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Syriana (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  9 December 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 103,358 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 624 user | 357 critic | 40 from

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



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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


American oil companies Connex and smaller Killen are undergoing a merger, the new company named Connex-Killen. The move is in response to Connex losing a number of oil fields in the Persian Gulf region as Prince Nasir Al-Subaai, his country's foreign minister, and the oldest son of the Emir and thus the heir apparent to the throne, signed a contract with the Chinese instead. As Killen somehow managed to get the contract for the oil fields in Kazahkstan, the merger would give Connex-Killen additional control of the industry in the Middle East. Connex's retained law firm, headed by Dean Whiting, assigns Bennett Holiday to demonstrate to the US Department of Justice that due diligence has been done to allow the merger to proceed i.e. that the merger would not break any antitrust regulations. The US government is unhappy with Prince Nasir's decision to award the contract to the Chinese, and in combination with issues around illegal weapons, the CIA assigns field agent Bob Barnes, who has ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Everything is connected


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | | | |

Release Date:

9 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

See No Evil  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$374,502 (USA) (25 November 2005)


$50,815,288 (USA) (14 April 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Harrison Ford was the original choice to play Bob Barnes, but turned it down. He later told Empire magazine that is one of the few movie career decisions that he has regretted. See more »


(at arouns 3 mins) The scene is supposed to be located in Tehran, but on the license plate of Bob's car it is misspelled as Nehran (one dot failing). In Iranian movies and serials, cars have white license plates with all characters in one line, but this license plate is yellow with the text written on two lines. The Arabic numerals 4, 5 and 6 are different from the Persian numerals; this license plate shows an Arabic 4 and 6. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »


References My Two Dads (1987) See more »


Wasp Nest
Written by Matt Berninger (as Matthew Donald Berninger) and Aaron Dessner (as Aaron Brooking Dessner)
Performed by The National
Courtesy of Brassland
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Go See It
17 December 2005 | by (Connecticut) – See all my reviews

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.

128 of 224 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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