Goat (2016)

When I was first entering college, I  always thought about joining a fraternity. That feeling of being accepted to a group with such prestige would surely cement my college experience. Well I never took the chance to do so and Goat explains why I never did.

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Directed by Andrew Neel, Goat is based on the book with the same name by Brad Land. The movie stars Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer, Gus Halper, and James Franco. After  a terrifying assault over the summer, Brad Land (Ben Schnetzer) starts college determined to get his life back to normal. His brother, Brett (Nick Jonas), is already established on campus and with a fraternity that allures Brad with its promise of protection, popularity, and life-long friendships. Brad is desperate to belong but as he sets out to join the fraternity his brother exhibits reservations, a sentiment that threatens to divide them. As the pledging ritual moves into hell week, a rite that promises to usher these unproven boys into manhood, the stakes violently increase with a series of torturous and humiliating events.

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I was surprisingly shocked how much of a dark and intimidate tone this movie had about these two brothers. I personally thought it was great. I could see it being very polarizing because some of the pacing feels a bit odd/jarring and the violence can be a bit uncomfortable, but to me, it kind of fit the tone of the movie. There are some scenes where it make you feel sick to your stomach. Straight forward plot and the acting is superb. The soundtrack was also great.

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While some may consider Goat an exaggeration about events that occur in fraternities, I believe this is a different aspect of it. We get to see a journey of a young man who felt helpless and defenseless during an horrible incident, questioning his masculinity and dealing with his PTSD. Goat is surprisingly a very powerful movie with great performances from Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer as Brett and Brad Land that shows that fraternities aren’t just about partying. While there are many movies about fraternities, with this one we get to see the ugly side of it. SuperSam Rating: B+.

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