The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) In The Men Who Stare at Goats , George Clooney, as one of the founders of a crackpot U.S. military unit, wears a mustache that… 2009-11-06 R PT93M Comedy George Clooney Ewan McGregor Jeff Bridges Kevin Spacey Overture
Movie Review

The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

MPAA Rating: R
Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, ... | WE SURRENDER George Clooney, Waleed Zuaiter, and Ewan McGregor in the desert in The Men Who Stare at Goats
Image credit: Laura Macgruder
WE SURRENDER George Clooney, Waleed Zuaiter, and Ewan McGregor in the desert in The Men Who Stare at Goats
EW's GRADE
F

Details Release Date: Nov 06, 2009; Rated: R; Length: 93 Minutes; Genre: Comedy; With: George Clooney and Ewan McGregor; Distributor: Overture

In The Men Who Stare at Goats, George Clooney, as one of the founders of a crackpot U.S. military unit, wears a mustache that makes him look like Dennis Farina, and he does his best to act cool, calm, and collected — which sets him in marked contrast to all the flakes and hysterics around him. The movie is one of those over-the-top absurdist antiwar ''satires'' that are inevitably likened to Dr. Strangelove, though a better comparison might be the fractious, madcap-incoherent film version of Catch-22. The Men Who Stare at Goats was directed by Grant Heslov (he worked with Clooney as a producer on Leatherheads and Good Night, and Good Luck), but in this case ''directed'' is a charitable word.

Spinning out the tall tale of a battalion of New Age paranormal soldiers who were trained, during Vietnam, to don cloaks of 
 invisibility, kill goats with their minds, and generally turn war into a groovy thing, Heslov slaps gags together and never begins to find a point of view. Actors like Jeff Bridges (in a ponytail) and Kevin Spacey (in the worst hairpiece of his career) jabber away as if locked in their own private acting classes, and Ewan McGregor, as the reporter who tags along with Clooney when the troop is revived to help fight the war in Iraq (see, it's a topical movie!), looks about as lost as you'll feel. The Men Who Stare at Goats is a magical-realist sitcom war farce that ends up being about nothing but its own slovenly smugness. F

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Originally posted Nov 04, 2009 Published in issue #1075 Nov 13, 2009 Order article reprints