September 20th, 2016



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Release Year: 2016

Rating: 5.7/10 ( voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Andrew Neel

Stars: Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Gus Halper

Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19 year-old boy enrolls into college with his brother and pledges the same fraternity. What happens there, in the name of "brotherhood," tests the boy and his loyalty to his brother in brutal ways.

Writers: David Gordon Green, Brad Land, Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Gus Halper, Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Gus Halper, Danny Flaherty, Virginia Gardner, Jake Picking, Brock Yurich, Will Pullen, Austin Lyon, Eric Staves, James Franco, Jamar Jackson, Kevin Crowley, Lauren Knutson, Jon Osbeck, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ben Schnetzer - Brad
Nick Jonas - Brett
Gus Halper - Chance
Danny Flaherty - Will
Virginia Gardner - Leah
Jake Picking - Dixon
Brock Yurich - Wes
Will Pullen - The Smile
Austin Lyon - Dave
Eric Staves - Baity
James Franco - Mitch
Jamar Jackson - The Breath
Kevin Crowley - Detective Burke
Lauren Knutson - Michelle
Jon Osbeck - Provost

Taglines: Cruelty. Brutality. Fraternity.

Country: USA

Language: English

Release Date: 3 Jan 2016

Filming Locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Technical Specs


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Filmed in Cincinnati, Ohio. See more »

User Review


Rating: 5/10

When a film ends with a wide shot of a person standing in a field, the sunlight in the background casting a beautiful haze across the sky as it sets, most get a sense there is hope for the next day. There is a newness that lingers for the viewer even after the scene disappears into a black screen filled with post credits. "Goat" ends this way, but what lingers afterward is not hope or newness. Director Andrew Neel, a brilliant and clever filmmaker, creates a world in which these attributes try to supersede chaos, but don't have the chance to do so.

Brad Land's true, and heartbreaking, experience at the hand of two strangers violently pulls the audience into the film. Juxtaposed to this brutality is a different scene with equal force: a party that involves the stereotypical aspects of many fraternity gatherings. As Brad (Ben Schnatzer) attempts to cope with his trauma, distance builds within the Land family, until Brad's brother Brett (Nick Jonas) encourages Brad to come to college with him and pledge his fraternity. There, Brad might find real family and even become a real man, one that can take care of himself. Initially, Brad resists, but chooses to make an attempt at moving forward. However, to truly live the life, Brad has to become one of the brothers, and this means suffering through Hell Week for the new pledges. This experience becomes a nightmare, not only for Brad, but also for the audience.

The trauma of the movie's initial violence is surpassed by the violence of the brothers. The audience endures this pain for much of the movie with the young men, cringing and gasping as those on the screen bear the brunt. The goat, and the horrific implications that come with it, is brought in as the last rite of passage. However, this act is the last straw for Brett, who initially joined his brothers in hazing but soon became disillusioned as he watches his brother endure further physical torture. Ultimately, both brothers have to make a decision about the fraternity, and the movie teases closure, but alas not quite.

Come back to the closing scene. Brad stands in a field, looking off into the distance. His relationship with his brother - unstable, his own sanity - shaken, and his future - uncertain. Sometimes, when the character stands in the field, the only need is for the audience to be bold enough to admit they see the chaos and choose not to be passive in their reaction. Though the movie lacked, on a personal note, clear intent or a distinct opportunity for resolution, the mess that is Goat is worth carrying around for a while.


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