Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 351 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: From writer/director Stephen Gaghan, winner of the Best Screenplay Academy Award for "Traffic," comes Syriana, a political thriller that unfolds against the intrigues and corruption of the global oil industry. From the players brokering back-room deals in Washington to the men toiling in the oil fields of the Persian Gulf, the film's multiple storylines weave together to illuminate the human consequences of the fierce pursuit of wealth and power. (Warner Bros.) Expand
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. What's so powerful about the film is the rich stories it tells and how it leads them like so many human tributaries to one black, bubbling source.
  3. 80
    A bleak and powerful movie, made all the more sobering by how much of it isn't fiction.
  4. Reserved yet still suspenseful and hugely ambitious, Syriana sets out to prove what many have come to suspect -- that oil money is the root of all contemporary evil.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Politically, Syriana is a card-carrying liberal, more in tune with Le Carre and Greene than with Clancy.
  6. 70
    A major film without being a great film. It's a strange movie, and a stunningly pessimistic one, and the strangeness and pessimism connect it to other recent American films in ways that suggest that something unhappy in the national mood has crept into the movies.
  7. It's hard to get swept away when you're struggling to figure out who's doing what to whom and why.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 159
  1. Jun 1, 2012
    As real as movies get to reality.
  2. Sep 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 was also very good. I'm afraid not many people have seen, or understood, this movie as its puts things into perspective. Expand
  3. Sep 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 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
  4. Feb 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 Best Supporting Actor should have gone to Jake Gyllenhaal. Expand

See all 159 User Reviews