The Men Who Stare at Goats: The Stare Down

Ready for a bit of dry humor with your war film? Actually, it’s quite hard to call Grant Heslov’s latest film The Men Who Stare At Goats starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, and Jeff Bridges a war film. It’s more of a film about the crazy Jedi-knights who may or may not really exist in the US military. With a film like this you know what you’re paying for, the title tells you everything you need to know. It’s a film that knows how to laugh at itself without losing any of the power behind it.

Check out our review below…

The Players:

The Plot:

Inspired by a real life story, a top-secret wing of the U.S. military is exposed when reporter Bob Wilton (McGregor) encounters enigmatic Special Forces operator, Lyn Cassady (Clooney) and the duo set off on a mind-boggling mission. A legion of “Warrior Monks” who call themselves “The Jedi-Knights” appear to have psychic powers and can read their enemy’s thoughts, pass through solid walls, and even kill a goat simply by staring at it. With the program’s founder, Bill Django (Bridges) missing Cassady sets out to find him, but renegade psychic Larry Hooper (Spacey) gets in his way.

The Good:

  • Jeff Bridges: Ewan McGregor was amazing. George Clooney is not his usual charming self and yet you still can’t take your eyes off him. Kevin Spacey just flat out nails his role. But Jeff Bridges it the fucking king. In a room full of A-list talent all pushing themselves, Jeff Bridges shows why he is and always will be an actor of his own caliber. Each actor puts in a solid performance that feels like it was meant for them, but Bridges will absolutely blow you away.
  • Humor: It’s not your typical comedy, there’s a lot of serious subject matter presented in a way that makes you feel uneasy about laughing out loud but it’s definitely there. Perhaps why Bridges stands out the most is because he feels completely comfortable with what he’s doing. He takes his role seriously and it’s both endearing and hysterical to watch.
  • The Depth: It’s got a lot of layers for something that looks like a slapstick comedy and goes by the title “The Men Who Stare At Goats.” They’re not afraid to go to the dark side of humor, while at the same time, making light of things that could be serious.
  • The Opening Line: Before the movie even starts they tell you that “More of this is true than you think.” To me this epitomizes the tone of everything that you’re about to watch. If you don’t find that line funny, this film probably isn’t for you.

The Bad:

  • Pacing: It did feel like it was a touch slow, although I mainly blame that on the fact that at the screening I attended the volume was far too low. At times I did find myself straining to pay attention, but I’m not sure if that was the film or the experiences’ fault.
  • In Need of More Music: So many films overdo it with unnecessary manipulative music. It’s great that they didn’t over do it, but it did need a touch more to keep up the pacing and to add color in a few of the slower scenes.


It’s all about finding the comedy in a world gone mad. This film will make you think and take you along for a ride. And if that isn’t enough for you, just take another look at the cast, their performances alone are enough to make this film worth your while.

Rating: 7.75/10

Check out the film in theaters November 6th!

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