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. 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.
  2. Mar 21, 2013
    7
    Argo doesn't quite succeed entirely. Despite excelling in its screenplay, structure, pacing and especially its cinematography; Argo delivers not-so stunning acting performances (apart from Alan Arkin- who steals the show) and its character construction is rather unsatisfying- Tony Mendez never really strays beyond the cliche of a workaholic divorcee. Overall, its a nice little piece of American propaganda, as well as being a competent thriller, but it doesn't wholly fulfil its promise. Expand
  3. Mar 21, 2013
    8
    Disregarding some factual controversy and looking at it solely as a film, Argo is quite well made. The performances are great and the film does a good job of keeping things moving. However, when compared to some other pictures from this year I don't know that I'd agree that its "Best Picture" good.
  4. 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
  5. Mar 17, 2013
    2
    This is a boring story. A CIA agent flies a commercial airliner into Tehran, and flies out two days later with six endangered Americans. There is no firefight, no border crossing, not even a romantic subplot. The entire appeal of this movie is that it is historical "based on true events" says the promo but it turns out the movie has little to do with what actually happened in 1980. The CIA played a small part in the rescue, the Canadians did all the work, and most of the scenes are complete bunk. Given the lack of historical content, Ben Affleck could have thrown in a car chase or two, a "traitor within" subplot, or maybe had the 747 pursued by Iranian fighter jets and chased off by a Sopwith camel. Better yet, have the aliens from Argo intervene on behalf of the good guys (assuming that is us). It's all crap history anyway. Expand
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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...
  9. 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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  10. Mar 6, 2013
    8
    Not knowing what the ending will be like, kept me on the edge of my seat! Yes, the real story wasnt real to the true story. But the movie did pull off one thing, and thats tension!
  11. Mar 5, 2013
    7
    All’inizio della crisi degli ostaggi in Iran, un piccolo gruppo fuoriuscito dall’ambasciata degli Stati Uniti durante l’assalto alla stessa finisce per ritrovarsi in una posizione più pericolosa rispetto ai diplomatici rimasti prigionieri: riparati in casa dell’ambasciatore canadese, non hanno addosso gli occhi del mondo e ogni giorno che passa il rischio di venir scoperti e processati aumenta. Per portarli a casa, la Cia si inventa un falso film di fantascienza, ‘Argo’, da girarsi in esotiche locations persiane: sul filo del rasoio, l’operazione riesce, ma l’agente Mendez che il tutto ha apparecchiato e portato a termine non può ricevere i pubblici elogi fino a quando Clinton, vent’anni dopo, non toglie il segreto sulla missione. Per raccontarne la storia, l’esordiente Affleck gira un film d’azione senza pecche, basato su di una sceneggiatura di Chris Terrio che segue la traccia dei fatti drammatizzandone alcune parti (una questione che appare secondaria, non trattandosi di un documentario). Nella prima ora, la tensione si stempera grazie ai tocchi di commedia che si possono trovare nei dialoghi serrati all’interno dell’Agenzia e durante la parentesi holliwoodiana (alcune battute sono un po’ telefonate ma pazienza…), poi il ritmo si fa sempre più serrato, fra montaggio incrociato con qualche discrepanza sui fusi orari e possibili pericoli evitati per un soffio che lasciano con il fiato sospeso. L’occhio del regista restituisce in modo efficace un mondo del tutto analogico, fatto di telescriventi e grossi nodi alla cravatta, raggiungendo i risultati migliori negli interni ambientati a Langley e inquadrati come negli anni Settanta. Alla riuscita collabora un cast esperto e ben assortito, in cui oltre all’Affleck attore, con barba e capello lungo molto Seventies spiccano Cranston (il capo duro ma sensibile) e, soprattutto, la coppia Arkin/Goodman che, a Los Angeles, fornisce la base logistica al falso film strappando anche qualche sorriso: in confronto, risultano meno definiti i sei in fuga, con il solo Scoot McNairy che ha la possibilità di rendere un po’ meno bidimensionale il suo personaggio, il più dubbioso nei confronti del piano di Mendez. Detto tutto questo, e confermato che le due ore scorrono veloci e coinvolgenti, lascia perplessi che ‘Argo’ sia stato preferito a ‘Lincoln’ nella corsa agli Oscar e l’unico motivo che pare plausibile l’eccesso patriottico. Non che il film di Spielberg manchi di retorica a stelle e strisce, ma vuoi mettere un film ambientato un secolo e mezzo fa che parla di una spaccatura interna non del tutto superata neppure oggi con uno costruito attorno a un momento storico che tantissimi di noi hanno vissuto e ha il pregio di poter nettamente separare i buoni dai cattivi? Se non fosse per il prologo in cui si accenna alla responsabilità anglo-americana nella caduta di Mossadeq che spianò la strada al feroce regime di Reza Pahlavi la Cia ne esce candida come un giglio (e alla fine rinuncia anche ad appuntarsi la medaglia al merito) mentre gli iraniani sono rappresentati, a parte la barba, alla stregua degli indiani dei film di una volta violenti, urlanti e pure un po’ tonti: se un dato di fatto che la Rivoluzione Islamica non sia stata un pranzo di gala, la banalizzazione risulta comunque fastidiosa. Expand
  12. Mar 2, 2013
    8
    Argo was a very good film but Picture of the Year it was not. Sorry Academy but you got it wrong once again. Don't mistake this for bashing. Like I said, Argo was a very good film. Ben Affleck has proven once again that he's not only a fantastic and underrated actor but that he's becoming one of the better directors in Hollywood. Argo had great pacing for the type of movie it is, the plot developed perfectly, the characters all felt real and authentic, etc. The only negative I would really have is that some of the suspense felt cheap and forced. Sure, they truly did escape Iran. That part is a true story. However, how close they were to getting caught is not necessarily known. So the fact that the final 30 minutes of the movie was close call after close call and that these scrapes didn't develop authentically but felt manufactured was not ideal. Nonetheless, I'd say this is a really good movie that, while it's a little overrated and overhyped (it won Picture of the Year when I'm not even sure it's the best true story CIA film of the year that would probably be Zero Dark Thirty), most people would still enjoy. "Argo f*** yourself!" Expand
  13. 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.
