MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 656 this week

Syriana (2005)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  9 December 2005 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 94,880 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 619 user | 359 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

A politically-charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved and affected by it.

Director:

Writers:

, (book)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 03 Nov 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 01 Apr 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 03 Feb 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 29 Mar 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Syriana" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Syriana (2005)

Syriana (2005) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Syriana.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A law firm brings in its "fixer" to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multi-billion dollar class action suit.

Director: Tony Gilroy
Stars: George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.

Director: Robert De Niro
Stars: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Director: George Clooney
Stars: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson
Traffic (2000)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is an addict.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

While in post-war Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference, an American military journalist is drawn into a murder investigation which involves his former mistress and his driver.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Tobey Maguire
The American (2010)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An assassin hides out in Italy for one last assignment.

Director: Anton Corbijn
Stars: George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli, Violante Placido
Green Zone (2010)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The U.S. government decides to go after an agro-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president-turned-informant Mark Whitacre.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Matt Damon, Tony Hale, Patton Oswalt
Three Kings (1999)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, 4 soldiers set out to steal gold that was stolen from Kuwait, but they discover people who desperately need their help.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An adaptation of the cult memoir of game show impresario Chuck Barris, in which he purports to have been a CIA hitman.

Director: George Clooney
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Nicky Henson ...
Sydney Hewitt
Nicholas Art ...
Riley Woodman
...
...
...
...
Rebecca
...
Leland Janus
...
Bryan's Boss
Edit

Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

oil | cia | oil company | emirate | pakistani | See more »

Taglines:

Everything is connected

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | | | |

Release Date:

9 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

See No Evil  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$75,781 (Hong Kong) (31 March 2006)

Gross:

$50,815,288 (USA) (14 April 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In two clever examples of parallelism in the script and dialogue, CIA staffer Fred Franks uses the phrase "Help me out here" in the film after it's been directed at him by his CIA supervisor, Terry. And the name "Jimmy" is one that Bob Barnes insists on using when he talks to Mussawi -who's offended by it - but it's a name that Killen CEO Jimmy Pope invites Bennett Holiday to use in addressing him. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, a news reader with a British accent says "one hundred thirty". They should have said "one hundred and thirty." The "and" is usually omitted in non-British English. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Arash: Bobby, where have you been?
See more »

Crazy Credits

(Closing statement) While inspired by a non-fiction work, this motion picture and all of the characters and events portrayed in it (except for incidental archival footage), are fictional. See more »


Soundtracks

The Yellow Rose of Texas
(uncredited)
Traditional American folk song
Instrumental heard when Janus receives award for Oilman of the Year
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A thesis on the culture of corruption
29 December 2005 | by (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Stephen Gaghan penned Traffic, which was the best film of 2000. Now with Syriana, he has developed a companion piece, with the oil industry as the backdrop rather than the drug trade. The irony of this is that the films show that both industries are corrupt to the core, but only one is legal.

In fact, by the evidence of these two films, one could argue that the drug trade is the less sleazy of the two because it does not exist with the facade of legitimacy that surrounds the oil industry. If I was to make a list of the 10 best films of the decade so far, these would both be there.

It is tough, if not impossible and perhaps even foolish to try and apply one thesis to this film, but for me, it is that what we as civilians call corruption is simply the culture of the oil business, one supported and nurtured by government, business, traders and lawyers. No-one knows why it exists, but it does, and if you cannot wade in it, you are out of the game.

Syriana does not have a plot or a storyline, but it throws character and story and information at you by the bucketful. There is no warm up time. Gaghan goes out of his way to show that the people involved in this business are surrounded by a normal world with normal hopes and dreams. This is evident from the opening shot. A title card tells us we are in Tehran, but not a some stereotypical open market selling figs. It is a hip hop club.

The main story of the film involves a possibly corrupt merger of two major American oil firms. From there, everything else fans out. THe story of Jeffrey Wright, the government official investigating the merger, George Clooney, the CIA operative with missions with no apparent goal, the Arab Emir from an unnamed oil producing country, and his two sons each wanting to take over his reign, the industry analyst (Matt Damon) who will use any situation to advance his firm, and the young, broke angry Arab youth who look for meaning in life and find it in the most dangerous way.

Syriana is not a left wing movie, it is surprising a-political. It is not anti-American, but it most certainly lays blame on the US and the west for putting oil ahead of all other priorities. It is not sympathetic to terror, but its most compelling plot line tell us how a terrorist can be made from a bad combination of hopelessness, unemployment, anger and poverty.

If you are looking for a neat and tidy ending, you will be frustrated. The film ends like a truck running into a brick wall, with all but one or two plots left hanging. It does not answer any questions because I believe that Gaghan is trying to show that no-one is really in charge and that no-one really knows what is going on.

The acting is near perfect from everyone in the cast, including a small, two scene brilliant cameo by William Hurt and Oscar worthy work from Clooney and Alexander Siddig as the frustrated Arab prince.

This is an important film and it is not to be missed. **** out of ****.


295 of 396 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Similar movies Eric_Mtl
Unrealistic Drowning sadmovies
Favorite Lines HellaciousWonTon
Why is this movie rated 7.1/10? arnabc2003
Too choppy, incoherent, and preachy RazzTheMan
Meeting by the sea kaelin9003
Discuss Syriana (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?