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On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top "exfiltration" specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 300
- Fresh: 287
- Rotten: 13
- Average Rating: 8.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: 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.
Fresh: Entertaining and suspenseful in old-fashioned ways.
Fresh: Affleck is still building up his chops as a director, but the intelligence and ambition he brings to filmmaking are particularly apparent in Argo.
Fresh: The old saw "truth is stranger than fiction" has had its teeth properly sharpened in the superb thriller Argo, a blend of political history and Hollywood hijinks that goes right for the jugular.
A MASTERFULLY CRAFTED MOTION PICTURE!
The first time I saw "Argo", I was completely blown away. A film with fully fleshed-out characters, a consistently engrossing screenplay, and a stellar cast of veteran actors is something of a rare occurrence in the movie-making business today, and yet, that's exactly what the film gives us from start to finish. Director Ben Affleck ("Gone Baby Gone", "The Town") has delivered what can easily be argued as his best feature yet, an engaging movie that acts as both an informative historical drama and a tense, dynamic thriller with just a hint of clever humor thrown in for good measure. Without a doubt, I'd easily consider this to be my favorite film of 2012 simply due to the fact that it left me clinging to the edge of my seat by the time the credits appeared. It's that good.
"Argo" chronicles the actual life-or-death covert operation that secretly unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. As the Iranian Revolution reaches its boiling point, thousands of angry militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. However, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it's only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA "exfiltration" specialist named Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so improbable that if it wasn't a true story, you'd probably never believe.
Affleck directs the film with a firm grip, constantly building up tension in the story and never once losing sight of the political turmoil of the era. At the same time, he brings together a cast so genuinely appealing and wholeheartedly authentic, they eventually make you believe they're the real deal. Affleck gives an incredibly convincing lead performance as Mendez, the agent who risks everything to put his ultra-risky rescue mission into action. Additionally, Bryan Cranston does a solid job with his small but significant supporting role as Mendez's stern CIA boss. But surprisingly enough, it's Alan Arkin and John Goodman who end up easily stealing the spotlight as Lester Siegel and John Chambers, the film producer and make-up artist who willingly go along with our hero's plan to fake the production of a sci-fi movie in Tehran in order to help the American refugees safely escape. I couldn't stop laughing at their witty banter and deadpan comic timing, and there's one instantly quotable line they say throughout the flick that's just way too funny to forget. My only slight concern is that the six foreign service workers featured in the film aren't nearly as developed as they could've been. Nonetheless, they're still entirely believable, even if they are a bit forgettable compared to the rest of the cast. Besides the remarkable acting, the cinematography of Iran is simply incredible, perfectly reflecting the energy and fury of the time with grainy images, fast cuts, and jostling motion. As for the last thirty minutes of "Argo", they're easily some of the most nail-biting, tension-filled moments I've ever experienced in any single flick. It's one of those classic race-against-the-clock sequences that make you appreciate the movies that much more.
Thanks to Affleck's skilled direction, Arkin and Goodman's darkly comedic humor, and one of the most thrilling, well-written screenplays I've seen in a long time, it's no wonder why so many people are calling "Argo" one of the best films of 2012. With its gripping real-life premise, incredible cast of actors, fantastic dialogue, suspenseful score by Alexandre Desplat, and surprisingly detailed insight surrounding the Iran hostage crisis, this edge-of-your-seat thriller entertains even as it informs. Not to mention it manages to be one of those increasingly rare historical-political flicks that mature viewers of any age can equally enjoy from beginning to end. Simply put, I had a blast watching "Argo". It's a cinematic joyride that straps you in and immerses you in its world until it all comes to an emotionally tense, heart-racing finale. If any movie this year rightfully deserves the nominations for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay, it's this one. If you haven't seen it yet, I can't recommend it enough. It's a terrific experience all around.
Tremendously overrated film. Major considerations being the incredible artistic license taken with these real-life events (much of the picture is inaccurate at best, if not outright fiction at worse) and the ham-fisted acting of almost everyone in the film. This is as 'bought into the Oscars' as movie-making gets today. Highly unworthy of its overreaching praise. A decent-enough movie by itself, but totally overrated of the gushing adoration and outrageously high review scores.
I went in with very high expectations, considering the high rotten tomato rating. The movie wasn't really my cup of tea it was watchable, with just enough to keep interest. It was more of a snore for me.