Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: November 23, 2005
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 370 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
274
Mixed:
47
Negative:
49
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8
alejandro970Nov 20, 2016
Reamarkable Matt Damon -and unrecognizable- George Clooney in a web about the influence of oil on the economy and global terrorism. Fiction drama nearby to real thing.
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5
SpangleDec 25, 2014
Syriana is ultimately a mixed bag. On the positive, it is extremely well shot. I really loved the look and feel of this film and that is ultimately the thing that stood out most to me. The script from Stephen Gaghan is also very strong andSyriana is ultimately a mixed bag. On the positive, it is extremely well shot. I really loved the look and feel of this film and that is ultimately the thing that stood out most to me. The script from Stephen Gaghan is also very strong and well written, though complicated. However, it has its moments of brilliance and has very tight dialogue throughout. The casting is also very good as everybody really fit the roles they were cast in well. Finally, it certainly had a great ending packed with thrills that made build up worth it and allowed some insight into what had just transpired over the last two hours. Sadly, there are some major negatives. Firstly, the multiple storylines are interesting and enjoyable, but it stifles the acting of the great cast. Phenomenally cast, nobody is able to standout as they are barely there, so nobody has time to establish their performance. In addition, it can really slow down at times and get boring. Like, really boring. There are moments that really hook you in, but others that nearly put you to sleep, which is a problem. Most importantly, I felt like it was trying too hard to make its audience confused. I like the idea that it was purposeful, but there was very little to latch onto. Ultimately, Syriana is a very well made film with moments of brilliance that falters for the same reasons that make it good. Expand
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3
PZJNov 29, 2014
Not a great movie. People say it's intellectual but it's just not that deep of a movie. Yes, it has some deeper themes than your typical hollywood movie but that's not a high bar. The movie follows too many characters with disparate stories,Not a great movie. People say it's intellectual but it's just not that deep of a movie. Yes, it has some deeper themes than your typical hollywood movie but that's not a high bar. The movie follows too many characters with disparate stories, which is what requires the attention and ability to connect plot lines, but you never get to know any of them well enough to care about what happens to anybody. Expand
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4
beingryanjudeSep 1, 2014
Syriana is not your everyday thriller in the Middle East. It's often intellectual and thought-provoking. Nevertheless, I found little interest beyond George Clooney--who barely held lead status.
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6
TokyochuchuSep 18, 2013
Syriana is an interesting political movie that deals with government and oil company corruption. The scenery and atmosphere of the movie is eye catching, as Matt Damon notes when cruising through the Iranian dessert; "It's beautiful outSyriana is an interesting political movie that deals with government and oil company corruption. The scenery and atmosphere of the movie is eye catching, as Matt Damon notes when cruising through the Iranian dessert; "It's beautiful out here." Interesting as it is, the film is also overly convoluted but strangely without much character depth. There are also a few things that don't make sense (why exactly is George Clooney flagging down that car car at the end of the movie!?). Overall, Syriana was a decent night's entertainment but also smells slightly of missed opportunity. Expand
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8
cheeseberger11Sep 3, 2013
Syriana was a well put together movie. Although the story was difficult to follow, and I had to pause like 8 times to figure out what happened in the previous scene, it was brilliantly put together through both plot and script. Acting wasSyriana was a well put together movie. Although the story was difficult to follow, and I had to pause like 8 times to figure out what happened in the previous scene, it was brilliantly put together through both plot and script. Acting was also very good. I'm afraid not many people have seen, or understood, this movie as its puts things into perspective. Expand
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3
adamSv94Feb 28, 2013
It was really hard to enjoy this movie since the plot didn't make any sense and the characters were way too many to keep track of. The only bright spot in this movie is George Clooney's acting, eventhough I whish that the Oscar for BestIt was really hard to enjoy this movie since the plot didn't make any sense and the characters were way too many to keep track of. The only bright spot in this movie is George Clooney's acting, eventhough I whish that the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor should have gone to Jake Gyllenhaal. Expand
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10
wesker2012Jun 1, 2012
As real as movies get to reality.
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10
DaveW.Nov 19, 2009
Well worth the concentration and focus required.
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0
BaconS.Nov 4, 2009
Worst movie ever. It took jumping the shark into outer space. No country, especially the US, is going to fire a missile against a foreign country to save oil profits for a company. Absurd. But perfectly fine for conspiracy theorist. Most of Worst movie ever. It took jumping the shark into outer space. No country, especially the US, is going to fire a missile against a foreign country to save oil profits for a company. Absurd. But perfectly fine for conspiracy theorist. Most of the places it was saying something took place is either wrong or confusing and has nothing to do with anything except drag the story. Expand
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2
CocoBunnyJun 24, 2009
Clooney's performance is the only thing I really enjoyed about this movie. Aside from that, it was a confusing, self-important mishmash of plot lines that was simply too much information for one movie. I felt like they were trying Clooney's performance is the only thing I really enjoyed about this movie. Aside from that, it was a confusing, self-important mishmash of plot lines that was simply too much information for one movie. I felt like they were trying harder to beat me over the head with a political message than they were to deliver a good story. This film simply doesn't deserve all the praise that it's been given. While there's an interesting story somewhere down in there, it's covered up with so much other stuff that you hardly notice it here. This could have easily been stretched out into a series, or at least laid out in a way that was easier to follow. Expand
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7
WolfgangK.Apr 24, 2008
