SyrianaDirector: Stephen Gaghan
Oil drives greed in Oscar-winning Traffic screenwriter Stephen Gaghan's labyrinthine sophomore directorial effort that traces the corruption of the global oil industry from the backrooms of Washington, D.C., to the petroleum-rich fields of the Middle East. Based in part on the writings of former CIA case officer Robert Baer, Syriana combines multiple storylines to explore the complexities that befall a proposed merger between two U.S. oil giants. Reform-minded Gulf country prince Nasir (Alexander Siddig) is in favor of making his nation more self-sufficient rather than U.S.-reliant, and his money-minded Western connections couldn't be less pleased. Before settling into a cushy desk job for the remainder of his career, CIA agent Bob Barnes (George Clooney) is sent on one last assignment -- to assassinate Prince Nasir and reinstate U.S. ties in the oil-rich region. Though his loyalty dictates that Barnes carry out his current mission despite lingering doubts of a previous blunder, his mission goes horribly awry when his field contact goes turncoat and Barnes becomes a CIA scapegoat. Meanwhile, up-and-coming Washington attorney Bennett Holiday (Jeffrey Wright) attempts to walk a fine line in overseeing a tenuous merger between two oil giants that's plagued with shady business dealings. Hotshot energy analyst Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) is in talks to form a lucrative partnership with Prince Nasir, though the death of his son during a party at the prince's estate makes him question his loyalty to business over family. Back in Washington, D.C., Bennet's boss Dean Whiting attempts to undermine Prince Nasir's attempts to make his country less reliant on the U.S. dollar by planting the seeds of dissonance between the progressive prince and his money-minded younger brother Prince Meshal (Akbar Kurtha).
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Warner Home Video
- [Wide Screen]
- [Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|George Clooney||Bob Barnes|
|Matt Damon||Bryan Woodman|
|Jeffrey Wright||Bennett Holiday|
|Chris Cooper||Jimmy Pope|
|William Hurt||Stan Goff|
|Tim Blake Nelson||Danny Dalton|
|Amanda Peet||Julie Woodman|
|Christopher Plummer||Dean Whiting|
|Alexander Siddig||Prince Nasir Al-Subaai|
|Mazhar Munir||Wasid Ahmed Khan|
|Nicholas Reese Art||Riley Woodman|
|Max Minghella||Robby Barnes|
|Fritz Michel||Security Guard|
|Akbar Kurtha||Prince Meshal Al-Subaai|
|Viola Davis||Marilyn Richards|
|William C. Mitchell||Bennett Holiday, Sr.|
|Nicky Henson||Sydney Hewitt|
|Robert Foxworth||Tommy Thompson|
|Peter Gerety||Lee Janus|
|David Clennon||Donald Farish III|
|Nadim Sawalha||Emir Hamad Al-Subaai|
|Shahid Ahmed||Saleed Ahmed Khan|
|Jamey Sheridan||Terry George|
|Tom McCarthy||Fred Franks|
|Jayne Atkinson||CIA Division Chief|
|Sarah Bradshaw||Associate Producer|
|George Clooney||Executive Producer|
|Ben Cosgrove||Executive Producer|
|Alexandre Desplat||Score Composer|
|Louise Frogley||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Daran Fulham||Art Director|
|Petur Hliddal||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Alan Hook||Art Director|
|Elizabeth Kirkscey||Associate Producer|
|Shannon Lail||Associate Producer|
|Andrew Menzies||Art Director|
|Laurent Ott||Art Director|
|Jeff Skoll||Executive Producer|
|Steven Soderbergh||Executive Producer|
|Simon Warnock||Asst. Director|
|Dan Weil||Production Designer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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All the big wigs in Hollywood were saying how great this movie was and how wonderful George Clooney is in it. Being a sucker that I am, I went and rented it. What a mistake! This movie is just one boring scene after another. I guess all you have to do is make a movie that shows America causing all the problems of the world and you'll have everybody in Hollywood kiss your butt. I just wish they would make BETTER movies showing how bad Amercia is. Maybe I would take their side. Don't waste your money. Wait until it comes out on T. V.
before i saw this movie i was expecting a fast paced and suspensefulll movie. all the critics were calling it a masterpiece, so i decided to see it for myself. after the first 30 minutes of the movie i was completly lost. it seemed like the entire movie was talk, talk and more talk, with the occasional fights or explosions. it got to a point were i just gave up, because everyhting they were saying made no sense to me! in my opinion this movie is not as nearly as thrilling as they advertised it. if you are into these kinds of movies go seet it.but if you are looking for a fast-paced action, sunpense thriller movie, syrriana is not for you.
