Roger Ebert says:
"The movie begins with one of the Gulf states signing a deal to supply its oil to China. This comes as a strategic defeat for Connex, a Texas-based oil company. At the same time, an obscure oil company named Killen signs a deal to drill for oil in Kazakhstan. Connex announces a merger with Killen, to get its hands on the oil, but the merger inspires a Justice Department investigation, and -- Let's stop right there. The movie's plot is so complex we're not really supposed to follow it, we're supposed to be surrounded by it. Since none of the characters understand the whole picture, why should we?"
I should have read a few reviews before watching. Sitting down for a mindlessly entertaining action thriller and winding up in a murky, cerebral geopolitical work of art is disorienting. This film demands that the viewer pay attention, but even then, the four interwoven but separate storylines never resolve into a unified whole. I feel that I have seen something important, and once my head stops spinning I'll watch it again to try and figure out what.