I suppose if I created a flowchart of characters and devoted a few solid hours to it, I could make some sense out of the oil drama Syriana. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the urge to do any political-science homework since college (and even then the urge was faint). As another 2005 Message Movie featuring George Clooney (Matt Damon also is sprinkled into the ensemble cast), Syriana means to disapprovingly shake its head at just this sort of American ignorance. The evil of complacency is, in a sense, what the movie is really about,
yet complacency, not urgency, is the only thing the labyrinthine structure inspires. From writer/director Stephen Gaghan (whose Oscar-winning screenplay for Traffic was better handled by director Steven Soderbergh).