The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

The Men Who Stare At Goats (2009) — Reasonably funny throughout but not stellar.  The opening disclaimer “more of this is true than you might expect” kind of says it all in terms of tone.  Clooney is great by playing his absurd role with intense sincerity.  McGreggor’s American accent sounds not totally convincing and he spends a lot of the movie whining.  Spacey barely has a role even though he’s supposed to be the main antagonist.  Bridges brings shades of the Dude to his role and is pretty much awesome.  This movie has some sort of statement to make regarding militarization.  It manages to somehow be both unsubtle and unclear about that.  There’s a pretty good scene where a shoot-out occurs between two private military forces who later claim they were fired upon by Iraqis (I think I did hear about something like that happening).  Perhaps the movie merely chooses to revel in the absurdity of man’s unending desire to destroy each other.  Or not.  I don’t know.  I don’t really care that much either.  Grant Heslov [George Clooney’s producing partner and fellow double Oscar nominee for Good Night and Good Luck] does not have Clooney’s directorial chops.  The movie is kind of a mess in some areas, though in the end it’s a pleasant enough mess.

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