After seeing it on a number of "best" lists (especially "best movies you didn't see this year" and things like that) and after hearing multiple friends rave about it, I finally got around to watching "Goon" on Netflix.
A brief aside about Seann William Scott: I used to think he was one of the most obnoxious actors out there, and then I saw "The Rundown." If you haven't seen it, go watch "The Rundown." You will not regret it. It perfectly captured the impressive physicality and even more impressive sense of charm and humor that contributed to The Rock's success in the entertainment wrestling world. I haven't seen a movie since that has done such a good job of showcasing his considerable charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. Seriously, The Rock is awesome. I know what his real name is...IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT HIS NAME IS! That movie is great. And Seann William Scott was hilarious in it! Obnoxious, yes, but in the service of a very entertaining film. I've basically liked him ever since. He's got a talent for playing sweet, dim characters. He's also got a talent for playing incredibly obnoxious characters. Happily, "Goon" is a case of the former.
"Goon" is the story of a very nice, very dim guy, who loves his family and has a talent for violence. He beats the living daylights out of a hockey player in the stands at a hockey game and is then recruited by a hockey team. Hilarity ensues. It's a very sweet (for real), very R-rated (the vulgarity! the amazingly over-the-top vulgarity!), very violent movie, and it is legitimately hilarious. Two things in particular stick out about the movie, from a "this is an interesting about movies in general" standpoint: It has been a long time since I saw a movie that was so unafraid of its R rating. This is a hard R. It's also been a long time since I saw such a deep cast of actors fully commit to unusual characters (and as been mentioned in pretty much every review I've read, yes, Liev Schreiber does a fantastic job). There are sequences that are so over the top that you think that surely they'll cut to another scene soon, but the scenes are allowed to unfold and get weirder and funnier and the overall effect is just amazing.
SWS does a great job, and imbues his character with a quiet self-awareness and dignity that is very endearing. It's a wonderful, unexpected performance.
I was surprised and impressed by this movie, and if you don't mind incredibly rude language and brutal, bloody fight sequences, you should really watch "Goon."