Faith-Family Film Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats

Faith and Family Film Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats
By Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting

The Men Who Stare at Goats—Fact-based satire, set during the early stages of the Iraq War, in which an eccentric military veteran (George Clooney) regales a reporter (Ewan McGregor) with the history of a secret Army unit (led by Jeff Bridges) to which he once belonged that experimented with psychic and paranormal techniques of warfare. Director Grant Heslov’s mildly diverting, though disorganized adaptation of Jon Ronson’s 2004 best-seller, which also features Kevin Spacey as the squad’s selfish nemesis, sends up the soldierly excesses of both the Cold War era and the more recent conflict, but also showcases pantheistic New Age spirituality and implicitly condones its main characters’ indulgence in some questionable high jinks. Rear and brief upper female nudity, neo-pagan religious practices, drug use, a dozen instances of profanity, frequent rough and crude language. A-III — adults. (R) 2009

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