Goats Fun But Unfocused

Clooney turns in top performance in military farce
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2009 6:34 AM CST
Updated Nov 6, 2009 8:11 AM CST

(Newser) The Men Who Stare at Goats, a farce loosely based on a non-fiction book about the US military's '80s effort to form a psychic unit, is wildly uneven but often hilarious, say critics.

  • The "over-the-top, absurdist satire" will be "inevitably likened to Dr. Strangelove," Owen Gleiberman writes at Entertainment Weekly, "though a better comparison might be the fractious, madcap-incoherent film version of Catch-22."

  • Stars George Clooney, in one of his best performances, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey give it their all, writes Anthony Lane at the New Yorker, but "there just isn’t enough motion here to sustain a motion picture."
  • The movie "jumps back and forth in time so often you may need to stare at a goat just to maintain balance, Peter Travers writes at Rolling Stone. "But the go-for-broke performances help make all this paranormal activity too much fun to care."