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.
With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest.
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
Timothy Leary was a psychiatrist who controversially started extolling the therapeutic benefits of LSD late in his career. There is a tribute song to him called "Timothy Leary's dead", referenced by a similar line in the film. See more »
Only a general court-martial can give a dishonorable discharge, and only to enlisted personnel. Commissioned officers receive a dismissal from the service, which carries the same penalties and social stigma associated with a dishonorable discharge. See more »
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 »
Watching Grant Heslov's "The Men Who Stare at Goats" was tantamount to staring at a stick of dynamite - for 93 minutes - that never exploded. All the critical mass of a quirky, eccentric comedy (i.e., an able cast, a political pseudo-relevance) seemed to be undercut by clunky writing, tacky 'Watch people fall down, get run over, and laugh' stunts, and a painfully disjointed plot which can barely be deemed a plot at all. Rather, the movie featured more of a direction: an ill-defined, ill-conceived mission toward which two characters (Clooney's Lyn Cassady and McGregor's Bob Wilton) floated. The problem with the loose plot development, in this case, is that Clooney's chemistry with McGregor feels forced and their connection in the film equally contrived. The film was peppered with flashback (to which Bridges and Spacey owe the majority of their on-screen time) which jettisoned any chance the viewer had with feeling an investment toward the central story or its characters. In fact, the film stumbles from character to character so often that the viewer is caught juggling them under the central story arc -- and we never really care about most of them in the first place.
"The Men Who Stare at Goats" allows for some laughs and some admirable situational ironies. But don't expect the brilliance and subtlety of "The Big Lebowski" or "American Beauty."
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