Syriana

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 362 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 362
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  1. PeterZ.
    Jan 2, 2006
    5
    Hollywood fops dictating unreality with no sense of character or adventure.
  2. MarcusD.
    Apr 5, 2007
    5
    Weak direction. Tries to be like 'Traffic' and fails. To many things going on at once. Good acting though.
  3. JonC.
    Nov 3, 2007
    1
    One of two movies I have ever fallen asleep in.
  4. SarahR.
    May 12, 2007
    3
    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.
  5. DougB.
    Feb 17, 2008
    1
    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.
  6. Feb 28, 2013
    3
    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 Best Supporting Actor should have gone to Jake Gyllenhaal.
  7. Steve
    Mar 8, 2006
    8
    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.
  8. DWilly
    Dec 4, 2005
    7
    This is a difficult movie to rate. With a solid knowledge of oil politics (which I have) it is quite enjoyable; and without that knowledge (which my wife has not) it is nearly unbearable. It's really rather amazing that this film got made. There are a lot of nice touches and real competence throughout, but, as will always be the danger in a polemic, things tend to get writ broadly. This is a difficult movie to rate. With a solid knowledge of oil politics (which I have) it is quite enjoyable; and without that knowledge (which my wife has not) it is nearly unbearable. It's really rather amazing that this film got made. There are a lot of nice touches and real competence throughout, but, as will always be the danger in a polemic, things tend to get writ broadly. There are really no standout performances; and Matt Damon, though still sharp, revealed a lack of depth in his talent in his ongoing response to an early catastrophic event. Expand
  9. Strappernick
    Jan 1, 2006
    8
    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.
  10. GeorgeC.
    Jan 3, 2006
    10
    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!
  11. ChuckU.
    Jan 6, 2006
    4
    Undeveloped characters, choppy, shallow. this movie blew the chance on what should have been an awesome topic.
  12. stephenh.
    Jan 7, 2006
    2
    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.
  13. GaborA.
    Jan 7, 2006
    8
    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.
  14. masoudb.
    Jan 9, 2006
    10
    Truth,
  15. DuncanS.
    Jan 9, 2006
    3
    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 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
  16. MackW.
    Jun 28, 2006
    10
    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 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
  17. EllenG.
    Jul 10, 2006
    9
    You need to pay attention but if you do you will experience a good movie.
  18. JWieners
    Aug 13, 2006
    10
    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 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
  19. SamF.
    Oct 25, 2007
    9
    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 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
  20. debib.
    Nov 22, 2005
    10
    Fantastic....superb performance by the cast, especially by clooney and damon.
  21. AndrewO.
    Dec 10, 2005
    10
    If you liked Traffic you'll like this. While some have criticized it for having multiple groups of main characters with different stories, this is the only way to describe a truly big picture issue in international relations and business. Like Traffic, it's easy to end up sympathizing with (or at least understanding) most of the characters and then feeling conflicted when If you liked Traffic you'll like this. While some have criticized it for having multiple groups of main characters with different stories, this is the only way to describe a truly big picture issue in international relations and business. Like Traffic, it's easy to end up sympathizing with (or at least understanding) most of the characters and then feeling conflicted when they're in opposition. That said, this movie isn't for everyone. Expect to have to pay attention and keep track of different characters between quick cuts from storyline to storyline or it's easy to get lost. Also, this movie rewards viewer if they know more than just the most recent news about the Middle East. Last, it features great performances from all including Clooney, Damon, Chris Cooper, and Alexander Siddig. Expand
  22. SabihM.
    Dec 10, 2005
    9
    Admittedly this is a complicated movie - i don't think everything was resolved in the end, but it's most definitely worth the effort and gaghan's attempt at crafting a story of this magnitude is admirable. and despite what your political leanings, this film is important to see - just to have a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes of the "petropolitical" landscape...
