User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 766 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 766

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  1. 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!"
  2. Jan 25, 2013
    8
    If you ever grind drama, suspense and a hint of comedy together you would definitely get a fully baked
  3. Jan 24, 2013
    8
    When Ben Affleck released his first film as director, Gone Baby Gone, most were expecting it to be a flop, because as history tells us, not many successful actors can just switch gears and become very successful directors. Well, Ben has managed to do both, very successfully, I might add. The Town was such a hit, Ben knew that he had to find something and work extremely hard for his next film. And he struck GOLD with Argo. With the history lesson at the beginning, you knew that Ben wanted the audience to grasp on to the full story and not just nose dive in without any backstory on why this was what it was. The tension and the thrill of it all really made for an excellent movie. I felt that the movie progressed too fast and most certainly could have been longer, but regardless this was still a great movie. With all the nominations in the category of Best Picture, it certainly wouldn't be a shock if Argo walked away with this Oscar. And it most certainly is a crime that Ben Affleck didn't get an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Expand
  4. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    Argo is a brilliant and tense thriller directed by Ben Affleck, and has proven to me that after three films, Affleck may be one of the most talented directors in the current age of Hollywood. Ben Affleck has had a bumpy career with his acting, I mean he has sucked (
  5. Jan 21, 2013
    9
    I am not a huge Ben Affleck fan, Reindeer Games, Daredevil, Gigli, really. I decided to watch this movie after seeing Ben Affleck's movie win a Golden Globe. Boy was I surprised! Very good movie! It doesn't matter if you are familiar with that time in our history or not. The story being told will pull you in, and have you thinking can this guy pull this off? Surprisingly, I enjoyed all of the performances by these fine actors. I will go out in a limb to say, Mr. Affleck probably put a lot at stake in making this movie. Well played Mr. Affleck! Having George Clooney along for the ride was very smart too. Go see this movie. Collapse Expand
  6. Jan 17, 2013
    9
    Nice movie, again Ben Affleck made an amazing film
  7. 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.
  8. Jan 14, 2013
    9
    This is an impressive offering from Ben Affleck, who is finally emerging from the Hollywood Hall of Lame to remake a name for himself. He was always talented, but fell out of favour after Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Gigli and his bizarre and very public relationship with Jennifer Lopez. I think he's redeemed himself with Argo, a fast-paced thriller based on the true story of the rescue of six American diplomats from Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Stranger than fiction, the story is compelling and emotional. If you like a feel-good movie with some substance, you'll find it here. Some reviewers here found the film boring (I certainly did not - I barely blinked for the duration) and others have criticised the film for it's pro-American bias and for glossing over the complexities of the diplomatic crisis itself, and the plight of Iranians in revolutionary Iran. I think this criticism is legitimate, but Affleck can't please both groups: the film has to strike a balance between historical accuracy and theatricality. The scope of the film is limited, but it tells its story well. Affleck outs in a solid performance as CIA operative Tony Mendez. His character looks chronically depressed much of the time, and I suspect he is, as he's separated from his wife and child and apparently an alcoholic. There is a sense from the beginning of the film that this mission, if successful, could redeem him, and he puts everything on the line to achieve that. Perhaps with the exception of Tate Donovan, the hostages themselves are not very engaging characters. Maybe that's the point. John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston on the other hand play witty, warm and engaging characters, and with great verve. Sheila Vand is impressive as Sahar, Iranian maid to the Canadian ambassador, who helps the hostages and later escapes to Iraq. Victor Garber is great as Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor, as is Page Leong as his wife Pat. The movie itself recreates the slightly washed-out aesthetic of a late 1970's film beautifully, so it blends seamlessly with contemporaneous documentary footage, and some of what I thought I was documentary footage was actually recreated: real and staged images are displayed side by side during the end credits, as well as pictures of the actual people involved, so we can see how closely the producers recreated the hairstyles, FACIAL-hair-styles, horn-rimmed glasses and polyester waistcoats of the real-life characters who wore them. Alexandre Desplat's soundtrack is evocative, except for a track featuring uilleann pipes in a scene with Ben Affleck (what an Irish folk instrument is doing in a movie about Americans and Canadians in Iran is beyond me). Ultimately I found the film really gripping and fulfilling. There's no underestimating the power of a happy ending, and in a time of ceaseless unrest in the Middle East, a small story of triumph doesn't go astray once in a while. I'm surprised that Argo was largely overlooked it the Oscar nominations, and thrilled that it won best dramatic film, and Affleck best director, at the Golden Globes. I think it's deserved. Expand
  9. Jan 9, 2013
    8
    Alan Arkin stole the show in this movie, but all of the supporting cast delivered authentic heartfelt performances. It was suspenseful and smoothly paced. One of the better films I have seen recently.
