Oil, War, Global Capitalism
Syriana
Review Review by Ross Anthony

Wow. I am so proud to live in a country where films like this can be made. The current political climate hasn't exactly shown off America's beauty -- quite the opposite really. Syriana certainly seems to be revealing America's flaws, but at the same time, the very presence of such a work reminds us just how great this country is.

911 brought a boiling conflict to the forefront of the American public. But a great many efforts to simplify the real story have served to keep that same public blindly comforted. Syriana is an attempt to clarify, or better put, unwravel a more likely scenario than those so oft told by American pop media or politicians.

Is it possible Americans prefer the easy answer? A simple version that makes decisions easier, but at the expense of truth? If so, then many of us will no doubt avoid this film, avoid rethinking. We'll remain comfortable in conscience, even while people die. Is the simple truth really simple? Or could it be time for all of us to grow up and go get educated. We can vote anyway we like, we can support any candidate we like. What a great country we live in, that affords us those rights. But for the sake of the life of an 18-year-old American, or an innocent Iraqi, I think it's time we got ourselves educated. Perhaps some will deem this film just more Hollywood fodder. Perhaps some will demand more answers, propose more questions.

While I love good mindless fun at the movies -- it's also refreshing to have the brain fully engaged. Syriana will engage your brain. Rest up, eat well, this is well over 2 hours. Some have found the film disjointed, hard-to-follow, confusing. But, given the subject matter, I think that's exactly what the filmmakers were trying to portray. I see those supposed negatives as strong positives. Why? Because oil, war, good-guys/bad-guys, global capitalism -- it's just not simple. It is by nature hard to understand. But this picture gives you a sense of that complexity while it compels.

The only fault I find here comes too late in the film for me to discuss without spoiling. Go see it, but be prepared to think a bit.

This film screened at a Laemmle Theatre.


  • Syriana. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, William Hurt, Mazhar Munir, Tim Blake Nelson, Amanda Peet, Christopher Plummer, Alexander Siddig.
  • Written and Directed by Stephen Gaghan.
  • Produced by Jennifer Fox, Michael Nozik, Georgia Kacandes at WarnerBros/ Participant/4M/Section 8.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:45 PDT