That's a serious question.
I suppose Trainspotting, despite the fact that it was excruciating to watch, was not bad as a piece of filmmaking, per se. And I guess he didn't ruin the 5 or so minutes of Black Hawk Down when he was on screen.
But after watching McGregor in The Men Who Stare at Goats, I began wondering: Why is this guy a star? (He also displays one of the clumsiest American accents I've ever had the misforunte to hear.)
The only explanation I can come up with is handsomeness. Yes, several female friends of mine have declared him a babe. And, apparently, his willingness to undress himself in front of the camera hasn't hurt him. ("Did you see the Pillow Book?" a female friend asked me. No, I have not. "The man is hung like a pony," she replied. Thanks -- I did not need to know.)
I probably should've known better, but I was actually looking forward to The Men Who Stare at Goats. I really like George Clooney. Despite the fact that in his "ER" days he might have been the most glib man on the planet, since then he went on to do Three Kings and Out of Sight and Michael Clayton -- all of which I enjoyed.
He's no Olivier, but there are certain roles he does well -- and he's very funny. Which, as much as I love them, is pretty much the same thing that you could say about Bogart, Jack Nicholson and even Cary Grant had. They didn't exactly have range -- but they could do four or five parts better than anybody in the world.
Moreover, TMWSAG has Jeff Bridges, whom any schlubby devotee of The Big Lebowski should love and respect. Finally, it had a reasonably funny trailer.
But skip it. It's a mess. Not funny, badly staged, with nothing important to say.
And it made me realize something: Ewan McGregor is a really shitty actor.