The Men Who Stare at Goats (15)

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The Independent Culture

The Men Who Stare at Goats, Jon Ronson's book about the Pentagon's secret experiments in psychic combat, has been adapted into a film in the least satisfying way possible. It stars Ewan McGregor, as a small-town reporter who hears about the experiments from George Clooney's retired sergeant, far right, while the pair of them are driving through Iraq. Shown in flashback, these goofball anecdotes are all very watchable, but the film is ultimately neither one thing nor the other.

It doesn't have the plot or the laughs to work as a comedy, and yet it's so hazy about what's fictional and what isn't that it doesn't deliver as an indictment of military madness either. At the film's start, a caption reads: "More of this is true than you would believe." Well, fine. But how much?