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The Men Who Stare at Goats Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

Paranormal Hacktivity Read full review

2.5

Jen Yamato Profile

Clooney's mustache strikes again. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    54

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A magical-realist sitcom war farce that ends up being about nothing but its own slovenly smugness.

    Read Full Review

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    You may wonder if this screen version of the book of the same name is as unfunny and strangely mushy as it seems, but trust your instincts.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    This is the anti-"Hurt Locker" experience: Where that Iraq War film was absorbing and deadly serious, The Men Who Stare at Goats is irreverent and lighthearted. One only wishes it were a more consistently funny film.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Even if The Men Who Stare at Goats is not worth comparing to "Dr. Strangelove," it should satisfy audiences with its great cast and patent absurdities, coated in quaint nostalgia for the happy hippie days of yore.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    All of the actors play without winks and spins, unless you consider Lebowskism itself a wink and spin.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Men Who Stare at Goats reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Loopy war comedy's offbeat humor may appeal to teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this offbeat war comedy based on the same-named book by Jon Ronson could be a magnet for teens intrigued by both the loopy humor and stars George Clooney and Ewan McGregor. Drug use -- presented in a humorous context -- plays a key role in a couple of significant scenes, which means that if your kids see it, a good talk about drugging might be in order. There's also drinking and smoking, some fighting and war-related violence, a fair amount of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and more), and brief partial nudity (topless women and men's buttocks).

  • Families can talk about the movie's timeliness. With wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, check in with your kids about how satirizing combat comes across. What do your kids think?
  • The movie is clearly satirical, but is there a kernel of truth amid the jokes? If so, what is it?
  • The movie is supposedly based on a true story. Do you think it's believable? What do you think might have been changed in the course of making the movie? Why would filmmakers adjust the facts?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Though there's plenty of loopy behavior and manipulation here, the film ultimately wants to emphasize how important it is to believe in yourself and trust your instincts.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The characters are a flawed, complex group, though most have decent intentions. Bob is adrift in life, and his improbable adventure with Lyn helps him find his path. Lyn seems to have psychic powers, but he feels guilty for a long-past incident in which he was forced to use his powers for cruel purposes. Another character lies and manipulates others to advance his interests.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Much of the movie takes place during the Iraq War, and heavily armed soldiers and military contractors are involved in brief firefights. Flashbacks to the Vietnam War show combat, and a man is shot in the chest. Two characters are kidnapped at gunpoint. Some hand-to-hand fighting, and one character commits suicide.

  • sex false3

    Sex: No sex, but some partial nudity, including topless women in hot tubs and naked men seen from behind and at a distance.

  • language false4

    Language: Many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "damn," "hell," "prick," "goddamn," and more.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: References to several well-known companies, including Starbucks, McDonald's, and Halliburton.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Several scenes feature drinking and smoking, and some characters take drugs. Two key sequences center on characters tripping on LSD.

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