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Syriana [DVD] [2005] [2006]

George Clooney , Matt Damon , Stephen Gaghan    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
Price: 2.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: George Clooney, Matt Damon
  • Directors: Stephen Gaghan
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 10 July 2006
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EF5SYY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,727 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Syriana is an oil-based soap opera set against the world of global oil cartels. It is to the oil industry as Traffic was to the drug trade (no surprise, since writer/director Stephen Gaghan wrote the screenplay to Traffic): a sprawling attempt to portray the vast political, business, social, and personal implications of a societal addiction, in this case, oil. A major merger between two of the world’s largest oil companies reveals ethical dilemmas for the lawyer charged with making the deal (Jeffrey Wright), and major global implications beyond the obvious; a CIA operative (George Clooney) discovers the truth about his work, and the people he works for; a young oil broker (Matt Damon) encounters personal tragedy, then partners with an idealistic Gulf prince (Alexander Siddig) attempting to build a new economy for his people, only to find he’s opposed by powers far beyond his control. Meanwhile, disenfranchised Pakistani youths are lured into terrorism by a radical Islamic cleric. And that’s just the start. As in Traffic, in one way or another all of the characters’ fates are tied to each other, whether they realize it or not, though the connections are sometimes tenuous. While Syriana is basically a good film with timely resonance, it can’t quite seem to measure up to Gaghan’s ambitious vision and it very nearly collapses under the weight of its many storylines. Fortunately they are resolved skilfully enough to keep the film from going under in the end. To some viewers, Syriana will seem like an unfocused and over-loaded film that goes, all at once, everywhere and nowhere. Others will find it to be an important work earnestly exploring major issues. In either case, it’s a film that deserves to be taken seriously, and it’s likely to be one that will be talked about for a long time to come. --Dan Vancini

Product Description

Political thriller unfolding against the intrigues and corruption of the global oil industry. As a career CIA operative (George Clooney) begins to uncover the disturbing truth about the work he has devoted his life to, an up-and-coming oil broker (Matt Damon) faces an unimaginable family tragedy and finds redemption in his partnership with an idealistic Gulf prince (Alexander Siddig). A corporate lawyer (Jeffrey Wright) faces a moral dilemma as he finesses the questionable merger of two powerful U.S. oil companies, while across the globe, a disenfranchised Pakistani teenager (Mazhar Munir) falls prey to the recruiting efforts of a charismatic cleric. Each plays their small part in the vast and complex system that powers the industry, unaware of the explosive impact their lives will have upon the world.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
96 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll either hate it or love it - I Love It! 27 Mar 2006
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I had to put a review up after I saw the low rating - now, I know I gave it 5 stars (this is a personal rating after all), but I'm going to help people a little here rather than, as one person below me has, just give their side.
Now, consider carefully what type of cinema goer are you? Do you only watch films for big noises and improbable story lines? Do you go because you want to see good cinematography, with a genuine message? Or are you in the middle, and sometimes like either, depending on mood?
If you're the latter, give it a try when you're in a thoughtful mood, if you're the first of that list, probably not for you, if you're the second this is probably ideal (I myself don't mind admitting that I am the last of that list).
This is a truly thought-provoking, genuinly disturbing, and all too possible a series of situations, I would rate it as possibly the best film I will ever see.
Now, it has been accused of American-bashing by some americans (I have not seen a review outside of the US that has voiced this opinion) - but I believe it is unfounded. It is scathing to the global oil industry (and quite a few of these happen to be US owned) and to the US Governments attitude towards them in it's foreign policy, but this does not mean it's saying 'all americans are hateful'.
Give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Syriana 14 Mar 2006
Format:DVD
Directed by Stephen Gaghan - writer of Soderberg's superb 'Traffic' - Syriana is a complex and fragmented web of stories that aims to provide a snapshot of the ways in which the US pursues its oil interests in the Middle East. In the same way that Traffic examined the US' war on drugs in the context of its relationship with Mexico, Syriana throws a spotlight on the US' hypocritical dealings with Arab nations and the terror it provokes (both the state-sponsored kind and that of Islamic martyrdom). The film is unapologetically confusing, drifting between a raft of obscure, character-driven stories without any overt attempt to help the viewers orientate themselves. In a sense it doesn't matter - in the same way that it doesn't matter if you understand all the dialogue in the West Wing - the message and implications are engaging even if the details aren't clear.

