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Title - Syriana
My Admission - $6.00
One Line Review - Nothing Personal, But This Is About Business.


Review – Syriana, written and directed by Stephan Gaghan, the Academy Award winning writer of “Traffic” is a striking film. Never mind it’s length or its twisting storyline; Syriana becomes an amazing feat if not by editing alone.
I’m not gonna lie to you, Syriana is over my head. Not by much mind you, but enough to keep myself at a certain distance. Big oil companies, politics, lawyers, radical Muslims, most of the front-page news; It’s all here, but they’re topics I’m not much interested in. That being said, I’m not about fighting anyone over personal politics or their concern about these issues I’m just gonna try to review the film without spoiling anything.
Written by Stephan Gaghan, Syriana’s script is similar to “Traffic” in structure only. Telling a story that’s so much about business Syriana finds itself a bit light on personal attachments. This hampers the film’s ability to be truly great. It’s a good script but business is business.
Following that line the film incorporates a myriad of actors in worldly locales telling essentially one story. It comes through so many people and places that’s its easy to become lost and confused (I counted at least eleven different states or countries). Syriana though manages to keep your attention and it’s pace. I give credit to the editor; it’s a marvel in that realm.
It’s actors are wide spread, most notable are George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, and Alexander Siddig; They’ll be your core. The remainder of the cast includes Amanda Peet, William Hurt, Chris Cooper, Mazhar Munir, Christopher Plummer, Akbar Kurtha, Tim Blake Nelson, and the list goes on and on. The thing about the rest of the cast is that their involvement is often short lived.

Syriana creates these characters and takes them from their respected places in the world and interlinks them telling a massive story about oil, princes, countries, agencies, radicals, corruption, and money.
This is a film more for people with a worldly view. Not to classify but CNN buffs, lawyers themselves, politicians, etc. Essentially for people who find themselves closer to the topics of the film than I myself am.
Syriana is a good movie, it has a certain (this film will remain nameless) feel to it but Syriana is about business, strictly, and so a certain personal void remains. You may like Syriana but I don’t think you’ll love it.


Movie Information

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language
Starring:  George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper,
William Hurt, Mazhar Munir, Tim Blake Nelson, Amanda Peet, Christopher Plummer, Alexander Siddig
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Producers:  Jennifer Fox, Michael Nozik, Georgia Kacandes, George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriter: Stephen Gaghan
Cinematographer:  Robert Gantz
Composer: Alexandre Desplat
Executive Producer: Ben Cosgrove
Running Time: 2 hrs. 6 min
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Politics/Religion

Turn Down The Lights, Turn Up The Sound.

Matthew Gilbert © 1999-2015 All Rights Reserved

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