As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA 'exfiltration' specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador.
Release Year: 2012
Rating: 7.4/10 (944 voted)
Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
Storyline As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA 'exfiltration' specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador.
Writers: Chris Terrio, Joshuah Bearman
Cast: Ben Affleck
The script for Argo (used by the CIA, not for this film) is from the unmade feature film "Lord of Light" based on the novel by Roger Zelazny.
Get Ready To Hear "Argo for Best Picture"
No movie being showcased by this year's Toronto International Film
Festival caught our interest as much as Ben Affleck's directorial
follow up to The Town. Argo, based on a true story and starring
Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Adam Arkin, tells the
astonishingly true story of how a CIA exfiltration specialist attempts
to free six Americans who have taken shelter in the home of the
Canadian Ambassador during the Iranian hostage crisis.
The story opens on November 4, 1979 when Islamist militants took
control of the U.S. Embassy in Iran. 52 Americans were taken hostage
and held for 444 days until their eventual release. But six American's
were able to sneak out of the Embassy and find refuge unbeknownst to
the Iranian rebels. The CIA, lead by agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck)
hatched a plan to rescue the house entrapped Americans by posing as
producers of a fictional science fiction film. The idea was that Mendez
would land in Iran and then convince the six Americans to assume roles
as screenwriters, directors and co-producers of the film and they would
all fly out of the country together once location scouting was complete
in 48 hours.
In an effort to have the mission legitimized, Mendez recruited
Hollywood producer Lester Siegel and Special Effects man John Chambers
to green-light the script and give the entire project credibility.
If the entire notion of the plan sounds like something that only
Hollywood could come up with well, you're half right. But Affleck
sticks to the facts of the true events and ravels a bite-your-nails
type thriller that is guaranteed to be rewarded with year-end
nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and most certainly Best
Supporting Actor for Alan Arkin.
Every note, every frame of Argo looks authentic. Affleck, who received
incredible support for his last directorial effort, The Town, ups the
ante and films Argo with the confidence of a maestro at the top of his
The movie shifts between locations of Iran, Hollywood and both the CIA
Headquarters and even the White House in this brilliantly crafted
adventure. Each scene and character oozes with atmosphere and purpose
and Affleck confidently and flawlessly directs himself as the expected
hero of the film a man who risks his own life and career for the
lives of six strangers.
Towards the concluding chapters of the film, audiences are sure to be
on the edge of their seats even if they are aware of the historically
recorded outcome (shades of Apollo 13). Once the rescue attempt his its
apex, the audience at the Toronto screening erupted in an applause
never before experienced by this reviewer in his thousands of
theatrical screenings. That reaction is a testament to Affleck's
direction that grabbed audiences by the emotional drawstrings keeping
us involved in our character's fates and caring for their safe return.
Argo is not only an important piece of history that many of us were
completely oblivious but it is also one of the better films of this
or the past few years.