“"When A Country Has Five Percent Of The World's Population But Spends Fifty Percent Of The World's Military Spending, That Country's Persuasive Power Is In Decline." ”
Syriana has a lot of big, important things to say about big, important things, and it says them with a sense of urgency.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
A complex, intriguing narrative about oil, terrorism, money and power.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
There is a weird absence of both dramatic heat and political light here.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Thought-provoking and unnerving, emotionally engaging and intellectually stimulating.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
What's so powerful about the film is the rich stories it tells and how it leads them like so many human tributaries to one black, bubbling source.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
Intelligent, political, incensed, timely, and appropriately cynical.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
The movie may be too knowing for its own good, but it's not glib and it never goes cheesy.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
The presence of George Clooney, Matt Damon and other fine actors helps you ignore your sense of descending ignorance as the movie unfolds. And the ending, when you think about it for a few days, does add up.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
Syriana is an ambitious edifice, built with conviction and skill. But I'm not sure I understand it, and I'm not sure I care.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Mr. Gaghan doesn't insult our intelligence, but he demands our attention. If you're up to those demands, you'll be rewarded.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
Syriana is a fascinating movie -- and a substantive and thought-provoking one -- but it does not necessarily attain greatness.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
As he did in Traffic, Gaghan intertwines his disparate subplots with impeccable pacing -- his screenplay is a model of how to arrange scenes so that each one ends leaving you wanting to know more.
Ken Tucker - New York Magazine
It's a strange movie, and a stunningly pessimistic one, and the strangeness and pessimism connect it (in my mind, at least) to other recent American films in ways that suggest that something unhappy in the national mood has crept into the movies.
David Denby - New Yorker
Syriana is an endlessly fascinating movie about oil and money, America and China, traders and spies, the Gulf States and Texas, reform and revenge, bribery and betrayal.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The film's weary, politically wary vibe sticks with you.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
This is intelligent, committed, and politically provocative, though its narrative puzzle box may prompt you to throw up your hands and let ExxonMobil go on running the world.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Untangle the Gordian knot at the heart of Syriana and you find a riveting drama of succession.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Syriana is a caustic and cynical political thriller with a plot that occasionally confuses but a message that leaves no room for misinterpretation.
Jeff Strickler - Minneapolis Star Tribune
A purposely jagged and harsh news story of a film, Syriana attempts to take on the powers that run the world and for the most part it succeeds.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Your enjoyment of this movie will be in direct proportion to your patience. If you can stand not knowing everything right now and wait for the story's threads to weave into a rug, Syriana makes for an engaging time.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Though never a fan of Mr. Clooney onscreen, I doff my hat to him for checking his vanity at the door and trying to make movies with more significance than the weekend grosses in Variety.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
One can say of Mr. Gaghan, Mr. Soderbergh and Mr. Clooney that their heads may be in the right place in Syriana, but their hearts are not much in evidence as far as any emotional investment in their characters is concerned.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
The richness of detail is immense.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Hugely ambitious, excellently acted and very challenging.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Syriana is complex, engrossing, involving and depressing. Difficult to absorb, it is also difficult to accept, and it is one of the best films of 2005.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
It leaves us gasping for air, scratching our heads and wondering if we've seen something truly important or something that just thinks it is. But at least it leaves us thinking.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Syriana isn't the perfect guide, but its torch probes the darkness further than most and shines brightly enough that blindness can no longer can be our excuse.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
It's entirely possible that Gaghan just isn't an actor's director.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
It's a wake-up call. In today's environment, it's a rare thing to find a movie with interesting characters in dense, intelligent storylines, but that's what Syriana offers.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
What Syriana feels like is a television miniseries condensed into two hours.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
[A]n engrossing, insider's tour of the world's hottest spots, grandest schemes and most dangerous men.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
No dry civics lesson, this fighting-mad film isn't just hot, it's incendiary. And no one gets off the hook. You see it with the exhilarating feeling that a movie can make a difference.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
A fearless and ambitious piece of work, made with equal parts passion and calculation, an unapologetically entertaining major studio release with compelling real-world relevance, a film that takes numerous risks and thrives on them all.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
- Sight and Sound
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
A skeleton of theme minus the meat of resonance
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
A film that treats its audience as adults, this is an extremely rewarding work that handsomely pays off the concentration required to watch it.
James Mottram - Film4
Brian Marder - Hollywood.com
You didn't understand all of it? It went by too fast to take it all in? There was too much information to mentally digest? Yeah, well, that was kind of the point.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
Its dark, dog-eat-dog vision of the world we live in may give you geopolitical nightmares.
David Ansen - Newsweek
Probes a significant subject but treats its people as mere stick figures carrying exposition from place to place.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Evidently, such matters of thematic coherence, so well explored by Gaghan in Traffic, were not as important to him this time around, and it's a mistake.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
Preferring probing questions to pat solutions, the film drills deep in its exploration of the US's ventures, both economic and military, in the Middle East.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
The most troublesome part of Syriana is that the movie is, in fact, so easy to believe.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Gaghan kapitulira pred holivudskim konvencijama te film zaklju%u010Duje spektakularnom, ali banalnom i krajnje neuvjerljivom zavr%u0161nicom
Dragan Antulov - Index.hr
Politically-paranoid, if well-intentioned, this disjointed message movie doesn't really do much more than indict the usual suspects.
Kam Williams - Upstage Magazine
In addition to the performances there's a wealth of memorable detail.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
This is neither realism nor tragedy. It's cynicism, which exposes itself most nakedly in Damon's addresses to the Arab characters, and in Gaghan's own portrayal of them.
Stuart Klawans - Nation
Stuart Klawans - The Nation
Interesting and worth watching, despite the fact that complete comprehension of the film seems just beyond the reach of the viewer.
Russ Breimeier - Christianity Today