  23. PeterG.
    Dec 12, 2005
    5
    Trite and underwhelming. I have worked in the international oil business. As a society we seem to wish that there was some grand conspiracy, someone to blame besides ourselves as will stop to fill up the SUV. Things just do not work the way portrayed in the film. Reality is much more complicated and less intentional. To me, this was just another grandiose, liberal "Hollywood: view of Trite and underwhelming. I have worked in the international oil business. As a society we seem to wish that there was some grand conspiracy, someone to blame besides ourselves as will stop to fill up the SUV. Things just do not work the way portrayed in the film. Reality is much more complicated and less intentional. To me, this was just another grandiose, liberal "Hollywood: view of reality: America is evil, big business (oil) is evil, evil America loves evil, corrupt Dictators, but suicide bombers are just desperate, misunderstood basic folks with a really good heart deep down. There are some good points to the film as well, like the frustration that must be felt from perceived American inteference in politics, but basically the movie reflects an agenda. I am getting sick of all the "America is bad" inferences gushing from rich Hollywood liberals. Time to stay home for a while. Expand
  24. Thomas
    Dec 10, 2005
    3
    Movie jumps all over the place, making it difficult to follow and understand. Should have been a documentary instead of a feature film. Pretty boring movie, don't waste your money.
  25. Aaronk
    Dec 17, 2005
    6
    The movie was interesting, and made this usually very political and dry subject more human for both sides. On the other hand the film was slow and uncompelling from the beginning. The characters that were compelling were not developed. The film is interesting, but does not hold your attention and it's tempting to walk out.
  26. richardb.
    Dec 21, 2005
    9
    I'm adding Syriana to my top 10. Best paranoid thriller since di Palma's Blow Out. Everything Constant Gardener was supposed to be but isnt. Haunting (that vision of the dead son still playing by the fountain)...strong smart (and mostly very quick) performances from Peet, Damon, Clooney,Wright, Plummer and all the CIA & Arab world supporting crew...wow. And to top it off, Miles I'm adding Syriana to my top 10. Best paranoid thriller since di Palma's Blow Out. Everything Constant Gardener was supposed to be but isnt. Haunting (that vision of the dead son still playing by the fountain)...strong smart (and mostly very quick) performances from Peet, Damon, Clooney,Wright, Plummer and all the CIA & Arab world supporting crew...wow. And to top it off, Miles Drentell as the DOJ snake...very cool. I'm not sure if this strange little world is absolutely meant to be the way things truly are, but I fell for it as hard as I fell for the Tinker Tailor miniseries. Intertwined destinies, inexorable tragedy. Phew. Expand
  27. Monty
    Dec 9, 2005
    5
    Ambitious, multi-plotted drama tries to squeeze too much into a feature film format. This should have been a min-series. Its jumpiness doesn't allow for much depth or traction. See Kirk Honeycutt's review in the Hollywood Report, above, for an accurate descirption of the film. One to watch on dvd perhaps but not a night out..
  28. LindaA.
    Jan 1, 2006
    7
    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,
  29. Bob
    Jan 16, 2006
    2
    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.
  30. JoelS.
    Jan 20, 2006
    10
    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 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
  31. ChaseR.
    Jan 3, 2006
    7
    This film is complex and hard to watch if you
  32. HeatherW.
    Jan 3, 2006
    7
    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 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
  33. DianaT.
    Feb 19, 2006
    3
    a plot that is impossible to follow, detect, comprehend, apprehend.
  34. Jake
    Feb 2, 2006
    8
    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 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
  35. PhilipG.
    Feb 28, 2006
    1
    Clooney is good but movie makes no sense and no point. Anybody could make a confusing movie.
  36. MarilynZ.
    Mar 2, 2006
    1
    If we were by ourselves, I would have walked out. What a convoluted mess. I finally gave up and tried to enjoy George.
  37. MalikK.
    Mar 2, 2006
    1
    too many sub characters. i fell asleep several times. the ending was like being hanged and not knowing why
  38. KonstantinosM.
    Mar 30, 2006
    7
    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.
