User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 848 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 60 out of 848
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 keepThis 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
  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"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. Jan 17, 2013
    9
    Nice movie, again Ben Affleck made an amazing film
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!"
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  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 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
  15. 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!
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. Dec 22, 2014
    9
    Argo is the film that made me think why are people worried that Ben Affleck is playing batman because this film is beyond brilliant. i loved every second of it's amazing true plot, great acting from a all star cast ( special mention to john goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and Scoot McNairy) and one of the most suspenseful endings i've seen. for once my pick for best picture at theArgo is the film that made me think why are people worried that Ben Affleck is playing batman because this film is beyond brilliant. i loved every second of it's amazing true plot, great acting from a all star cast ( special mention to john goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and Scoot McNairy) and one of the most suspenseful endings i've seen. for once my pick for best picture at the oscars has actually won Expand
  19. Dec 4, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 'If we're going to make a fake movie, we're going to make a fake hit!'
    Mr. Affleck, you've made a real one, an authentic masterpiece, which, even if some parts of the story were emebellished, paints a wonderful portrait of the human spirit. Combining geeky sci-fi ideas and spy like knowledge, one of the most unlikely heists imaginable is undertaken.
    As mentioned though, this is not only about effects and jargon- it's about cunning, brains, teamwork and above all enormous courage against all odds. Affleck for me, not only delivers a career director's performance but acts superbly as well. The best film of the year; great scenery, cultural and historical context and wit. 9.5/10
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  20. BKM
    Nov 29, 2012
    8
    With Argo, Ben Affleck continues to display his maturity and growing talents as a director. Everything from the slowly escalating tension to the authentic 70's look and feel of the film is a testament to his command of the material. As a performer, however, he is the film's weakest link. His portrayal of Tony Mendez is never short of bland. Fortunately he is overshadowed by theWith Argo, Ben Affleck continues to display his maturity and growing talents as a director. Everything from the slowly escalating tension to the authentic 70's look and feel of the film is a testament to his command of the material. As a performer, however, he is the film's weakest link. His portrayal of Tony Mendez is never short of bland. Fortunately he is overshadowed by the excellent ensemble surrounding him. I can only imagine at how good Argo could have been if he had stayed behind the camera where he is becoming increasingly comfortable. Expand
  21. Oct 24, 2012
    8
    In 1979, when Iranians stormed our embassy and took 52 people hostage, 6 Americans escaped to the Canadian Ambassador's residence. After months, CIA agent Ben Affleck devised a plan to sneak them out of the country: pretending to be a crew scouting a new film. This historically-based story is told thru involving scenarios, some humor and a quietly tense escape. The characters are uniformlyIn 1979, when Iranians stormed our embassy and took 52 people hostage, 6 Americans escaped to the Canadian Ambassador's residence. After months, CIA agent Ben Affleck devised a plan to sneak them out of the country: pretending to be a crew scouting a new film. This historically-based story is told thru involving scenarios, some humor and a quietly tense escape. The characters are uniformly bland, but the hair and wardrobe were right-on 70s. While this is not a riveting or fast-paced espionage adventure, it is a low-key, well-crafted and fulfilling experience. NOTE: Be sure to sit thru the early credits to see a wonderful montage of photos that inspired the movie. Expand
  22. Oct 29, 2012
    8
    Argo starts interesting and gets better as it goes along. A couple of things were confusing to me, however. The Iranians were holding 52 Americans hostage. Why was it so important to them to see if any had escaped during the takeover? Why couldn't they simply get that information from the Americans they were holding hostage instead of having to piece together shredded documents? IArgo starts interesting and gets better as it goes along. A couple of things were confusing to me, however. The Iranians were holding 52 Americans hostage. Why was it so important to them to see if any had escaped during the takeover? Why couldn't they simply get that information from the Americans they were holding hostage instead of having to piece together shredded documents? I also couldn't quite figure out why we had to know that Ben Affleck had a son from a prior marriage - that part seemed tacked on and was never relevant. Lastly, when the group entered the airport they all had a scared "deer in the headlights" look. If they were pretending to be filmmakers why weren't they all coached to talk to each other like people normally would? The final chase scene on the tarmac is over the top Hollywood for sure but exciting nonetheless. Overall a good film with some flaws. Expand
  23. 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.
  24. Nov 2, 2012
    8
    the script is great, please another Oscar to Affleck. Recommended film with a montage realizadp well, good performances (any very desaclable), overall the movie takes you back in some dialogues huge, but you do feel the anxiety of freedom of the cast, is a film that conveys the right thing and that is a good point to emphasize in any movie. good job.
  25. 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
  26. 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.
  27. 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”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!

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  28. Oct 30, 2012
    8
    Well written, directed, and acted. The movie has a very authentic feel to it, though there are many changes from the true story (almost all for the better). A must watch for anyone even remotely interested in the subject matter.
  29. 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.
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.