User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 845 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 60 out of 845
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  1. Feb 24, 2013
    5
    Ben's Argo and Lance's Medals

    What do these have in common? Both generated great gobs of money, both represent a dramatic distortion of the truth, both take another significant chunk out of American credibility. It is bad enough that a majority of America receives its education (17th or lower in world ranking) from movies, in Argo's case "based on a declassified true story". When
    Ben's Argo and Lance's Medals

    What do these have in common? Both generated great gobs of money, both represent a dramatic distortion of the truth, both take another significant chunk out of American credibility.

    It is bad enough that a majority of America receives its education (17th or lower in world ranking) from movies, in Argo's case "based on a declassified true story". When Ben claimed, in a recent interview, that the reason the Canadians integral role (90% Canada/ 10% USA according to president Jimmy Carter and those actually involved) in freeing the hostages was not represented truthfully, he brushed it off quickly by commenting that "there was not enough time to fit it all in".

    In other words, for Ben, making the Americans "centre of the universe" even under the guise of docudrama, trumps truth. The reality is that the small role the CIA did actually play, had the real potential of getting the hostages killed on their way out of Iran. Historically (pun intended) the CIA espionage folk put a wrong date on the passport stamp which if not detected, and altered (again by a Canadian) would have meant instant detection, and potentially certain death on their way out of the airport not to mention what would have happened to the Canadian embassy personnel.

    Dramatic license must be extended to any historical account for time constraints or the inevitable lapse in research, however, when the focus is to distort and or pervert the truth, everyone involved suffers.

    Ben in recent award shows, still attempts to use his youthful ignorance and surprised-face to pass off this travesty of history. I don't buy that, or the movie nor should anyone interested in the truth. Historical accuracy can be every bit as dramatic and entertaining as BS with the added bonus of attracting a wider audience and staying on the charts for many more years.

    No doubt, all those, who have or will receive monetary gain from this schlock will rally to its defense, somehow. There is no defense, however, for the damage inflicted on the historical record, those who buy into that distortion, or the Canadians, and the lives of six US hostages whose lives depended on real intervention by real people.

