User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 781 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 781

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  1. Oct 12, 2012
    10
    Argo is a triumph. It has tension, sincerity, mystery, artistic responsibility, entertainment value, technical expertise, a narrative arc and a thrilling respect for the tradition of how to tell a story with minimum frills and maximum impact. It's a great footnote to history, one of the best films of 2012 and a sure-fire contender on Oscar night.
  2. Oct 12, 2012
    10
    What can I say about this movie. It's an engaging view into the workings of the CIA, the events during the Iranian hostage crisis, the life inside a foreign counsulate and Hollywood. While we get mainly glimpses, they are so well executed that we come out of this feeling like we have the insider info on how they all work.

    The performances are riveting as well as very real in their
    delivery. I never felt like I was watching actors in a movie, I was watching things as they transpired almost 40 years ago.

    Ben Affleck has solidified himself as a great actor and director with Argo.
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  3. Oct 16, 2012
    10
    Out of over 580 films I have seen and reviewed (not all on here, yet!), there have only been 31 films that I have given a 10. "Argo" is the 32nd. I watched it at the Toronto International Film Festival and went into it without actually having a clue what it was about, which was great because I had no expectations. Soon enough, I ended up being completely immersed in the world of the American escapees from the Embassy. Ben Affleck has managed a feat that only a few actors have - giving an excellent performance as an actor and excellently directing a film at the same time. The entire cast, actually, is fantastic. There is not a single moment that does not have credible acting, and one must give kudos to John Goodman and Alan Arkin for kind of 'stealing the show'. But in a film with such superb acting, it is a rather hard thing to achieve, so that goes even more to their credit. The cinematography is very subtle and very appropriate, with perfectly chosen lenses that transport the viewer into the actual space that the film portrays. Production-wise, overall, the film is very effective. Great costumes, makeup, solid score, everything works well. The screenplay is very well written and manages a fine balance between suspense, drama and humour, which is a very difficult to achieve. "Argo" is one of the rare films that actually manages to make you sympathise and feel with the characters very fast, and basically transports you there with them. It feels as if we are in that same Canadian Embassy in Tehran, in that market, and on the airport. After leaving the theatre, I found myself looking suspiciously at people on the street, thinking who'd figure out that I'm not one of them. And then I realised - I am one of them. I'm not in the film myself. I've been completely engrossed in the film, and that is noteworthy. This is Ben Affleck's triumph on so many levels, and he is setting an extremely high bar for his follow-up projects. Let us hope they are half as good as "Argo," since that would still provide for some very good films. 10/10! Expand
  4. Oct 12, 2012
    10
    I think this might just be Mr. Affleck's masterpiece. Gone Baby Gone was great. The Town was Excellent. This is a near flawless film, the kind I cannot watch to look for mistakes because it is so absolutely engrossing start to finish. The performances, the execution, the script, the freshness of an important ingenious story to tell of a historical moment. All involved brought their A game for this one. Just see it and if you walk out without being able to describe how you felt about your experience with Argo, just accept that it just did it's job. It is what Cinema is all about. ANd if you walk out feeling a bit underwhelmed from the experience, that's okay. Give it some time to ingest and think about every detail. Then see it again. Alot of films beg to be seen more than once. Just remember, a film that leaves you thinking about it afterwards just did it's job. See Argo Now!!! Expand
  5. Oct 28, 2012
    9
