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Syriana (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  9 December 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 103,376 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 12 wins & 26 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?


Both Chris Cooper and William Hurt have played real life FBI traitor Robert Hanssen: Cooper in Breach (2007) and Hurt in Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story (2002). See more »


When Bryan Woodman is handed the party invitation by his colleague, you could read the party will take place in "Casa Esperanza" (Hope House), Marbella, Spain. Upon his arrival, the Emir, who is the host of the party, calls the house "Casa de las Palmas". See more »


[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 »


Featured in The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2006) 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

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User Reviews

Syriana: the smart scripts that speaks
16 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Syriana, starring Matt Damon and George Clooney, reveals a possible honesty in foreign political corruption. The movie starts out a bit discombobulating, but the ending unleashes a truism in our society. Directed and written by Stephen Gaghan (Screenplay for Traffic 2000), the script for Syriana shows not only a smart liberal-approached storyline, but also how much the American and Arabian lives becomes juxtaposed by oil politics. Based on the non-fiction book "See No Evil" by Robert Baer, Syriana takes its viewer step by step through the birth and processes of terrorism; and tears at the roots from where all violence and corruption derives.

The movie starts with the introduction of a character, Bob (George Clooney), an American CIA agent who works in the Middle East for years witnessing the destruction of social injustice. The movie then turns light to the American governmental affairs and its due process to make oil business proposals and governmental decisions to promote oil driven businesses in the Middle East. Bryan (Matt Damon) struggling to survive in America's capitalistic society thrives to introduce business opportunities in the Middle East; but before completing any deals with reformer and leader, Prince Nasir, all the characters, including a young Arabic man suffering from American politics and social injustices, end up experiencing sacrifices beyond comprehensible.

The movie leaves its audience stunned with a raw realism that the world we live is not a pretty picture, and all the beliefs you trust can be questionable. Although the movie definitely wouldn't exactly be a "feel good movie", its thought provoking and enlightening, and I don't think it was ever meant to be a "feel good movie." The movie shows a perspective worth learning, considering and understanding. And although the movie takes the viewer through a roller-coaster of different lives and people objectives at the beginning of the film, the movie ties in brilliantly to connect not only the characters lives, but the lives of the audience and everyone's lives who have capitalistic motives.

173 of 306 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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