Like Inarritu's "Babel","Syriana" is another movie that covers the globe as its setting. Although the representation of certain groups, individuals and institutions such as immigrant Pakistani workers, the fundamentalist Arab cleric and Like Inarritu's "Babel","Syriana" is another movie that covers the globe as its setting. Although the representation of certain groups, individuals and institutions such as immigrant Pakistani workers, the fundamentalist Arab cleric and the CIA have some shotcomings, the movie covers these shortcomings through the interchanging scenes and the relationships of the subjects to each other. Great Movie.... Expand
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1
DougB.Feb 17, 2008
No entertainment value. Slow and confusing. I feel I was ripped off. I am going to hesitate to see any more movies with George Clooney.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
1
JonC.Nov 3, 2007
One of two movies I have ever fallen asleep in.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
SamF.Oct 25, 2007
This movie is far subtler and more nuanced than one reviewer on this site credits it with when describing it as 'far-left propaganda'. It's nothing of the sort. The message isn't that America is evil and has only itself This movie is far subtler and more nuanced than one reviewer on this site credits it with when describing it as 'far-left propaganda'. It's nothing of the sort. The message isn't that America is evil and has only itself to blame for the terrorist attacks aimed at it. Rather it shows a degree of unwitting complicity in the underlying socio-economic triggers for terrorism amongst some elements of American society. Contrary to suggestions, also, that this film portrayed the Muslims (even those coordinating terrorist attacks) as innocent victims, one is hardly made to feel sympathetic towards the dogmatist who by his own admission rejects all reason and logic relying entirely on the Koran to the exclusion of all else as he cynically manipulates disadvantaged youth. Slowly the viewer sees the transformation of a young migrant labourer who has been laid off because of the Prince's deal with a Chinese company (yes - not only American greed is responsible) transform into a suicide bomber, naively led on by masterful and sinister fanatics. On the other hand, far removed from all this, we see those high up in America's corporate hierarchy blissfully immune and ignorant of all this as they casually make decisions that drastically effect huge numbers of people. Corruption lurks like some insidious, pervasive shadow everywhere. We witness the moral decline of Matt Damon's energy analyst character who comes into the employment of the Prince after his son dies, partially as a result of the death. The real stand out here, though, is undoubtedly George Clooney, whose role is utterly without glamour and thus brilliant real. He, unlike Damon, is redeemed over the course of the film and endures everything - battling corruption, dealing with Iranian intelligence agents and suffering torture at the hands of a deceitful, cruel double agent. By far the best performance of his career. The film has been criticized as too convoluted. It's true it has many characters and many plot strands, but if a viewer pays attention and applies the gray matter they will gain a rewarding experience. Not the type of film to relax and unwind to, but definitely worth the while to watch it, appreciate it and get thinking. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
AlanN.Sep 28, 2007
This is one of the best films I have ever seen. Anyone with even a remote interest in world politics should see this movie. To be rewarded though you have to concentrate, this film is not complicated if you pay attention but anyone expecting This is one of the best films I have ever seen. Anyone with even a remote interest in world politics should see this movie. To be rewarded though you have to concentrate, this film is not complicated if you pay attention but anyone expecting to be spoon-fed the storyline should look elsewhere. I guess some of the negative comments on here are from blind patriots who see this movie as Anti-American and nothing more. It is not Anti-American, it is Anti-Corruption ..... wherever that may be found and exposed. Superb stuff. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DanielSep 20, 2007
Even though Clooney and Damon are extreme liberals, they played their parts well. Now if Congress would just believe what Syriana said about Iran.
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10
JohnS.Aug 22, 2007
Superb! For raising important issue of today's reality - zealous pursuit of wealth and power - in oil industry in this case, how they are interconnected with powerful people in Washington and why some want America to be dependent on oil Superb! For raising important issue of today's reality - zealous pursuit of wealth and power - in oil industry in this case, how they are interconnected with powerful people in Washington and why some want America to be dependent on oil in those middle eastern countries. Yes, it's not a standard Hollywood staple with standard happy-ending, but rather a thought provoker to encourage the American people to think how the resources of this great nation are being abused for the benefits of few. Everybody needs to watch this movie and THINK about the state of affairs. Expand
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0
CarmineA.Jun 24, 2007
Terrible almost far-left propoganda. Clooney preaches this stuff and then hops in his luxury car feeled with the "corrupt" oil. The directors and Clooney are nothing more then spoiled hollywood actors that want a cause to belong to. This is Terrible almost far-left propoganda. Clooney preaches this stuff and then hops in his luxury car feeled with the "corrupt" oil. The directors and Clooney are nothing more then spoiled hollywood actors that want a cause to belong to. This is the moral of the story: America: awful/immoral/evil country that cares about businees more then human lives. Saudi sheiks : good hearted, caring people who are being used by America. Suicide bombers: misunderstood kids who are really good people its just that America screws them over. Conclusion: Death to America, Long-live Muslim totalitarianism, suice bombers are good-hearted people. Expand
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3
SarahR.May 12, 2007
This movie is trying too hard to be impressive, and it succeeds only in being confusing. I waited 2+ hours for the ah-ha moment. Clooney on his pseudo-intellectual soap box. Ick.
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5
MarcusD.Apr 5, 2007
Weak direction. Tries to be like 'Traffic' and fails. To many things going on at once. Good acting though.
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3
JuliaW.Mar 9, 2007
The incomprehensibility of the editing ruins what could be a fine film.
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5
JohnY.Jan 21, 2007
Extremely complicated plot. Too many storylines. Sloppy editing. Worst film I have seen in ages.
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8
AndyS.Jan 2, 2007
Such an mportant film at this point in time. Watching it a year after its release is like watching the film predict the future. Very, very emotional film.
