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The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

 -  Comedy | War  -  6 November 2009 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 98,124 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 262 user | 266 critic | 33 from Metacritic.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.

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Cast

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Dave (as Todd Latourrette)
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Storyline

A reporter, trying to lose himself in the romance of war after his marriage fails, gets more than he bargains for when he meets a special forces agent who reveals the existence of a secret, psychic military unit whose goal is to end war as we know it. The founder of the unit has gone missing and the trail leads to another psychic soldier who has distorted the mission to serve his own ends. Written by Rob Harris

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No goats. No glory.

Genres:

Comedy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hombres de mentes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,211,791 (UK) (6 November 2009)

Gross:

$32,416,109 (USA) (29 January 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character Brigadier General Dean Hopgood is based on Major General Albert "Bert" N. Stubblebine III. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene BG Hopgood is supposedly at Ft. Bragg, the home of the 82nd Airborne Division. The unit patch on his left sleeve indicates that he is a part of the 2nd Infantry Division, primarily based out of Ft. Lewis, WA and South Korea. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Brigadier General Dean Hopgood: [with great concentration] Boone.
Lieutenant Boone: Yes sir?
Brigadier General Dean Hopgood: I'm going into the next office.
Lieutenant Boone: Yes sir.
Brigadier General Dean Hopgood: [breaks into a sprint, slams into the wall, falls over] Damn it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although this film is inspired by John Ronson's Book The Men Who Stare At Goats, it is a fiction, and while the characters Lynn Cassady and Bill Django are based on actual persons, Sergeant Glenn Wheaton and Colonel Jim Channon, all other characters are invented or are composites and are not portrayals of actual persons. The filmmakers ask that no one attempt walking through walls, cloudbursting while driving, or staring for hours at goats with the intent of harming them... invisibility is fine. See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 19 April 2010 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Wishin' and Hopin'
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Performed by Dusty Springfield
Courtesy of Mercury Records Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Younkin Reviews Movies
5 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Men Who Stare at Goats" is a fascinating subject that gets the "Saturday Night Live" treatment. It's all based on fact (from Jon Ronson's book) but the concept is so silly that director Grant Heslov and George Clooney (both worked on "Good Night, and Good Luck) really can't help but make fun of it, and there are some good laughs here. Just no real story.

Ewan McGregor plays journalist Bob Wilton, a jilted husband who goes to war to forget his backstabbing wife only to end up wiling away in Kuwait. One night he meets Lyn Cassidy (George Clooney), a familiar name to him from a previous interview he did years before about psychic-spies. Lyn was the best in what was called the "New Earth Army", started by Vietnam-Vet Bill Django (Jeff Bridges) in the 80's to create soldiers with super-powers who could prevent conflict. The Army was later dismantled and used for evil purposes by the movie's antagonist Hooper (Kevin Spacey) but Lyn tells Bob he's been re-activated, and has a secret mission to do in Iraq. Bob, thinking Lyn crazy but interesting at the same time, decides to team up with him and go where the action is. Along the way, Lyn tells him stories of others dubbed, "Jedi Warriors."

Most of the movie is flashbacks, beginning with Iraq War 2003 and chronicling all the way back to the beginning of New Age warfare. There are weird and crazy laughs to be had like Lyn's initiation, where Django urges him he will never be a soldier unless he can free the dance. The lines are good too. "We tried invisibility but then worked it down to just not being seen", Lyn tells Bob upon their first meeting. Clooney is perfectly eccentric as a guy who lives by the mindfulness-over-warfare principal and McGregor is a whiny, but solid straight-man. Bridges is also terrific as this free-spirited hippie. Only the laughs and flashbacks (which feel like a series of sketches) aren't enough to distract from the fact that "Goats" really has no compelling narrative. The forward-moving story in Iraq 2003 has very little momentum. Spacey appears later on again as the villain but the conflict is weak and the movie has more than over-stayed its welcome.


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