A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
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.
For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
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
Maddening and infuriating but also fascinating like most things we don't understand when we're told we should. I kept hearing people around me whispering - Who's that? - What are they talking about? - William Hurt!? I haven't shoosh people in a movie theater in years but I did throughout "Syriana". The most compelling aspect is that I felt let into something and hear things I shouldn't. They're all baddies one way or another but then, what else is new. Stephen Gaghan, the writer director, devices a devilish web for us to get lost into. I was mesmerized by his self assuredness and although I didn't have any kind of emotional connection with "Syriana" whoever she or it is, I couldn't dismiss the experience so, well done, cinema comes in all shapes and flavors.
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