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10
Dr.VenusDec 1, 2006
I loved the complexity of the multiple storylines and that the ending was not some neat little Hollywood package with all the loose ends tied up. Life is messy. The oil situation is messy: the oil barons want to stay in power and you see how I loved the complexity of the multiple storylines and that the ending was not some neat little Hollywood package with all the loose ends tied up. Life is messy. The oil situation is messy: the oil barons want to stay in power and you see how they do it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
JohnL.Sep 23, 2006
I'm giving this movie a 5 because I think its an important movie....That certainly doesn't make it very entertaining....This is a very boring movie but its a good movie, I know that doesn't really make any sense but its one of I'm giving this movie a 5 because I think its an important movie....That certainly doesn't make it very entertaining....This is a very boring movie but its a good movie, I know that doesn't really make any sense but its one of those movies you just have to see for yourself to truly judge what you think. Expand
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10
JWienersAug 13, 2006
Without a doubt, one of the finest films I've ever seen. It's a film that offers a rare, impartial illumination of the modern middle east. What could be more timely? It's a unique film in that it doesn't seek to critique Without a doubt, one of the finest films I've ever seen. It's a film that offers a rare, impartial illumination of the modern middle east. What could be more timely? It's a unique film in that it doesn't seek to critique or attempt place blame for our current state of affairs but rather attempts to present an bystander view from everybody's angle. It's complex, thought provoking, and mind opening. Some have commented that the film is difficult to follow and overly complex. I will agree in part by saying that for the first 40 minutes of my viewing, I was absolutely overwhelmed and confused, becoming only slightly less so as storylines began to fit together. It is a film that requires contemplation and multiple viewings. Please don't call this a weakness. Understood that this is a complex film about a complex reality in a complex part of the world - to make something simple could not possibly do the topic justice. It raises questions and perspectives that need to be pondered and sorted out. For those who cannot handle this - instead finding such a film poor fare in comparison to the latest Adam Sandler flick - I pity you, because you are oblivious to the world around you and you will never understand it. For all others, do not miss this brilliant film; it will change your perspective on the world. Expand
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10
JoiH.Aug 8, 2006
Everyone in america, especially high school students, should be required to see this movie. It's the real world, kiddos.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
FredB.Jul 29, 2006
Read the reviews: even the high ratings use the words "convoluted," "confusing," "complex." Many viewers admit they had to view the movie 2-3 times to understand it. Who needs that! The plot jumps randomly from place to place (a dozen or Read the reviews: even the high ratings use the words "convoluted," "confusing," "complex." Many viewers admit they had to view the movie 2-3 times to understand it. Who needs that! The plot jumps randomly from place to place (a dozen or more of them) with different characters, leaving you totally confused as to what we are leading up to. And when we "get there," we're nowhere -- a series of head-scratching "who are those guys" and "what does that have to do with anything"! And, in my opinion, this is not the type of role that George Clooney should undertake: his performance (as well as the movie as a whole) was boring. Don't waste your rental dollars on this one, unless you love movies with very complex plots. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
AmurabiM.Jul 26, 2006
In this convoluted exercise of a political thriller, Stephen Gaghan repeats all its winning formula of "Traffic", telling the stories and paradoxes of the oil industry. The result: one of the most difficult films in history, a confusing tale In this convoluted exercise of a political thriller, Stephen Gaghan repeats all its winning formula of "Traffic", telling the stories and paradoxes of the oil industry. The result: one of the most difficult films in history, a confusing tale of politics, betrayals and economic and moral corruption. But the film, looks itself as complex narrative. For the audiences looking for entertainment, this movie fails entirely. As a political thriller, the result is just a mess. A well done mess, but, ultimately, a complicated, convoluted, arrogant, proved, ambitious and complex mess. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
J.H.Jul 23, 2006
A very thought-provoking and entertaining film. Clooney is brilliant, and Damon turns in one of his best performances.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohnH.Jul 14, 2006
Being just fifteen, I was a bit lost watching the movie the first time, but a repeat view allowed me to understand a wonderful plot full of complex characters in the disturbing world which is our own. If a teenager can figure it out, then no Being just fifteen, I was a bit lost watching the movie the first time, but a repeat view allowed me to understand a wonderful plot full of complex characters in the disturbing world which is our own. If a teenager can figure it out, then no adults (except perhaps stupid ones) can legitimately criticize the movie for being "confusing". Pretty cool. Expand
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10
BrettC.Jul 12, 2006
The best film I saw last year. It's very illuminating that the only people who give this film a bad rating on this site are the ones who complain that they can't understand it. I' m not going to argue with them - they probably The best film I saw last year. It's very illuminating that the only people who give this film a bad rating on this site are the ones who complain that they can't understand it. I' m not going to argue with them - they probably wouldn't get it anyway. This film has a lot to say about some extremely important topics, and it dazzles along the way. If you just can't stomach the thought of 4 more Pirates of the Caribbean sequels and want a film that you will actually remember the next day, try this one. Oh, and George Clooney is outstanding. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
EllenG.Jul 10, 2006
You need to pay attention but if you do you will experience a good movie.
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0
WillieG.Jul 6, 2006
This was a bloated head scratcher of a film. I need to just boycott future films from this director. I loathed Traffic, and this flick was just more of the same convoluted mess. I truly recognize this director's style now...1) introduce This was a bloated head scratcher of a film. I need to just boycott future films from this director. I loathed Traffic, and this flick was just more of the same convoluted mess. I truly recognize this director's style now...1) introduce lots of characters with little to no development, weave an endlessly sprawling and confusing plot, and then leave the viewer to consider tons of loose ends and contrived motivations without any adequate development whatsoever. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MackW.Jun 28, 2006
Cudos to the director, Gaghan, for this extraordinary tour de force. I admit, I had to watch this movie twice to get it. So intricately woven are the details here that I can only describe by saying it is "Shakespearean". We have the right Cudos to the director, Gaghan, for this extraordinary tour de force. I admit, I had to watch this movie twice to get it. So intricately woven are the details here that I can only describe by saying it is "Shakespearean". We have the right stuff that makes it so: the betrayal aspect--the bribary and schmoozing--the overall ethics and morals of the tale in its relation to the Powers That Be...and an extra eerie touch in that SYRIANA explores all these apt issues of cultural clashes, grabs for power and quest for absolute Dominion, in a time when these very issues are being played out before our very eyes. An extraordinaryily profound and moving film. Expand
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9
MikeD.Jun 25, 2006
Pretty intense movie that did a great job into tackling several hot topics of today all at once...corporate greed, terrorism, govt corruption, etc. Clooney was great. The story is one that you have to pay attention to or risk getting Pretty intense movie that did a great job into tackling several hot topics of today all at once...corporate greed, terrorism, govt corruption, etc. Clooney was great. The story is one that you have to pay attention to or risk getting lost/confused as there are several sub-stories going on at once but this is a solid movie and well worth the rental or even purchase. Expand
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9
ChrisW.Jun 24, 2006
Simply amazing... OK, maybe not simply, as you do have to follow this movie carefully to understand it. Great performances teamed up with a story that gets more relative as time goes by. Time in the film and real life. A great lesson is to Simply amazing... OK, maybe not simply, as you do have to follow this movie carefully to understand it. Great performances teamed up with a story that gets more relative as time goes by. Time in the film and real life. A great lesson is to be learned and changes do need to be made. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
HalB.Jun 23, 2006
A very good, nearly great film. Reviewers who give it low marks must be accustomed to being spoon-fed the usual Hollywood tripe. Yes, it requires one to actually pay attention. Yes, the plot lines are complex and interwoven. And yes, it is A very good, nearly great film. Reviewers who give it low marks must be accustomed to being spoon-fed the usual Hollywood tripe. Yes, it requires one to actually pay attention. Yes, the plot lines are complex and interwoven. And yes, it is one of the best films of the year. The acting was excellent, the pacing superb, and the climax was riveting. I found myself occasionally confused, but ultimately rewarded, for having spent time with this film. For anyone who thinks the modern global economy, based on our gluttony for oil as it is, is an intrinsically good thing -- see this film and pay attention! A cynical, but undoubtedly realistic picture of our world today. Sobering, though-provoking, entertaining. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
KeithY.Jun 23, 2006
Decent rental, not as good as the hype. For one, I didn't think it "took off at lightning speed" as quoted by Rolling Stone and prominently displayed on the back of the DVD case. Instead, as I watched the first 10 minutes, I wondered Decent rental, not as good as the hype. For one, I didn't think it "took off at lightning speed" as quoted by Rolling Stone and prominently displayed on the back of the DVD case. Instead, as I watched the first 10 minutes, I wondered what I missed. Also, the part where the young boy died was completely pointless, serving only to build unconvincing drama into the world of the Damon character. Certain parts of this movie sent chills up my spine, the rest was a bit tiresome. That said, I don't think it is a best movie of year candidate. I'll stick with Crash or Walk the Line, Ray, all much better IMHO. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
wetwebworkJun 20, 2006
Awesome. Your not meant to follow every plot. You're supposed to step back and see a bigger picture. It's a complex subject, and Syriana is brave enough present it as such.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RashaGMay 9, 2006
Best movie of the year. I have seen it 3 times until now .
