In an often funny and sometimes uncomfortable way, Goats gives us less a coming of age story and more a coming to reality story. While the main character (Phillips) certainly is growing up, as a child of co-dependence it ponders more the change that occurs when he realizes his parents are just people.
Supported by Burrell (Leaves of Grass, Modern Family, Fur) , Duchovney, Farmiga (Up in the Air, Source Code), and Russell (Leaves of Grass, Waitress), Phillips has a rich and practiced cast to work against. And provide an amusing and poignant canvas they do. To the director’s credit, they also don’t overwhelm the movie, despite some rather outlandish and broad behavior. The story stays focused, as intended, on the son’s view of the world and himself.
The film was generally entertaining and interesting. The resolution is a little rushed and abrupt, but it also felt right to me. Drawing it all out wouldn’t have improved the story. The details weren’t necessary, only the resulting decisions and the new paths laid out. At its core is a set of ideas, if not people, we can all relate to. How you want to parse that against the title is something each person will have to do for themselves, but watch at least the first minute or two of the credits to glean additional insight.