  39. KelvinL.
    Apr 5, 2006
    8
    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 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! Collapse
  40. RashaG
    May 9, 2006
    10
    Best movie of the year. I have seen it 3 times until now .
  41. wetwebwork
    Jun 20, 2006
    8
    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.
  42. J.H.
    Jul 23, 2006
    10
    A very thought-provoking and entertaining film. Clooney is brilliant, and Damon turns in one of his best performances.
  43. AmurabiM.
    Jul 26, 2006
    6
    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 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
  44. JoiH.
    Aug 8, 2006
    10
    Everyone in america, especially high school students, should be required to see this movie. It's the real world, kiddos.
  45. JohnL.
    Sep 23, 2006
    5
    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.
  46. JuliaW.
    Mar 9, 2007
    3
    The incomprehensibility of the editing ruins what could be a fine film.
  47. WolfgangK.
    Apr 24, 2008
    7
    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 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
  48. MikeH.
    Nov 25, 2005
    10
    One of the best movie I've seen in years. It is complex and needs the viewer to be alert most of the time. Yet, despite some 'experts' reviews which somehow are undermining the intellegence of the average viewer, you'll definitely understand the movie content and be able to judge its worthiness. It aims at shocking the viewer with what is perceived as the reality of One of the best movie I've seen in years. It is complex and needs the viewer to be alert most of the time. Yet, despite some 'experts' reviews which somehow are undermining the intellegence of the average viewer, you'll definitely understand the movie content and be able to judge its worthiness. It aims at shocking the viewer with what is perceived as the reality of the global business/politics intertwinement. Expand
  49. PedroK.
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    One of the best films of the year by far. Doesn't pander to the audience, and creates a far more complex world with nuanced three dimensional characters than the usual depictions of good and evil, black and white that we're used to seeing from Hollywood. I'm surprised this even got made, and I'm glad they did, it was about time.
  50. Sean
    Dec 10, 2005
    10
    The movie was definitely challenging but ultimately a very rewarding experience. The movie may feel disjointed initially but it all comes together in the end. It's a movie I've been thinking about since I left the theater and one that I'm anxious to see again.
  51. JeffT
    Dec 13, 2005
    5
    How much one likes this movie depends on your politcal views. As non-liberal I would say it's interesting, yet probably mostly the product of a liberal ranting and making things up as he goes along. Its a movie and just that....not truth.
  52. PeterR
    Dec 14, 2005
    4
    I agree with it's politics. But the movie is not as smart as an episode of west wing, while emplying the same technique of dazzling us with too much information... The problem here is that it isn't as complex as it seems, it's actually corny. Actors, script, photographer are better than the direction, makes you realize how good soderberg is when thinking about traffic, I agree with it's politics. But the movie is not as smart as an episode of west wing, while emplying the same technique of dazzling us with too much information... The problem here is that it isn't as complex as it seems, it's actually corny. Actors, script, photographer are better than the direction, makes you realize how good soderberg is when thinking about traffic, which is a very similar movie with a much better director. Expand
  53. CindyA.
    Dec 14, 2005
    0
    I just saw this movie tonight and what a waste of money. It was the worst movie I have EVER seen!!
  54. PRichey
    Dec 14, 2005
    6
    I give it a 6 because it has two interesting plot lines (Geoge Clooney's and Matt Damon's) one semi-interesting one (the lawyer following the merger) and one plot line that should of just been removed from the movie (the laid off worker). Everytime they went to the former oil worker's story I just wanted to get out of the theatre, the movie would of been sooo much better if I give it a 6 because it has two interesting plot lines (Geoge Clooney's and Matt Damon's) one semi-interesting one (the lawyer following the merger) and one plot line that should of just been removed from the movie (the laid off worker). Everytime they went to the former oil worker's story I just wanted to get out of the theatre, the movie would of been sooo much better if they would of just cut out that whole story and dug a little deeper into the other storylines. Every scene at that school was just so boring and dull. On a positive note Matt Damon was awesome in this movie. It is a decent movie, but do expect it to drag EVERY SINGLE TIME they go to the laid off worker with one exception. Expand
  55. Robert
    Dec 10, 2005
    2
    A real snoozer,i know this is not what the reviewers are saying,but this film had alot to say,and not a good job telling the story--Disjointed! I was expecting more.
