“Argo” Movie Review: A Compelling Story of Danger and Courage

Posted by    |    October 12th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Argo is a riveting, emotional, nail-biting drama directed by and starring Ben Affleck (The Town, Gone Baby Gone).  Based on declassified true events, Argo tells the tale of the life-threatening secret operation to save six Americans during the Iranian revolution and Iran hostage crisis.  In 1979, Iranian military assaulted the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, taking 52 American hostages.  During the takeover of the embassy, six Americans were able to escape and take refuge at the Canadian ambassador’s home in Tehran.  In the meantime, the CIA was planning an extraction mission, pursuing CIA specialist Tony Mendez’ (Affleck) idea to sneak the six Americans out of Iran by posing as a film crew on a location scouting trip in Tehran.  Using their Hollywood connections, director Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin), and make-up artist John Chambers (John Goodman), the CIA sets up a fake production company that will produce the film Argo.  The film also features actors Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, and Kyle ChandlerArgo is a quick-paced, nerve-frying thriller with a compelling story.

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This movie definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat.  Following a true account that was classified for many years and unknown to the general public, Argo is an aspiring story about risk and heroism.  The film is real, thoughtful and non-exploitive.  To say it is a crowd pleaser is an understatement.  Argo is remarkably funny and keeps the audience engaged at all times.  The acting is impressive, and Ben Affleck proves himself as a notable Hollywood director once again as he craftily and beautifully captures the emotion and soul of this story.

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Argo has pulse-pounding, exciting suspense that continues to build and build throughout the film, but for all that seat-clinching apprehension and tension, the audience never sees much of anything go wrong.  They hear about the risk involved and the stories about what has happened to people, but the film doesn’t show much violence.  There are a few scenes in which the audience sees how poorly the hostages were treated and what would have happened had they never escaped or been released following the end of the crisis and the CIA covert operation.  Argo has little action, but the quality of the story and acting clearly balances the scale.

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Argo is a political, international, espionage thriller with a perfect coat of humor, and in my opinion, will become an award-winning movie.  This film is one of the best films I have seen all year.  Affleck follows the events very closely, adding a light touch of suspense and excitement.  I rate Argo a 4.4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film to anyone who enjoys Ben Affleck, historical tales, or exhilarating, dramatic thrillers.  The film runs about 2 hours long and was given an R rating for language and some violent images.

By: Hayden Pittman, Film Critic for YouPlusDallas

Did you enjoy this review?  Have you seen the movie Argo?  Are you familiar with the events of the Iran hostage crisis?  Please leave your comments below.  Thanks for reading!

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Click here to see movie info for Argo on IMDB

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  1. Dan O'Neill says:

    Definitely seems like a flick that more people admire for being a really good, true story, rather than being a really good movie. It’s not a bad flick by any means, but not as perfect as many people are praising it as being. Good review.

  2. Although there is already talk of Affleck being nominated for a hat trick of awards (best picture, best director, best actor), I would have to agree that the story itself is much more appealing than the actual movie. That being said, there isn't a whole lot to complain about in this film. I think the audience will like the fact that it involves making a fake Hollywood film. Thanks for your comment!