User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 809 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 809

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  1. 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"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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  2. Jul 25, 2013
    3
    how the critics gave this movie an 8 out of 10 is beyond me! i guess critics are into incredibly bland movies or they must've got paid to give this movie a high score! this movie drags; the dialogue is uninteresting, the pace drags, there is no suspense or thrills! the only thrill i got was the beginning of the movie and when theyre riding through the crowd of angry israel's! other thanhow the critics gave this movie an 8 out of 10 is beyond me! i guess critics are into incredibly bland movies or they must've got paid to give this movie a high score! this movie drags; the dialogue is uninteresting, the pace drags, there is no suspense or thrills! the only thrill i got was the beginning of the movie and when theyre riding through the crowd of angry israel's! other than that though this movie was bland, dry, and devoid of any suspense or thrills! the only reason why im not giving this turd bomb a 0 out of 10 is because the popcorn they gave me at the theatre was damn good! i got more entertainment hearing the crunch of the popcorn as i chewed it! i got more entertainment out playing with my thumbs!

    3 out of 10!

    the only postives i can give this movie is the beginning, the bus ride, and the popcorn i had while watching the movie! send this piece of back to the vagabonds of hell from whence it came from!
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  3. Jul 23, 2013
    7
    I liked Argo. In fact I even bought it on DVD. It's a very well made movie and it's entertaining. Afleck directs it with attention to detail and the story is rendered with a well written screenplay. The acting is solid from all of the cast and there are some tense and exciting moments. It also has a very authentic 70's feel, even utilizing vintage styled cinematography at times. AllI liked Argo. In fact I even bought it on DVD. It's a very well made movie and it's entertaining. Afleck directs it with attention to detail and the story is rendered with a well written screenplay. The acting is solid from all of the cast and there are some tense and exciting moments. It also has a very authentic 70's feel, even utilizing vintage styled cinematography at times. All of that being said, I still found it to be very overrated. Yes there are some tense moments, but I wished there were even more, and the ones in the film, except for the beginning, could have been even tenser, seeing what Afleck did with The Town. The car chase at the end felt fake for some reason and some other scenes felt kinda flat too. Yes it's overall a good movie and another success for Afleck, but I don't think it deserved best picture. I think it should have went to Zero Dark Thirty, or Django Unchained, even though they had slimmer chances of winning than the hostages had of making it out alive. Expand
  4. 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 flawlessA 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
  5. 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 suspensefulAmazing, 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
  6. 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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  7. 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
  8. 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+
  9. May 18, 2013
    7
    In the end, this was kind of underwhelming. The performances are fine (although Affleck doesn't do much aside from looking glum), the recreation of the events using real footage is excellently done, and the story is quite compelling, but the problem is with the script. Dialogue tends toward cliche at times and the moments of tension feel overly manufactured. The film is strongest in itsIn the end, this was kind of underwhelming. The performances are fine (although Affleck doesn't do much aside from looking glum), the recreation of the events using real footage is excellently done, and the story is quite compelling, but the problem is with the script. Dialogue tends toward cliche at times and the moments of tension feel overly manufactured. The film is strongest in its opening sequence as the hostage crisis unfolds, and in the scenes shared with John Goodman and Alan Arkin who have a lot of fun with their roles. The ending lays on the 'America Always Triumphs' adage pretty thick; it's easy to see how it won Best Film at the Oscars. Solid, if uninspiring. Expand
  10. 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!
  11. May 11, 2013
    7
    as most people i was over-excited to watch argo because my all time favorite movies are the ones based on true stories the movie have a good reputation an Oscar for best picture and add-in the fact that i love the movies directed by ben affleck so was the excitement worth it unfortunately no the movie is good not great and it have so many elements missing first of all it is one ofas most people i was over-excited to watch argo because my all time favorite movies are the ones based on true stories the movie have a good reputation an Oscar for best picture and add-in the fact that i love the movies directed by ben affleck so was the excitement worth it unfortunately no the movie is good not great and it have so many elements missing first of all it is one of the best Rescues in U.S history that we know of so it have to be intense but the fact that it's not intense only in a few scenes far away from eachother with some cold acting by ben affleck and not even a single intense acting scene and the fact that there isn't a soundtrack until the second half of the movie makes you disconnect from the story every 10 minutes i mean it's pretty obvious giving that ben affleck didn't recieve an Oscar for best directing because of these missing elements that made the movie a little bit disappointing but i give a pledge to the movie for showing real events with characters as exact as the real people and shine a light on those people because of what they have gone through. Expand
  12. May 10, 2013
    8
    Compared to the book basis is laughable, but with cinematographic look is very interesting, because its narrative line is modern and funny, but knows how to be serious and rough, the dialogues are otimos especially when the topic is holiwood, the second best thing is the performance of Alan Arkin, who gives a satirical tone in the dialogues, another very interesting thing is the accuracyCompared to the book basis is laughable, but with cinematographic look is very interesting, because its narrative line is modern and funny, but knows how to be serious and rough, the dialogues are otimos especially when the topic is holiwood, the second best thing is the performance of Alan Arkin, who gives a satirical tone in the dialogues, another very interesting thing is the accuracy of the portrayal of facts acontecidos.Esse film proves that Ben Afleck can indeed perform well and drive good shape. Expand
  13. 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
    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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  14. 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
  15. 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 canTruth 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
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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 forBeautifully 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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  20. Apr 3, 2013
    10
    THE BEST movie since Gladiator (2000)!!! All those tension, all those mystery, with some good humor...
    highly recommended!!!
  21. Apr 2, 2013
    8
    Argo is tense and exciting with well written characters. The recognizable names help push it to greater heights. I give this film 83%.
  22. Apr 1, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. More should have happened in this movie. It doesn't seem that way at first glance, but....don't you feel like they should have been questioned more and had more intense moments? In the second half of the movie I was prepared to handle a bunch of vigorous interrigations, but it just didn't happen. One single questioning period at the end is all that really stuck out. Anyways besides that one complaint it was a good show throughout. Expand
  23. Apr 1, 2013
    8
    This year's top films: Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Argo. Without comparison, Argo is a fine film. Tension is high, story is strong, and acting all around is good. With comparison however, I'm afraid it just doesn't measure up with Lincoln or Zero Dark Thirty. I'm afraid Argo got the "pity vote" this year......but I suppose it still pays the bills, right Ben? A win is a win.
  24. Mar 31, 2013
    8
    I went into watching Argo with an open mind as I was unfamiliar with the subject matter. I decided to watch it due to its high rating. All I can say is that I'm glad I gave it a try. With Argo you get an intelligent thriller packed with plenty of suspense and tension (particularly the last 30 minutes). All the main cast put on solid performances Affleck was good, but I felt John GoodmanI went into watching Argo with an open mind as I was unfamiliar with the subject matter. I decided to watch it due to its high rating. All I can say is that I'm glad I gave it a try. With Argo you get an intelligent thriller packed with plenty of suspense and tension (particularly the last 30 minutes). All the main cast put on solid performances Affleck was good, but I felt John Goodman was excellent in the limited screen time that he had). The plot is good and it unfolds at an even pace, I didn't feel that there were any scenes that were dragged out for too long. My only gripe was the airport chase scene towards the end which I felt was totally unrealistic.