    Great movie. It's action without punches and guns (at least for the main characters), and the acting is outstanding. Ben Affleck has a clear possibility to get at least a direction nod for the academy awards, and Cranston, Goodman, and Arkin have over the top performances too. A must see.
  6. Oct 28, 2012
    10
    A nice suspense throughout the movie, especially nearing the end. It is one of those movies that builds up every last detail then puts it all into action in a short amount of time at the end, and while you might want to see the plan finally put into action, the details they keep adding keep you interested throughout.
  7. Nov 28, 2012
    9
    Featuring a slew of brilliant performances and one of the most nail-biting climaxes I've witnessed in quite a while, "Argo" proves to be a brilliantly written and superbly directed thriller/drama.
  8. Dec 1, 2012
    9
    This is an amazing story if you enjoy sitting on the edge of your seat most of the time! The movie starts out fairly quickly, and it gets more and more exciting as the movie moves forward. The movie goer is never really sure what the end of the story might be (unless you remember the international news story). If you like movies about current history, this will fascinate you and keep you on the edge of your seat with excitement. Wonderful movie! Expect to be thrilled with all the action and suspense. Expand
  9. Oct 14, 2012
    9
    I'm sure it was difficult to weave an element of comedy in with the dramatic and the thriller aspects, but Affleck does it well. The movie is not as dramatic or as impactful as The Town, but for a movie based on true events, with its limiting nature, it's one of the best I've seen. They effectively establish 1980 Iran as a truly horrific place, and by doing this, the escape sequence made me feel as if my heart were going to beat out of my chest. For a movie like this, that's a good sign. Goodman and Aarkin are outstanding. As a side note, I wish the trailer had been a bit less comprehensive because most of the best and funniest lines I'd seen before. This is obviously true of many movies - you have to sell the darned thing - but it was glaring here. "If I"m going to make a fake movie, I'm going to make a fake hit!" Yes, it's funny, but I'd seen it 10 times before going in. Finally, the fact that this movie was released within weeks of the Libyan embassy murders made the opening sequence all the more chilling. I don't mean to suggest the movie was better because of the timing visa vis the deaths of civil servants, but it made the film even more relevant. Bottom line: it's not high art, but it's very entertaining. Expand
  10. Jun 4, 2013
    10
    "No question and hands down one of the best films of this year. Argo is an award contender that's for sure. With Affleck's fantastic direction and an amazing in depth story. Argo is a movie were going to be talking about for years and years to come." A+
  11. Dec 29, 2012
    9
    Ben Affleck has proved for a third time that he can direct. After the low key drama 'Gone Baby Gone' and the powerful thriller 'The Town', he comes with this well crafted piece, which is politically charged, has quickening pace and good dose of humor but above all filled with nerve-racking suspense. And like Clooney's (the other actor turned into one notable director) middle eastern political thriller 'Syriana', 'Argo' is Ben's best film yet. Expand
  12. Apr 6, 2013
    9
    Beautifully made with all everything from the costumes to the technology accurate to a tee. I loved the way the film was intercut with archive news footage of the time; this really gave the audience a sense of the world at that juncture. All the performances were excellent with Ben Affleck taking centre stage, but I really enjoyed seeing Alan Arkin as a Hollywood producer; he stole it for me! There was real tension towards the end of the film; it slowly builds for quite a long time and I found that quite masterful. It’s something that has been missing from many Hollywood films for a long time now but Affleck seems to have rediscovered the art. Because it‘s a film based in real events, there’s little time for character development and I think it suffers slightly because of it. Other than that, it has some interesting songs on the soundtrack and it’s well worth a look!

    SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    My score: 8.6/10
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  13. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    This is a glorious machine of a movie in which everything works. The problem is how to generate suspense when you know the ending from history. They have found a way==it's all performance and superb camera work. This is a big jump from Affleck from the smaller movies he has done so well, and his cast is superb. John Goodman and Alan Arkin should share an Oscar. Irresistible.
  14. Oct 13, 2012
    10
    Best movie of the year! Amazing casting, amazing representations, amazing ending, and most of all, amazing directing by Ben Affleck. A must see suspense/action of the year!
  15. Oct 12, 2012
    9
    Remember the days of Daredevil, Gigli, and Surviving Christmas? The days when Ben Affleck was everywhere, doing many films a year, most of which turned out horrid? Turns out all it took was for him to step behind the camera and start directing his own films to begin a new career as a person actually worth talking about again. With Gone Baby Gone and The Town, he met critical success, and with Argo his trend of successful films continues. Adapting a true-but-absurd story for Hollywood can be difficult, but its playful nature about it as well as tension-filled moments equate to another milestone in Affleck Expand
  16. Dec 20, 2012
    9
    I am a 16 year old girl who went to see this with a friend. It started as a history lesson, and if you are able to have an attention span, it turns out into a wonderful movie! Suspense, great acting (Bryan Cranston and Ben Affleck!) It deserves at least one oscar for writing. Humor is with John Goodman and Alan Arkin. Fantastic movie! I was cheering at the end! Well done, Ben! Make more movies!
  17. Feb 23, 2013
    10
    Unbelievably great movie! I had some trepidation if Affleck could bring this very serious story to the screen with as much emotion and respect required for this story. I hoped he could bring out the feelings of the true life players in this true story. Well, Ben brought his A game and then some. I'm writing this the day before Oscar night and wonder how this didn't get him a best actor nomination. I think he was tremendous in acting directing! I was on the edge of my seat through the whole movie; though I knew the outcome. I believe this is exceptional movie that stays true to the story. I believe Victor Gather should have gotten the nomination for supporting role rather than Alan Arkin; though his performance is good. First movie I've ever given 10 stars on. Expand
  18. Mar 1, 2013
    10
    Argo is a success. This film is one of the ones that i will remember my whole life. The last 30 mins are absolutely heart-pounding and i just love how ben affleck tells the story of Tony Mendez through his direction and acting. Argo is one of the best.
  19. Jan 21, 2013
    9
    I am not a huge Ben Affleck fan, Reindeer Games, Daredevil, Gigli, really. I decided to watch this movie after seeing Ben Affleck's movie win a Golden Globe. Boy was I surprised! Very good movie! It doesn't matter if you are familiar with that time in our history or not. The story being told will pull you in, and have you thinking can this guy pull this off? Surprisingly, I enjoyed all of the performances by these fine actors. I will go out in a limb to say, Mr. Affleck probably put a lot at stake in making this movie. Well played Mr. Affleck! Having George Clooney along for the ride was very smart too. Go see this movie. Collapse Expand
  20. Oct 13, 2012
    9
    The movie is fantastic. Perhaps one of the best movies I've ever seen by Ben Afleck in quite awhile. For a novice Director he did some outstanding job. The dialogue is great, the suspense is deafening as the audience holds it collective breath; and the comedic lines uttered, especially by Alan Arkin, hit the mark. Definitely OSCAR worthy! Don't miss it.
  21. Oct 13, 2012
    9
    Affleck moves out of Boston and takes on the land of the mullahs. It's a true story which he embellishes for dramatic affect and the last half hour have us on the edge of our seats. At this time of our national elections with all of it's negativism this is a breath of fresh air for Americans. We did something right, with a lot of help from our Canadian friends, and Affleck should be commended for keeping down the jingoism and focusing on the basic heroism of those we'll never know. If you want to have the true story go to CIA site and type in Argo. Expand
  22. Oct 12, 2012
    9
    A good mix of suspense and action. Ben Aflec does a good job in both acting and directing. The movie is done in the Alfred **** style of suspense.
  23. Dec 29, 2012
    9
    A great piece of cinema and a thriller that contains not only a great story based right from history, but a good cast and a keen grip that keeps you glued to the screen. The plot doesn't move too fast and isn't too over the top in action, but it never seems to leave you without much to pay attention to either. Several hilarious moments and lines of dialogue are sprinkled throughout, with a constant and progressive tension which never lets go. Overall, it paints an interesting picture about the Iranian Hostage Crisis, gives you some insight into the CIA and foreign embassies, and leaves you satisfied. Expand
  24. Jan 14, 2013
    9
    This is an impressive offering from Ben Affleck, who is finally emerging from the Hollywood Hall of Lame to remake a name for himself. He was always talented, but fell out of favour after Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Gigli and his bizarre and very public relationship with Jennifer Lopez. I think he's redeemed himself with Argo, a fast-paced thriller based on the true story of the rescue of six American diplomats from Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Stranger than fiction, the story is compelling and emotional. If you like a feel-good movie with some substance, you'll find it here. Some reviewers here found the film boring (I certainly did not - I barely blinked for the duration) and others have criticised the film for it's pro-American bias and for glossing over the complexities of the diplomatic crisis itself, and the plight of Iranians in revolutionary Iran. I think this criticism is legitimate, but Affleck can't please both groups: the film has to strike a balance between historical accuracy and theatricality. The scope of the film is limited, but it tells its story well. Affleck outs in a solid performance as CIA operative Tony Mendez. His character looks chronically depressed much of the time, and I suspect he is, as he's separated from his wife and