We get more paranormal activity this week in The Men Who Stare at Goats, starring George Clooney, Jeff Bridges and Stephen Lang about a reporter's efforts to reveal the story of an Army unit (supposedly real) seeking to harness the parapsychology for the benefit of the U.S. The movie, writes Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "has a glorious good time satirizing the extravagant lengths to which the military and intelligence establishments will go if they think there's a payoff at the other end." That's especially true in the case of Clooney, several critics observe. Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel , for example, observes that "'Wacky' isn't George Clooney's strong suit as an actor. But it's always at least amusing to watch the suave, silky leading man let his freak flag fly." In the San Francisco Chronicle Mike LaSalle writes that the movie shows just how far Clooney has come in his acting ability, "building a screen identity that's as specific and engaging as that of any classic film star. Like a James Stewart or a John Wayne, Clooney represents something just standing there - integrity, shrewdness, irony and self-deprecation. Or, to put it simply, today's American man." But Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times writes that although the movie may have initially been conceived as a showcase for Clooney, "more or less stealing the picture from Clooney is Jeff Bridges, an actor you can never see often enough."

06/11/2009