Argo Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 3, 2012
Solid, for the most part, but seems to morph into a whole different movie in the middle. It's goofier in the Hollywood scenes, bookended by an intense introduction and conclusion. A high-quality rental if you're looking for a recommendation.
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2013
It's a simple movie, a film about a ride to the airport really. But Affleck makes no mistakes ... not a one in this telling of a true international event, a crisis, and therein the charm. The locales, the actors, the writing, the pacing, everything done nigh perfectly (nearly Hitchcockian!), all built to a cohesive whole that's as nerve wracking as any film could be. Must see.
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2014
Its alright but not worth all the praise it got. Slow burner with very little pay off.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2013
Suspenseful and well-acted.
Super Reviewer
½ November 23, 2012
"Argo" plays loose with with the facts, but that's ok. As a piece of historical-based fiction, it's bested by few other. Ben Affleck keeps his cinematic streak alive with what is in many ways his best film to date. He delivers a film so clear, so precise that we don't simply view the events unfolding; we live them. The film strikes a balance of grit, humor and intensity without ever feeling less than authentic. Even though we know where the narrative is going, "Argo" has a payoff that hits home and all the right notes. You get a sense from "Argo" that for Affleck... it's only up from here. He's a commanding force to be reckoned with, both in front of and behind the lens . For the third time he has made one of the very best films of the year. This time, I don't think "Oscar" will forget to take notice.
Super Reviewer
July 5, 2013
Enjoyable, watched it with Hendy in theatres. Generally fun and suspenseful but there were some slow moments. Good but a little overrated. Ben Affleck was dreamy as usual.
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2012
Great writing, perfect casting and incredible performances. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
½ October 14, 2012
Wow. Worth every thumbs ups , and awards, that it received. This film was intelligent, thoughtful, and chock full of heart-pounding intensity. This is a movie that does what a movie should do: tell a story well..and in this case it is a true story. Kudos!
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2012
A worthy winner of the Best Picture academy award, 'Argo' combines some gentle, but powerful acting, a good script and some brilliant direction in order to create a suspenseful, interesting thriller.

Based on the real life story of the CIA operation to rescue Iranian embassy workers who escape just before the embassy is taken by Iranian revolutionaries in 1979, Ben Affleck's third turn at directing sees some of his best work yet. Apart from some irritating factual problems, ie-the British and New Zealand embassies turned the escaped Americans away. Ah no! In fact they both took them in and helped them in numerous ways. But besides those little factual mistakes 'Argo' is a true life story, which is what makes it so thrilling.

With an excellent cast, including Affleck himself as the lead character CIA operative Tony Mendez, as well as Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman, the acting abilities of the cast are excellent. Affleck balances the seriousness of his own character with the light humour and relief provided by Arkin and Goodman. Screenwriter Chris Terrio deserves more credit than most in creating an excellent screenplay to make up for any short fallings in Affleck's directing abilities.

The production design is also remarkable, with the capture of 70s America and Iran done superbly. Affleck used the Washington Post headquarter scenes from 'All The President's Men' to model the government and CIA offices in 'Argo', and the two films share their suspenseful, gentle but well paced style. Whilst at times it becomes a little silly, it is saved by a dark comic undertone and the ever growing build up.

Most worth of 'Best Picture', Affleck has been betrayed by the Academy by being refused a nomination for Best Director, again. But he can rejoice in sculpting and overseeing an excellent film which really does keep you on the edge of your seats, a rare achievement for most 'thrillers' these days.
Super Reviewer
½ May 10, 2012
The third time really is a charm for actor/burgeoning director Ben Affleck. I mean yeah, Gone Baby Gone and The Town were both really good, but this one is his best directorial effort yet.

Based on true events, this is the riveting story of a joint covert operation between the CIA and the Canadian government to rescue 6 American diplomats trapped in Tehran during the Iran Hostage Crisis of the late 70s/early 80s. The six managed to escape the U.S. Embassy and find shelter with the Canadian Consul. But just because they were they doesn't mean they were out of harms way.

Besides directing and producing, Affleck stars as CIA exfiltration expert Tony Mendez. The plan he comes up with as a cover for the rescue operation is a great one: he gets Hollywood makeup artist/occasional CIA consultant John Chambers to help him (along with film producer Lester Siegel) create a fake science fantasy adventure film called Argo that is to be shot in the Middle East, with Tony and the six diplomats posing as the film crew.

