This afternoon we watched The Men Who Stare at Goats, described as a ‘slapstick comedy war film’ and starring George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey and Ewan McGregor. The film is loosely based on a documentary book of the same title by Jon Ronson about American military experiments to use so-called psychic powers. Clooney plays a trained ‘psychic spy’ on a vague mission to Iraq where, it transpires, he will re-discover his former mentor, played by Jeff Bridges, and his former rival, played by Kevin Spacey. Clooney is actually very good at comedy and his performance is a highlight of the film, followed in close second place by Jeff Bridges, as a new-ager maverick (with strong echoes of The Big Lebowski). Despite the slapstick (and there are some excellent gags), the film provides enough glimpses of real war (an atrocity in Vietnam, a Bagdad firefight between two western commercial security details, an improvised explosive device) to remind the viewer that, actually, war is no laughing matter. The de-bleated goats of the title would surely agree.