Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Farmiga persuades as a kooky monster of a matriarch, while Javier is an ideal vessel for Duchovny's laconic line readings (he's grown into an even more deadpan Bill Murray). Goats may cover an all-too-familiar terrain, but at least it grazes it well.
Overall, it's not that Neil's directorial debut is boring or even disappointing, it's that it's just unexceptional – almost exactly the sort of dime-a-dozen growing-up story that's become a Sundance/ independent film world cliché.
Ellis (The Good Wife's Graham Phillips), an alienated teen, smokes weed and hangs out with a goat-obsessed, pot-cultivating surrogate father (David Duchovny, hidden by hair). New Age details aside, though, Ellis is easily identifiable as a distant cousin-by-genre to J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield.
Ms. Farmiga is the only one who seems to be having any fun, as an aging flower child stuck in an earlier decade and addicted to healing vortex workshops and primal screams. Mellow, but very much a work in progress, Goats has a bland but overcrowded menu that could benefit from a little feta.
It's a strange stunt of a role for Duchovny, who even when playing characters indulging in sex, drugs, or conspiracy theories, has the air of a savvy urbanite, a quality he can't submerge while trying to act as a perpetually high mystic.
Slant Magazine
Christopher Neil's film is more location-scouted and photographed than directed and acted.
The Hollywood Reporter
A coming-of-age story without any clear epiphany, Goats meanders rather aimlessly through 92 minutes of running time.
This monotonously deadpan coming-of-age comedy has little to recommend it beyond some beautiful widescreen cinematography and the momentary kick of seeing David Duchovny looking like a stoned Jesus as Goat Man.
Village Voice
Incapable of energizing Mark Poirier's leaden script (based on his own novel), Christopher Neil directs with a mechanical blandness made more tedious still by a score of gentle guitar strumming so aggravatingly benign it might inspire you to partake in one of Wendy's climactic, cathartic primal screams.
Goats is just b-a-a-a-aad.

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