The film has a top notch cast, with John Goodman as Chambers, Oscar nominated Alan Arkin as SIegel, and various other roles filled by Bryan Cranston Victor Garber, Taylor Schilling, and RIchard Kind, Kyle Chandler, and a crap load of others. Of the six people playing the diplomats, the most notable (for me at least) were Clea DuVall and Rory Cochrane (Slater from Dazed and Confused. All of these people, no matter how brief their appearance, are all rock solid. The film is somewhat unbalanced as far as extreme depth and development go, but we get just enough to keep people from being totally one dimensional.

The story is fascinating, and really holds your attention, rarely letting up. Yeah, some fabrications are done to heighten the tension, drama, and make the story more cinematically exciting, but those are minor quibbles. I just honestly can't believe that the central ruse that was used is actually true. I have a love/hate thing with the CIA, but this idea was cool, but maybe that's just because I'm a sucker for movie making and films about it. Maybe the biggest gripe I have is the interpretative change that the movie does by downplaying the role of the Canadian government and putting the emphasis on the CIA. They could have found a way to make it more balanced, but it may have resulted in a longer, more expensive film, so I guess I can let it go.

The film is well shot, tightly edited, Affleck gives some solid direction, and the look of this film is great. The costumes, hairstyles, and touches done to bring the time period alive are impeccable. Like many, I'm bummed that Affleck was snubbed a directing nod, but at least that was made up for by the film winning best picture (nabbing him a statue since he also produced it). The music ain't too shabby, either.

One could argue that the release of the film isn't exactly timely, and the portrayal of Iranians is a little insensitive, but given the subject matter, it is rather fitting and true to the era. All in all, this is a sterling piece of work, and one I have no trouble recommending.
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2013
Ben Affleck and George Clooney join forces and produce an intense and vivid portrayal of a nationwide-renown story. Argo exemplifies brilliance from the visual presentation to the diverse cast of characters. The film combines drama, black humor and human nature to leave you anxious for what's to come. 5/5
Nikhil N.
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2013
This movie was so suspenseful that it kept me literally at the edge of my seat. It takes a little-known historic event and blows it up on a grand-scale. It does this masterfully. It was entertaining and almost flawless. The only real flaw was that some of the characters are forgettable and are only there for historical accuracy, making them easy to not care about. Regardless, it is a very good movie and definitely worth a watch.
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2012
Very good and compelling. Strong performance by Alan Arkin and Garber. Still -- Best movie of the year?! Not quite, in my opinion. It was very good, but not stunning.
Super Reviewer
March 26, 2013
Deserves more credit and awards then this movie has gotten so far. A well told storBen Affleck outdid himself. 5 stars. 3-24-13.
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2012
A CIA hostage extraction specialist is called in to retrieve six US Embassy workers hiding out in the Canadian consulate in Iran after the civil uprising of 1979. Argo reminded me very much of The Bank Job, a British heist movie from a few years ago starring Jason Statham. They share a similar mix of humour, politics and history, done in a 70s thriller style format with a plots that seem extremely implausible and yet were based on actual events. Ben Affleck shows some excellent attention to detail in recreating not only the period during which they occurred, but the cultural and political climate and even casting actors who resemble their real life counterparts. The formula is almost a cross between Munich and Ocean's Eleven as the preposterous idea of faking a 70s sci-fi movie to smuggle out the would-be hostages leaves room for a lot of humour and the brilliant partnership of John Goodman and Alan Arkin is constantly laugh out loud funny. This light tone soon becomes darker as the real danger the six face becomes more and more apparent making for a nail biting finale as they attempt their escape. I also have to admire Affleck's candidness in describing the events which led to Iran's contempt for the west and once again his accomplished direction makes for a film that is consistently both entertaining AND intelligent.
Super Reviewer
½ March 18, 2013
A decent effort by Affleck makes this real life based flick watchable enough.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2013
An excellent film. One of the best films released in recent memory. Suspenseful, well-acted and well-written, the film never lags, never bores, and always entertains and engages. Blew me away.
Super Reviewer
October 12, 2012
Affleck once again proves himself to be one of Hollywood's best and most consistent directors. Phenomenal writing and phenomenal acting in a movie that seems to be James Bond for pacifists. My only qualm is the lack of historical accuracy, but if you can look past it, there's definitely and enjoyable film in there.
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2013
Ben Affleck continues his astonishing career turnaround with "Argo." This film exhibits top-notch direction, and the choice to give some scenes an "aged" look, gives the film a more authentic feel. The casting is fantastic, and the story is captivating. Viewers will leave satisfied. Grade: B+
Super Reviewer
½ December 17, 2012
Argo is an entertaining and tense thriller that's well paced and pays attention to detail, but falls flat in certain areas because of certain key events in the film being fabricated and the role of Tony Mendez should have gone to a more versatile, hispanic actor instead of Ben Affleck.
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