MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

CIA operative Bob Barnes (George Clooney) is about to uncover the ugly truth about his work, for which he has been sacrificing his life and family. As he does, he discovers that loyalty among his colleagues can be bought and sold like the oil that flows through the pipelines of the Persian Gulf. Across the globe, oil broker Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) deals with a family tragedy by throwing himself into the job of becoming the financial advisor to a Persian prince (Alexander Siddig) who has revolutionary ideas for his country. Back in the states, lawyer Bennet Holiday (Jeffery Wright) sets his own moral conscience aside as he brokers the merger of two oil companies and helps create an energy giant whose net worth rivals the gross national product of several small countries. From the deal makers of Washington to the disillusioned oil-field workers of the Gulf, they are all players in a drama that is about to come to an explosive climax in this political thriller based on the novel See No Evil by Robert Baer.

Syriana is a captivating work that explores the consequences of the pursuit of wealth, power and political control in the volatile setting of the Persian Gulf. The film gives viewers insight into the multibillion-dollar oil and gas industry and into Washingtons intelligence and black-op agencies. Viewers should be prepared to dive headlong into the political and religious controversies broached by this film. Those who are in the energy business are portrayed as corrupt power mongers who rarely consider the greater good. The disturbing world of militant Islam is also explored. The film portrays the ease at which radical Muslim clerics are able to exploit poor, disillusioned youth and convince them to become walking missiles for the purity and preservation of their faith. Just as distressing are the references to the failure of Christianity and the mocking of Scripture by the militants. Viewers can also expect to hear strong language and some moderate violence appropriate for a film of this nature. Syriana is an intriguing film that leaves viewers asking how much is the price of oil?

Preview Reviewer: Kellie Parmar
Warner Bros.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times mild (d-mn 1); strong (-ss 2)

Obscene Language: Many (18) times strong (f-word 14, s-word 3, finger gesture 1)

Profanity: Few (4) times strong (GD 2, C 2)

Violence: Several (7) times moderate (beating of men by soldiers, two men killed in a car bombing, two militant Muslims drive a boat with a missile launcher attached to it into an American-owned ship, aerial attack on suspected terrorist, suspected terrorist tortures a CIA agent)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Strong religious and political themes, some anti-Christian sentiment expressed by militant Muslims

Running Time: 123 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.