  14. Feb 28, 2013
    4
    puh-leez, this movie was not that good. won the oscars because the industry is a scene that celebrates itself. the movie was average and uncompelling. ben afleck is about as talented an actor as keanu reeves.
  15. Feb 28, 2013
    6
    If you strip away the historical and political relevance of Argo and the knowledge that the events in the movie are based on reality, you are left with an average thriller. The characters in this movie are shells of characters; I could describe each of them in a single sentence. The plot of Argo eventually turns into the repetition of an age old formula: build suspense, make it look like the bad thing is going to happen, make the good thing happen at the last second. Rinse and repeat. It's boring and predictable and repetitive and entirely unoriginal. I think it's worth watching, but I doubt I'll ever watch it again. Expand
  16. Feb 27, 2013
    5
    Apparently film critic Leonard Maltin liked Argo and is quoted as saying, “Don't get your history from the movies.” Maybe it would be better to say, “Don't put history in your movies if you don't get it.” Argo was a good film but it wasn't about what it claimed to be about. If you're going to fiddle with very minor historical moments, maybe no one will notice or care, but this was a major event in recent American history. A short summary of what never happened--there was no trip to the Bazaar, which would have been too dangerous; the six were divided up at the homes of two Canadian officials, not one, and they all liked the idea of the movie production team as their cover; the airport screening went off without a hitch--no one confronted them and no squad cars chased the plane down--the only tension was the announcement that there would be a 1-hour delay because of mechanical problems. However, after the plane cleared Iranian air space, everybody cheered. They got that part right. Some feel that Iranians have a right to object to the stereotypical portrayal of their citizens, and Canada feels that the CIA is being made to look like the heroes, when the Canadians did most of the work, which included three months of preparation for the final coup. A scene at the end of the film gives the erroneous impression that Canada had to be given the credit because no one was allowed to know that the CIA was involved, in which case, it sounded almost like Canada was taking the heat for the CIA rather than being lauded for heroism. Ben Affleck is a good director and a good actor, but his fantasy version of the story should have been filmed as fiction and not fact. Argo worked well when it showed insiders being caustically critical of how a Hollywood production is run behind the scenes. (That would make a good movie by itself.) The film might have been a good thriller, but when you go into it knowing that the most exciting part, the airport clearance and chase at the end, never happened, it's not that thrilling. It's boring. In any case, the film has nothing to do with the American government's view of the episode; it's just trying to be pure Hollywood entertainment, using all the old tricks that all directors and screenwriters use to lure people into the theaters so that the studios can make money. And given how many bad films are being released lately, a film that shows directorial skill and tells a good story ends up being exaggerated to the point where it wins Best Picture. Argo was not the best picture, but the pickings were slim. They couldn't even come up with ten selections at the Oscars--they had nine, and one movie, Amour, was listed twice under Best Picture and Best Foreign Picture. In the end, no one should be insulted by Argo--it's not worth it. Expand
  17. Feb 26, 2013
    0
    "the town" was a million times better than this movie. this is the most overrated underwhelming movie i think i have ever seen. had it been nominated last year for best picture it wouldn't have had a chance. the academy needs to recognize more genres for best picture. "this is 40" isn't an instant classic, but there's more feeling put into that comedy than this drama. this belonged on lifetime, not on the big screen. i want to tell anyone who voted for this movie "argo f*** yourself." Expand
  18. Feb 26, 2013
    6
    This movie is obviously overrated and mediocre. Total lack of 70's atmosphere, the Hollywood side story is very weak and unconvincing, most performances give you the feeling of watching a History Channel documenrary. The film is boring and the adrenaline in the airport scene is boosted with cheap tricks rather than fine and skillfull movie direction: the Iranians realize the truth at the exact moment the Americans flee the country. How convenient is that.... Best motion picture of the year award? seriously??? LMAO.... Expand
  19. 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.
