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No kidding: David Duchovny's great in this.

Rod Lott September 18th, 2012

Prep-school movies are the ultimate cinematic representations of White People Problems. Rich, entitled kids suffering because — in the case of Goats — they can’t score weed.

Based on an assumedly semiautobiographical novel and well-directed by a member of the Coppola filmmaking dynasty — Christopher Neil, nephew of Francis — Goats centers on Ellis (Graham Phillips, TV’s The Good Wife), who leaves the remote Arizona desert home he shares with his trust-fund hippie mom (Vera Farmiga, Safe House) for a prestigious prep school of which his estranged father (Ty Burrell, TV’s Modern Family) is a respected alum.

Ellis is sad because ... well, lack of pot, mostly.

He’s also angry at the news he’s about to be a brother, but really, his troubles — and everyone else’s — just aren’t clearly defined.

Still, the cast does well playing such shapeless material, particularly David Duchovny (TV’s Californication) as a perpetually stoned pool man who’s the closest thing Ellis truly has for a dad; with an unkempt beard often spotted with yogurt and food, it’s a performance without vanity that deserves more notice, even if the movie may not. —Rod Lott

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