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The men who stare at goats - George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Grant Heslov

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

In this quirky dark comedy inspired by a real life story you will hardly believe is actually true, astonishing revelations about a top-secret wing of the US military come to light when a reporter encounters an enigmatic Special Forces operator on a mind-boggling mission.

Reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) is in search of his next big story when he encounters Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), a shadowy figure who claims to be part of an experimental US military unit. According to Cassady, the New Earth Army is changing the way wars are fought. A legion of “Warrior Monks” with unparalleled psychic powers can read the enemy's thoughts, pass through solid walls, and even kill a goat simply by staring at it. Now, the program's founder, Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), has gone missing and Cassady's mission is to find him. Intrigued by his new acquaintance's far-fetched stories, Bob impulsively decides to accompany him on the search. When the pair tracks Django to a clandestine training camp run by renegade psychic Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey), the reporter is trapped in the middle of a grudge match between the forces of Django's New Earth Army and Hooper's personal militia of super soldiers. In order to survive this wild adventure, Bob will have to outwit an enemy he never thought possible.

The men who stare at goats was inspired by Jon Ronson's non-fiction best-seller of the same name, an eye-opening and often hilarious exploration of the government's attempts to harness paranormal abilities to combat its enemies.

Theatrical propaganda posters

The men who stare at goats theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film comedy spy paranormal psychic war military Iraq goat telekinesis soldier hippy US Army

Persons of interest

  • George Clooney .... Lyn Cassady
  • Ewan McGregor .... Bob Wilton
  • Jeff Bridges .... Bill Django
  • Kevin Spacey .... Larry Hooper
  • Stephen Lang .... Brigadier General Dean Hopgood
  • Robert Patrick .... Todd Nixon
  • Waleed Zuaiter .... Mahmud Daash
  • Stephen Root .... Gus Lacey
  • Glenn Morshower .... Major General Holtz
  • Nick Offerman .... Scotty Mercer
  • Tim Griffin .... Tim Kootz
  • Rebecca Mader .... Debora Wilton
  • Jacob Browne .... Lieutenant Boone
  • Todd La Tourrette .... Dave
  • Brad Grunberg .... Ron
  • Matt Newton .... Vietnam Private Chris
  • MinhTu Van .... VC Woman
  • Robert Curtis Brown .... General Brown
  • Sean Curley .... Lyn (12 years old)
  • Morse Bicknell .... Ben Echmeyer
  • Kevin Wiggins .... Major General Jack Gillian
  • JJ Raschel .... Clifford Hickox
  • Arron Shiver .... Norm Pendleton
  • Jaime Margarida .... Major General Pendleton
  • Robert Anthony Brass .... Sergeant Bishop
  • Paul J Porter .... Captain Wogolman
  • Jon Ronson .... Author
  • Peter Straughan .... Screenwriter
  • Grant Heslov .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

The Cold War has many things for which to answer. The men who stare at goats is one of them.

The men who stare at goats is not a great story made bland by the Grey Suits in Hollywood, it's just an average idea that was stretched too thin for an hour-and-a-half-hour movie. It's the kind of film that, in the 70s, would've been remade as a TV show, something like Hogan's Heroes or Get Smart. Eek. In today's cynical world, that kind of comedy just doesn't cut it, especially against the backdrop of a blood-for-oil war, international terrorism, extraordinary rendition, water-boarding, suicide bombers, IEDs, etc. Which is not to say that this film is entirely mis-timed: a lot of it is darkly comedic. What it is to say is that Three kings does Iraq better.

The comedy, spy movie The men who stare at goats is directed by Grant Heslov and stars George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges.

Government security censorship classification

M (Drug use, violence, coarse language and brief nudity)

Surveillance time

93 minutes (1:33 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 4 March 2010

Cinema surveillance images

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