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8
KelvinL.Apr 5, 2006
A very good film, sure it's not going to be everyone's tastes, it does take a bit of concentration to follow what's going on, but if you stick with it you will be richly rewarded. This was an intelligent movie that was both A very good film, sure it's not going to be everyone's tastes, it does take a bit of concentration to follow what's going on, but if you stick with it you will be richly rewarded. This was an intelligent movie that was both thought provocking and topical. The director resisted the temptation to put in more action scenes and flashy special effects and that is it's strength, relying on the dialogue and the strong cast to captivate the audience. Those that have a short attention span would not have understood the film and therefore would not understand the plot twist which are subtley portrayed in the film. This film is a refreshing change from the usual, where everything is spelt out, this film requires your brain to engage to get it. Clooney does a fantastic job and you never get the feeling that he is trying to act away from type, you just believe in his character. This is the way a political thriller should be done, and not like the dross "The constant gardener" was. If you like your films where you really can't predict what happens next and like to engage your brain, go see this film and ignore the people who gave it a low score here, they obviously didn't have the patience or intelligence to enjoy it. The best film of the year so far! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
BCApr 1, 2006
There sure are parts of this movie I love. I love being able to make fun of it. I love that I now can refer ro something as the WORST MOVIE EVER MADE. This is, without a doubt, the most boing and lenthy movie ever. My friend fell asleep There sure are parts of this movie I love. I love being able to make fun of it. I love that I now can refer ro something as the WORST MOVIE EVER MADE. This is, without a doubt, the most boing and lenthy movie ever. My friend fell asleep watching it. George Clooney was, like usual, a good actor, and his acting was the only good thing in the movie. There is so much plot it is utterly impossible to follow. There are at least four storylines going on at once and they are barely connected to one another. I strongly urge anyone who is thinking of watching this to just walk away. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
KonstantinosM.Mar 30, 2006
I like complex movies which address major issues. However, I found Syriana to be somewhat pretentious: its confusion was unwarranted, both in terms of storytellin as well as stylistically, and gave the impression that its makers were trying I like complex movies which address major issues. However, I found Syriana to be somewhat pretentious: its confusion was unwarranted, both in terms of storytellin as well as stylistically, and gave the impression that its makers were trying to hard to make a "difficult hence serious" movie. I was disappointed after all the hullabaloo. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
O.DoughMar 29, 2006
Some find it hard to follow, I enjoyed it thouroughly. It's also a important comment on U.S. foreign policy. This simply isn't for everybody. It's in the eye of the beholder.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
DanielC.Mar 27, 2006
Syriana is a very confusing movie with about 22 plot strands, three main characters following completely different plot routes and an ensemble cast of executives and arabs which makes you wonder who he is and how he links to the other guy. Syriana is a very confusing movie with about 22 plot strands, three main characters following completely different plot routes and an ensemble cast of executives and arabs which makes you wonder who he is and how he links to the other guy. You may read this and think: "This sounds bad." Syriana is meant to be confusing, comprising many viewpoints to show you the different outlooks of each group of the middle east conflict. Plus, Syriana is a complex movie that focuses on many issues, many of which can't be explained in a black-white bad-good movie. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Business provides employment yet marginalises the have nots. This movie encaptures some of these ideas and more, and does it rather well. The main characters Damon, Clooney and Wright do a good job of representing the differing people in which have a part to play in the situation. Overall, Syriana succeeds in it's illustration. If you don't follow politics, you wont get head or tail of this movie. It is very complex, and assumes that the viewer knows his stuff about Arabian secrutiy issues and multi-national globalisation and it's drawbacks. That is not to say that a normal person cannot enjoy it, it is a great movie, but does get bogged down with all the competing influences it tires to encompass to give the viewer a complete picture. Well done Gagham, this is a well polished job. My question is: Was Clooney's performance better than Damon's or Wright's? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
BillW.Mar 25, 2006
"Thriller" is a misnomer--there are about 3 minutes of thrill in this painfully long-seeming 126 minute muddled mess. I believe its main problem is that the screenwriter and director have no clue about how to use film as a storytelling "Thriller" is a misnomer--there are about 3 minutes of thrill in this painfully long-seeming 126 minute muddled mess. I believe its main problem is that the screenwriter and director have no clue about how to use film as a storytelling medium--it is "talking heads" from beginning to end. No showing instead of telling here. Also, many scenes have little to do with the story and could have been replaced with material that helps clarifiy the overly difficult to follow plot. One reviewer simply said the filrm was self-important--this subtle aura also plagued me all through the movie, that feeling of "artiste" consumed so much with his own talent and insight that he forgets the basic principles of cinematic entertainment. As another user said, this should have been a documentary. I wish the critics would rate films on their entertainment value and not on the (perceived) social value. When we, as customers, dish out hard-earned cash for a film that's dubbed "political thriller," we want to be entertained first, everything else second. If they fail tot entertain, they have ripped us off. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
SteveMar 8, 2006
The plot, like the current state of matters in the middle east, is difficult to follow. This is not accidental. A challenge to the idea that we know who are the good and bad guys. Provides a fake back story to many of the quick headlines we The plot, like the current state of matters in the middle east, is difficult to follow. This is not accidental. A challenge to the idea that we know who are the good and bad guys. Provides a fake back story to many of the quick headlines we see on a daily basis. If you don't follow politics or the Middle East, don't bother seeing this movie. You will hate it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
[Anonymous]Mar 4, 2006
I was prepared for this film to be hard to follow. What I found unforgivable is that it was boring.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
MalikK.Mar 2, 2006
too many sub characters. i fell asleep several times. the ending was like being hanged and not knowing why
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
MarilynZ.Mar 2, 2006
If we were by ourselves, I would have walked out. What a convoluted mess. I finally gave up and tried to enjoy George.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
PhilipG.Feb 28, 2006
Clooney is good but movie makes no sense and no point. Anybody could make a confusing movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
DianaT.Feb 19, 2006
a plot that is impossible to follow, detect, comprehend, apprehend.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JakeFeb 2, 2006
Great movie, enjoyed it tremendously. Clooney did a great job in his (strangely enough) supporting role, as did Matt Damon. There were so many plot lines that it was a bit hard to follow, but I wouldn't say confusing. It was cool how Great movie, enjoyed it tremendously. Clooney did a great job in his (strangely enough) supporting role, as did Matt Damon. There were so many plot lines that it was a bit hard to follow, but I wouldn't say confusing. It was cool how everyone's story lines tied in at the end. I saw this the same week as I went to see Munich and think both films did a great job of exploring terrorism but through different lenses. The only thing it lacked was an emotional pull, as Mr. Conundrum so aptly pointed out. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
BillF.Jan 30, 2006
