Men Who Stare at Goats

Men Who Stare at Goats

3.2 4
Director: Grant Heslov

Cast: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges

     
 

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Loosely adapted from a nonfiction book by Jon Ronson, Grant Heslov's directorial debut The Men Who Stare at Goats begins as heartbroken reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) heads off to imbed himself with troops as the Iraq War starts, but Wilton can't get himself into the country until he chances upon Lyn Cassady (George Clooney). It turns out Lyn spent decadesSee more details below

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Overview

Loosely adapted from a nonfiction book by Jon Ronson, Grant Heslov's directorial debut The Men Who Stare at Goats begins as heartbroken reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) heads off to imbed himself with troops as the Iraq War starts, but Wilton can't get himself into the country until he chances upon Lyn Cassady (George Clooney). It turns out Lyn spent decades as part of the New Earth Army -- a platoon of men, led by Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), who lived a new-age lifestyle in an attempt to cultivate extrasensory perception that would allow the U.S. army to win wars nonviolently. Bill now has a secret mission in Iraq, and allows Bob to come along. As the duo gets into a series of misadventures, Lyn shares with Bob the colorful history of the New Earth Army and chronicles the nefarious machinations of Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey), whose jealousy of Lyn's remarkable skill brought an end to the group.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
It's hard to imagine a movie about the U.S. military training soldiers to discover their psychic powers that wouldn't be fun, especially if it's played for laughs. And the first half of Grant Heslov's directorial debut, The Men Who Stare at Goats, doesn't disappoint. The action begins when heartbroken reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) heads off to imbed himself with troops as the Iraq War starts, but Wilton can't get himself into the country until he chances upon Lyn Cassady. It turns out Lyn spent decades as part of the New Earth Army -- a platoon of men, led by Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), who lived a new-age lifestyle in an attempt to cultivate extrasensory perception that would allow the U.S. army to win wars nonviolently. Bill now has a secret mission in Iraq, and allows Bob to come along. As the duo gets into a series of misadventures, Lyn shares with Bob the colorful history of the New Earth Army and chronicles the nefarious machinations of Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey), whose jealousy of Lyn's remarkable skill brought an end to the group. With material this quirky and satirical, it's a good thing Heslov shows a flair for comedy. He knows how to accentuate the laughs through editing and framing -- most notably in a scene involving an IED -- and he's very good with his actors. George Clooney is screamingly funny playing Lyn's rigid military training and his free-spirited mind against each other in ways that make the character unique -- he's a haunted hippie/dreamer/warrior. He's well-matched by Bridges, who brings an appropriate Dude-like vibe to the proceedings, as well as Spacey, who delivers yet another amusing turn as a naturally loathsome a-hole. If only the script by Peter Straughan (very loosely adapted from a nonfiction book by Jon Ronson) had a stronger narrative through-line, the whole movie might have maintained its satirical edge throughout, becoming a bizarre cross between The X-Files and Stripes. Unfortunately, the wind comes out of the movie's sails in the second half, after we discover the goal of Lyn's sojourn behind enemy lines, and nothing from that point on has the imaginative bite of the movie's opening hour. But there are plenty of big laughs in The Men Who Stare at Goats, and it doesn't take psychic powers to see that first-time director Heslov, with a stronger story, is capable of great things.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/2010
UPC:
0013132137094
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
R
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:34:00
Sales rank:
20,732

Special Features

Goats Declassified: The Real Men of the First Earth Battalion; ; Project "Hollywood": A Classified Report From the Set ; ; Audio Commentaries; Character Bios; Deleted Scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Clooney Lyn Cassady
Ewan McGregor Bob Wilton
Jeff Bridges Bill Django
Kevin Spacey Larry Hooper
Stephen Lang General Hopgood
Robert Patrick Todd Nixon
Waleed F. Zuaiter Mahmud Daash
Stephen Root Gus Lacey
Glenn Morshower Major Jim Holtz
Nick Offerman Scotty Mercer
Tim Griffin Tim Kootz
Rebecca Mader Deborah Wilton
Jacob Browne Lieutenant Boone
Todd Latourrette Dave
Brad Grunberg Ron
Elsa Villafane Gus' Mother
Fawad Masood Siddiqui Kuwait Waiter
Samuel Gates Journalist #1
McCaleb Burnett Journalist #2
Sean Phillips Vietnam Soldier
Matt Newton Vietnam Private Chris
Minh Tu Van VC Woman
Robert Curtis-Brown General Brown
Hrach Titizian Kidnapper #1
Shafik N. Bahou Kidnapper #2
Christopher Maher Iraqi Driver
Drew Seltzer Technician
Donn Lamkin Lyn's Father
Sean Curley Lyn (12 years old)
Michael David Aragon Insurgent
Morse Bicknell Ben Echmeyer
Terry Serpico Krom - Phil Driver
Wiley M. Pickett Krom - Texan
Diego Serrano Krom - Chilean
Regi Huc Krom - 3rd Security Man
Kevin Geer CIA Agent
Kevin Wiggins Major General Jack Gillian
J.J. Raschel Clifford Hickox
Aaron Shiver Norm Pendleton
Jaime Margarida Major General Pendleton
Steve Witting PSIC Worker #1
Hunter Bell PSIC Worker #2
Edward Holley Amry Soldier
Christopher Robinson Stryker Soldier
William Sterchi Bob's Editor

Technical Credits
Grant Heslov Director,Producer
Peter Borck Art Director
George Clooney Producer
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert Elswit Cinematographer
Louise Frogley Costumes/Costume Designer
Cathy Sandrich Gelfond Casting
Barbara Hall Executive Producer
James Holt Executive Producer
David J. Webb Asst. Director
Rolfe Kent Score Composer
Paul Lister Producer
Amahl H. Lovato Set Decoration/Design
Amanda Mackey Casting
Mark Mangini Sound/Sound Designer
Alison Owen Executive Producer
Tatiana S. Riegel Editor
Luillo Ruiz Associate Producer
Sharon Seymour Production Designer
Peter Straughan Screenwriter
David M. Thompson Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Men Who Stare at Goats
1. Memento Mori / Main Titles [7:59]
2. Jedi Warrior [8:00]
3. Bill Django & The New Earth Army [9:30]
4. Dangers of Desert Driving [7:53]
5. Psychic Weapons [9:23]
6. The Battle of Ramadi [7:00]
7. "Nothing Was Ever The Same Again" [7:20]
8. The Silence of the Goats [9:58]
9. Psychic Systems International Corp [5:51]
10. Different Names For a Reality [4:21]
11. Returned To The Shy [1:43]
12. End Credits [8:58]

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