child and apparently an alcoholic. There is a sense from the beginning of the film that this mission, if successful, could redeem him, and he puts everything on the line to achieve that. Perhaps with the exception of Tate Donovan, the hostages themselves are not very engaging characters. Maybe that's the point. John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston on the other hand play witty, warm and engaging characters, and with great verve. Sheila Vand is impressive as Sahar, Iranian maid to the Canadian ambassador, who helps the hostages and later escapes to Iraq. Victor Garber is great as Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor, as is Page Leong as his wife Pat. The movie itself recreates the slightly washed-out aesthetic of a late 1970's film beautifully, so it blends seamlessly with contemporaneous documentary footage, and some of what I thought I was documentary footage was actually recreated: real and staged images are displayed side by side during the end credits, as well as pictures of the actual people involved, so we can see how closely the producers recreated the hairstyles, FACIAL-hair-styles, horn-rimmed glasses and polyester waistcoats of the real-life characters who wore them. Alexandre Desplat's soundtrack is evocative, except for a track featuring uilleann pipes in a scene with Ben Affleck (what an Irish folk instrument is doing in a movie about Americans and Canadians in Iran is beyond me). Ultimately I found the film really gripping and fulfilling. There's no underestimating the power of a happy ending, and in a time of ceaseless unrest in the Middle East, a small story of triumph doesn't go astray once in a while. I'm surprised that Argo was largely overlooked it the Oscar nominations, and thrilled that it won best dramatic film, and Affleck best director, at the Golden Globes. I think it's deserved. Collapse
  25. Oct 17, 2012
    10
    I honestly don't know what to tell you other than that this movie is just flat out great. Argo will have you engaged from the opening credits to the ending credits. Its funny, it's suspenseful (especially if you don't know the whole story behind it), its intriguing, its just flat out genius. I must tip my hat off to Mr. Ben Affleck on another job well done from both sides of the camera. If you enjoy great cinema then what are you possibly waiting for? You must see Argo. I must also add that i think this is probably the best and most powerful cast i've EVER seen in a film before. Argo is certainly a must-see! 10/10 Expand
  26. Oct 13, 2012
    9
    Really solid film, super suspenseful and has you wondering down to the wire. Although I looked up details after and it is not overly accurate, it is a great film. Also, the similarities in some of the characters to their real counterparts was really awesome to see.
  27. Apr 3, 2013
    10
    THE BEST movie since Gladiator (2000)!!! All those tension, all those mystery, with some good humor...
    highly recommended!!!
  28. Oct 15, 2012
    10
    Totally blown away by this movie. They really captured the tension during this time in history. Affleck really nails it as a director and actor, showing that he has the chops for this sort of serious work. Though there are some light comedic elements, it's not over wrought or disrespectful to the core material. Characters seem organic and aware of whats going on. Most importantly it really captures the heroism of everyone on both sides of the Canadian and America line. Best thriller of recent years for sure! Expand
  29. May 8, 2013
    10
    Argo makes all the right moves and deviates greatly from what is expected from such a serious situation as the the Iranian hostage crisis.
    Ben Affleck continues his commanding streak as director and lead actor, he takes on a film based on a true story, and what a story it is. Affleck plays Tony Mendez, a CIA operative whose speciality is exfiltration, and when he is brought in to the fold
    after six embassy workers in Iran escape, he must devise a plan to safely rescue them from Iranian rule. This plan has of course went down in history, whether for its riskiness, stupidity or genius is anyone's guess.
    Mendez himself carries out the task, an elaborate plan is set in motion where he, and the six people he plans to rescue, are a film crew who are location scouting in Iran, they all have fake identities and Argo proves that everything is about detail, a fake script, storyboard, marketing tools and even press involvement for a film that will never actually exist, simply for the fact that getting in is not the problem, but getting out is a whole different story.
    There are plenty of colourful characters that light up this wonderful thriller, Alan Arkin, John Goodman and Bryan Cranston join Affleck in creating a very nostalgic and peak into the world of 1970s operations. Arkins portrayal of Lester Siegel is brilliant and one of the highlights of the film, while Affleck perfectly captures the dad in Mendez, who just wants to be with his family. Of course the the real winning formula of the film is the ludicrous idea of the fake movie to get in and out of Iran, and Argo (which is also what the fake film is called) manages to give a realistic and nerve-wracking account of just how difficult and frightening it was to be an American with the the boundaries of Iran, something we are shown as the credits role, when various screens from the film are put against the real images taken all those years ago.
    Diretor Affleck continues to surpass all expectations and is truly solidifying himself as one of the most talented and sought after directors in our generation, is ability to to take various pivotal moments within a character and create a rousing and entertaining story are becoming unmatched, he has taken a very serious crisis and managed to create a often humorous yet thrilling affair, with a final act that will definitely leave you at the edge of your seat, time is indeed of the essence.
    If any film deserved Oscar recognition, it was Argo, its taste for nostalgia while taking on a subject that only became declassified almost 20 years after the crisis. It is a true blend of genres that has created a winning film through and through.
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  30. Mar 9, 2013
    9
    While a sizeable proportion of America got caught up with whether or not Tony Mendez should be considered hispanic or not, the rest of us experienced one of Ben Affleck's better performances in a movie that essentially cements his reputation as a 5-star director. Ben Affleck is the new Oliver Stone. No, let me rephrase that Oliver Stone wishes he was Ben Affleck...
  31. Nov 9, 2012
    10
    Argo-Nuts!