Just saw this movie and have a few comments. 1. It is complicated and yes following so many characters (specially the old white dudes) was challenging. I like movies that make you pay attention versus treating the viewer like an idiot. 2. It Just saw this movie and have a few comments. 1. It is complicated and yes following so many characters (specially the old white dudes) was challenging. I like movies that make you pay attention versus treating the viewer like an idiot. 2. It is a thought provoking movie, regardless of your political affiliation. 3. Most people go to movies to either be entertained. If you are looking to hollywood to provide you with in depth truthful political reporting...I can see where you would rate this film low. 4. I thought it one of the better movies I have seen in the last year. and worth the cash to see it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AdamJan 27, 2006
This is, I think, the best movie of the year. I felt like I had seen something very important after I got done watching it. The movie does such a good job tying together all the different plotlines and characters, and it makes you care for This is, I think, the best movie of the year. I felt like I had seen something very important after I got done watching it. The movie does such a good job tying together all the different plotlines and characters, and it makes you care for all the characters (yes, even the terrorists). The movie depicts every character in an extremely realistic light, devoid of demonization or propaganda. It tells it like it is. As for those who think the movie is an excuse to rip George W. Bush, I saw this movie with a large group of people, most of them loyal Conservative Republicans, and they all loved the movie as much as I did. Expand
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6
ConundrumJan 27, 2006
This movie is similar in structure to Traffic, as others have pointed out, but with the subject being the oil industry instead of drug smuggling. Both are well made, complicated, with many plots and characters, and look bleakly but This movie is similar in structure to Traffic, as others have pointed out, but with the subject being the oil industry instead of drug smuggling. Both are well made, complicated, with many plots and characters, and look bleakly but interestingly at an ugly part of our modern world. The big difference is that I felt an emotional connection and understanding of the characters in Traffic, but never felt any engagement with the characters in Syriana at all, just bewilderment. The result is a total emotional deflation, a lack of impact. To me this was a fatal flaw in what could have been a truly great movie. Take Bob, for instance, the guy played by Clooney. With his haunted look, he was intriguing. I really wanted to know more about him and his obvious inner torment. How did he get that way? What was his past? What were his motivations and opinions? Why was he still working? But we never find out anything. He's still a mystery at the end of the movie. And what exactly was the Jeffrey Wright character investigating, and for who, and why? Was he trying to block the merger, or promote it? I could cite many more examples. In fact, I could barely keep a lot of the people apart, let alone understand them, especially all the conniving white businessmen and lobbyists. I could "follow the plot", but I just didn't care. It's more a documentary than a movie. In the end, I give it a 6 rating because despite its obvious flaws, its still very well made and might be a consciousness-raiser for some people. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
RandyJan 22, 2006
Those who can't follow the movie need to just pay closer attention, it really isn't that complicated. That said there is a lot going on. Although the film may be Hollywood it is well done and bring light to to things occuring Those who can't follow the movie need to just pay closer attention, it really isn't that complicated. That said there is a lot going on. Although the film may be Hollywood it is well done and bring light to to things occuring around us that me may not be aware of. As a person always seeking films that make me think, I loved it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JasonJan 21, 2006
if you didn't like this movie you either couldn't follow it and therefore you are a shade slow or you expected it to be tied together in a neat package at the end. i'm glad it wasn't givin an easy hollywood ending that if you didn't like this movie you either couldn't follow it and therefore you are a shade slow or you expected it to be tied together in a neat package at the end. i'm glad it wasn't givin an easy hollywood ending that would have killed the movie. now the movie itself is amazing in many ways most notably is fearlessness to shine a light on what is actually going on when men like george w. bush deside it would be a good idea to drill for oil in a nature reserve or when you see african country being ignored while millions are either slaughtered or dying of disease but iraq, iran, and saudi arabia on cnn every night. we are pounded with message about those three country to help the acceptance of either going to war or maintaining alliances for the exact reasons this movie explores namely oil/or huge amounts of money. if you are an american watching this movie i'd start taking a closer look at what my government was actually doing (or not doing) for the energy crisis the world currently faces. Expand
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10
JoelS.Jan 20, 2006
If nothing else, these comments certainly prove that people can see very different things in a work of art. Personally, I found it engaging, breathtaking, not at all disjointed, and not too hard to follow -- although it certainly requires a If nothing else, these comments certainly prove that people can see very different things in a work of art. Personally, I found it engaging, breathtaking, not at all disjointed, and not too hard to follow -- although it certainly requires a lot of very careful attention, and I'm not sure I caught all the nuances of the corporate merger/investigation plot. In a different state of mind I might have been less able to follow it, and less forgiving of its demands on my brain. As it was, I saw it in the right frame of mind, and I found it one of the most exciting and compelling movies I've seen in a long time, both artistically and politically. Perhaps there was a somewhat "liberal" slant, as some have complained below, but only in that liberals tend to see shades of gray where conservatives like to see black and white. No one in this movie was blameless. People who don't like the movie are free to not like it, of course, and far be it from me to talk them out of it -- it's just a movie. But all the vehement, angry slurs against it sound like insecurity for not being able to understand it. I'm not seeing very many thoughtful reasons for hating it. I mean, it's really not THAT complicated. Expand
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8
DianeH.Jan 17, 2006
This movie is difficult to follow, but worth the effort. When I find myself thinking about a movie for days afterward, I know it was well-done. This movie does that... makes you wonder about big oil companies, and the role of our government This movie is difficult to follow, but worth the effort. When I find myself thinking about a movie for days afterward, I know it was well-done. This movie does that... makes you wonder about big oil companies, and the role of our government in the fight for oil Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
TimJan 16, 2006
Very disappointing movie. After watching the trailer I was excited to hopefully see a good political thriller. Well, this movie was all political but there was no thrill. It felt like I was sitting in my seat for 3 hours before anything Very disappointing movie. After watching the trailer I was excited to hopefully see a good political thriller. Well, this movie was all political but there was no thrill. It felt like I was sitting in my seat for 3 hours before anything really meaningful happened. All the old white men looked the same and you could never get a grasp on what their names were. So if they weren't in the scene but were being talked about, you have no idea what was going on. Great cast and acting but terrible script and so much waste of screen time. No point to the opening family scene which lasted way too long. No point to seeing a Bob leave a tip. So many times this happened. I only need to see something happening on screen that affects the story. So much wasted time. I would definitely not suggest seeing this film. It was a great concept but terribly poor execution. Expand
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8
GrantN.Jan 16, 2006
If you can follow it then you will love it. Unfortunatly it just about impossible to follow all the side-plots and remain connected to the main plot at once.
