“"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
Dean Essner - 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
The disorientation is purely cosmetic.
Ryan Gilbey - Sight and Sound
[K]eeps you on a teeter-totter of emotion... it leaves you with a sense of falling that is entirely unsettling.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
If there is any lesson the makers of Syriana want us to absorb, it is that we should trust no one where power and money are concerned.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Syriana really makes viewers work to try to understand the complexities involved in protecting (or resisting) U.S. interests in the Middle East.
James Plath - Reel.com
No one-sentence synopsis is possible, but here's a stab: A bunch of people, played by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Christopher Plummer and others, stalk around looking serious and doing stuff.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Matt McAllister - Future Movies UK
Demanding, even confusing at times, this is required viewing that requires your full attention.
Colin Kennedy - Empire Magazine
Joe Utichi - FilmFocus
Un tenso e interesante thriller politico, si bien abrumador y por momentos confuso, sobre tema actual, con destacada labor de George Clooney.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
[Syriana] fulfils all the key criteria of a decent political thriller - it'll make you angry, it'll make you think and it'll scare the hell out of you.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Gaghan piles one storyline on another but is only interested in suggesting where they trend, working like a (cynical) editorialist who has made up a few examples to support his views.
Alan Dale - Blogcritics.org
Adept at delivering macro and micro perspectives without moralism or conviction.
Mark Sells - Oregon Herald
You'll come away exhausted, but also exhilarated.
Matthew Leyland - BBC
Syriana is a terrific movie, sprawling in its story, chilling in its implications, but you may need a whiteboard and marker to follow it.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
This is a film that warrants your attention. A potent and intelligent film that informs as well as entertains, Syriana is the starting point for an intense and lengthy conversation.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Longe de representar uma experiencia emocional, o longa exige dedicacao ao espectador - e se voce estiver disposto(a) a mergulhar na discussao sera fartamente recompensado(a).
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
A well-meaning, yet meandering and confusing political thriller.
Collin Souter - eFilmCritic.com
Stephen Gaghan signe une %u0153uvre necessaire qui arrive au bon moment pour agrementer un debat sans que cela ne paraisse trop opportuniste.
Jean-Francois Vandeuren - Panorama
Oil, war, global capitalism -- it's just not simple. It is by nature hard to understand. This picture gives you a sense of that complexity while it compels. Nice work.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
A bleak and powerful movie, made all the more sobering by how much of it isn't fiction.
Pete Vonder Haar - Film Threat
I'm not afraid to say that I just don't get what all the fuss is about.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Syriana impresses, not because it is very moving, which it isn't, or because it is crystal clear, which it also isn't, but because it is so large, so encompassing, so seemingly privy to inside stuff.
Stanley Kauffmann - New Republic
Stanley Kauffmann - The New Republic
A potent legend of modern international relations.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
If you want a movie that answers all your questions, try "Revenge of the Sith." If you want a movie that questions all your answers, try this one.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Syriana demands patience to see how the pieces come together in a fascinating mosaic of politics, capitalism, and corruption.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Didactic and muddled to the point of incoherence.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
Syriana reminds us that movies can be about ideas and that the challenge of a complex plot can be invigorating ...
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
It falls short of its high goals, but achieves much more than less ambitious films.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
The movie's shaky cam visuals appropriate the look of nightly news reports, and that's symptomatic of Gaghan's failure to give his polemic a soul.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
I did not understand a good deal of this film, and as a result, I found it nearly impossible to get engaged with the elements I did understand and I was unsurprised by many of the revelations purportedly sprung by this movie.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
There are few movies released by major studios these days possessed with as much intelligence and purpose as Gaghan's.
Todd Gilchrist - IGN Movies
The film throws so much information at you so quickly and so relentlessly that it's easy to become overwhelmed and confused.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
The cinematic equivalent of a sound bite.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
The film spooks you: you have to give it that, and it makes a powerful case, if only by default, that we've already lost our mutual endgame with capital and treachery.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
Overly ambitious and too complicated.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Rips its motivations from the front pages of our daily newspapers, blurring the line between reality and fiction with credible subplots and believable twists.
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
In movies I am always holding out for a hero. In this one, none appeared.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
...not always easy to follow. Luckily, the execution is good enough to hold attention even when confusing.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
It has a lot on its mind, and is not afraid to speak. So much so, in fact, that it should serve as a good crash-course in international energy affairs for those unfamiliar with the subject.
Steven Snyder - Zertinet Movies
Rich, complex, multilayered and by turns maddening and depressing, Syriana emerges as one of the best films of the year.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
All you need to know is everyone is a bad guy in one way or another, they all want money and/or power, and they'll do anything to get it.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
The stories are all densely packed with detail and convincingly told.
Glenn Kenny - Premiere Magazine
A film about going home and being good to your kids.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
One of the year's more compelling and better films.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
If you're looking for a feel-good move to get you into the holiday spirit%u2026 This isn't it.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
It is a mesmerizing global economic and civics thriller that will - or should - start you thinking everytime you turn the ignition in your car.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)