    Having said that, I would say Argo is still highly recommended viewing. Enjoy!
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  25. 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.
  26. Mar 31, 2013
    3
    A very mediocre piece of U.S patriotic drama. That the film took out the Oscar for Best Picture is a sad reflection on the dim witted fervour of The Academy. Despite an honest opening sequence that attempts to give some sketch of the destructive involvement of the CIA in Iran, the film plunges straight into an overt juxtaposition of idyllic American civilisation and the barbarism of theA very mediocre piece of U.S patriotic drama. That the film took out the Oscar for Best Picture is a sad reflection on the dim witted fervour of The Academy. Despite an honest opening sequence that attempts to give some sketch of the destructive involvement of the CIA in Iran, the film plunges straight into an overt juxtaposition of idyllic American civilisation and the barbarism of the middle east that is rife and disturbing. The vilification of the Iranian people and the shallow representation of the context of the tragic circumstances destroys the integrity of the film on all levels.
    There are some acute performances in small places, but with Affleck on screen most of the time, everything is rendered pretty flat and monochrome. Shocker.
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  27. 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!
  28. 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.
  29. Mar 29, 2013
    7
    If I were to criticize the film I’d have to say is that it was overrated. It was good but it was not that good. I quite honestly was not invested the whole time only at certain parts. Maybe this is not my kind of film. Maybe I’m just not used to the style. I don’t know for whatever reason the movie did not suck me in the way it did lots of critics. Frequently in the film I was bored. IIf I were to criticize the film I’d have to say is that it was overrated. It was good but it was not that good. I quite honestly was not invested the whole time only at certain parts. Maybe this is not my kind of film. Maybe I’m just not used to the style. I don’t know for whatever reason the movie did not suck me in the way it did lots of critics. Frequently in the film I was bored. I don’t know if the characters and story were not interesting, if it was the amount of dialogue; but for whatever reason I just thought it was good. Maybe if the film took more liberties from the actual event by creating false events to create more tension and excitement, the actors gave stronger performances, and the script a little tighter I would have really enjoyed this film; but as it is the film is just good. Way too overrated by critics if you ask me. Expand
  30. Mar 29, 2013
    8
    IF this movie is an 8 and frankly I gave it an 8 mainly because it won the Oscar for best film it is certainly a weak 8. While an interesting film, there is little special going on here. This really makes one wonder about the entire awards process. An entertaining two hours, but nothing that will leave you feeling you have seen something extraordinary.
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.