    Ziek bamfrmcan
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  2. Mar 30, 2013
    6
    Argo has been praised by both critics and audience alike. Bit surprisingly, as despite being better than average political thriller it is difficult to believe it would be looked back as Oscar-winning classic. It has inaccuracies and dramatizations which have too much of a scripted feel, given the story is based on real events.
  3. Oct 29, 2012
    5
    I had very high expectations for this movie and unfortunately was disappointed on most levels. First the good, this movie looks great. I love the feel of the period in this film. I also think this film was incredibly acted, every performance is spot on with ironically the exception of Afflek. He is however not bad, just the worst of a very strong group. Of particular note is theI had very high expectations for this movie and unfortunately was disappointed on most levels. First the good, this movie looks great. I love the feel of the period in this film. I also think this film was incredibly acted, every performance is spot on with ironically the exception of Afflek. He is however not bad, just the worst of a very strong group. Of particular note is the performance of Arkin, who eats up every scene he is in. This might be my favorite supporting performance of the year. Where does this movie fall short? First the dialogue is flat for me. Especially for a movie that is trying to be witty and hip. Second there are many scenes in this movie that are absolutely implausible. I wont go into details but in the last third of this film their at least half a dozen scenes that completely removed me from the reality that this film is trying to convey. This is inexcusable in any film, but magnified in a true story. Very disappointed in a movie with so much potential. Expand
  4. Nov 3, 2012
    6
    Yes I'm going against the grain here. Overated, overated, overated. Would be alright at home on the couch. I found this movie quite boring. The script was unintelligent and flat. Slightly nail biting toward the end but nothing like other reviews are stating. With a good script and far more character development this could have been great, instead it's only OK...just. I should haveYes I'm going against the grain here. Overated, overated, overated. Would be alright at home on the couch. I found this movie quite boring. The script was unintelligent and flat. Slightly nail biting toward the end but nothing like other reviews are stating. With a good script and far more character development this could have been great, instead it's only OK...just. I should have waited for the blu ray... Expand
  5. Oct 13, 2012
    6
    I cannot believe how overrated this film is. Sure it create's the world and clausterphobia the hostages are living in . Another quality of the film is in the riot sequences it takes the camera and puts you in the middle of the madness for this reason it is entirely indicative of it's time and place. Is this enough? Sure some of the humour is funny but it is not enough to carry the film.I cannot believe how overrated this film is. Sure it create's the world and clausterphobia the hostages are living in . Another quality of the film is in the riot sequences it takes the camera and puts you in the middle of the madness for this reason it is entirely indicative of it's time and place. Is this enough? Sure some of the humour is funny but it is not enough to carry the film. The story is so bland and never embellished except at the end when it finally gains momentum and starts to thrill. I know it's a true story and it wanted to stay true, but they needed to tell it in a more interesting way. If you had seen the trailer you basically knew everything about the movie. No twists or turns here most of Argo's runtime is just boring. Expand
  6. Feb 27, 2013
    5
    Apparently film critic Leonard Maltin liked Argo and is quoted as saying, “Don't get your history from the movies.” Maybe it would be better to say, “Don't put history in your movies if you don't get it.” Argo was a good film but it wasn't about what it claimed to be about. If you're going to fiddle with very minor historical moments, maybe no one will notice or care, but this was a majorApparently film critic Leonard Maltin liked Argo and is quoted as saying, “Don't get your history from the movies.” Maybe it would be better to say, “Don't put history in your movies if you don't get it.” Argo was a good film but it wasn't about what it claimed to be about. If you're going to fiddle with very minor historical moments, maybe no one will notice or care, but this was a major event in recent American history. A short summary of what never happened--there was no trip to the Bazaar, which would have been too dangerous; the six were divided up at the homes of two Canadian officials, not one, and they all liked the idea of the movie production team as their cover; the airport screening went off without a hitch--no one confronted them and no squad cars chased the plane down--the only tension was the announcement that there would be a 1-hour delay because of mechanical problems. However, after the plane cleared Iranian air space, everybody cheered. They got that part right. Some feel that Iranians have a right to object to the stereotypical portrayal of their citizens, and Canada feels that the CIA is being made to look like the heroes, when the Canadians did most of the work, which included three months of preparation for the final coup. A scene at the end of the film gives the erroneous impression that Canada had to be given the credit because no one was allowed to know that the CIA was involved, in which case, it sounded almost like Canada was taking the heat for the CIA rather than being lauded for heroism. Ben Affleck is a good director and a good actor, but his fantasy version of the story should have been filmed as fiction and not fact. Argo worked well when it showed insiders being caustically critical of how a Hollywood production is run behind the scenes. (That would make a good movie by itself.) The film might have been a good thriller, but when you go into it knowing that the most exciting part, the airport clearance and chase at the end, never happened, it's not that thrilling. It's boring. In any case, the film has nothing to do with the American government's view of the episode; it's just trying to be pure Hollywood entertainment, using all the old tricks that all directors and screenwriters use to lure people into the theaters so that the studios can make money. And given how many bad films are being released lately, a film that shows directorial skill and tells a good story ends up being exaggerated to the point where it wins Best Picture. Argo was not the best picture, but the pickings were slim. They couldn't even come up with ten selections at the Oscars--they had nine, and one movie, Amour, was listed twice under Best Picture and Best Foreign Picture. In the end, no one should be insulted by Argo--it's not worth it. Expand
  7. Nov 29, 2012
    5