    Ben Affleck is the new Clint Eastwood, but better; not only is he the finest actor turned director, but he makes the barely moving Eastwood look like an emoting Brando bellowing 'Stella! at the foot of the stairs. Wooden is high praise indeed for his lead (or is it lead?) performance.

    Argo is his third outing and manages to surpass The Town and Gone Baby Gone. Affleck
    loves tightly plotted, unflashy thrillers, and this 'true story' is the tightest, unflashiest bit of brilliance yet. I thought he would do a George V. Higgins first, but no. Someone less good did Cogan's Trade. The story is a barely credible account of how a CIA man - with Canadian help - rescued 6 Americans from wacky Iran in 1980. It is nail biting, re-creates the mood precisely, and features great non-performances from the cast - it almost plays as a documentary in Iran, but that is down to the skill of the cast and Affleck.

    Walking off with the acting honors are John Goodman and Alan Arkin, who, back in La La Land, supply a fake Hollywood backstory for the escape. They are funny, sharp and add the spice that the rest of the film deliberately avoids like poison. The script is exemplarly, tight, believable, and compelling.

    Films this good never win Oscars. They are not flashy enough, emotional enough, and they never do great box office. But they do win Blockies - my own awards.

    I am nominating Argo for Best Picture and Affleck for Best Director. It has a shot at winning both, depending on how the rest of 2012 goes.
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  32. Dec 1, 2012
    9
    This movie will not cater for everyone. It has a feeling of old spy movies and manages to mix in an engaging way various genres: drama, action, thriller, and comedy about Hollywood. Despite the characters lack more depth and the movie does not focus on the global situation (which could add to the thrill), I think Affleck squeezed every drop of potential for success from a crazy and out-of-the-box-thinking story, making it accessible and entertaining for the modern viewer, who is not used to old-school spy movies. Chapeau to both Affleck and the CIA. Expand
  33. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    Loved the movie. For a change, we see a government agency functioning well, in this case, the CIA. The cooperation rendered by the Canadians is also wonderful to see. This offsets the typical news items we hear about all day. There are still some highly functional people out there, although there are fewer and fewer of them. Tony Mendez has been totally unknown to most people until now. A true hero. I salute him.
    Kudos to Ben Affleck for a thrilling film. He's grown up right before our eyes, and is now a substantive director.
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  34. Jan 3, 2013
    9
    Argo is one hell of a movie. It is tense, thrilling and sensational. Ben Affleck has put together a film that has hardly any flaws and a film that is gripping and captivating. A truly great American story.
  35. Apr 9, 2013
    9
    It felt like the movie started out a little slow. But, that feeling went away pretty quickly.

    Argo is easily one of the best movies of 2012. Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and the rest of the crew deliver an Oscar-worthy performance.
  36. Dec 23, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I must say this movie is just amazing.
    I did not know about the Canadian Caper incident but now i know more than anything.

    This is Ben Affleck's Masterpiece and it is breathtaking.
    Ben plays the master of disguise Tony Mendez and is quite a performance.
    Every actor especially who plays the trapped civialians are truly good.
    no wonder it has won an Oscar for Best movie and Best Adapted screenplay

    Tense,dark,gloomy,clever and occasionally funny,
    it is so entertaining and not too long
    you would wonder how short it was.

    Alan Arkin really makes us laugh with his clever jokes .
    Cinematography is top-notch.
    The locations,sets and everything about this movie is so great.
    The climax is incredible so are the credits.

    R.I.P the victims and Praise the lord who sent a real hero to save those people and all the people who were on this case helping them.

    In Nutshell,Argo is masterpiece of modern film making.
    it makes us so happy so you cannot resist without saying "Argo f**k yourself.
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  37. Mar 8, 2014
    9
    The buildup was a bit slow, but once it gets going, it's just awesome. It's thrilling, suspenseful, and well-directed. I mean, just think about the dialogue and the acting, and this movie really stands out.
  38. Nov 25, 2012
    10
    As we all know that majority of the films that are inspired by true events do not work properly, they don
  39. Mar 8, 2013
    9
    A wonderful film with lovely attention to detail. From the old school Warner logo to the side-by-side comparison shots at the end, Argo has clearly had a lot of work put into, what is, a fairly simple plot. It is engrossing throughout as the situation worsens and the bizarre rescue plot looks doomed to failure. A somewhat sedate pace is amped up towards the last half hour. Details are probably fudged for dramatic tension but the nice thing is that no one member of the cast goes for the obvious grandstanding. Even Affleck resists at points where a more overblown performance would have taken away from the film.