  56. kynnj.
    Dec 26, 2005
    9
    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 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
  57. VaibhavD.
    Dec 26, 2005
    9
    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 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
  58. BaronL.
    Dec 31, 2005
    8
    Complex and unnerving in it's resonance with current events.
  59. ArnoldH.
    Dec 3, 2005
    0
    The most incoherent two hours in movie history. Stereotypes, not flesh and blood characters. Unconcving plot developments. A true must-miss.
  60. PadruigQ.
    Dec 30, 2005
    8
    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.
  61. T.V.
    Dec 4, 2005
    10
    Best movie of the year. Will make you think.
  62. johnp.
    Dec 5, 2005
    10
    The movie is toooooooooo good. An exceptionally good performance by MATT DAMON.
  63. tanias.
    Dec 5, 2005
    10
    I have enjoyed no movie this year as I have enjoyed this one. I award it a perfect 10. A very good job - done by george clooney, matt damon and jeffry wright.
  64. Dennis
    Dec 7, 2005
    1
    A reel bore bomb.
  65. JudyT.
    Dec 9, 2005
    6
    Suffers from slowness and too covoluted a story line, my husband fell asleep twice. It could have been a good political thriller if it hadn't been so obvious. I would hve like to see Jeffrey Wright get his due, top job, new house, yacht, etc, etc.
  66. MichaelW.
    Dec 9, 2005
    1
    Although "Syriana" deals with important issues, its utter incomprehensibility makes it a failure. I was warned by several reviews that it is difficult to follow, but the confused and impenetrable script negate any interest and value this movie has.
  67. Frank
    Jan 11, 2006
    9
    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 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
  68. JeffA.
    Jan 10, 2006
    0
    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 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
  69. FrankO.
    Jan 1, 2006
    8
    Had to pay attention carefully to the storyline which is different for today's modern films. Plot twists kept me guessing.
  70. Jamal
    Jan 14, 2006
    8
    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.
  71. Jo
    Jan 15, 2006
    8
    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.
  72. GrantN.
    Jan 16, 2006
    8
    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.
  73. PaulB.
    Jan 16, 2006
    5
    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 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
  74. Jason
    Jan 21, 2006
    10
    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 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
  75. Conundrum
    Jan 27, 2006
    6
    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, 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
  76. DB
    Jan 3, 2006
    5
    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, 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
  77. BillF.
    Jan 30, 2006
    8
    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 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
  78. MonaZ
    Jan 4, 2006
    10
    One of the best films I've ever seen. It's a masterpiece.
  79. AlbertR.
    Jan 6, 2006
    9
    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 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
  80. RobertC.
    Jan 7, 2006
    5
    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.
  81. BillW.
    Mar 25, 2006
    1
    "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 "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
  82. DanielC.
    Mar 27, 2006
    8
    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 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
  83. O.Dough
    Mar 29, 2006
    8
    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.
  84. [Anonymous]
    Mar 4, 2006
    2
    I was prepared for this film to be hard to follow. What I found unforgivable is that it was boring.
  85. BC
    Apr 1, 2006
    0
    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 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
  86. KeithY.
    Jun 23, 2006
    7
    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 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
  87. MikeD.
    Jun 25, 2006
    9
    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.
  88. BrettC.
    Jul 12, 2006
    10
    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 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
  89. FredB.
    Jul 29, 2006
    2
    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 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
  90. WillieG.
    Jul 6, 2006
    0
    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 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
  91. AndyS.
    Jan 2, 2007
    8
    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.