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5
PaulB.Jan 16, 2006
I get a little frightened by people who think they are learning about how the world really is by going to see a movie. One reviewer here wrote "If you want to learn about the geo-politics of big oil without being talked down to, see this." I get a little frightened by people who think they are learning about how the world really is by going to see a movie. One reviewer here wrote "If you want to learn about the geo-politics of big oil without being talked down to, see this." However, if you're looking to educate yourself -- particularly about something as complex as geopolitics -- YOU DON'T GO TO THE MOVIES PEOPLE!! It's a movie, not real life. And even though it is "based upon" a book which is said to be true, no book gets through the Hollywood meat-grinder intact. Furthermore, I have worked in the oil industry my entire working life (33 years), and have traveled to every country mentioned in the movie and can testify that the oil industry portrayed in the movie is nothing like the oil industry in the real world. In the real world, there is more boring, hard work and less skullduggery. That being said, the movie is still interesting, particularly for its statement that terrorist masterminds don't actually get dirty themselves but, rather, recruit weaker-minded individuals, exploit the deprivation in their lives, then set them on a course to commit suicide for a bogus payoff after death. Too bad -- if the masterminds actually had the fortitude to kill themselves, they'd eventually solve the problem of their existence all by themselves. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
BobJan 16, 2006
This movie is a mess. It seems like they are going to tie all this together at the end but the movie just stops leaving any number of plot parts hanging. I think the agenda of the filmmakers got in the way of what could have been a good film.
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8
BillyS.Jan 15, 2006
For the 18-30 year olds that every movie hopes will pay 10 bucks to see it, lat me put it in terms you'll understand, in Syriana, George Clooney and Stephen Gaghan really PUNK corporate oil, George Bush and the CIA all in one exciting For the 18-30 year olds that every movie hopes will pay 10 bucks to see it, lat me put it in terms you'll understand, in Syriana, George Clooney and Stephen Gaghan really PUNK corporate oil, George Bush and the CIA all in one exciting episode with explosions, car chases and kidnappings and for the over 30's it's an intricate, intelligent, multi-layered reflection on the world today and one of the 10 best films of the year! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JoJan 15, 2006
Yes, this movie makes you pay close attention but it's less complicated than "The Usual Suspects" or "Gosford Park" and it'sabout something that affects us all, so it's worth the trouble. It's a rare movie can be Yes, this movie makes you pay close attention but it's less complicated than "The Usual Suspects" or "Gosford Park" and it'sabout something that affects us all, so it's worth the trouble. It's a rare movie can be entertaining and important at the same time. The characters are a bit two-dimensional but fine acting saves the day. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JamalJan 14, 2006
Throws so much stuff at you when the movie begins that its hard to follow at first, but eventually you'll come through. I understood the movie, although I had to educate my friends a bit. Overall a very good movie, and one that holds a Throws so much stuff at you when the movie begins that its hard to follow at first, but eventually you'll come through. I understood the movie, although I had to educate my friends a bit. Overall a very good movie, and one that holds a lot of truth. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
FrankJan 11, 2006
I think most film lovers were lucky to see so many strong films from 2005. For my money, "Syriana" was one of the best! Such an intruiging and compelling jigsaw. As for the screenplay, I thought it was much more successful than the I think most film lovers were lucky to see so many strong films from 2005. For my money, "Syriana" was one of the best! Such an intruiging and compelling jigsaw. As for the screenplay, I thought it was much more successful than the writer's previous "Traffic." Great performances all around, especially from George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Jeffrey Wright. Outstanding work that will stand up to repeated viewings and analysis for years to come. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
JeffA.Jan 10, 2006
The most overrated movie of all time! What a waste of a wonderful cast. I got all my friends in free since my buddy manages local regal and they were still sick about it. I feel bad for bringin them out to this disaster. Please read the user The most overrated movie of all time! What a waste of a wonderful cast. I got all my friends in free since my buddy manages local regal and they were still sick about it. I feel bad for bringin them out to this disaster. Please read the user reviews and not the critics on this site. They are all crooks tryin to get your hard earned cash. I love this site, but I have wasted alot of time and money since I have been on here. For example Sideways 94, Before Sunset 90, Brokeback Mountan 87, Constant Gardener 82, Broken Flowers 79, and of course Syriana 76. Please take the time to research a movie before you waste your lover's time. Or even worse is your friend's time, they seem to be alot more critical and less forgiving. I wish you all better luck than me. LOL Expand
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10
masoudb.Jan 9, 2006
Truth,
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3
DuncanS.Jan 9, 2006
By not providing a coherent storyline the film is free to indulge in vague and not so vague political insinuations and to emotionally manipulate. With it's impenatrable plot, the viewer is unable to evaluate the premises or the By not providing a coherent storyline the film is free to indulge in vague and not so vague political insinuations and to emotionally manipulate. With it's impenatrable plot, the viewer is unable to evaluate the premises or the particulars of the film's unsubtle point of view. In other words, the true believer can smugly turn off his or her brain during the proceedings. All in all, a cowardly propaganda fantasy and a waste of talented actors and craftspeople. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
RobertC.Jan 7, 2006
It's the kind of movie that impresses and affects, with excellent acting and direction. The major defect (and it is major unless you're watching on dvd and can replay scenes with regularity) is that it is impossible to follow the It's the kind of movie that impresses and affects, with excellent acting and direction. The major defect (and it is major unless you're watching on dvd and can replay scenes with regularity) is that it is impossible to follow the plot and character exposition for the first 90 minutes. Some reviewers might see that as a virture, At $8.50 a ticket, it is fairly frustrating. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