    The film looks great, with a great late 70's cinema feel. The soundtrack has some nice tunes in there as well to carry the mode. Pity John Goodman doesnt get to shine as much as I'd like but thats a minor quibble. Is it worth the oscar? How should I know, but it is worth the two hours of your time.
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  40. Nov 27, 2012
    9
    This movie was enjoyable though not for what I thought it would be. My friends and I walked in not knowing what to expect and came out pleased. I was expecting a bit of action, of which, there was little to none which is not a bad thing for this type of movie. Suspense is what the movie rides on and it does that well, especially towards the end. The build up has a good mix of suspense, surprise, disbelief, and good writing with a nice amount of comedy. All around a good experience and I would recommend it. Expand
  41. Mar 22, 2013
    9
    Impresionante, la puesta en escena, la interpretación, y lo crehíble de la historia aunque parezca increhíble. Ben Affleck extraordinario, convirtiendo al actor en un buenísimo director.
  42. Oct 16, 2012
    10
    Excellent movie. The 1979 Hostage Crisis from a side you never knew. Sets, costuming, music all true to late 70"s. Thrilling. Based on a true story embellished to make an exciting movie. See it.
  43. Oct 13, 2012
    9
    http://www.meetup.com/Long-Island-Film-Feast-Sunday-Funday-Meetup/.I am the organizer of this movie group. I have 219 members and we have seen 268 movies in the last 3 years. We critique and rate each movie, as we have dinner after each movie each week. We are anxiously awaiting seeing this movie tomorrow...Thank you...Dr. Marlene [Organizer]
  44. Oct 13, 2012
    9
    Ben Affleck has done it again -- awesome movie. I went in knowing little about what the movie was about. I went because MetaCritic reported that critics praise. And it is an awesome story -- that rare smart thriller. It showed the challenging decisions that government faces... and the feds who have to make them. Sensational acting by Alan Arkin as Lester Siegel. If the rest of the cast wasn't so good, he would have stolen the show.
    Great acting; great directing; amazing story
    Highly recommend.
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  45. Nov 1, 2012
    9
    No doubt in my mind that Ben Affleck is one of the best actor turned directors. With sharp writing and a good amount of suspense, "Argo" is a classy, inventive thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat.
  46. Nov 3, 2012
    9
    Even though you know the outcome, hostages are freed, it was still a very engaging movie. There was intense dialogue and suspense that kept you on the edge. This was an entertaining way to capture history and understand the details of this event. Congratulations Ben Affleck.
  47. Nov 5, 2012
    9
    Affleck proves here that he's a top notch director. The crew of Argo never made a mistake; the story is represented here as best as its going to be anywhere. Alan Arkin and John Goodman are both terrific in their supporting roles.
  48. Nov 30, 2012
    10
    Argo is that rare thriller that stuns on multiple levels and not just for its suspense. It will not only guarantee that you have bitten all of your nails off by the end, but it provides a spirited yet informative attitude that demands admiration. The sets look amazing, the script will never cease to grab your attention, and Affleck's directing is truly top-notch as he presents careful insight into every detail of the situation being illustrated on-screen. At times where it should be boring and filled with information that sets up the rest of the movie, it is full of energy, which is probably the greatest compliment I could give the movie. Everything is perfectly reasonable in all of its serious and light-hearted moments alike. Consistent reminders keep in mind that this is an actual true story which makes Argo all the more interesting. The cast as a whole puts on a strong performance which largely benefits from Affleck's direction as properly shifts the movie's tones. He creates a subtle blend between the heart-pounding and fast-paced situations that the characters are forced upon, with the awareness of its own whimsical feel. This movie is great entertainment swimming in thrills, humor and historical details that makes this movie one of the best of the year. Expand
  49. Jul 29, 2013
    9
    "Gone Baby Gone," "The Town," and now "Argo," Ben Affleck scores a hat trick with three acclaimed films that exhibit his impressive command behind the camera. Producing the film with George Clooney and Grat Heslov, who worked with Mr. Affleck for the award winning "Good Night, and Good Luck,” (2005) "Argo" is also based on history, with its fair share of dramatic license, that uniquely incorporates Hollywood during the tumultuous times of the Iran hostage crisis of the late 70's to early 80's.

    “Argo” opens with a compelling re-creation of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Iran by militant students. It's November 4, 1979 and the world is about to change. Civilians force their way into the Embassy slowly, then, once the gates are forced open, in droves. Employees and diplomats rush to shred and incinerate all sensitive material before the building is completely overtaken. Six of them Bob Anders (Tate Donovan), Lee Schatz (Rory Cochrane), Mark and Cora Lijek (Christopher Denham and Clea DuVall), and Joe and Kathy Stafford (Scoot McNairy and Kerry Bishe) escape and make it to the residence of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor (Victor Garber), where they are hidden for nearly 3 months.

