6.2/10
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The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

R | | Comedy, War | 6 November 2009 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Grant Heslov

Writers:

Jon Ronson (inspired by the book), Peter Straughan (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Clooney ... Lyn Cassady
Ewan McGregor ... Bob Wilton
Jeff Bridges ... Bill Django
Kevin Spacey ... Larry Hooper
Stephen Lang ... Brig. Gen. Dean Hopgood
Robert Patrick ... Todd Nixon
Waleed Zuaiter ... Mahmud Daash
Stephen Root ... Gus Lacey
Glenn Morshower ... Maj. Gen. Holtz
Nick Offerman ... Scotty Mercer
Tim Griffin ... Tim Kootz
Rebecca Mader ... Debora Wilton
Jacob Browne ... Lt. Boone
Todd Lawson LaTourrette Todd Lawson LaTourrette ... Dave (as Todd Latourrette)
Brad Grunberg ... Ron
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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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay was featured in the 2006 Blacklist, a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »

Goofs

When Brigadier General Dean Hopgood is introduced, his uniform shows two stars, indicating a Major General. A Brigadier General has one star. 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 »


Soundtracks

Dancing with Myself
Written by Billy Idol and Tony James
Performed by Generation X
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

User Reviews

 
A good film, but not without its flaws
7 November 2009 | by Gareth_PontinSee all my reviews

Well, I must say that I was looking forward to this movie - after reading the cast list and hearing a brief overview of the plot I felt that it had good potential. And whoever made the trailer did a very good job of making me want to see it.

Unfortunately, there seemed to me to be a certain amount of confusion about the film - were the directors entirely sure what type of film they were making? There are elements of comedy, satire, drama, action... but without having enough of each of these things to really give the movie a proper feel or direction. It veers close to being funny... and then veers off. It comes close to satirising American military tactics... and then goes off in another direction. I felt that a little more focus was needed overall to bring the film together.

In terms of acting, I think that generally the actors can be pleased with their work - I don't remember any specific cases of over or underacting, and the characters were about as believable as they could be in a film like this. As far as the comedy goes - this film was primarily marketed as a comedy - there are some genuinely funny moments! Overall, however, I felt that some bits needed to be trimmed down - the constant Jedi references were funny the first time but quickly wear thin.

The plot also needed a little bit of work: it started off with a promising storyline, and good editing I might add, but seemed to lose its way towards the end. It seemed as if the film-makers didn't really know where to go next. There were a few scenes that really didn't need to be included either - Robert Patrick's contribution to the film really added nothing, and could easily be removed. It was entirely forgettable and was simply a device to get the characters to the next place that they needed to be.

Overall I'd say this this is a fairly good film, certainly worth seeing. As for buying the DVD, that I'm not so sure about. If you're looking for a way to spend and hour and a half of your evening, while there are better films to see than this there are also considerably worse ones.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Men Who Stare at Goats See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,706,654, 8 November 2009

Gross USA:

$32,428,195

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$69,095,771
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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