The Men Who Stare at Goats

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 174 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 174
  2. Negative: 35 out of 174

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User Reviews

  1. Jun 1, 2015
    6
    The critics may have been a touch harsh here, but generally, I cannot fault them too hard here, as this one is pretty middling as an overall film. Pretty funny at times, The Men Who Stare at Goats manages to be a satire that takes itself a touch too seriously and goes a little too deep into the "bad weird" territory for me, in that it goes weird, but is not funny in doing so, just weird.The critics may have been a touch harsh here, but generally, I cannot fault them too hard here, as this one is pretty middling as an overall film. Pretty funny at times, The Men Who Stare at Goats manages to be a satire that takes itself a touch too seriously and goes a little too deep into the "bad weird" territory for me, in that it goes weird, but is not funny in doing so, just weird. At those moments, this one is off-putting. However, luckily, the moments where it is some quality satire and quite funny outnumber them. Also in the "pro" corner for this one is the great cast. I really liked George Clooney and Ewan McGregor here. Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey were not quite as good, but still turned in assured performances here. Ultimately, the moments where this one struggles mightily is when it takes itself too seriously and thinks it is being truly profound. As I said, these moments are not many when compared to the strong scenes, but those strong scenes are also short of being great. Overall, this one is an above average film that hits "pretty good" territory at moments, but is largely middle of the road. Expand
  2. Aug 24, 2014
    7
    A trippy movie that manages to be funny as hell while making very little sense. That's how I would sum up this movie, but then, it wouldn't be entirely fair; the beginning and the middle of the film were very good, but the end made me frown a lot - while laughing or grinning like a fool. I wasn't sure about the motivation of the characters, really, or the big picture behind it all, but IA trippy movie that manages to be funny as hell while making very little sense. That's how I would sum up this movie, but then, it wouldn't be entirely fair; the beginning and the middle of the film were very good, but the end made me frown a lot - while laughing or grinning like a fool. I wasn't sure about the motivation of the characters, really, or the big picture behind it all, but I guess I'll get it one day. Or not.

    Either way, Ewan McGregor and George Clooney were very funny. Kevin Spacey was kind of badass, but cool. Robert Patrick had definitely changed from his days in The X-Files (he didn't have a major role, but I had to mention this since I was so shocked when I saw him).

    Anyway, the movie isn't as much about goats - or is it? - as it is about men in a very special unit within the US army. What could be psychic warriors is actually a group of hippies, more or less, but some of them have more talent than the others. Or do they?

    The story is very amusing, told from Ewan's character's point of view, and when a reporter?s skepticism finally begins to turn into actual belief - at least somewhat - the plot suffers a little. But not much.