  10. Jan 6, 2013
    10
    Everything about this movie I love, the acting is great, the story is excellent and Affleck shows that he is becoming a great director. It is an engaging view on the foreign dealings between US and Iran. The story is tense and riveting but is broken up by the create change of pace comedy from John Goodman and Alan Arkin. I've seen Lincoln, Les Miserables, Looper, and many other great movies this year but Argo is my pick for the best! Expand
  11. Jan 3, 2013
    9
    Argo is one hell of a movie. It is tense, thrilling and sensational. Ben Affleck has put together a film that has hardly any flaws and a film that is gripping and captivating. A truly great American story.
  12. Dec 31, 2012
    7
    The movie is well-filmed, well-acted, well-directed and well-written. I connected with it emotionally. Yet, as soon as I left the theater, I felt a little empty. The perception that it is an Oscar contender may have set the bar too high. Its been out for several weeks. So 24 hours later, three factors account for my ambivalent attitude. First, I felt a lack of connection with the hostages whose lives are at stake. (remember those Die Hard movies?) The file does attempt to connect with them and give us insight into their captivity so "A" for effort. Yet, the story is centered on Ben Affleck who seems to be adopting the Clint Eastwood 'less-is more' acting persona. Second, the movie lacks true suspense because we all know the hostages successfully escape. So in order to compensate for the lack of suspense, the director alters the timeline to create fear and apprehension. It feels contrived. The film has to make it seem as if they won't escape and but the we-are -running-out-of-time- device wears thin. Iin the beginning of the film director Affleck quite successfully uses John Goodman and Alan Arkin's characters to co-create a cover story for CIA agent Affleck's film venture to Iran. But when these characters no longer serve the story, the director nevertheless keeps them involved to generate suspense, humor and emotion. Then, at the climatic ending of the film, Affleck's character who we were told was separated from his wife and family, and whom we never met, goes home to his wife and family. Obviously, this movies heart is in the right place but its apparent who is pulling the strings. [At the movie rating : 7-8; DVD rental: 8-9] Expand
  13. Dec 29, 2012
    9
    A great piece of cinema and a thriller that contains not only a great story based right from history, but a good cast and a keen grip that keeps you glued to the screen. The plot doesn't move too fast and isn't too over the top in action, but it never seems to leave you without much to pay attention to either. Several hilarious moments and lines of dialogue are sprinkled throughout, with a constant and progressive tension which never lets go. Overall, it paints an interesting picture about the Iranian Hostage Crisis, gives you some insight into the CIA and foreign embassies, and leaves you satisfied. Expand
  14. Dec 29, 2012
    9
    Ben Affleck has proved for a third time that he can direct. After the low key drama 'Gone Baby Gone' and the powerful thriller 'The Town', he comes with this well crafted piece, which is politically charged, has quickening pace and good dose of humor but above all filled with nerve-racking suspense. And like Clooney's (the other actor turned into one notable director) middle eastern political thriller 'Syriana', 'Argo' is Ben's best film yet. Expand
  15. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    "Argo" is filled with a cast so impeccably acted and a style astoundingly directed. This thriller poises as Ben Affleck's best and perhaps his most masterful as a director of the cinema, a triumphant of the year that unleashes a surge of blood-pumping surprise and comical wit.
