Monday, November 09, 2009

The Men Who Stare at Goats (**)

The Men Who Stare at Goats. 99 mins. R. Directed by Grant Heslov. Written by Peter Straughan. Starring George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, and Kevin Spacey.

Despite the promise of a great cast, with Clooney acting goofy and Jeff Bridges returning to his Big Lebowski roots as a trippy colonel, The Men Who Stare at Goats is surprisingly lackluster and only mildly amusing in spots. Based on a true story about military-trained psychic spies, the movie (directed by Clooney's pal, Grant Heslov) follows a Michigan journalist played by Ewan McGregor who meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney) and follows him to a mission in Iraq. The movie cuts back and forth between the backstory of the paranormal military program and Cassady's current operation. There is potential to be had with this story, but it's neither realized in the script nor on the screen. Keeping with tradition, most of the funny bits are already given away in the preview. The cast is game - though I have to ask: is it just me or does Ewan McGregor have the worst American accent in an actor working today? The Men Who Stare At Goats is lightweight and disposable. Perhaps the funniest bit is an unintentional one: the psychic spies call themselves "Jedi Warriors", to which McGregor (Young Obi-Wan himself) replies, "What's a Jedi?" There - I just saved you $10.

- John


At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is about as perfect a review of the movie as you could have given. I can give you a review for The Box, watch any old Twilight Zone Episode and save yourself about 2 hours of life.


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