Jameson Thottam with some thoughts on Syriana Oil, is perhaps the most precious natural resource on the planet and also one of the most controversial. It powers industry and the economies of many nations, yet the regions that contain the largest amounts are often the most unstable, and this instability often results from the influences of the very nations that purchase the oil. It is a tenuous situation where buyer and seller are wary of one another and at times regard the other as a necessary evil. The money paid for the oil has made suppliers and handlers rich and powerful, but many on the outside of this privileged circle believe that greed has caused both sides to lose focus on what is most important for the people of their nations. Back to the Film (Jameson Thottam) In the film Syriana viewers follow the paths of different people from various walks of life who for the most part do not know one another, yet are all linked by the same cause, oil. The Characters (Jameson Thottam) There is the C.I.A. agent Bob Barnes (George Clooney), who spends time in locales such as Iran and Beirut eliminating threats to national security. A lawyer, (Jeffrey Wright), who is caught in the middle as he attempts to find, and if need be eliminate damaging material that can prevent a pending merger between two oil companies. There is the grieving energy analyst Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon), who deals with his loss by siding up with a powerful Prince, (Alexander Siddig), even at the alienation of his family. There is also a displaced Pakistani worker who after losing his job when a Chinese company acquires the refinery where he worked, falls in with a group of radicals with a militant agenda. The above is just a small sampling of the characters as there are numerous business, political, and Middle Eastern citizens who all play very prominent parts in the story. The Key Focus ( Jameson Thottam ) The main focus of the film is not only to illustrate the connectivity between the characters but to show how politics and big business influence policy in oil rich nations and how through secret deals, political intrigue, and treachery policy in and towards the same oil producing nations are set into place and maintained. While this is not much of a shock to people who follow the news, it is the way that director Stephen Gaghan uses ordinary and in some ways unremarkable people to tell the story and how it affects those who deal with oil. The Complexities ( Jameson Thottam ) Even those who are supposed the big players are often simply being played by forces outside their control in a world where reality and perceptions are often miles apart. The complex nature of the story is actually a model of simplicity as cause and effect, as well as the ability of big business to influence lawmakers is what drives the film. The cast is strong especially Clooney and Siddig who make their characters sympathetic while at the same time captivating. The contrast of the men who are a Prince and an agent, yet whose destinies often cause them to walk along the same paths is amazing. Closing (Jameson Thottam) Syriana is an amazing film that is so complex in its simplicity. The basic message is very clear, yet the layers that must be uncovered like a tangled web of lies in telling the story is a far reaching journey that will shock and anger most viewers. Some may find fault with a so called liberal agenda to the film, but politics aside, “Syriana” is a very captivating and entertaining film that makes you think. Review End Jameson Thottam
This movie had so much potential, and the director just failed to live up to it. The basic story line was great, the characters were very well developed, but when it came right down to telling the story, I had a hard time keeping my eyes open. To be perfectly honest, I fell asleep half- way through the movie. I had to go grab a cup of coffee just to make it through the film. The director could have really made this into an (as they say) action packed, edge of your seat thriller, instead it turned into a boring pretentious lecture about current affairs starring King Pretentious himself, George Clooney.
This is two hours I will never get back. I believed the hype that it was a film worthy of my attention, but was sadly disappointed. Although the acting was good, the plot was just too confusing to keep up with and I consider myself a pretty well-read person. The ultimate conclusion I made with this movie is that Oil Companies rule the world and America is addicted to oil. You can get from the nightly news for free. Save your money folks and wait for this one on cable or better yet regular TV
Where do I start, well the acting is great the plot is ok. However what really got to me was the entire movie. The movie was very draggy and boring. It was confusing because most of the time I got lost everytime I yawned.The point is if you like long,draggy,boring movies then this defenetly your movie.
Another film in the vein of Traffic. Soderburg and Gaghan are a wonderful team at directing pictures filled with complex political issues without being sensational. Its filled with much-needed insight into this tremendously troubled world where the oil companies have an almost fascistically financial grip on our political system. Prince Nasir was a great model of what America does to people of progressive instincts that might interfere with American business interests.
This movie is so confusing that I couldn't figure out what was happening. And George Clooney wasn't even hot in it.
Many people found the movie boring, but that may be because of the nature of the subject matter. If you're looking for an easy-to-understand movie where you don't really have to think or do anything else, then Syriana is not for you. Be prepared to watch certain parts over again, but it's worth it. For those who understand the plot, Syriana actually IS an action-packed movie. It might help to read a summary online before watching the movie, so that you understand the plot. Don't write the movie off within the first half-hour or so. Stick with it, stay awake, and keep your mind open. You'll be surprised with what you discover.
People do not like this movie for a combination of three reasons: 1) They do not understand the movie 2)They are looking for an action movie and they don't want to have to follow the plot or 3) they don't like the message of the moive. If you don't fall into one of those three catagories, you should love this movie. As much as I hate to say it, I think our society really does act like this behind the scenes. SYRIANA is a complex movie that touches all aspects of our current times. Like one of the reviewers said, "For those who understand the plot, Syriana actually IS an action-packed movie." Take a chance and follow the movie closely, you'll be pleasantly suprised and intrigued.