stephenh.Jan 7, 2006
Complete waste of time. Totally incrutable plot. Kept hoping it would come together at the end, after working very hard to follow, but it never did. Complete mystery and I am no dummy.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
GaborA.Jan 7, 2006
While i was watching it, i felt dissappointed. Everything was in place but the movie didnt seem to work. However, afterwards i couldnt get the movie out of my head and things started to fall into place. All i could think about was seeing it While i was watching it, i felt dissappointed. Everything was in place but the movie didnt seem to work. However, afterwards i couldnt get the movie out of my head and things started to fall into place. All i could think about was seeing it again. A rare type of movie that gets better as time goes by. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
ChuckU.Jan 6, 2006
Undeveloped characters, choppy, shallow. this movie blew the chance on what should have been an awesome topic.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
AlbertR.Jan 6, 2006
While it's true that you have to pay attention to keep track of the interwoven plot, I didn't find it too confusing. I like this approach of different character-driven strands that all add up, leaving something for the reader to While it's true that you have to pay attention to keep track of the interwoven plot, I didn't find it too confusing. I like this approach of different character-driven strands that all add up, leaving something for the reader to synthsize. I enjoyed thinking about it afterward. One of the difficulties might be that there is no real hero--no one who is truly good or uncorrrupted by the system. Maybe that's also a strength and a statement. More profoundly, the film refuses to judge the characters, letting the audience take that on. This is especially true of how they handled the incipient terrorists--I never got the sense that they were being presented as "our enemies." Refreshing. Lastly, the film is superbly made and photographed. It may be too suble and complex for some movie-movie types. If that's you, avoid this. If you want to learn about the geo-politics of big oil without being talked down to, see this. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MonaZJan 4, 2006
One of the best films I've ever seen. It's a masterpiece.
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5
DBJan 3, 2006
Of course, it makes absolutely ZERO sense; it's about as coherent as a pile of grey sand performing an abstract interpretive dance. The acting is good, and the script has a few choice politically charged monologues which the actors Of course, it makes absolutely ZERO sense; it's about as coherent as a pile of grey sand performing an abstract interpretive dance. The acting is good, and the script has a few choice politically charged monologues which the actors (obviously hungry for something remotely interesting to say) rip into like thespian wolves. The thing is, I don't mind at all when a movie (or play, or whatever) doesn't make sense. It actually makes things more interesting for me. I loved what I thought it was trying to say politically. The only problem is, most of the movie is simply a crashing bore. There isn't enough dramatic anything to make you want to keep concentrating, to keep immersing yourself in this convoluted mess. I think a lot of people take it's confusing nature to be a grand artistic statement, but when it's a first time writer and director at the helm, I think it's more likely just shoddy, pretentious filmmaking at it's most hollywood-friendly. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
ChaseR.Jan 3, 2006
This film is complex and hard to watch if you
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7
HeatherW.Jan 3, 2006
Fortunately, I had read enough about this movie to know that I should just let it wash over me and not struggle to try to make sense of everything. That's definitely the right way to watch it. I was engrossed from the first moment and Fortunately, I had read enough about this movie to know that I should just let it wash over me and not struggle to try to make sense of everything. That's definitely the right way to watch it. I was engrossed from the first moment and it held my attention and curiosity all the way through, despite my inability to figure out exactly what was going on. The scenes set in the Middle East were particularly fascinating, and the acting was very good. I found, however, that I actually liked this movie more while I was watching it than I did afterward. My husband and I started putting all the clues and narrative strands together and discovered it really wasn't as "deep" or interesting as all the complexity made you think it was. But, fortunately, I didn't find it manipulative, because that would have definitely ruined it for me. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
GeorgeC.Jan 3, 2006
A very good film. Though, not something one needs to see at the theatre. It was a pleasure to watch a well made film and come away with the feeling that my money was well spent. A general question to the audience: If you couldn't follow A very good film. Though, not something one needs to see at the theatre. It was a pleasure to watch a well made film and come away with the feeling that my money was well spent. A general question to the audience: If you couldn't follow the movie isn't it your own fault? I agree that it may be more difficult than the average movie, but it isn't that tough! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
PeterZ.Jan 2, 2006
Hollywood fops dictating unreality with no sense of character or adventure.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
FrankO.Jan 1, 2006
Had to pay attention carefully to the storyline which is different for today's modern films. Plot twists kept me guessing.
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7
LindaA.Jan 1, 2006
While I usually enjoy a good cerebral movie, this made my head hurt. The ending gave the viewer not one iota of payoff for such difficult work. George Clooney is fabulous in this movie and deserves an award,
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8
StrappernickJan 1, 2006
Serious subject well done. Strong acting, sure to garner slew of Oscar nominations. One of the 5 films to put on your "must see" list for 2005.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
MikeE.Dec 31, 2005
Don't get out of your seat to get popcorn, or let your mind wander in the middle of the film. If you do, you're going to bo lost trying to tie all the loose ends together.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
BaronL.Dec 31, 2005
Complex and unnerving in it's resonance with current events.
