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The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

R  |   |  Comedy, War  |  6 November 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 104,751 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 266 user | 268 critic | 33 from

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.



(screenplay), (book)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Debora Wilton
Dave (as Todd Latourrette)


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


No goats. No glory.


Comedy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hombres de mentes  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,211,791 (UK) (6 November 2009)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of "Gus Lacey" is a fictionalization of Guy Savelli, father of Jennifer Savelli. See more »


The name plate on General Hopgood's desk identifies him as Brigadier General F. Hopgood. Later, he is identified as Dean Hopgood. See more »


[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 »


References The Silence of the Lambs (1991) See more »


Itchycoo Park
Written by Ronnie Lane (as Ronald Lane) and Steve Marriott
Performed by Small Faces (as The Small Faces)
Courtesy of ApS, An original immediate recording Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Quirky Premise, Clunky Execution
10 November 2009 | by (Always everywhere, never somewhere) – See all my reviews

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."

191 of 287 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Fiction...only to the mind controlled drones who cant see past 'actors' sammieleg20
prequel to star wars? gpace1216
Was Ewan McGregor cast because.... sewing1243
Did anyone in the movie really have supernatural powers? magnus-88
is it me or did the goat....... nansarama2003
I enjoyed the movie up until the LSD thing.. elexa_glome
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