Movie Review: The Goat (2016)

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It’s no surprise that a movie featuring Jonas brotherhood is complicated. After enduring a terrifying robbery and assault, a college-bound teenager played by Ben Schnetzer pledges the fraternity of his older sibling played by Nick Jonas. And while Andrew Neel’s anti-hazing true life melodrama The Goat (C+) is effective in its assault on the senses, it is a little less so on cogent narrative. Schnetzer and Jonas are subtle and sensitive in their roles, but their emoting is at the service of a scattershot story. The parade of emotional and physical abuse at Testosterone Manor doesn’t add up to much of a drama, mystery or thriller. Mostly the film is a clinical expose of what happens when young men value tradition over empathy, when the gates of Hell Week become a gateway to something more sinister; but the tale is told in such isolation from parents, other students including fleshed-out female characters and a larger community that it misses bunches of context. It’s all sensational but in the wrong sense of the word.

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 2016

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