    Whether I understood the story or not, I have to say watching this movie was worth every second, because there were so many priceless moments.
    Expand
  3. Aug 6, 2014
    9
    A little gem, as crazy as poignant!! You enjoy every minute !! Ewan McGregor and George Clooney give us a fantastic duo, full of surprises, emotion and, mostly, laughs... A good reflection on the importance given to our faith. I love this parallel between the wacky humour's side, and the serious side, at the end of the movie... Yes, after all, we all need Jedi Knights !!
  4. Jun 16, 2011
    8
    I liked it and was touched by this story about beliefs, like winning a war with love instead of violence, the movie made â
  5. 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
  6. Feb 11, 2011
    4
    The cast and premise are great, but the scriptwriting falls flat. It should have been much funnier, but it was well acted and had some good moments. You can't help feeling that the talent was largely wated.
  7. 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.
  8. NathanR
    Mar 29, 2010
    8
    As someone who actually did a great deal of research into remote viewing/psyops/MK Ultra and such, this movie was right up my alley. The pacing and visual style of the film remind me a bit of Burn After Reading. As far as performances go, none of the movies stars are at their best. Mediocre performances aside, this is a very entertaining movie. At times comical, at times intriguing. If As someone who actually did a great deal of research into remote viewing/psyops/MK Ultra and such, this movie was right up my alley. The pacing and visual style of the film remind me a bit of Burn After Reading. As far as performances go, none of the movies stars are at their best. Mediocre performances aside, this is a very entertaining movie. At times comical, at times intriguing. If you have no interest in the subject of remote viewing you will most likely be bored to tears. Expand
  9. JamieB
    Mar 28, 2010
    2
    A complete waste of a stellar cast. At no point does the director come close to making a watchable movie. This is easily Ewan McGregor's worst performance of his career, and that takes into account the abortions that were the Star Wars prequels. Don't waste your time.
  10. DanielR
    Mar 26, 2010
    8
    I went to see the film with a group of friends, expecting to be moderately entertained by another average, yet kind-of-fullfilling comedy starring the always spectacular George Clooney and several other main cast members that draw you into the film. I was suprised to find that, while at times it was slightly hard to follow, I enjoyed the film. I genuinely enjoyed the film.
  11. JeffA
    Mar 12, 2010
    4
    I was looking forward to this, due to clooney, etc. but it was so disappointing I stopped watching at 38 minutes. It's just dumb. I didn't laugh once, just a rather dull, unfunny movie.
  12. 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 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! Collapse
  13. NerijusD
    Feb 23, 2010
    2
    Incredibly bad, stupid and... boring film.
  14. HughM
    Feb 22, 2010
    0
    HORRIBLE. When the only "joke" is casting Ewan Mcgregor as a wanabe 'jedi', get it?! Bloody hell, what a waste of time. Here in Australia it still hasn't had a theatrical release! Tell you something??
  15. ObiWanKenobi
    Feb 4, 2010
    8
    The "mixed" reviews don't understand what war or longing for normality really is. When you are in war everything is funny or you die. Nothing in this movie is true, so be it. You will never be able to understand what really is going on. I believe this what every Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman, and Coastie wants to feel. Disconnected and whole. Take from it what you will.
  16. SanderS
    Jan 3, 2010
    8
    Seeing Doctor Parnassas(hope it was right), I left from cinema thinking that the movie had everything right - acting, story and the purpose but it failed with very important thing - entertainment. This movie dosen`t have great story or some other things but it doesn't fail with entertainment. You get great emotional feeling and can always enjoy film with your friends. For me it had Seeing Doctor Parnassas(hope it was right), I left from cinema thinking that the movie had everything right - acting, story and the purpose but it failed with very important thing - entertainment. This movie dosen`t have great story or some other things but it doesn't fail with entertainment. You get great emotional feeling and can always enjoy film with your friends. For me it had great message and wasn't disappointed. Expand
  17. BobC
    Dec 29, 2009
    0
    Oh, my God! This movie is so bad that I thought I was in the seventh circle of hell. Would it ever end? Would it ever generate even the smallest iota of a plot? what was George Clooney thinking? Avoid like the plague!
  18. ChaseP
    Nov 23, 2009
    4
    Boring, Painful, and about as funny as a Jerry Bruckheimer action movie. I felt as if the movie would never end. The only funny part of the whole movie was the LSD dosing, and it could have been a lot more funny. I would have rather seen Twilight, which my girlfriend was begging me to do, at least I would have gotten pussy for seeing her movie instead of mine.
  19. FranciscoO
    Nov 23, 2009
    7
    Now that I know the Coens are behind this film I understand it better.
  20. ElizabethK
    Nov 15, 2009
    9
    Don't try to take it seriously. It was very adult and funny. I don't think kids will "get" it. As antiwar movies go, it was quite good.
  21. RonM
    Nov 14, 2009
    10
    This was a great film. You WILL laugh.
  22. BillH
    Nov 14, 2009
    10
    It was hilarious!
  23. MikeG
    Nov 14, 2009
    10
    I had a great time with this movie!
  24. BobK
    Nov 12, 2009
    10
    Most ppl won't (don't, from the comments) "get" this movie. From Bridge's perspective, Lebowski 2. And Clooney plays a wacko as well as almost anyone. Lots of snide reeferences. Desert scenes were shot at White Sands, NM and NMMI in Roswell stands in for Fort Bragg. Aliens, Roswell, 1st atomic bomb, Werner von Braun etc...seems like appropriate synergies to me. Walked out Most ppl won't (don't, from the comments) "get" this movie. From Bridge's perspective, Lebowski 2. And Clooney plays a wacko as well as almost anyone. Lots of snide reeferences. Desert scenes were shot at White Sands, NM and NMMI in Roswell stands in for Fort Bragg. Aliens, Roswell, 1st atomic bomb, Werner von Braun etc...seems like appropriate synergies to me. Walked out of it into a Santa Fe mall...and the film knocked me off-kilter enough that maybe, just maybe, I could've walked through a wall. Expand
