Release Date: November 23, 2005
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Limited release

Movie of the Day for Thursday, July 29, 2004
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We, the representatives of Fake Beard Corp stand behind your purchase, Mr. Clooney.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
10/166 David Mumpower In the immortal words of Marge Simpson, "I don't understand it so it must be very good." Dense, convoluted script offers dramatic payoffs in superlative third act. At least I think it does.
21/60 Les Winan I appreciated it more than I liked it. If the plot's not supposed to make sense, it was a success. Better work by Damon than Clooney.
27/85 Kim Hollis This one's a lot like Traffic for me. I admire it far more than I like it.

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In his memoir See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism, Robert Baer paints a rather unsettling picture of the ins and outs of terrorism, including evidence that Washington politics had an inordinately deleterious effect on the CIA's efforts to uncover the deadliest terrorists still at large.

Baer himself is a 21-year veteran of the CIA, spending his entire career chasing down leads on suspected terrorists in some of the most unstable areas of the world. While he and his fellow agents risked their lives to protect their country, they watched the CIA flounder. Overseas operations were drastically cut and agents had little or no knowledge of the local languages or customs of the places they were assigned. Rather than recruit the best and brightest, the process of obtaining new agents became an entirely political one.

And when tragedy occurred in New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001, Baer was sadly unsurprised. As he says in the preface to his book, "…the reckoning for such vast carelessness was presented for all the world to see."

Now, Baer's book will be the inspiration for a feature film from George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh's Section Eight Productions. Written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, who wrote the interweaving script for Traffic, Syriana will take a similar approach to create intersecting storylines about foreign policy, intelligence, the oil industry and terrorism. At this point, Clooney is onboard to star as Baer, while his Ocean's Eleven and Twelve co-star Matt Damon will play an oil executive who is in the process of making a major oil deal when he and his wife (Amanda Peet) suffer a devastating family tragedy.

The title of the film, Syriana, is a geographical term. It refers to those aforementioned "hot spots" in the Middle East that are volatile and crucial to U.S. security. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Syriana
Main Cast George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet
Supporting Cast Max Minghella, Greta Scacchi, Michelle Monaghan
Director Stephen Gaghan
Screenwriter Stephen Gaghan
Distributor Warner Bros.
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Screen Count 1,750 (Estimated)
Awards Awards page for Syriana
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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