The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

No goats. No glory.

http://www.themenwhostareatgoatsmovie.com/

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.

Considering the star power here (Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey) I can understand why people might feel somewhat disappointed when they watch it. I mean, the description even mentions the Coen brothers as a basis for comparison. With Jeff Bridges' role, it was difficult not to think of The Big Lebowski, but this film isn't of that caliber.
Still, I thought it was entertaining most of the time. There were slow interludes that could have been removed to improve the pacing without harming the story. But if you understand that they aren't going for laugh out loud gags or one-liners, but rather they work for their punch lines or leave you to figure out where the joke is, maybe you can appreciate it more.
I will say that the plot seemed a bit disjointed to me. The flashbacks weren't confusing, but in a slower paced film like this one, I think they were sometimes more of a distraction than plot-enhancers. The ending also had an air of an anticlimax to it, like - oh, okay. I guess it fit the laid back mood of the rest of the movie, but they might have done more with it.
Still, I liked it. Enough said.

Ruby Films, BBC Films, Smoke House Pictures by Grant Heslov, Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan.
Stars: Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges.

Genres: Comedy, War

Keywords: vietnam veteran kuwait new age drug use paranoid fantasy hippie lifestyle

11/05/2009

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