'Goat' Review: Nick Jonas Isn’t the Only Reason You Should Watch

When I, a die-hard Nick Jonas fan, heard that the youngest ex-JoBro was in a new movie, Goat, I knew I had to watch it. I went into the film blind, knowing only that it dealt with the topic of hazing in college fraternities. The film, starring Ben Schnetzer alongside Jonas, gave a very real looking into how easily hazing can go from fun and games, to someone getting hurt. Directed by Andrew Neel, the film began with a group of shirtless men who seemed to be chanting or cheering for something and abruptly cut to Brett (Jonas) shot-gunning a beer—maybe two. Now we cut to the first party of film where there are too many solo cups to count, lots of sex, and cocaine. Brett is a part of the hosting fraternity, Phi Sigma Mu. Brett’s younger brother Brad (Schnetzer) was also at the party, trying to get in with the frat before it even started. With his muscular look and his hair longer than the present almost buzz cut he has going on, Nick Jonas was a perfect candidate to play the wiser—but still able to party—older brother. Brad decides to skip out on the coke (good choice Brad, good choice) and heads to his car to go home. Two guys ask for a ride home; to which Brad obliges even though he doesn’t know them or where exactly he will be driving them too (bad choice Brad, bad choice). Turns out, they didn’t want to go home after all. They hijacked the ride, beating Brad until his face was bruised and bloody. What haunted Brad for the summer was why didn’t he fight back? Why didn’t he punch those guys, fight to get his keys back, and drive away?

Throughout the film, you continuously see Brad feeling unworthy. He enrolled in the same college as his brother, hoping to be not just biological brothers, but also brothers in Phi Sigma Mu. We follow Brad, Brett, and the rest of the returning frat and new pledges through Hell Week, where the new pledges are treated more like animals than humans. They are treated like goats—hence the title of the movie—and are walked around in circles on leashes, called upon and punished if they don't come as soon as they are called, and force fed alcohol of all kinds. 

While party culture is one thing, hazing is another. This behavior is not normal, and not legal. Jonas, along with all of his other co-stars did a great job of portraying the struggle college kids feel to fit in, even when they know it's not right. I don’t think Nick will be winning an Oscar over a Grammy anytime soon, but I thought he performed well in this role. The film was informative, very real, and something that I think all students should watch and be aware of. Hazing isn’t an old-school tradition that is left in the past. It is very real and very dangerous. Skip out on this film for a carefree girl’s night, but definitely put it on for a cozy Sunday inside! Goat is available for rent or purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and is being shown in select theaters.