User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 771 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 771

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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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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  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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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  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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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  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. 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!
  12. 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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  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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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  18. Apr 3, 2013
    10
    THE BEST movie since Gladiator (2000)!!! All those tension, all those mystery, with some good humor...
    highly recommended!!!
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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...
  28. 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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  29. 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.
  30. 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.
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.