The Men Who Stare at Goats (2008)

Directed by Grant Heslov
Writen by Peter Straughan, Jon Ronson (book)

George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, Robert Patrick, Stephen Lang, Stephen Root, Glen Morshower, Nick Offerman, Waleed Zuaiter, Rebecca Mader.

Bob (McGregor) is journalist working at a low-grade paper, doing fluff pieces like interviewing a man who says he has psychic powers. Soon to be divorced, he decided to prove himself something, flies to Kuwait to cover the Iraq war. It is there he meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney) a member of a special ops unit of the army that uses psychic powers! With Lyn trying to find his former mentor (Bridges), they head to Iraq where Lyn thinks he is.

Interesting enough with the premise, but the timeline is often confusing with the far too many flashbacks in order to tell the large amount of exposition. 

There are some tonal shifts throughout that are somewhat jarring, as ultimately it tries to be a satirical black comedy, with war type themes within.

The third act is disappointing and feels out of place with the rest of the film. It almost feels like this part of the screenplay was written by someone completely different, and this lets the film down.

There are some very impressive cast members who are involved in this, but many of them are underused. This predates the Spacey situation, but his character is one that could have done more with, and Patrick is another who barely has any screen time.

As he is one of the producers, it has a ‘Clooney passion project’ feel to it. While I enjoy his type of movies, and I didn’t dislike this – the final act and the constant flashbacks with narrations grew tiresome, and this ultimately let the film down.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: