George Clooney put on close to 30 pounds, grew an unruly beard, shed his rakish persona, and won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his trouble. He plays a weary CIA agent ensnared in a complicated international plot revolving around geopolitics and Big Oil. It's not easy to follow but well worth watching. And since it's a dialogue-driven film, the quality of the transfer and the 5.1-channel sound isn't crucial. Colors look clean (though hardly electric), and shadow detail and image clarity are both adequate. There's very little effective use of the surround channels except for the requisite scenes where something blows up. Extras are pretty lean, too: an interview with Clooney, deleted scenes that add little, and a politically high-minded featurette. [R] English and French, Dolby Digital 5.1; letterboxed (2.35:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.
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