While the plot of Argo sounds too unbelievable to be true, this fact-based story ends up as both compelling and as exciting as any adventure James Bond ever had.
| Original Score: A-
By not pandering sentimentality, Affleck has managed a task that, like its subject, seems impossible: He's taken what others would have turned into farce and emerged with one of the year's best pictures.
Ben Affleck's wildly entertaining thriller Argo is further proof of the old Hollywood adage that fiction is stranger than truth after all.
| Original Score: 4/5
The film hits most of its comic notes on the backs of two Hollywood old-timers played by Alan Arkin and John Goodman, who clearly relish the opportunity to lampoon people they work with every day.
| Original Score: 4/4
This is mature, invigorating stuff, alternately tense, funny, stirring and ultimately very satisfying.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
This is premium, breathless entertainment.
Entertaining and suspenseful in old-fashioned ways.
A superior effort in which Affleck seldom fails to maintain suspense.
| Original Score: A
The film, for all its ample smarts and solid academic craft, is just a great time at the movies.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
... a terrific piece of filmmaking.
Ben Affleck is one of this generation's best directors and "Argo" is a tight, engaging thriller.
Argo is director Ben Affleck's weakest effort by far, but still a well-made, performance-driven historical drama.
The only reason to watch Argo is because it's heavily padded, and while it works pretty well regardless, I wouldn't hold that up as an example of high quality filmmaking.
| Original Score: 7/10
Ben Affleck is a director who appreciates the art of storytelling and masters the rare virtue of restraint...
The sky's the limit for Ben Affleck right now, and its nothing less than he deserves.
Affleck spins the absurd true story into an engrossing espionage thriller that would be utterly ridiculous if the stakes weren't literally life-or-death.
After Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now this directorial-best, Affleck is establishing himself as a major craftsman.
Affleck himself turns in a quietly impressive movie star performance. Tony Mendez is a kind of anti-Bourne, comfortable with his anonymity, living off his wits, not his fists.
Affleck inserts such thoughtful commentary and ideas unobtrusively into his film; there's no ideological ball-peen hammer from the filmmaker to drive his beliefs into the audience.
Argo expertly builds tension and makes you wonder whether the mission will succeed.
| Original Score: 3.5/5