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Syriana (Full Screen Edition)
Full Screen Edition
Actors: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet, Kayvan Novak, Amr Waked
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2006     2hr 8min

Big oil means big money. Very big money. And that fact unleashes corruption that stretches from Houston to Washington to the Mideast and ensnares industrialists, princes, spies, politicos, oilfield laborers and terrorists ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet, Kayvan Novak, Amr Waked
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Creators: George Clooney, Stephen Gaghan, Ben Cosgrove, Elizabeth Kirkscey, Georgia Kacandes, Jeff Skoll, Robert Baer
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: George Clooney, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Full Screen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/20/2006
Original Release Date: 12/09/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 12/09/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 2hr 8min
Screens: Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 49
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: Arabic, English, French, Persian, Urdu
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Duane S. (superpoet) from FORT WORTH, TX
Reviewed on 2/25/2008...
This is a very good film , but hard to follow . It has a lot of government lingo and is very fast paced.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Syriana is not for Everyone; Then for Who..?
RS Steube | 03/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I won't try to restate or expand upon previous reviews found here for Syriana. Many contributors have offered a better reviews of the content of Syriana than I could describe.

But I will point out that whether Syriana is for you or not, has more to do with the movie-goer, than the movie itself.

1) Can you check your political prejudices at the front door?
2) Are you willing to attempt to follow four "chess games" simultaneously?
3) Have you the courage to feel really upset at the end?

If you can answer "YES" to all three questions, then Syriana may just be one of the most worthwhile movie releases of 2005.

If you answered "NO" to any of these points, you'd better pass on Syriana.
Pay attention to the details
DL | Chula Vista, California United States | 07/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I would say this plot offers up more suspense and intriguing details than any Tom Clancy movie I've ever seen. It wasn't until about an hour into the story that things finally started to make sense. But, from that point on, I was hanging onto every word and piecing together every detail.

The trick to understanding this movie before it's over is to remember the names. Once you get to the point when you know who's who, everything else unfolds from there.

Syriana does a profound job of putting you into the minds of the impressionable and disheartened middle eastern youth who are easily recruited into the terrorist agenda. In fact, if you follow this plot closely, you'll realize that the stinger missile that G. Clooney "loses" at the beginning of the movie actually ends up being used to commit an act of vengeance on his behalf.

After all, after becoming cognisant of the circumstances surrounding the investigation of his life's "work", he is forced to shed his "blind" loyalty to his employer, the US government.

Unfortunately, the victims of terrorist suicide bombings aren't always oil executives and arab beneficiaries of oil contract kick-backs. However, as I stated before, it becomes easier to see that the war on terror isn't as clear as the good guy vs. the bad guy, when looking at it from the perspective offered by this movie.

So, what's going on?

Matt Damon is a financial advisor to Prince Nassir. Prince Nassir's family just approved a deal with the chinese to come in and set up shop as oil drillers, as the chinese offered the highest bid.

However, the US wants to cut the chinese out of the picture, so that the newly merged connex and the smaller oil company can do their thing in place of the chinese.

So, now we're at that scene when the old guy is talking to Prince Nassir's younger brother on the yacht. What you have to infer is that the "wish" that Nassir's younger brother wants the "cat's paw" to grant is to have his older brother, Prince Nassir, assassinated. In return for the favor, the US will get the oil contract instead of the chinese.

That's when the CIA have George Clooney arrange for Prince Nassir to be assassinated. However, you know that doesn't work out. You might recall the torture scene. The torturer has threatened to reveal the CIA's assassination attempt to the media.

That's why Clooney threatened the old man in the cafe. He knows that the old man is setting him up to be the fall guy for any negative backlash resulting from the exposure of the failed assassination attempt.

And that's why we see Clooney attempting to warn Nassir on the freeway of the danger to his life. He knows that the government wants to have Nassir assassinated soley for the sake of US oil interests. In the freeway scene, Nassir has re-established relations with the Chinese, and with the help of 9 out of 11 of the country's generals, is attempting to take the throne away from his younger brother.

So, everything else is pretty much straightforward.

Syrania illustrates the following points of controversy:

1. The US uses its intelligence community resources to eliminate opposition to its oil interests.

2. US government watchdogs are helpless to make an impact on anti-trust violations committed by oil companies, while the intelligence community acts as an accomplice to those violations.

3. The US strategically ensures that oil producing countries do not improve their infrastructure, economy..etc., so as to keep them more easily controlled.

Again, those are the points of view illustrated by this movie; they are not my own.
Provocative film lost to an audience expecting "24"-the movi
Royster | the East | 02/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Gagan's ideas based film -- while lacking the visual virtuosity of Traffic -- raises some very interesting questions indeed. But all is lost to a collective audience who thinks the "24" is complex and challenging or "Crash" is deep...

It seems that the US audience are so used to "film as pure sensory entertainment" that it infuriated them when nothing is resolved. I find most "bad reviews" (either here or in the press) are laced with misinformation, xenophobia, partisanship bias and juvenille comments. It is unfortunate that doing a narratively complex film offering an alternative view (esp. regarding terrorism) would incite more hate and ignorance as opposed to dialogue.

I find the film to be very well made and the issues it raises are very interesting (esp to those informed in Network systems and the Chaos theory), to a certain extent, Matt Damon, the actor and the narrative his character carries is the weakest part of film and is what I assume a concession to the joe q public -- to present the point of view of an "Average Joe".

Syriana stands proudly alongside The Insider, The Constant Gardner, Traffic and to a lesser extent, Munich (which wraps its ideology in easy to digest Thriller genre conventions ) in honoring the "New Cinema" of the 70s when filmmakers pushed against the grain, but unlike the 70s, there is no longer an like-minded audience (except for the critics) here in the States. I would predict the film to do a lot better in the rest of the world."