A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge to violently lash out, attempting to save a teenage prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
The movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For ... See full summary »
A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.
A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.
A missile disappears in Iran, but the CIA has other problems: the heir to an Emirate gives an oil contract to China, cutting out a US company that promptly fires its immigrant workers and merges with a small firm that has landed a Kazakhstani oil contract. The Department of Justice suspects bribery, and the oil company's law firm finds a scapegoat. The CIA also needs one when its plot to kill the Emir-apparent fails. Agent Bob Barnes, the fall guy, sorts out the double cross. An American economist parlays the death of his son into a contract to advise the sheik the CIA wants dead. The jobless Pakistanis join a fundamentalist group. All roads start and end in the oil fields. Written by
Initially I wanted to compare it with Traffic, same style and interwoven story lines, but the film itself stopped me from doing so. Thank you. Comparing films can so difficult, you know, the old apples v. oranges thing. This film stands on its own without the comparison or the similarities to Traffic.
Just before I went to the movie theatre, I saw an interview with Steve Gaghan the director on the Charlie Rose Show, and probably this helped me to fit most of the pieces together. The scene where Bob (Clooney) is taken to visit Hezbollah leaders, is based on the exact experience the director had when researching the story. He said that most of the film was based on his or Bob's actual experiences.
So what do we have....Oil, big oil, oil executives, oil analysts, oil geography, oil politics, big time oil power brokers, CIA, Islamic terrorists, Middle East culture....It's all there. And Steve Gaghan does a very good job in bringing it all together. His directorial debut. Very good acting all round, maybe the oldest boy and his mother Amanda Peet stand out.
I walked out of the theatre in an emotional daze, if that's possible. I will see this film again.
My coda.... What a rotten, ugly barrel of oil.
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