Cinema Review: Goat | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, March 30th, 2020  


Studio: Paramount
Directed by Andrew Neel

Sep 21, 2016 Web Exclusive
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Goat, a film based on Brad Land’s memoir recounting his experience pledging a fraternity, treats this widely-accepted American rite of passage with the horror it deserves, creating an experience in which Hell Week truly is Hell.

Director Andrew Neel and writer David Gordon Green masterfully infuse the latent physical threat that arises when a group of hyper-masculine frat boys get together into a quiet indie drama (complete with sweeping shots of corn fields and suburbia). Ben Schnetzer and Nick Jonas are excellent as the outwardly macho but privately sensitive Land brothers in a performance that sophisticatedly articulates a conflicting desire to find acceptance and community without betraying a strong moral compass. For the most part, the film adeptly sidesteps cliché, the details of this world rooted specifically in Brad Land’s own experiences. The moments that falter, like the few occasions when Schnetzer and Jonas fail to connect, when the film leans too heavily on sentiment (such as the final scene), or clumsily handles the teens’ sexuality are few and far between and therefore easily forgiven.

Author rating: 7.5/10

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