    The State Department, helped by the CIA, decides to mount a rescue mission. By mid-January, concerns are rising that, if the diplomats aren't smuggled out of Iran, they may be captured and publicly executed. The Canadian government, concerned about the safety of the ambassador and his staff, is also applying pressure. CIA director Jack O'Donnell (Bryan Cranston) calls in agent Tony Mendez (Affleck), an infiltration expert, to devise a plan to get the six people out. The primary problem is that there is no viable reason why a half-dozen North Americans would be wandering Tehran. With the help of Hollywood make-up artist John Chambers (John Goodman) and producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin), Tony establishes a fake production company for a cheesy sci-fi movie called “Argo,” and devises a cover story that will hopefully allow them to pass through security at the airport and board a Swiss Air flight.

    “Argo,” is directed with flair and style by an admired actor/director, and as a period recreation it is just about flawless. There is a notable lack of on-screen bloodshed or violence, confident in its compelling story to invoke edge-of-your-seat tension. The movie has a surprisingly celebratory, feel-good tone rather than dwelling on any political overtones or commentary. The film is made to resemble something coming out of that era, integrating archive footage that lends authenticity to the retelling of the "Canadian Caper.”

    A closing-credits side-by-side montage shows to what lengths Affleck has gone to re-create the real-life places and people of "Argo,” and its his impressive command behind the camera the staging, editing, and the calibrated progression of the story, especially its harrowing final moments that solidifies Mr. Affleck as a talented and formidable director. "Argo" deserves to find the discerning audience it has been made for: After all, if we buy tickets, it hopefully leads to more intelligent, sophisticated filmmaking.
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  50. Dec 9, 2012
    10
    Wonderfully directed and acted very subtly by Ben affleck, this film was a total surprise. Full of both tension and humour, the two complimented each other to sublime effect. The best film of 2012.
  51. Jan 17, 2013
    9
    Nice movie, again Ben Affleck made an amazing film
  52. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    "Argo" is filled with a cast so impeccably acted and a style astoundingly directed. This thriller poises as Ben Affleck's best and perhaps his most masterful as a director of the cinema, a triumphant of the year that unleashes a surge of blood-pumping surprise and comical wit.
  53. Feb 6, 2013
    10
    Excellent, understated film. Not that realistic, and as over-simplified as any true story has to be, but the detail and drama are really well done, and the acting is perfectly understated (apart from Arkin, who is just good fun). I don't follow the criticism that the film is pro-US propaganda. It unflinchingly (and accurately) lays the balme for many of Iran's woes at US foreign policy's door, where they belong. And then tells a cracking, terrific story. Expand
  54. Jan 6, 2013
    10
    Everything about this movie I love, the acting is great, the story is excellent and Affleck shows that he is becoming a great director. It is an engaging view on the foreign dealings between US and Iran. The story is tense and riveting but is broken up by the create change of pace comedy from John Goodman and Alan Arkin. I've seen Lincoln, Les Miserables, Looper, and many other great movies this year but Argo is my pick for the best! Expand
  55. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    This is not my favorite film of the year but it is the most well made film of the year on an all around score. It lacks my emotional captivation however it brings all the well moving parts of a hot evenly paced thriller (of sorts). It brings a fantastic script alive and I may forgive Affleck for faults in his previous career stumbles.
  56. Jan 16, 2013
    9
    I was skeptical and not a big Ben Affleck fan, but this was good, gripping and good acting by all. I wasn't familiar with the story, though I was alive when this happened. Good movie overall. Maybe made more suspenseful than real life, from what I read, but that's hollywood. right? Good story and took some balls to pull it off.
  57. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    Argo is a brilliant and tense thriller directed by Ben Affleck, and has proven to me that after three films, Affleck may be one of the most talented directors in the current age of Hollywood. Ben Affleck has had a bumpy career with his acting, I mean he has sucked (
  58. Jan 25, 2013
    9
    This movie was excellent, had me sweating at the beginning and end. Affleck managed to tell an important scene in history while also providing an entertaining and witty screenplay along with great acting. I'm really hoping Argo will get an Oscar. And to those who disliked the movie "Argo **** yourself!"
  59. Mar 30, 2013
    10
    I was completely surprised by this movie. I thought it was going to be dull, but every line spoken is either interesting or funny. Very suspenseful. Must watch!
  60. Mar 17, 2013
    10
    lo deja a uno sin aliento ,argo es una obra maestra bien pensada y ejecutada pero lo que mas marca a argo con una película excepcional es su ultimo acto donde los americanos se suben al avión ira-ni
  61. Feb 25, 2013
    9