  16. Dec 22, 2012
    8
    Fantastic movie. Ben Affleck is awesome in the lead role and while this was obviously not 110% historically accurate, it was still great look at one of the most contentious issues in US history.
  17. Dec 20, 2012
    9
    I am a 16 year old girl who went to see this with a friend. It started as a history lesson, and if you are able to have an attention span, it turns out into a wonderful movie! Suspense, great acting (Bryan Cranston and Ben Affleck!) It deserves at least one oscar for writing. Humor is with John Goodman and Alan Arkin. Fantastic movie! I was cheering at the end! Well done, Ben! Make more movies!
  18. Dec 9, 2012
    10
    Wonderfully directed and acted very subtly by Ben affleck, this film was a total surprise. Full of both tension and humour, the two complimented each other to sublime effect. The best film of 2012.
  19. Dec 2, 2012
    8
    If I mentioned that Ben Affleck was a good director a number of years ago, a lot of people would probably smirked at me. Let's face it though: as an actor, Affleck has limited range. But as a Writer and Director, he is actually pretty good. Affleck creates the same films that Michael Mann creates, grittier but somehow better in many ways. Characters are developed nicely; he never forgets his audiences so his films are tightly structured. His films are still stylish but gritty and realistic at the same time. Mann's films, on the other hand, seemed to be drowned too much in style, losing its narrative drive. Argo is the best example of his talent, and one of the better films coming out this year. Not the Best Picture, but deserves a nomination for it in this year's Oscars. Expand
  20. Dec 1, 2012
    9
    This is an amazing story if you enjoy sitting on the edge of your seat most of the time! The movie starts out fairly quickly, and it gets more and more exciting as the movie moves forward. The movie goer is never really sure what the end of the story might be (unless you remember the international news story). If you like movies about current history, this will fascinate you and keep you on the edge of your seat with excitement. Wonderful movie! Expect to be thrilled with all the action and suspense. Expand
  21. Dec 1, 2012
    9
    This movie will not cater for everyone. It has a feeling of old spy movies and manages to mix in an engaging way various genres: drama, action, thriller, and comedy about Hollywood. Despite the characters lack more depth and the movie does not focus on the global situation (which could add to the thrill), I think Affleck squeezed every drop of potential for success from a crazy and out-of-the-box-thinking story, making it accessible and entertaining for the modern viewer, who is not used to old-school spy movies. Chapeau to both Affleck and the CIA. Expand
  22. Nov 30, 2012
    10
    Argo is that rare thriller that stuns on multiple levels and not just for its suspense. It will not only guarantee that you have bitten all of your nails off by the end, but it provides a spirited yet informative attitude that demands admiration. The sets look amazing, the script will never cease to grab your attention, and Affleck's directing is truly top-notch as he presents careful insight into every detail of the situation being illustrated on-screen. At times where it should be boring and filled with information that sets up the rest of the movie, it is full of energy, which is probably the greatest compliment I could give the movie. Everything is perfectly reasonable in all of its serious and light-hearted moments alike. Consistent reminders keep in mind that this is an actual true story which makes Argo all the more interesting. The cast as a whole puts on a strong performance which largely benefits from Affleck's direction as properly shifts the movie's tones. He creates a subtle blend between the heart-pounding and fast-paced situations that the characters are forced upon, with the awareness of its own whimsical feel. This movie is great entertainment swimming in thrills, humor and historical details that makes this movie one of the best of the year. Expand
  23. 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 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
  24. Nov 29, 2012
    5
    To sum up: narration hell. Let me explain: Although there isn't an actual "narration", this film just tells you the story. It doesn't show it. Just as having a film narrate everything important, Argo does the visual equivalent. There is no sense of urgency, no tension, nothing. It starts flat lining immediately, and refuses to respond at all. It's a completely comatose film. I mean, it's reasonably watchable, but also preeminently boring. The intro notes that the US caused the whole situation in Iran by supporting the Shah (who lived lavishly, murdered people and oppressed the rest of them). