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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.