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The Men Who Stare at Goats: Starring George Clooney & Ewan McGregor

Updated on August 28, 2012
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Alicia has been an Author, Columnist, and Reviewer for 10 years. Her success came from perseverance plus organized goal setting.

This is the front cover of the DVD (front and back).
This is the front cover of the DVD (front and back).

Movie Review

Being one who enjoyed the television series Mash and thinking The Men Who Stare At Goats would be along similar comedic lines, I took time out of my busy schedule for the 1 hour and 33 minutes viewing of The Men Who Stare At Goats. Must admit, the movie was definitely nothing like Mash or any other military comedy. This film completely stands alone in a category all its own.

An aspect I found interesting, while doing a little digging about this movie's background, was The Men Who Stare At Goats originally was a book authored by Jon Ronson who based his book on research provided by John Sergeant. John Sergeant had researched the U.S. Army's interest into the paranormal and the psychological techniques used on the "War on Terror" after the Viet Nam War through the 1980's (during the Cold War). Both John Sergeant and Jon Ronson claim the book and research for the book is based on true facts. Since the movie is based on the book, the same could be claimed for the movie. The facts depicted in the movie, with some fictional license given to the plot and characters, does come across as far fetched, but is not truth usually stranger than fiction? In my life, that certainly has been the case.

The Men Who Stare At Goats begins with journalist Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) shelving a story that could have saved his failing career as a journalist. He had stumbled upon the unusual story while interviewing an Army Veteran named Gus Lacey (Stephen Root). Gus claims to formerly have been a member of a military top secret Army psi-corp formed in 1980 and has special powers due to his unorthodox New Age military training in the paranormal. At first, Bob Wilton, finds Gus crazy and entirely unbelievable as well as fictional; why Bob shelves the story in the first place.

Unexpectedly (almost out of the blue), Bob's world falls apart. His wife, Deborah Wilton (Rebecca Mader), leaves him for his Editor, David (Todd La Tourrette). This precipitates Bob not wanting to be at work (any where near his Editor) and throws him in a tailspin of depression. Bob desirous of proving himself as a journalist leaves for Kuwait to cover the Iraqi War. By complete accident, Bob finds himself sitting across the table and having drinks with Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), the man who could stop a goat's heart by staring at the goat according to crazy Army Veteran Gus Lacey.

Curious about Gus Lacey's insane story possibly being true, Bob as a journalist tentatively inquires by admitting what Gus had told him to Lyn. Bob even comes right out and asks Lyn if it is true that he indeed can stop a goat's heart by staring at one. Lyn confirms having this talent, including the rest of Gus's outlandish story about the New Earth Army program sponsored by the U.S. Army during the Cold War. Bob becomes so fascinated by the information Lyn has regarding this top secret military program that was dedicated to the paranormal that Bob follows Lyn Cassady into Iraq so he can learn more about the New Earth Army from Lyn. Bob's curiosity leads him into numerous dangers that Lyn has to rescue them from, and gives Bob the chance to cover a mission of a lifetime. This changes Bob's career, how he perceives the world around him, and his life forever.

Other primary cast (in the order given by the credits): Jeff Bridges (Bill Django, in charge of the New Earth Army recruits and training), Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey, recruited into the New Earth Army program and became an adversary of Lyn Cassady due to jealousy because Lyn's talent in the paranormal was superior to his.), Stepen Lang (Brigadier General Dean Hopgood), Robert Patrick (Todd Nixon, in the New Earth Army program), Waleed Zuaiter (Mahmud Daash, an Iraqi friendly who assists Bob and Lyn after they rescue him), Glenn Morshower (Major Holtz), Nick Offerman (Scotty Mercer, in the New Earth Army program), Tim Griffin (Tim Kootz, in the New Earth Army program), and Jacob Browne (Lieutenant Boone who oversaw the New Earth Army program for the U.S. Army).

The Men Who Stare At Goats is rated R due to adult content and innuendos. Personal recommedation is this movie is not for under 18 years of age due to the subject matter and plot. This film was released in 2009 and directed by Grant Heslov. The Cast and Crew created an excellent thought provoking movie with superb acting, perfect costuming and the scenes filmed (even the action ones) were great.

The Men Who Stare At Goats is truly something all adult taxpayers should see for its story line portrays government waste with the taxpayers' dollars given in tax revenue. I recommend watching this unique film, especially if you enjoy George Clooney, Ewan McGregor and Jeff Bridges movies. Having these three in the same movie was a lot of fun!


4 stars for The Men Who Stare At Goats


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    • lxxy profile image


      9 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Great review!


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