The Men Who Stare At Goats

The Men Who Stare At Goats

Directed By: Grant Heslov


A story too weird to not be true – in the 80s, the US army amassed a band of psychic warriors after the Vietnam debacle, harnessing the hippy ethic in order to hug the enemy into submission (before, if needed, slitting their throats).

As part of their training of these so-called “Jedi”, goats were brought in, and attempts made to explode their hearts with purely psychic powers. Apparently, once, this actually worked (although, to be fair, the goat next to the one targeted for destruction was the one actually felled).

With this trippy true tale as a backdrop, MWSAG presents a Coen-esque farce. Casting Ewan “Obi-Wan” McGreggor as the skeptic who explores the way of the Jedi was clearly a mindtrip in and of itself, and Clooney, Bridges and Spacey give their usual gifts to the flick.

There are indeed moments of great hilarity, but in the end it all felt a little haphazard, lacking a cohesive narrative thread or a sustained sense of mood that would have elevated it to the level of an actual Coen production.

Grade: b


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