    To sum up: narration hell. Let me explain: Although there isn't an actual "narration", this film just tells you the story. It doesn't show it. Just as having a film narrate everything important, Argo does the visual equivalent. There is no sense of urgency, no tension, nothing. It starts flat lining immediately, and refuses to respond at all. It's a completely comatose film. I mean, it'sTo sum up: narration hell. Let me explain: Although there isn't an actual "narration", this film just tells you the story. It doesn't show it. Just as having a film narrate everything important, Argo does the visual equivalent. There is no sense of urgency, no tension, nothing. It starts flat lining immediately, and refuses to respond at all. It's a completely comatose film. I mean, it's reasonably watchable, but also preeminently boring. The intro notes that the US caused the whole situation in Iran by supporting the Shah (who lived lavishly, murdered people and oppressed the rest of them). Then they hid him in the US when he was wanted for crimes in Iran. However, they still manage to turn this into a "the US is awesome" film. It's insulting. Expand
  8. Oct 16, 2012
    6
    I just don't see what the fuss is about. This is a straight line story with little suspense and no other developed subplots. I found "The Town" much more entertaining. Frankly, this could have been a made for tv film. Riveting is the last word that comes to my mind when I think of this film. Maybe Hollywood just wanted to pat itself on the back for the role it played in a great service toI just don't see what the fuss is about. This is a straight line story with little suspense and no other developed subplots. I found "The Town" much more entertaining. Frankly, this could have been a made for tv film. Riveting is the last word that comes to my mind when I think of this film. Maybe Hollywood just wanted to pat itself on the back for the role it played in a great service to our country. Expand
  9. Feb 26, 2013
    6
    This movie is obviously overrated and mediocre. Total lack of 70's atmosphere, the Hollywood side story is very weak and unconvincing, most performances give you the feeling of watching a History Channel documenrary. The film is boring and the adrenaline in the airport scene is boosted with cheap tricks rather than fine and skillfull movie direction: the Iranians realize the truth at theThis movie is obviously overrated and mediocre. Total lack of 70's atmosphere, the Hollywood side story is very weak and unconvincing, most performances give you the feeling of watching a History Channel documenrary. The film is boring and the adrenaline in the airport scene is boosted with cheap tricks rather than fine and skillfull movie direction: the Iranians realize the truth at the exact moment the Americans flee the country. How convenient is that.... Best motion picture of the year award? seriously??? LMAO.... Expand
  10. Feb 23, 2013
    4
    I thought this was a bit of a let down. Loved the Town but Argo wasn't gritty enough for me. Some Iranian security guards with some intelligence would have been nice. The film also plays up the çoolness' of making a fake movie, which detracts from the seriousness of the subject matter for me. Funky music as they arrive on their fake set, hmm. And 'Argo f!@k yourself' gets very annoying.I thought this was a bit of a let down. Loved the Town but Argo wasn't gritty enough for me. Some Iranian security guards with some intelligence would have been nice. The film also plays up the çoolness' of making a fake movie, which detracts from the seriousness of the subject matter for me. Funky music as they arrive on their fake set, hmm. And 'Argo f!@k yourself' gets very annoying. Big let down. And we all know how it's going to end. Amazing thing they did though. Expand
  11. Nov 24, 2012
    4
    The movie started mildly fast, got very slow, then very intense. The only reason I saw this movie was because im a huge Bryan Cranston fan, and many people were saying the film was going to win best picture. This movie has two storylines (thats the only word i could think off to describe it) The one about the hostages, and the one in Hollywood and the C.I.A , about them trying to make theThe movie started mildly fast, got very slow, then very intense. The only reason I saw this movie was because im a huge Bryan Cranston fan, and many people were saying the film was going to win best picture. This movie has two storylines (thats the only word i could think off to describe it) The one about the hostages, and the one in Hollywood and the C.I.A , about them trying to make the movie. I would give the hostage situation a 3 out of 10, and the Hollywood story a 7 out of 10. The airport scene at the end, I would give 9 out of 10 that was very intense, and the scene was very well written. I would give the acting 6 out of 10 varying from actor to actor, directing 5 out of 10, and writing 6 out of 10, and overall 4 out of ten. Expand
  12. Lyn
    Oct 14, 2012
    5
    I remember this period and this incident, and so found the movie interesting. But I'm surprised at how few critics have quibbles with the historical inaccuracies! (See articles in Slate, Wired and elsewhere for details.) Already a thriller low on thrills -- we know how it ends, obviously -- it tries too hard to fabricate them. Enjoyed every performance more than Affleck's, which wasI remember this period and this incident, and so found the movie interesting. But I'm surprised at how few critics have quibbles with the historical inaccuracies! (See articles in Slate, Wired and elsewhere for details.) Already a thriller low on thrills -- we know how it ends, obviously -- it tries too hard to fabricate them. Enjoyed every performance more than Affleck's, which was low-key almost to the point of tedium. Expand
  13. Feb 28, 2013
    6
    If you strip away the historical and political relevance of Argo and the knowledge that the events in the movie are based on reality, you are left with an average thriller. The characters in this movie are shells of characters; I could describe each of them in a single sentence. The plot of Argo eventually turns into the repetition of an age old formula: build suspense, make it look likeIf you strip away the historical and political relevance of Argo and the knowledge that the events in the movie are based on reality, you are left with an average thriller. The characters in this movie are shells of characters; I could describe each of them in a single sentence. The plot of Argo eventually turns into the repetition of an age old formula: build suspense, make it look like the bad thing is going to happen, make the good thing happen at the last second. Rinse and repeat. It's boring and predictable and repetitive and entirely unoriginal. I think it's worth watching, but I doubt I'll ever watch it again. Expand
  14. Feb 28, 2013
    4
    puh-leez, this movie was not that good. won the oscars because the industry is a scene that celebrates itself. the movie was average and uncompelling. ben afleck is about as talented an actor as keanu reeves.
  15. Aug 7, 2013
    5
    A movie with some definite potential that didn't quite make it. There were some great scenes mixed in with some average which left me disappointed.

    Seemed very much a US propaganda piece that bastardized actual events. Are all middle-eastern men inherently evil? Are all American men misunderstood heros? The movie gave me this impression, from a non-partisan point of view it left a
    A movie with some definite potential that didn't quite make it. There were some great scenes mixed in with some average which left me disappointed.

    Seemed very much a US propaganda piece that bastardized actual events. Are all middle-eastern men inherently evil? Are all American men misunderstood heros? The movie gave me this impression, from a non-partisan point of view it left a bitter taste.. especially with the perpetual war-hungry state the USA seems to be in. Congratulating the CIA? I think i need a shower.

    Some good cinematography and sets. Good acting in parts although i felt the movie dwelt on Affleck's character & the fake Hollywood studio too much.. the comedy moments seemed forced.
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  16. Jun 15, 2013
    6
    Argo manages to make an American movie without losing the essence of its context or the main depiction of the history. It's simple, easy to follow and understand, requires no previous knowledge or anything. But perhaps this is the problem; whilst it's straightforward it lacks in depth, and the two hour run-time is slightly too long given how predictable it is and how little goes on in it.Argo manages to make an American movie without losing the essence of its context or the main depiction of the history. It's simple, easy to follow and understand, requires no previous knowledge or anything. But perhaps this is the problem; whilst it's straightforward it lacks in depth, and the two hour run-time is slightly too long given how predictable it is and how little goes on in it. There's almost no suspense until the last half an hour, and the bits before are practically oversized fillers. Still a good film but either needs to be more concise or have more content or action for it to be a great one. Expand
  17. Mar 23, 2013
    6
    argo is an overall good film. I feel that a few scenes fell flat and many supporting characters were unnecessary because they had such small roles, but the overall film has plenty of nail-biting moments and phenomonal acting.
  18. Sep 24, 2013
    5
    Not a bad film at all, does not fail to build massive tension throughout the end... but i was disappointed due the fact that this ends up in typical exaggerated american style "we are the good guys and we always win".