  92. JohnS.
    Aug 22, 2007
    10
    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 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
  93. Daniel
    Sep 20, 2007
    10
    Even though Clooney and Damon are extreme liberals, they played their parts well. Now if Congress would just believe what Syriana said about Iran.
  94. AlanN.
    Sep 28, 2007
    9
    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 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
  95. CocoBunny
    Jun 24, 2009
    2
    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 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
  96. ramin
    Nov 21, 2005
    10
    Best film about middle east.
  97. Elliott
    Nov 24, 2005
    5
    It's excruciatingly convoluted and puzzling, though certainly a very interesting and provocative picture. It's an intriguing film, but after a while I got sick and tired of trying to comprehend what was happening on the screen. I may like it more after another viewing, but right now, I find it MUCH easier to admire the intentions of the picture than the picture itself. READ: It's excruciatingly convoluted and puzzling, though certainly a very interesting and provocative picture. It's an intriguing film, but after a while I got sick and tired of trying to comprehend what was happening on the screen. I may like it more after another viewing, but right now, I find it MUCH easier to admire the intentions of the picture than the picture itself. READ: great acting, a gripping soundtrack, intelligent direction and overall attractive formal compositions can't make up for a disorienting and ultimately grating screenplay. Expand
  98. C.B.
    Nov 30, 2005
    8
    Traffic with oil.
  99. AR
    Dec 11, 2005
    4
    This is a bore!!! It's boring. Did I mention how boring this movie is. It's agonizingly dull. The director, writer and editor seem to think that to show boredom, one has to film boredom. The movie is around 120 minutes long (I know: I checked my watch about ten times). It spends that 120 minutes in a perpetual "setup" that could have and should have taken 20 minutes. Several This is a bore!!! It's boring. Did I mention how boring this movie is. It's agonizingly dull. The director, writer and editor seem to think that to show boredom, one has to film boredom. The movie is around 120 minutes long (I know: I checked my watch about ten times). It spends that 120 minutes in a perpetual "setup" that could have and should have taken 20 minutes. Several people left. I asked my wife if we could leave several times. George Clooney gained 35 lbs. For what? He wasn't in the movie all that much. Neither was Matt Damon (Maaatttt Daaaamon). And HIS story line was the best!!! It seems that every piece of footage this director filmed thought it was so "Artistic" and "Profound" that it couldn't be left out of the story; it redefines "self-indulgence". There is five minute after five minute after five minute of "these" characters settting the stage for "that" character. And the dialog is so dull, so slow. The concept was interesting. The execution was terrible. What a snooze. And "professional" critics actually like and recommend this? In the movie, they talk about how the Chinese Gov't tortures members of Falun Gong. Well, "Syriana" is how Hollywood tortues movie goers. Expand
  100. SeanP.
    Dec 10, 2005
    0
    This is by far the worst movie i have ever seen. I would have walked out and tried to get my money back, but i assumed the movie just had a slow start. So i stayed for the whole movie and greatly regretted it. There is absolutely no story involved. I would have rather watched the nightly news for two hours straight and gotten more out of it. Save yourself the time and money and stay home.This is by far the worst movie i have ever seen. I would have walked out and tried to get my money back, but i assumed the movie just had a slow start. So i stayed for the whole movie and greatly regretted it. There is absolutely no story involved. I would have rather watched the nightly news for two hours straight and gotten more out of it. Save yourself the time and money and stay home. This movie truly earns the zero rating i gave it. Expand
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 100
    Takes off with the lightning speed of a thriller, the gonzo force of frontline journalism and the emotional wallop of a drama that puts a human face on shocking statistics.
  2. The character and geographical jumps leave you in a muddle with thinly sketched personalities and confusing plot points. Worse, dialogue dense with nuance and shaded meaning flies by too quickly.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    A weighty and deeply intriguing look at the many-tentacled beast that is the international oil industry. Wide-ranging and restlessly probing, Stephen Gaghan's second directorial effort uses the same mosaic storytelling technique as in his Oscar-winning screenplay for "Traffic."