Syriana | 2005 | R | - 1.8.6
Political thriller with George Clooney as a CIA operative working in the Middle East, who is caught up in the struggle over the control of the oil supply. In a parallel storyline, Matt Damon co-stars as a commodities broker who's similarly caught up in the turmoil created by the oil trade. Also with Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper and William Hurt. Directed by Stephen Gaghan. [2:06]
- A man is bare-chested during a torture scene. Women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage in a few scenes.
- A man who is taped into a chair with his hands taped to boards of wood has fresh wounds on his face and torso from a beating, and a man holds a pair of pliers and pulls one of the man's finger nails off (we see him pulling, the man struggles and yells, we hear a crunch and we see a bloody piece of tissue in the pliers); then the man pulls another nail out, he punches the man in the face several times (blood trickles on the man's face and head), the man in the chair tips onto the floor and the torturer threatens to cut his head off with a jagged saw.
► A young boy jumps into a swimming pool that has a broken light and has electrified the water: we see the boy floating and twitching, he is pulled out of the pool and lies still while we hear his mother screaming and his father says, "he is not breathing."
► A man drives a car toward a convoy of cars, he is stopped and surrounded by men with guns, he approaches one car, and the car explodes killing him and the occupants of the car; we also see other people with bloody wounds and charred faces. Two men get into a car and it explodes.
► A man is attacked by two other men in his hotel room, he is beaten, bound, gagged and zipped into a plastic bag. Two men in a line are beaten by two guards with clubs, and we see the men through the rest of the film with bruised faces and scabs. A badly wounded man (after being tortured) lies on the floor and struggles to get up (we see him in the hospital in the next scene).
► A teenager in a fishing boat arms an explosive device, and another teenager steers the boat toward a ship crashing into the side and exploding (the screen goes white).
► A man holds a gun to another man's head. A man threatens to kill another man's family and him. A man shoots at wild animals (zebra).
► A man talks about different forms of torture -- pulling fingernails out, water torture, putting one's face in feces, etc. We see a few videos with young men and teenagers describing what they would like to have happen after they die as "martyrs" (their funerals, etc.). People gather and grieve at a boy's funeral.
► A taxi drives through streets of Beirut and we see armed men on rooftops; the taxi stops, a passenger is pulled out by several men with guns, they put him into another car and then put a bag over his head.
► A man loads a gun and walks through his house after hearing a security alarm in a downstairs room, and he finds a door unlocked.
- 17 F-words, 1 obscene hand gesture, 3 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, 3 religious profanities, 5 religious exclamations.
- There are several scenes that show a man, who is apparently an alcoholic, in a drunken stupor. Three men drink alcohol, and two men drink while at a bar. People smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol in a club setting, and a man and a woman smoke cigarettes in a few scenes.
- Torture, Iran, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, terrorism, suicide bombers, martyrdom, CIA, Capitalism, mergers, cultural differences, faith, submission, virginity, abstinence, intelligence agencies, GAT, alcoholism, assassination, corruption, death of a child, ownership and control of oil, oil business, arms dealing.
- The need for oil perpetuates chaos and war.
Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.
We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.
Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.
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