  20. Feb 24, 2013
    8
    Generally, there are three themes that tend to be favored by award community and film critics, the winning themes are about humanity (“Schindler’s List” {1993}, “The Shawshank Redemption {1994}, “Slumdog Millionaire” {2008}, etc.), patriotism (“Saving Private Ryan” {1998}, “Black Hawk Down” {2001}, “Lincoln” {2012}, etc.) and the world of cinema itself (“Cinema Paradiso” {1998}, “Hugo” {2011}, “The Artist” {2011}, etc.). Well, thiz movie has all three of them. Producer, Director and Actor Ben Affleck is smart enough to realize it and takes advantage of that. Ben Affleck is Tony Mendez, a CIA agent who is responsible for covert operation to extract six American embassy employees out of the rage of Iran revolutionary by pretending to be Canadian film crew. It seems that Ben Affleck has done a tremendous job as the Director. He starts with an effective prologue to provide sufficient information and every time the scene heats up, particularly when the scene of American embassy is invaded, he cleverly adds relaxing piano instrumental music to cool things down and doesn’t try to provoke audience into infuriated reactions. Thiz is his third feature films behind the camera after “Gone Baby Gone” (2007) and “The Town” (2010). For the acting, Ben Afflecks looks cool, calm and confident. John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and Victor Garber give brief but consistent performances and the last but definitely not least, Alan Arkin creates a powerful and believable emotion as fearless Hollywood Producer. I also have to put some credit to the Production Designer Sharon Seymour who successfully makes everything look like 1980s such as costume, hairstyle, glasses, car, furniture, television, telephone, everything! How they put attention to detail is undoubtedly amazing. Personally, for me, the power of thiz movie is in the last half hour. Thiz is a good example of what you can get when great script and great editing are perfectly combined. My heart nearly stopped while watching thiz final scene which takes place in Iran airport. They use almost all aspects to create tensions from ticket, telephone, soldier, bus, you name it and they have done it. When it’s over, there will be some satisfying and gratifying feelings. In the closing scene, when the camera pans over the toys of Star Wars, Planet of the Apes and other sci-fi movies one by one. It simply wants to remind us that they are not only inspirational icons in our pop culture, but also they have ever saved lives. Great movie, great story, great moviemaker!



    Visit My Blog on JONNY'S MOVEE: http://jonnyfendi.blogspot.com
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  21. Feb 24, 2013
    5
    Ben's Argo and Lance's Medals

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ziek bamfrmcan
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  22. 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
  23. Feb 23, 2013
    4
    I thought this was a bit of a let down. Loved the Town but Argo wasn't gritty enough for me. Some Iranian security guards with some intelligence would have been nice. The film also plays up the çoolness' of making a fake movie, which detracts from the seriousness of the subject matter for me. Funky music as they arrive on their fake set, hmm. And 'Argo f!@k yourself' gets very annoying. Big let down. And we all know how it's going to end. Amazing thing they did though. Expand
  24. Feb 22, 2013
    8
    Patient script that at times seems to move a little bit too slow. The film feels very authentic. Affleck does a nice job in directing and acting in this flick. The ending left a little to be desired. Overall, solid film.
  25. Feb 18, 2013
    8
    Argo is a great story that sells itself on the fact that it is an insane, but true story. It's a good movie, but it really isn't great in any capacity. The performances were on, but afflec's distance felt forced. The story was interesting, but very predictable, and very Hollywood (I guess that might be part of the point, so we'll let that pass). There wasn't anything bad in Argo, in fact, you could say it was flawless. However, I don't feel it did justice to the historical situation, and that something was indeed missing. In a year that didn't include Zero Dark Thirty, I might not be looking for that extra something, but I digress. Expand
  26. Feb 18, 2013
    0
    After all the talk, I thought well maybe Ben Affleck did something good after all, but I was sceptical. I was right. This movie is just one big orgy of tough man tough talk, which really gets annoying after 20 minutes or so. There is completely no character development in any of the hostages. I had a hard time not falling asleep. What an incredible bore.
  27. Feb 11, 2013
    0
    A one-sided self-satisfying nationalist and political propaganda film with no real suspense and substance. With highly-implausible inventions to reality that make it look stupid to the audience with some common sense and minimum level knowledge of the situation. The silly car chase on the airport runway or the lack of explanation for why the airliner is not turned back to the airport by the control tower, or the American women wandering provocatively (taking photos) among the Muslim Persians with no head-covering (the stupidest thing of all), etc. Expand
  28. Feb 8, 2013
    6
    The movie had excellent visuals and period feel. The acting was good too. I also liked the subject matter. But the pace was slow, so the movie became a drag at times. Something was off the entire time. I cannot bring myself to watch it again. There are other movies with serious tone and longer running time like The Pianist and Shawshank Redemption that manage to pull it off and are highly entertaining. Argo definitely doesn't deserve the highest prize at the Oscars. Expand
  29. 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
  30. Feb 2, 2013
    7
    It's an interesting movie and well directed. It gives you some insight as to what happened. Though I would have liked some scenes on the other embassy employees that were held hostage. The best part for me was seeing the old Swissair 747 take off.... (But that's just because I'm Swiss)........... Btw, that 747 was named Argovia (after the Kanton/State Aargau) Argo is the short version.
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.