Syriana is a 2005 American political thriller film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, loosely based on Robert Baer's 2003 memoir See No Evil. The film stars an ensemble cast consisting of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Amanda Peet, Christopher Plummer, Alexander Siddig, and Mazhar Munir.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byStephen Gaghan
Screenplay byStephen Gaghan
Based onSee No Evil
by Robert Baer
Produced by
CinematographyRobert Elswit
Edited byTim Squyres
Music byAlexandre Desplat
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • November 20, 2005 (2005-11-20) (New York City premiere)[1]
  • November 23, 2005 (2005-11-23) (United States)
Running time
128 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million[3]
Box office$94 million[3]

Syriana was shot in 200 locations in five continents, with large parts shot in the Middle East, Washington, D.C., and Africa.[4] In an interview with Charlie Rose, Gaghan described incidents (including planned regime changes in Venezuela) from personal meetings and interviews with the most powerful oil owners, owners of media houses, lobbyists, lawyers, and politicians which were included in the film.[5] As with Gaghan's screenplay for Traffic, Syriana uses multiple, parallel storylines, jumping between locations in Iran, Texas, Washington, D.C., Switzerland, Spain, and Lebanon.

Clooney's performance was critically acclaimed, earning him an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award, as well as British Academy Film Award, Critics' Choice Movie Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Gaghan was nominated for an Academy Award and a Writers Guild of America Award for his screenplay. As of April 20, 2006, the film had grossed a total of $50.82 million at the U.S. box office and $43.2 million overseas, for a total of $94 million.

Gaghan changed the names of entities currently operating in the Middle East, while retaining their place in the story. Committee for the Liberation of Iran was based on an organization called Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.[6]

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