    It's great that they make films about historic events, but i think it's just an absolutely onesided view of events.
  19. Oct 26, 2012
    6
    I went into the movie expecting a little more of the extraction and a little less of the political workings and preparation leading up to the extraction. Never once did I have the sense of urgency I typically get with a movie like this nor did I form an emotional connection with any of the characters - hostages or those working to get them out alike. I think the story is a great one andI went into the movie expecting a little more of the extraction and a little less of the political workings and preparation leading up to the extraction. Never once did I have the sense of urgency I typically get with a movie like this nor did I form an emotional connection with any of the characters - hostages or those working to get them out alike. I think the story is a great one and lends an insight into the diverse assets at the fingertips of the US's clandestine forces. I enjoyed it once and will surely watch it again when it makes it to my movie channels but not a movie I am thinking of seeing again at the theater or waiting for the DVD to come out. Affleck was very good but The Town is still the best of his directorial efforts in my opinion. Expand
  20. Oct 30, 2012
    6
    This movie's rating average is almost as big as Affleck's head. After seeing "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town" I really wanted to love this movie. But Affleck ruined it for me. Not that he's a bad actor--I just can't relate to him. He's handsome, charming, strong...it's hard to feel sorry for him. They tried to beef up his character with the whole "my wife and I are taking a break"This movie's rating average is almost as big as Affleck's head. After seeing "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town" I really wanted to love this movie. But Affleck ruined it for me. Not that he's a bad actor--I just can't relate to him. He's handsome, charming, strong...it's hard to feel sorry for him. They tried to beef up his character with the whole "my wife and I are taking a break" concept but I didn't believe it for one second.

    So I have to watch this secret agent that's never really in any danger himself try to save people from a desperate situation. Though I felt the situation was well set up, it's hard to get tense when I already know everyone makes it out fine. It felt like just another Hollywood movie celebrating the great victories Hollywood has provided to mankind. Which might be why it's already getting Oscar talk.
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  21. Sep 22, 2013
    5
    Argo is a true story, so it`s amazing, but did not make for a great movie for me. It`s interesting, but did not blow me away, and I wouldn`t care much for it if it was all made up. I did find it watchable, and worth finishing for the movie rush at the end.
  22. Feb 8, 2013
    6
    The movie had excellent visuals and period feel. The acting was good too. I also liked the subject matter. But the pace was slow, so the movie became a drag at times. Something was off the entire time. I cannot bring myself to watch it again. There are other movies with serious tone and longer running time like The Pianist and Shawshank Redemption that manage to pull it off and are highlyThe movie had excellent visuals and period feel. The acting was good too. I also liked the subject matter. But the pace was slow, so the movie became a drag at times. Something was off the entire time. I cannot bring myself to watch it again. There are other movies with serious tone and longer running time like The Pianist and Shawshank Redemption that manage to pull it off and are highly entertaining. Argo definitely doesn't deserve the highest prize at the Oscars. Collapse
  23. Dec 15, 2014
    6
    As neither an American nor a Canadian citizen, I get to watch this movie for what it is: a movie. If we consider it a crime film, it doesn't have a twisted enough plot. If we consider it a thriller, there's not enough tension. If we consider it a documentary, it's not true enough. Where are the laughs the critics are talking about? When are supposed to laugh? If we consider it a comedy, itAs neither an American nor a Canadian citizen, I get to watch this movie for what it is: a movie. If we consider it a crime film, it doesn't have a twisted enough plot. If we consider it a thriller, there's not enough tension. If we consider it a documentary, it's not true enough. Where are the laughs the critics are talking about? When are supposed to laugh? If we consider it a comedy, it doesn't make you laugh enough.

    I understand it's a celebration of the American intelligence and it is intelligently released in a period where pretty much all of the Western World looks at Arabic countries with suspicion. I didn't know anything about the Canadian Caper and honestly, this film didn't make me curious about it.

    Ben Affleck was in 2012, so that meant no facial expressions, and I get it. He did the same in To The Wonder. A notable yet tiny performance by Cranston is worth mentioning, the rest of the cast were blank pawns. The score, despite being Alexandre Desplat and all, I found irritating.

