Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    90
    A superbly written loony-tunes satire, played by a tony cast at the top of its game.
  2. 88
    All of the actors play without winks and spins, unless you consider Lebowskism itself a wink and spin.
  3. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    80
    George Clooney dazzles and Jeff Bridges shines in a scattershot but often hilarious military farce.
  4. 75
    The go-for-broke performances help make all this paranormal activity too much fun to care.
  5. Has a glorious good time satirizing the extravagant lengths to which the military and intelligence establishments will go if they think there's a payoff at the other end.
  6. 75
    The film is more than a little odd but it has fun with its offbeat premise and moves along breezily until it gets bogged down in the third act.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Salisbury
    75
    An often highly amusing comedy in the vein of "Catch 22" and "Dr Strangelove," this lively satire looks destined for future cult status. Great soundtrack, too.
  8. 75
    A refreshingly unpredictable and fizzy comic fantasy. It tickles the fancy even when it strains credibility.
  9. The writing is haphazard at times, though the situations are funny enough in themselves to sustain our interest.
  10. This jam-packed picture is too zippily scripted and edited to get stuck in message mode, yet the stellar cast achieves a rare harmonic convergence.
  11. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    70
    Even if The Men Who Stare at Goats is not worth comparing to "Dr. Strangelove," it should satisfy audiences with its great cast and patent absurdities, coated in quaint nostalgia for the happy hippie days of yore.
  12. Still worth watching because it provides a showcase for a group of actors who really appreciate this kind of farcical comedy.
  13. Likable, lightweight, absurdist comedy.
  14. There is Clooney’s deceptively layered performance, some startling bits of laugh-out-loud absurdity, and the not-at-all-negligible pleasure to be had in a cockeyed point of view.
  15. 67
    There are moments of levity throughout the film, but it’s made with pedestrian craft and feels more like a set-up and a series of vignettes than a compelling yarn. Chiefly, it demonstrates just how accomplished the Coens are even when their films seem offhanded and easy.
  16. 67
    This is a movie about a “New Earth Army” full of misfit soldiers yearning for a chance to be non-conformists with a cause, which means it’s already two-thirds of the way to being awesome. Had Heslov eased back a bit, Goats might’ve made it the rest of the way.
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    This is the anti-"Hurt Locker" experience: Where that Iraq War film was absorbing and deadly serious, The Men Who Stare at Goats is irreverent and lighthearted. One only wishes it were a more consistently funny film.
  18. 63
    Content to be sparkly when it should be sharp-edged and shrewd; it has the potential to roar like a lion, but instead it lays lambs at our feet.
  19. Reviewed by: James Teitelbaum
    60
    It is frustrating to see this much raw talent on the screen, not to mention behind the camera, and to have had these people produce something that hints at so many complex things, but ultimately fails to deliver on them. It’s just a comedy, then. So be it, Jedi.
  20. 60
    Clooney gives it everything, but what does he get in return? A void where the story is meant to be.
  21. By bringing the story into Iraq, Grant Heslov courts tastelessness. Gooniness and Gitmo don't mix.
  22. 50
    Much of The Men Who Stare at Goats is indeed amusing, although mostly in a mild, setting-the-stage kind of way, and your smiles eventually turn to yawns.
  23. What's impressive about Clooney in The Men Who Stare at Goats is how he marries his goofy, comic side with his dramatic side.
  24. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    You can’t make this stuff up, but you can botch the telling of it, and that’s what sinks this satiric drama.
  25. These Stooges-like antics are more about showing what good sports his stars are than honing any real satiric edge.
  26. When the haze wears off and the movie grounds itself in reality, it's a bummer. Until then, though, what's weird here is gloriously weird.
  27. 50
    Clooney and Bridges model an assortment of wigs and facial hair as they labor to put across their outsize characters; at its best the movie recalls a subpar episode of M*A*S*H.
  28. An unfocused comedy about weird Army pseudoscience, ends up blinking before we laugh.
  29. 40
    Despite a backbeat of perky music and the sarcastic voiceover meant to lubricate the action, The Men Who Stare at Goats lacks pizzazz. The movie isn't funny enough to work as farce, but it's far too dippy to take seriously.
  30. 30
    There's no doubt we need more movies for grown-ups, with jokes that don't hit us over the head, but The Men Who Stare at Goats doesn't fit the bill. At best, it might hypnotize you into a stupor.
  31. You may wonder if this screen version of the book of the same name is as unfunny and strangely mushy as it seems, but trust your instincts.
  32. 25
    At the end, as I stumbled back onto the street as disoriented and grateful as a released POW, I thought I'd need a calendar to calculate the length of time I'd been away.
  33. A magical-realist sitcom war farce that ends up being about nothing but its own slovenly smugness.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 152 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 39
  2. Negative: 14 out of 39
  1. Jun 4, 2011
    7
    Apparently based more in fact than you might believe, this movie is by turns satirical, amusing and poignant. An original indie with a great cast. Clooney and Bridges do not disappoint Full Review »
  2. Sep 19, 2010
    8
    I really don't understand why people hated this movie. It's hysterical! Clever, dry and flat-out nonsensical. Fantastic cast and extremely entertaining. Full Review »
  3. UriG
    Mar 7, 2010
    9
    First of all, I must say I was nearly forced to go inside the cinema to watch the movie. But after watching it, I accept that it was a really nice film: fresh, not slow(but not as fast as I would have liked), really funny, and with a few moments that everybody in the cinema laughed really loud. It is worth watching it, so I recommend it to everybody. A must-see film if you wanna enjoy a really nice time! Full Review »