Syriana

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Released 2005

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Movie Summary

Director:
Stephen Gaghan
Released:
2005
Rating:
R
Written and directed by Stephen Gahan (Traffic), Syriana follows multiple storylines all involving the politics of petroleum. Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) is an energy analyst in Switzerland who attends a party hosted by the Emir. When Woodman's son is accidentally killed at the party, Woodman's company is offered oil interests as reparation. Woodman becomes involved with Prince Nasir's (Alexander Siddig) desires to succeed his father as Emir, and American financial politics come into play when Nasir decides to stage a military coup. Bob Barnes (George Clooney) is a CIA agent who is assigned the task of assassinating Prince Nasir, whom the American government believes is behind the purchase of a missile. Barnes hires the wrong person to help him in the assassination, and the American government distances themselves from him, claiming he is a rogue agent. Chris Cooper, Peter Gerety, Tim Blake Nelson, Amanda Peet, William Hurt, Christopher Plummer, and Jeffrey Wright also star in this 2005 fast-paced geopolitical thriller.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    A fearless and ambitious piece of work, made with equal parts passion and calculation, an unapologetically entertaining major studio release with compelling real-world relevance, a...

  • 80

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    It aims to be a great deal more than a standard geopolitical thriller and thereby succeeds in being one of the best geopolitical thrillers in a very long time.

  • 80

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    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 ef...

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Themes

corruption, Thrillers, corporate secrets, corrupt politics, cerebral