Newest Reviews
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Power of the Dog, The
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
Newest Articles
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
  Goats High There
Year: 2012
Director: Christopher Neil
Stars: David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, Graham Phillips, Justin Kirk, Keri Russell, Anthony Anderson, Dakota Johnson, Adelaide Kane, Ty Burrell, Nicholas Lobue, Ronnie Rubalcaba, Alan Ruck, Tommee May, Musashi Alexander, Ana Auther, Olga Segura, Geoff Ellsworth
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ellis (Graham Phillips) grew up in a broken home, as his mother Wendy (Vera Farmiga) refused to allow him to see his father Frank (Ty Burrell), but there were compensations, mostly from the gardener who Ellis always called Goat Man (David Duchovny). He came to see Goat Man as a father figure since he was the only one available to him, and as he grew older he was introduced to the joys of smoking cannabis which always made their frequent treks out into the desert something special. However, Ellis may be content to drift through this life of getting high with no consequences, but Wendy has arranged for him to go to an expensive private school which will change everything...

Goats was adapted from Mark Poirier's novel by himself, and directed by one of the Coppola clan, Christopher Neil, but otherwise had difficulty distinguishing itself from your basic coming of age tale. The individual performing the coming of age may have been a lot better off financially than many of the subjects in this genre, but that was about all that marked him out with his wise beyond his years narration, excelling at his classes and apparently ironic love of the bong which naturally had no detrimental effect on anything else in his day to day journey. It was a good thing star Graham Phillips was adept at not conveying too much in the way of smugness in his portrayal seeing as how Ellis had much to be smug about, and you may have trouble drumming up much sympathy for his plight.

Especially when that plight was so contrived to hit various points of "poor little rich kid" dramatics, rendering the results difficult to care about when there was a dearth of scenes which the general audience could relate to. That was notable when events played out in a special movieland which might have been effective on the page, where suspension of disbelief is a different matter when you are guided through the plot by the author and the author alone, but showed up too many flaws when translated to the screen. It didn't help that Goats was an episodic experience, and one which frequently verged on the self-satisfied, even obnoxious, tending to look down on its characters and invite the viewer to exercise their most judgemental frame of mind in watching it, Ellis excepted.

The mother, for example, was a hippy dippy New Ager and passive aggressive with it, at times just plain aggressive who bears massive grudges: we cannot perceive why Ellis puts up with her until we see the father who is apparently well-meaning but ultimately selfish and has only made the smallest of gestures up to this stage to be part of his son's growing up. Then there's Goat Man, who was intended to be yet another character whose guidance lets Ellis down, and a humorous one as at least he can see through certain degrees of bullshit, but when you got down to it was basically David Duchovny being David Duchovny in a massive wig and stick-on beard - which as if admitting it was a bad idea all along, he loses and ends up looking even more like just himself. When various scenes play out with characters intended to rile Ellis, they're more likely to annoy you than make you laugh or feel your heart go out to him, leaving the impression of one of too many complacent American indies which take an audience for granted. Music by Woody Jackson and Jason Schwartzman (wonder how he got that gig?).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2010 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: