It makes a lot more sense knowing Stephen Gaghan wrote this from Baer’s memoir. I won’t claim it always made sense but if you follow the movie all the way through, you can see where most of the tangles lead.
It’s good but it’s heavy. It has a spy (Clooney) and the CIA and does have a narrative following them but it’s overwhelmingly about big oil in the middle east. I wouldn’t really say it’s a spy movie. It’s really good but not a spy movie. You’ll see this on many spy movie lists and the original autobiography is from an ex-CIA agent but, again, it’s still almost completely fixated on the very complicated relationship of the US, China, the Middle East, Oil Companies and terrorism.