We're told at the beginning of The Men Who Stare at Goats that "more of this is true than you would believe." But the story of the U.S. Army's attempts to harness psychic powers to create super-soldiers is so bizarre it almost HAS to be true, in accordance with the "how could anyone make this up?" principle. In fact, I believe more of this admittedly fictionalized story than I do of The Fourth Kind, which claims to be 100 percent true. Surely there's a lesson in there.
Based on Jon Ronson's nonfiction book, The Men Who Stare at Goats stars Ewan McGregor as Bob Wilton, a journalist covering the Iraq War in 2003. Bob meets a man named Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), a private contractor with an unusual past: He claims to have worked for the government as a psychic spy. Bob once met a man, back home in Michigan (played by Stephen Root), who made the same claims, and who named Lyn Cassady as one of his colleagues.
You can see why the military would be interested in psychic spying. Surveillance is a lot less dangerous when you can do it entirely with your mind, rather than having to actually sneak up and eavesdrop on people. And if we could harness things like telekinesis, well, forget about it! We'd beat the Russkies for sure!