Syriana is one of the best movies I've seen this year. I think everyone should see it, really. It's a nice big red pill to enjoy, especially during the holiday season when fantasies take over everything, including our brains.
George Clooney is my current "hero of the month" between this movie and "Good Night and Good Luck."
We also rented "Crash" recently (possible Crash spoilers ahead!!), and I would say that Syriana and Crash are both about ugly societal or political situations where everyone is to blame and nobody can change it. I personally found Crash to be a bit preachy, the characters to be somewhat cardboard (stereotyped), and the Christmas imagery does not have the same effect on me as it will on most people... so ironically my own biases are a barrier. It seems to be offering a ray of hope at the end, and my cynicism won't allow it. Crash is a good movie, I would recommend it for others, but it's not really a favorite of mine.
I did not find Syriana to be preachy, it just lays it all out and lets you decide. We just sat there during the credits, a bit stunned and still soaking things in. I need to see this one again but will wait for the DVD. That will allow more time to pick up more details and trivia, the movie is complicated but not to the point of being confusing. It gets through.
It also got us to talking about what the demise of the American Empire will be like -- whether it will be a slow crumbling or a blaze of glory. The jury is still out.
Two thumbs up for Syriana and one for Crash (my husband liked it much better than I did... it's a rarity for us to differ very much on movies and TV shows. We are scary alike in our tastes).
On a totally unrelated note, we saw Jimmie Dale Gilmore coming out of the same theatre and had seen Syriana right before us. I was tempted to go up and tell him congrats on his Grammy nom, and tell him I like the new CD but decided not to bug him. I know his guitar player and the guy who played fiddle on it, but I don't know him yet so I let politeness take over.
- Crash - Syriana - Clooney -