    Not a bad movie, but not a great one either. It certainly doesn't deserve that 86. The political gets too much in the way to judge Argo without prejudice.
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  24. Apr 11, 2013
    6
    The movie is very overrated, and I believe because Ben Affleck did a multitasking job, which I respect, but not enough to swipe nearly every Best Film category. The film lacked the opportunity given by having one of the greatest casts of 2012 and Ben Affleck seemed to shine himself, which wouldn't have been a major issue if he actually brought great emotion to his role, which was neededThe movie is very overrated, and I believe because Ben Affleck did a multitasking job, which I respect, but not enough to swipe nearly every Best Film category. The film lacked the opportunity given by having one of the greatest casts of 2012 and Ben Affleck seemed to shine himself, which wouldn't have been a major issue if he actually brought great emotion to his role, which was needed but never really delivered. Not considering the multiple awards, I did enjoy the film and it's colorful characters aside from Ben Affleck's. Expand
  25. Apr 16, 2014
    6
    Cuando empece a verla en un principio me convenció, pero conforme avanza la historia se vuelve muy comercial con muchos tintes patrióticos, la verdad no sentí que los personajes estuvieran en un verdadero peligro, rescato los últimos minutos cuando están a punto de subir del avión, en donde agarra tensión, pero eso nada mas, ni la trama socio-política es muy buena, eso si tiene un buenCuando empece a verla en un principio me convenció, pero conforme avanza la historia se vuelve muy comercial con muchos tintes patrióticos, la verdad no sentí que los personajes estuvieran en un verdadero peligro, rescato los últimos minutos cuando están a punto de subir del avión, en donde agarra tensión, pero eso nada mas, ni la trama socio-política es muy buena, eso si tiene un buen montaje. Expand
  26. Apr 7, 2014
    4
    Ben Affleck's swift, skillful direction - including a fantastic opening sequence - fails to disguise the fact that "Argo" lacks any real style or substance, offering instead bland characterizations and caper cliches, not to mention gross historical inaccuracies that make this "epic" perilously close to a fabrication.
  27. Feb 6, 2014
    6
    Argo is for all intensive purposes one of the most over hyped films in quite sometime and given the fact that it is on the edge of being propaganda one can quickly realize why. While I applaud Afflek's continuing development as a director. This work aside from his direction is sub-par at best. Like all based on a true story films it is extremely loosely based, but the sheer fact that it isArgo is for all intensive purposes one of the most over hyped films in quite sometime and given the fact that it is on the edge of being propaganda one can quickly realize why. While I applaud Afflek's continuing development as a director. This work aside from his direction is sub-par at best. Like all based on a true story films it is extremely loosely based, but the sheer fact that it is based on reality robs the movie of all suspense. Reality is fine for docudrama's but reality in terms of suspense is quite dull. Argo is a film that needs you to leave your brain at the door and hopes that you know not of things like history or something other ethnic stereotypes. From an entertainment standpoint that is usually a good choice in any film, check out and buy into what they are selling. However from a technical standpoint it creates films that falter.
    On Entertainment value I would give it a 7.5
    On the Poe Scale however it gets a 6.5

    Acting: 1/2
    Cinematography: 1/2
    Editing: 1.5/2
    Effects and Design 1.5/2
    Writing: 1.5/2
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  28. May 11, 2014
    4
    Interesting start
    Then comes abrupt stall somewhere between Hollywood and BBC
    So many usual hardships like divorced hero with a Son in shared custody far far away
    People do strange thing under duress but I am sure it wasn't like n this movie when embassy opens its doors because some officer wanted to reason with hostagetakers
    Couldn't bear it
    4 only
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Nov 5, 2012
    80
    An old-school espionage thriller with a movie-biz comedy twist, all the better for being (almost) entirely true. It is to Ben Affleck's credit that the tension and laughs complement rather than neutralise each other.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Jordan
    Oct 17, 2012
    80
    Combining laughs and thrills with plenty of verve, Ben Affleck continues his smart directorial career with a stylish, gripping hostage drama.
  3. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Oct 12, 2012
    70
    Argo isn't quite on the level of the Sidney Lumet classics to which Affleck pays stylistic homage - smart and taut as it is, it lacks the broader political vision of a film like "Dog Day Afternoon." But Lumet lite still goes down pretty smooth.