  25. RickA
    Nov 11, 2009
    6
    Not A Great piece of entertainment but not bad either.
  26. CarolynM
    Nov 10, 2009
    8
    My husband and I loved this. It's completely wacky, yet based on a period of time when the US military seriously investigated paranormal approaches to war. Great performances that leave you wondering, "Are they crazy? Am I?"
  27. ChadS.
    Nov 10, 2009
    5
    The New Earth Army manual is all theory; it's never put into practice. If it did, then maybe this anti-war satire would get out of first gear. "The Men Who Stare At Goats" wastes a golden opportunity to expound on the famous "Dr. Strangelove" line: "Gentleman, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room," which was delivered by Peter Sellers(as the president) in the 1964 The New Earth Army manual is all theory; it's never put into practice. If it did, then maybe this anti-war satire would get out of first gear. "The Men Who Stare At Goats" wastes a golden opportunity to expound on the famous "Dr. Strangelove" line: "Gentleman, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room," which was delivered by Peter Sellers(as the president) in the 1964 Stanley Kubrick classic. There's no payoff to Bill Django's conceit that such countercultural ideals of his could accomodate the millitary's predilection for sanctioned violence. In the hands of a more daring filmmaker, one who was willing to rewrite war history(ala Quentin Tarantino), all that "hippie crap"(what Larry Hooper, played by Kevin Spacey, Django's teachings) would be a lot more potent as satire if the special unit's peace and love played a part(positive or negative) in the outcome of our country's skirmishes. The New Ageism that defines the psy-ops program is funny, but one-note in its presentation, because the New Earth Army soldiers never use their special training in a real world situation. The movie is much too preoccupied with the power struggle between Django and Hooper. Lyn Cassady(George Clooney) needs a more dynamic mission than the one the film gives him. "The Men Who Stare at Goats" could have explored the idea of a peace movement as being more than symbolic. For example, a soldier, not some hippie chick at an anti-war demonstration, could stick a flower in the barrel of a gun. But Cassady and Bob(Ewan McGregor) are nowhere near the war. The film needs a second gear. Django needs a venue for his "hippie crap". Expand
  28. JimR.
    Nov 9, 2009
    2
    Interesting idea, but the writers left all humor out of the script.
  29. MaxE.
    Nov 9, 2009
    1
    Not worth seeing. Story is so poorly told it is hard to follow.
  30. DanaM.
    Nov 9, 2009
    2
    Run, don't walk from this movie! I haven't walked out of a movie in years, but this was unbearable. Great cast but awful story. Don't waste your money.
  31. SusanM.
    Nov 8, 2009
    3
    There may be a funny moment or two, but in its absurdity, there's nothing to hold on to.
  32. NormG.
    Nov 8, 2009
    4
    What I saw was one long steady fast paced unrelenting one-premise stream of goofiness that in the final analysis just isn
  33. ClemD.
    Nov 8, 2009
    0
    An absolute piece of trash that Clooney, Spacey, etal. should be ashamed to have been party to it.
  34. BobS.
    Nov 7, 2009
    10
    Great movie, but too much cake.
  35. NoheaK.
    Nov 7, 2009
    3
    Inaccurate, sloppy account of army remote viewing program.
  36. LorettaT
    Nov 7, 2009
    1
    Not the worst movie I've seen but it certainly ranks up there (or down there, as the case may be). All the funny stuff was shown in the commercials so that left nothing to see at the theatre. $30 later and my husband wouldn't let me ask for my money back. Stay away from this one.
  37. KevinM
    Nov 7, 2009
    0
    I love farcical comedies. Anything Cohen Brothers / Wes Anderson. This was absolutely horrible. I smirked once all movie. There is no build-up to anything, no point to anything. Aside from one 15 second goat-stare-down scene, the rest of the movie's jokes and sight-gags were flat.
  38. JudyG
    Nov 7, 2009
    0
    Did not get this movie at all. Totally boring! Waste of money and time.
  39. BobR
    Nov 7, 2009
    2
    Great cast, nice premise. Absolutely deprived of any "necessity" to the plat. Just lurches from on idiotic scene to another with no drive and only minuscule connection. Idiotic in the sense that it was plotted by an idiot or more likely a committee of idiots.
  40. Ben
    Nov 7, 2009
    5
    It's strange, because as dull as this movie got, at times...it really captures something. It captures this spirit and a sense of time and place. I don't know, I can't really explain it, but it kind of gives off a sense of whimsy, especially as Boston's More than a Feeling plays on the soundtrack. It's a really interesting film. That said, it's a It's strange, because as dull as this movie got, at times...it really captures something. It captures this spirit and a sense of time and place. I don't know, I can't really explain it, but it kind of gives off a sense of whimsy, especially as Boston's More than a Feeling plays on the soundtrack. It's a really interesting film. That said, it's a comedy...without the laughs. At best the movie wins a few slight chuckles, but it's not really laugh out loud funny, ever. And it's not serious or dramatic either, so what is it? Really, REALLY weird. By the end it just totally goes off the rails...which would be good, if the movie was funny. Without being funny, it sinks into a pretty tedious story that takes forever to get....really, what was that ending? Expand
  41. JeffT
    Nov 6, 2009
    5
    Some funny moments but not enough. Even suspending disbelief is not quite enough to make it happen for me.
  42. VanessaR
    Nov 6, 2009
    9
    What a fun and wacky ride! The cast was exceptional. If you have a good sense of humor and appreciate the absurd, you should enjoy this movie as much as we did.
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. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    90
    A superbly written loony-tunes satire, played by a tony cast at the top of its game.
  3. 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.