Syriana Reviews

  • 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

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