Syriana (2005)

Categories: Movie Reviews
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Published on: 2008.02.01

IMDb: Syriana
Wikipedia: Syriana
Rating: R
(for violence and language)
Length: 126 minutes (2:06)
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Genre: Drama / Thriller
My Rating: 2 of 10
Family Friendly: During the 45 minutes of this movie that I watched, there was nothing that should offend anyone.
At the 30-minute mark, my wife and I promised to watch 15 more minutes, hoping something interesting would happen, but nothing did.

George Clooney, Matt Damon, Christopher Plummer, Amr Waked, Amanda Peet

First of all, this movie takes a while to get going, if it ever actually does get going. I watched the first 45 minutes, and then sent the DVD back to the rental company.

Listen up, movie producers. If your movie can’t snare me in 45 freaking minutes, then how in the world do you expect me to watch the rest of it?

Supposedly, “Syriana” won an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor, George Clooney), and a Golden Globe (Best Supporting Actor, George Clooney). It was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

This is ridiculous.

Renowned film critic Roger Ebert permanently lost my respect by saying this was the second-best film of 2005. Ebert’s partner (Richard Roeper) said it was the best film of that year. Some guy at Rolling Stone said it was the third-best.

What? Did 2005 really suck that much? Let’s see… Nope. The year 2005 included movies like Brokeback Mountain, Crash, Walk the Line, Cinderella Man, A History of Violence, Memoirs of a Geisha, Batman Begins, Charlie and Chocolate Factory, March of the Penguins, Munich, and several others that were at least nine times as good as Syriana.

Syriana is supposedly a tense political thriller about American oil companies getting wrapped up in the Middle East.

According to plot summaries I’ve read online, it heats up a little toward the end. But in the first 45 minutes, there was little to no character development, no action, no plot development (that I could discern), and very little else of positive value.

I will say that the filmwork looked good. The colors were accurate and the focus appeared to be clear. That’s about all I can say positively for this movie.

By the way, I’m not one of those impatient movie-goers who has to be titillated every few seconds. I do not have a short attention span. But there was absolutely nothing in the first 45 minutes that made me want to watch the rest of the movie.

That should be embarrassing for those who made it.

It should be especially embarrassing for George Clooney, who was one of my favorite actors until he made this crap. Sadly, he followed it up with The Good German in 2006, which was equally unwatchable.

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