Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Amanda Peet, Christopher Plummer, Alexander Siddig, Mazhar Munir, Greta Scacchi

They say: Everything’s connected in the world of oil and politics

We say: George Clooney stars as a fat bearded CIA agent who wants to retire; instead he gets dumped in the middle of a thousand plots to do with the USA, the Middle East, and angry guys with better facial hair than him, plus guns. Clooney is screwed over by his boss and any number of bastards in suits, all of whom are trying to keep America in control of the whole oil shebang. Meanwhile loads of other people are dashing around doing stuff, and the plot becomes roughly as confusing as watching David Lynch in Japanese. Even so, the fog just about clears before the end credits roll, so you can feel deeply proud that you got all the way through it, without having to tap the person next to you and demand that they explain just what the hell is going on.

Top performances, and yes, gripping stuff.