Academy Awards 2005 -
Best Supporting Actor: George Clooney
Entertainment Weekly - 12/02/2005
"SYRIANA has a lot of big, important things to say about big, important things, and its says them with a sense of urgency."
Rolling Stone - 12/01/2005 4 stars out of 4 -- "[T]his fighting-mad film isn't just hot, its' incendiary. And no one gets off the hook. You see it with the exhilarating feeling that a movie can make a difference."
Premiere - 12/01/2005 3 stars out of 4 -- "[D]ensely packed with detail and convincingly told."
New York Times - 11/23/2005
"[A] movie that demands and rewards close attention....[O]ne of the best geopolitical thrillers in a very long time."
Uncut - 04/01/2006 5 stars out of 5 -- "[D]elivered with breathtaking cinematic brilliance....[Clooney], all hang-dog stares and brow-beaten demeanour, gives the performance of his career."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/2006
"Outwardly, the picture projects an impression of fragmentation and instability to reflect the turmoil of the world it is investigating."
Total Film - 08/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "SYRIANA is brain-achingly complex yet still deeply, deeply human."
Ultimate DVD - 08/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "It's a Hollywood thriller with a moral conscience, and one that might just inspire a pang of guilt next time you're at the petrol pump."
Stephen Gaghan, who won an Oscar for best screenplay for TRAFFIC, makes his directorial debut with SYRIANA, an espionage thriller set in the Middle East. George Clooney stars as Bob Barnes, a longtime CIA agent preparing to slow down his life and spend more time with his teenage son (Max Minghella). But his last secret mission, getting rid of Prince Nasir (Alexander Siddig), turns out to be more complicated than he imagined, placing him in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy involving government corruption, oil, and international terrorism. Matt Damon, who starred with Clooney in OCEAN'S ELEVEN and OCEAN'S TWELVE (and made a cameo in Clooney's CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND, which was also about spies and conspiracies), plays Bryan Woodman, an energy executive whose ethics become vulnerable after the horrific loss of one of his sons. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., lawyers Bennett Holiday (Jeffrey Wright) and Dean Whiting (Christopher Plummer) also must choose between the government's special interests and what's best for the world (as well as their own special interests). Gaghan gives SYRIANA a documentary-like feel, using handheld cameras and shooting on location, adding to the believability of the complex plot. To heighten the realism, Clooney learned to speak Arabic and even put on 30 pounds for the role. A fast-paced, heart-pounding, relentless film, SYRIANA was inspired by the true story of former CIA agent Robert Baer, told in his book SEE NO EVIL: THE TRUE STORY OF A GROUND SOLDIER IN THE CIA'S WAR ON TERRORISM.
Description by Warner Home Video:
Big oil means big money. Very big money. And that fact unleashes corruption that stretches from Houston to Washington to the Mideast--and ensnares industrialists, princes, spies, politicos, oilfield laborers and terrorists in a deadly, deceptive web of move and countermove. This lightning-paced, whip-smart action thriller grips your mind and nerves with an intensity that doesn't let go for an instant.