Argo

"Extraordinary"

Argo Review


Ben Affleck leaps on to the A-list of directors with this relentlessly entertaining thriller, combining comedy and nerve-jangling suspense to maximum effect. Based on a declassified story that's unbelievable but true, the film is also clear-eyed about politics without ever getting lost in the big issues. Instead, it keeps us engaged through terrific characters who are beautifully played by a lively cast.

As Iran's 1979 revolution boiled over into street protests over America's assistance to the deposed Shah, rioters stormed the US embassy and took 52 Americans hostage. In the chaos, six staffers snuck out the back door and took refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador (Garber). With the Iranians on their trail, the CIA chief (Cranston) decides to try to get them out, and Agent Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a wild idea: he creates a fake sci-fi movie called Argo with the help of a veteran producer (Arkin) and an Oscar-winning make-up artist (Goodman), so the six escapees can pose as a Canadian location-scouting crew and leave the country.

Yes, this plan sounds utterly ridiculous, but the fake Argo is exactly the kind of cheesy Star Wars rip-off everyone was trying to make at the time, so the idea of scouting colourful Iranian locations isn't as far-fetched as it seems. And screenwriter Terrio keeps us laughing as Mendez and his Hollywood cohorts concoct this elaborate scam. These scenes are so good that Arkin and Goodman walk off with the whole movie, giving loose, witty supporting turns that are likely to be remembered in awards season. Affleck gets in on the fun as well, then also effortlessly takes on the more intense action scenes to hold the whole film together.

The fact that this story was a state secret means that we never know what might happen next, which adds a kick of unpredictability to the suspenseful final act. Although it does feel somewhat cranked up by every movie trick in the book, from power music to manic cross-cutting. But as a director Affleck directs it with real skill, crafting a politically aware action thriller that's also one of the most enjoyable romps of the year.

Rich Cline



Argo

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 120 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th October 2012

Box Office USA: $136.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $232.3M

Budget: $44.5M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Smokehouse Pictures, Warner Bros Pictures, GK Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 255 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Tony Mendez, as Jack O'Donnell, as Lester Siegel, as John Chambers, as Ken Taylor, as Bob Anders, as Cora Lijek, as Joe Stafford, as Lee Schatz, as Mark Lijek, as Kathy Stafford, as Hamilton Jordan, as Malinov, as Robert Pender, as Bates, as Max Klein, Mark Rhino Smith as Evil Villain, as Christine Mendez, Keith Szarabajka as Adam Engell, as Cyrus Vance, Page Leong as Pat Taylor, Omid Abtahi as Reza Borhani, Sheila Vand as Sahar, Karina Logue as Elizabeth Ann Swift, Ryan Ahern as Sgt. Sickmann, Bill Tangradi as Alan B. Golacinski, as William J. Daugherty, Roberto Garcia as Sgt. William Gallegos, as Thomas L. Ahern, Jon Woodward Kirby as Fred Kupke, Victor McCay as Malick, Matt Nolan as Peter Genco, J.R. Cacia as Brice, as Hal Saunders, Rob Brownstein as Landon Butler, as Jon Titterton, John Boyd as Lamont, Yuriy Sardarov as Rossi, Nikka Far as Tehran Mary, Aidan Sussman as Ian Mendez, as David Marmor, Ali Saam as Ali Khalkhali, Araz Vahid Ebrahim Nia as Moradi, Scott Anthony Leet as The Minotaur, as Jack Kirby, Mehrdad Sarlak as Immigration Officer, Ray Haratian as Immigration Officer, as Col. Charles W. Scott, Nancy Stelle as Swissair Flight Attendant

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.