    True story excellent direction and storyline absolute deserve the best film of 2012! Exciting dark story A good movie without past history story, so it bring a original thinking on this movie.
  62. Apr 6, 2013
    10
    Argo is absolutely incredible. I have never had encountered so much suspense in a single movie. The plot was splendid, the acting was amazing, and the plan of Tony Mendez was crazy. I felt that this movie was very serious, but had sets of comic relief, with Lester and John Chambers. Overall, this movie has soared into being one of my favorite movies and I suggest everyone should check it out.
  63. Mar 10, 2013
    9
    Wow who could believe that Ben Affleck would become this good of a director. Argo is his best work to date and lined with a great cast including Affleck himself, this film has some very suspenseful moments.
  64. Mar 24, 2013
    10
    Argo is magnificently brilliant in every way. It's perfect in terms of espeonauge and story telling (even though it's based on a true story). Not only was there great acting, but director, Ben Affleck, reels in some great acting as well. But overall, Affleck has given us an incredible experience of how far one man will go to save the lives of others.
  65. Mar 26, 2013
    10
    Argo is a true thriller, bringing together suspense as well as an edge-of-your-seat experience. Were the people able to get out alright? I was granted a solid and well developed answer to this question. Unbelievable.
  66. Mar 31, 2013
    9
    Despite some historical inaccuracies and having a pro-American approach, this is a fast paced political thriller which also has some moments of comedy (from Alan Arkin in one of his best roles) under the direction of star Ben Affleck who has now become something of a pro at making edge-of-your-seat movies. One of the best of 2012.
  67. Apr 20, 2013
    9
    Truth by chance. That is what Argo is. What Ben Affleck did is he took a really really awkward 'true' story and made a goddamn movie with it. So, it's rather funny how more serious things are portrayed in this film with true transparency and real ease. What more to say? You have to spend 120 minutes of your life being spellbound or damned by watching this. And only then you'll probably can decide whether to kiss me or to shoot me. Well, I might answer, 'Argo, damn yourself!' (They don't wanna let me write what I actually want to.) Expand
  68. May 12, 2013
    9
    Argo is an intense thriller with almost no shots fired or over-the-top action. And the fact that it all actually happend makes it even more intense. The humor is great, the cast is brilliant, the shots look good, it all makes this movie so enjoyeble to watch. I highly recommend Argo, one of the best films of 2012!
  69. Apr 27, 2013
    10
    A shocking movie full good quality Actors and Actions Magnificent like Goodman and Alan Arkin Jhon without removing the Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston keeps you in the seat expectant that happen in the movie is full of stress and Action
  70. Jul 3, 2013
    10
    Amazing, well acted, well directed, gorgeous, breathtaking, suspenseful, amazing, well shot, wonderfully executed, and the list goes on and on. Argo, is a truly unique story and what makes it more unique is that all the events in the film actually happened. Argo is gold! A cinematic experience that will keep you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Its good old fashioned suspenseful excitement that is complete eye candy. I guarantee that ANYONE who watches this movie will enjoy it in any way, shape or form. Go watch Argo! Expand
  71. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A beautiful film that was nailed to the people, because this movie was made about my country.
    I had got a movie.
    Oscar was really the writing life.
    Mr. Affleck hurt.
    Blowing hot
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  72. Jul 4, 2013
    10
    A triumphant piece of cinema. Argo consists of tension, sincerity, mystery, artistic responsibility, entertainment value, technical expertise, cinematography that seems like eye candy to the viewers and starling performances delivered by a cast of breakthrough actors. After years of experience in the movie world, I think Affleck has finally given us his masterpiece. This is a near flawless film given to us with an old-school espionage thrill ride with a truly flawless script along with dialogue that offers us with many memorable quotes and sarcastic and witty comedic relief. Every actor on screen does his or her job but there were three supporting actors that stole the every scene they were in: Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman. A film worth remembering. Expand
  73. Sep 21, 2013
    9
    One of a kind movie! Ben Affleck does a great job directing and portraying the main character. You hold your breath every step of the way until the end. It's unbelievable that it was based on a true CIA story. It's a real life Mission Impossible. The movie contains every detail from the characters to the era fashion. Clean movie and historic film for the family to watch, no profanity or nudity.
  74. Dec 14, 2013
    10
    The third movie in direction for Ben Affleck brings the world of old fashioned thriller movie into 2012 which is about 6 Americans trapped in Iraq ,the movie is outstanding directing ,acting great script is just WOW!
  75. Jul 17, 2014
    9
    This is a well done film by Ben Affleck who gives sharp direction and acting to this movie. It's triumphant and thrilling. Great performances from Affleck, Cranston, Alda, Goodman and the supporting cast
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.