being able to influence other people by “getting into their minds”. See I told you if was off the page . . .

Don’t get me wrong though some of the lines are rather amusing with some quite slapstick funny moments thrown in too. But the lines were funny because what they were saying was so stupid that you had to laugh. But hey its a comedy afterall imagine the disappointment if you came out of the movie and did not laugh? The actual moments which were funny involved falling off things and running/crashing into things, again if you have seen the trailer you have already seen a few of these moments.

I thought Clooney’s performance was also rather good, he was the main focus throughout the movie and pretty much ends up mainly about his rise and fall through the army and the new unit he was asked to join. But he can carry a movie, we all know that its Clooney!

Jeff Bridges really does amuse me, although does he always seem to be playing the same character with very slight differences? Or is that just me who thinks of him as “the Dude”?

I will not spoil why exactly it has the title of “The Men Who Stare at Goats” but I bet the title alone pulls people in to see it as it is so random, and I guess that the whole movie can go under the title of random . . .

3 thoughts on “The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) Review

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