Starring Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Gus Halper, Danny Flaherty, Virginia Gardner, James Franco
Directed by Andrew Neel
2016 / 96 Minutes / Paramount Pictures

Reviewed by Brent R.

Goat starts off intense and reels you in right away, but it’s where it ends up taking you that doesn’t quite hold up. There were essentially two stories, one about a 19 year old dealing with a traumatic assault and the other about that same 19 year old enrolling in his brother’s fraternity. Then all the hazing stuff in the middle. With such a strong opening I wanted the movie to stay there instead of spending the next 70 minutes trying to shock the audience with the hazing. One or the other, because both didn’t flow for me.

A big question I have… why the hell is James Franco in this? He has about 5 minutes of screen time and is completely pointless. This scene should have been cut it adds absolutely nothing… except for a excuse to put a big name on the poster I guess. The rest of the cast give strong performances especially Ben Schnetzer in the lead role. He is the real reason there are some redeeming qualities to the movie.

Goat has it’s shocking and captivating moments, but it’s everything in the middle that could have been stronger and dare I say even pushed it further. I should have felt the same shock watching the hazing moments as I did watching the first 10 minutes. I wish Goat felt more focused and less predictable and messy there was potential here.

Grade C-

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