BBC iPlayer: The Men Who Stare At Goats (2009)

on Saturday, January 15, 2011
Words: Saam Das

Director: Grant Heslov
Cast: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey

SYNOPSIS: "Comedy. Reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) thinks he may have a scoop when he learns about the New Earth Army, an experimental US military unit with unparalleled psychic powers." (

Okay, so the film might not be so great (despite a stellar cast) but the story is pretty darn interesting, and one which is inspired by actual events. People really did stare at goats to try to kill them. Apparently. The film is based on the investigations of Jon Ronson and John Sergeant, who claims he was later "airbrushed out", and uncredited for the feature film.

Ronson and Sergeant developed a three part series on the use of psychological and paranormal techniques in American military intelligence, which you can watch here, here, and here. Ronson then wrote a book on the investigations, and the feature film is loosely based upon his book, also entitled 'The Men Who Stare At Goats'. As Boing Boing note, "the real-life 'Men Who Stare At Goats' were even weirder." So you might be better off spending your time watching Ronson and Sergeant's documentary series, and reading Ronson's book.

Watch 'The Men Who Stare At Goats' until 23:29, Sunday 16 Jan 2011. UK users only.

msn spaces tracker