During the 2003 Invasion of Iraq the "Oil for Food" scandal broke. Essentially this bill allowed Iraq to sell oil on the open market in exchange for food and medical supplies. Michael Soussan’s memoir covered all of this and that is the basis for which Backstabbing for Beginners is built upon.
The film stars Theo James as Michael, a young up and comer who joins a law firm and begins to uncover a conspiracy centering on the Iraqi Oil Reserves. He should have suspected bad things in the beginning as the man who previously help his job is now dead.
He boss / mentor is Pasha, played the Ben Kingsley. Pash is a diplomat whos job is to provide humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people from the proceeds of there oil sales. He basically all but tells Michael he's crocked five minutes after meeting him , yet Michael still searches for what's really behind the program going to far to head to Iraq where he begins a romance with a girl named Nisham.
This film is not very good. I'll admit it is a subject matter that I have zero interest in, so that didn't help, but the monkey camera work, bad overacting by Kingsley and horrible overly long narrative expenditures make this a long watch.
Moving at a slow pace that really goes nowhere except out of order the film feels More like a 3 hour plus romp than the short 90min it actually clocks in at.
If this was a book, or story you followed you may have an enjoyable time watching it. As I said it was a story of little interest of mine, and I just could not get past the fact that Pasha admits his dirty yet Michael still searches for clues.
Overall 2 out of 5 Stars