Syriana is put together skillfully with good individual performances all round. It is shot in starched, bleached tones, be it in the desert or the encroaching skyscrapers, edifices of modernity that reflect a dazzling indifference. The camera work roams relentlessly in the manner of war reportage, adding to the sense of urgency and impending terror. There are few surprises in a film about corruption and fundamentalism - both Islamic and Capitalist - and the plot revolving around the brainwashing of a young muslim ex-oil worker into a suicide bomber is somewhat simplistic. The fragmented style, with loosely connected plots overlapping, could also be compared to 21 Grams, but it is the shadow of Traffic that looms over Syriana, which can't quite match the strength of that film's humanity (brought about by its strong individual characterisations, not least that of Benetio Del Torro). Nevertheless, it is an impressive work brought about by a burgeoning liberal film scene that - unlike Michael Moore - deserves to be taken seriously.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"Syriana", directed by Stephen Gaghan, is an engaging film that tackles many different stories at the same time. All of them have something in common, though: the oil industry, and the people that have some kind of relationship with it.

Despite the fact that it is a little difficult to keep track of the diverse stories that "Syriana" comprises, it is well worth the effort, due to the fact that it allows the spectator to understand what is at stake for different people in the oil industry, and how a decision made by one of them affects the rest. What does Bob (George Clooney), a CIA operative, has to do with a poor immigrant who works in an oil field, or with a young reformist prince (Alexander Siddig)? And what do a broker (Matt Damon) and a lawyer (Jeffrey Wright) that don't know each other have to do with all of them? Oil, power, corruption and manipulation are the main subjects in "Syriana". This film is fiction, but some of its elements could well be truth, and that makes you think.

On the whole, I think "Syriana" is a complicated movie, but one that deserves your time and attention. If you don't mind the fact that you must follow several stories at once, and that this film is undeniably serious and doesn't have any kind of comic relief, I think you will enjoy "Syriana". I know I did...

Belen Alcat
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meandering storyline 5 April 2010
Format:Blu-ray
This review is for the blu-ray. This film was certainly aiming big, taking on the oil industry, the problems of succession in family dominated regimes in the Gulf, radicalisation of young muslims and the convoluted role of the CIA. Just who are the bad guys again?

There were four different strands in the film that remained resolutely separate for most of the way through - certainly long past a point where I wanted to see them begin to connect.

Ultimately the result of this was that there wasn't enough character development, meaning I just didn't care enough about any of them, by the time the conclusion arrived. George Clooney gave an interesting performance as a CIA agent who was out of his depth, Christopher Plummer was very good as the seasoned oilman pulling the strings, and Matt Damon had his usual boyish charm, but it didn't really work in the aftermath of his son's death.

Picture Quality was not as good as I would have liked either. Colours were muted, there was some grain visible and the definition was nothing to write home about. Highlights were desert scenes, and some of the white flowing arab robes that really stood out from the background and drew the eye.

Sound quality was also a mixed bag, with a Dolby 5.1 track being the main offering. The sound was up-and-down, with some of the dialogue in particular appearing almost muffled. I found I had to adjust the volume on my TV to try and keep up.

All-in-all I really wanted to like this film. Far too often films trivialise the serious issues of the day, or are afraid of tackling big subjects because of the risk of offending someone. This film certainly deserves plaudits for being willing to try, but in my view it didn't quite make it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant film
Published 9 days ago by Kate FC
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Oooeee George yum yum
Published 18 days ago by Rapunzel21
1.0 out of 5 stars boredom personified
Having watched this movie twice from beginning to end I was none the wiser. The bewildering scene changes and range of characters
left no impression whatsoever and the entire... Read more
Published 1 month ago by lycidas
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, brutal, shocking, disturbing, harsh, grim, epic,...
Once again I'm not sure why I bought this film. Possible reasons could be Matt Damon or Clooney. But what I am sure about is this films undeniable power. It made me think. Read more
Published 3 months ago by BigAl82
3.0 out of 5 stars sillyana
Initially watched this film because I thought it would make good viewing and because of George Clooney most of his movies are good quality and although his acting was excellent as... Read more
Published 4 months ago by IGH
3.0 out of 5 stars Too long
Found this film heavy going.

I think my attention span is short and I like a film with a simple plot and few characters.
Published 5 months ago by ian.mcvean
5.0 out of 5 stars Confusing but brilliant
If "Syriana" were a book, it would be one of those long, scholarly works with 75 pages of footnotes: not something to read for entertainment, but to better understand an important... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Fiddlesticks
4.0 out of 5 stars "Corruption is why we win"
Syriana is a powerful, credible and worthy (but very wordy) political thriller. Set against the backdrop of the international oil business, it comprises multiple story lines, which... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cartimand
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film
This was an incredibly insightful film.....considering the mess that America has created in the Middle East with various invasions, blind support for the obscenely wealthy... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tulipano
5.0 out of 5 stars Film
Interesting film I had no idea I had bought so many Don't know how I have the time to watch them?
Published 10 months ago by Roy Spackman
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