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SYRIANA

 
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At Theaters: 12/9/2005 On Video: 6/20/2006
Rated: R Length: 2 hr. 6 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 459950
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
As a career CIA operative begins to uncover the disturbing truth about the work he has devoted his life to, an up-and-coming oil broker faces an unimaginable family tragedy and finds redemption in his partnership with an idealistic Gulf prince. A corporate lawyer faces a moral dilemma as he finesses the questionable merger of two powerful U.S. oil companies, while across the globe, a disenfranchised Pakistani teenage falls prey to the recruiting efforts of a charismatic cleric. Each plays their small part in the vast and complex system that powers the industry, unaware of the explosive impact their lives will have upon the world.
DETAILED STORYLINE
.
Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Thriller - This is a very talky, very complex, and possibly very confusing drama. The trailers and television spots play up explosions and action beats when there are actually very few.
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Cast and Crew Heading
George Clooney OCEANS 12, INTOLERABLE CRUELTY
Matt Damon THE BROTHERS GRIMM, OCEANS 12
Jeffrey Wright BROKEN FLOWERS, SHAFT, RIDE WITH THE DEVIL, D-TOX
Chris Cooper JARHEAD, SEABISCUIT, THE BOURNE IDENTITY
William Hurt A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, THE VILLAGE
Director: Stephen Gaghan ABANDON
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Production Notes Heading
About The Film
Global Casting
Breaking Language Barriers
Costume Design
Production Design
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: 16 F-words, 5 S-words, 3 GD's, a few others.
SEX/NUDITY: None.
VIOLENCE: One bloody torture sequence.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Alcohol and tobacco.
ACTION: A couple of big explosions.
COMEDY: Some kid humor.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Pictures © Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
Very Good

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

(Close new window when finished with Full Reviews)

Berardinelli, Internet Critic Full Review
Very Good In today's environment, it's a rare thing to find a movie with interesting characters in dense, intelligent storylines, but that's what Syriana offers. It is one of the best films of 2005.

Roger Ebert Full Review
Excellent think 'Syriana' is a great film. I am unable to make my reasons clear without resorting to meaningless generalizations. Individual scenes have fierce focus and power, but the film's overall drift stands apart from them.

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 126 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M)
6
About 50/50
83%
13-19Teens (F)
3
High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
14
Fairly High
79%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
7
Low
57%
30+Adults (M)
49
Fairly Low
61%
30+Adults (F)
47
Fairly Low
55%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

Based on a theater exit polling of 126 moviegoers: Well, the professional movie critics certainly enjoyed "Syriana" more than moviegoers. There are WAY to many low to very low moviegoer opinions and WAY to few high moviegoer opinions. What this graph shows is that about a third really enjoyed "Syriana," a third rated it as an average to below average movie and the last third truly disliked it. Will YOU enjoy it? If your taste in movies tends to run close to that of professional movie critics then you will likely enjoy "Syriana" very much. For everyone else I would urge caution. Read all we offer on this movie before deciding. If you're still unsure then I would suggest that you see a lower priced matinee, just in case.


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
The intrigue takes place against the backdrop of an oil-producing Gulf country, where young, charismatic and reform-minded Prince Nasir (ALEXANDER SIDDIG) is seeking to change long-established relationships with U.S. business interests. Nasir, the apparent heir to the throne, has just granted natural gas drilling rights – long held by Connex, a Texas energy giant – to a higher Chinese bid. This is a huge blow to Connex and American business interests in the region. Killen, a smaller Texas oil company owned by Jimmy Pope (CHRIS COOPER), has just won the very competitive drilling rights to coveted fields in Kazakhstan. This makes Killen very attractive to Connex, who now needs new territory to maintain its production capacity. When the two companies merge, the pending deal attracts the scrutiny of the Justice Dept., and Sloan Whiting, a powerful white-shoe Washington law firm, is brought in to perform due diligence.

Bob Barnes (GEORGE CLOONEY) is a veteran CIA agent nearing the end of a long and respectable career, with a son headed for college (MAX MINGHELLA) and the possibility of spending the latter days of his service in a cushy desk job. A devoted company man, Bob's always been a true believer that his work benefits his government and makes his country a safer place.

In Bob's last assignment, an assassination of two arms dealers in Tehran, a Stinger missile falls into the hands of a mysterious blue-eyed Egyptian. On his return to Washington, Bob is promised a promotion after one last undercover mission – assassinating Prince Nasir. But when one of his field contacts turns on him and the assassination attempt goes terribly awry, Bob isscapegoated by the CIA, betrayed by the organization to which he has devoted his life. As he searches to understand what has happened, he begins to realize that he has been lied to – used as a pawn and never privy to the real motivation for the assignments he has blindly carried out for years.

Bennett Holiday (JEFFREY WRIGHT) is an ambitious Washington attorney at Sloan Whiting, in charge of the delicate task of guiding the Connex-Killen merger through the deep waters of D.C. He needs to give the Justice Department enough material to make their case against Killen for its shady dealings in Kazakhstan without jeopardizing the entire deal. It's in the company and the country's interest that the merger go through. It also serves Bennett's ambitions – ambitions fueled by a father (WILLIAM C. MITCHELL) he is constantly at odds with.

Energy analyst Bryan Woodman (MATT DAMON) is a rising star at an Energy Trading Company, living with his wife Julie (AMANDA PEET) and their two young sons in Geneva. When he attends a party thrown by Prince Nasir's family, a tragic accident results in the death of Bryan's young son. Nasir attempts to make amends for what happened, offering Bryan a business opportunity to help the young leader realize his reformist ideas – an opportunity Bryan embraces, to the dismay of his grieving wife.

Dean Whiting (CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER), Bennett's boss, the head of Sloan Whiting and one of the most powerful men in Washington, is trying to undo Nasir's deal with the Chinese. He knows that Nasir's younger, more callow brother, Prince Meshal (AKBAR KURTHA), will be more amenable to American business interests and he pressures the aging Emir to choose his younger son to succeed him, effectively engineering Nasir's political demise.

At the other end of the wage scale in Nasir's country are the migrant laborers toiling in its energy fields, whose lives are directly and drastically affected by the royal family's policies and the vagaries of the industry. Connex workersSaleem Ahmed Kahn (SHAHID AHMED) and his son Wasim (MAZHAR MUNIR) have just been laid off from their jobs in the fields when the Chinese take them over,

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