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8
PadruigQ.Dec 30, 2005
The attempt to achieve simultaneity of events is almost successful. Some scenes last about ten seconds, very few beyond five minutes. It takes getting used to and it is best not to try to clarify every cause and effect until about fifteen The attempt to achieve simultaneity of events is almost successful. Some scenes last about ten seconds, very few beyond five minutes. It takes getting used to and it is best not to try to clarify every cause and effect until about fifteen minutes into the film. Clooney's middle-aged mercenary is brilliant characterization. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
OrsonO.Dec 29, 2005
Yes, this is an ambitious, four plot-line film; yes, it's about Big Oil (while we have predisdent closely connected to oil, as must be from Texas - traditionally, out biggest oil producer - who none the less was only 'small' Yes, this is an ambitious, four plot-line film; yes, it's about Big Oil (while we have predisdent closely connected to oil, as must be from Texas - traditionally, out biggest oil producer - who none the less was only 'small' oil, critics always miss). But none of this saves it from confusing marrative arc, mysterious motivation (right down to the Paki-Jihadi - haven't the writers heard of Koran memorization in Madrassa's?), tendentious slant, and a miscast Matt Damon. It's still a boring film (made me wish I was reading instead)! In fact, even big oil is only moderately profitable industry (7% - newspapers make more than double that). And big business has been in declining share of the US economy since Reagan. (I'm so scared.) There's more suspense in reading blogs than sitting for the sad, pretentious, "Syriana." Only Michale Moore-on's imbued with self-righeousness against Bush/Chamey/Chimp/Hitler/Hallitburton/"It's all about oil!" (pick any malicious stereotype - one's as good [and bad] as any other) and Green voting Ralph Nader lovers (ie, most of my neighbors and friends in BOulder, CO). Even I'll get more out of reading The Nation than watching this pablum trumped up as 'mystery.' Naturally, this screenplay was hived off the only section of a book that could be spun against the Right! Baer's book, by a former CIA operative, was really about how much we - as a nation - have lost by having abandoned human intelligence for safe and dull hi-tech surveillance. You won't find any of that message on film - how convenient. This has been a horrible movie season - even summer was better! And an aweful year - I've walked out on three films, a record for me - and this and 'Munich' were two, both December releases. Now, tell me: it's four years since 9/11, and the only one to approach terrorism seriously, even tangentially, was the viscerally satisfying 'B' picture "Red Eye." HOW COME ALLL THE BEST FILMS ABOUT TERRORISM WERE MADE IN THE CLINTON YEARS? Because Hollywood has abandoned AmeriKa for...for what exactly? Get a clue!!! We want believable villains and conflicts relevant to today! Just reading up on Big Oil, I notivce that Canada has now supplanted Iraq for #2 rank in proven world oil reserves. Now, if syriana had been set in Alberta, and we could all lauch at the Canucks about Aermican intrigue, maybe then it would have been entertaining enough to sit through. But Hollywood can't get over recycling old myths (the conspriacy behind "Three Days of The Condor") as cliches, instead of facing up to new realities (eg, Jihadi's do just want us dead because we are free to be wealthy and libertines and live to smite Allah - Bin Laden says so). Expand
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9
JoelK.Dec 29, 2005
Very good, very thought-provoking.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
PeteP.Dec 29, 2005
Worst movie I've seen this year.
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10
MarcH.Dec 29, 2005
If you enjoy an intelligent movie that requires a little bit of thought and effort out of the viewer you will love this movie. Very rewarding, I was in the theatre with only a few others but I noticed not a single person left when the If you enjoy an intelligent movie that requires a little bit of thought and effort out of the viewer you will love this movie. Very rewarding, I was in the theatre with only a few others but I noticed not a single person left when the credits began to roll. Everyone just sat there in awe. A truly great thinking man's flick. If, on the other hand, you require big explosions to a nu-metal rock soundtrack to keep you entertained then save your money and rewatch Vin Diesel in "XXX" Expand
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8
RhettW.Dec 28, 2005
George Clooney stands out. Highlight: Tim Blake Nelson's "Wall Street" like rant on how corruption is good for America.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
BlackGoldDec 26, 2005
The movie is simply about oil and how different people try to hustle it...its various stories and points of view strung together with some slick editing and DP work...its black gold 4 sure!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
HowardF.Dec 26, 2005
One of the best movies of the year. While some may complain of no action, the information IS the action and leaves you sitting in your seat stunned. This story of wealth and power is a powerhouse effect. I was prepared to pay attention and One of the best movies of the year. While some may complain of no action, the information IS the action and leaves you sitting in your seat stunned. This story of wealth and power is a powerhouse effect. I was prepared to pay attention and think about what was going on and had little trouble keeping it all together. It's not necessary, though, to try and keep track of every detail because the load of information given to you sets the mood and ambiance. But you do have to pay attention. So riveting that the two rows I sat in didn't budge as the credits rolled up. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
VaibhavD.Dec 26, 2005
A movie that is admirable in intent and nearly flawless in its execution. People complaining about its "politics" probably are unaware of recent world history. In fact, the film IMO is largely *apolitical* and quite "passive" in the manner A movie that is admirable in intent and nearly flawless in its execution. People complaining about its "politics" probably are unaware of recent world history. In fact, the film IMO is largely *apolitical* and quite "passive" in the manner in which it weaves together multiple narratives. There are almost no overt political statements or ham-handed attempts at moralization. The movie expects the audience to construct the story as it is presented through multiple and seemingly disjoint fashion. If the audience is prepared to work with it as such, it will work equally well as both thriller, and a dispassionate pseudo-documentary on the geo-politics of oil. If you are unprepared to work with the Director on this one, this is not the movie for you. If you are, you will view one of the finest films you will ever see. But for a marginally dissappointing end, I would have given it the highest possible rating. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
kynnj.Dec 26, 2005
Excellent flick, with some very good points to make... Unfortunately, a bit hard to follow, so it won't reach a broad audience. Given that this is a movie that attempts to make a political point, the fact that it is hard to follow is a Excellent flick, with some very good points to make... Unfortunately, a bit hard to follow, so it won't reach a broad audience. Given that this is a movie that attempts to make a political point, the fact that it is hard to follow is a particularly serious flaw, hence I give it a 9 and not a 10. The basic underlying theme I take from this movie is that corporations and not politician, let alone ELECTED politicians, run the world. All governments, including our own (in the US) are puppet governmets. This may sound like a Marxist whine, but the movie makes a very plausible, realistic case in support of it. Those who are afraid of watching rather explicit scenes of torture, or of having their worldviews pushed outside the comfort zone should stick with Wallace and Gromit. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
JohnC.P.Dec 25, 2005
Clearly a very ambitious movie. It's not an action movie, nor is it exactly a thriller movie (it certainly wasn't rewarding in that sense), which means that the movie has to succeed on getting across its message. The movie does Clearly a very ambitious movie. It's not an action movie, nor is it exactly a thriller movie (it certainly wasn't rewarding in that sense), which means that the movie has to succeed on getting across its message. The movie does raise many important and valid issues, but in the end, I was left thinking, "Yeah, great, but I already knew that. Show me new stuff or force me to think about old stuff in ways I haven't before." And the movie failed in that regard. For all the mental hoops the movie makes you jump through, I expected more. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful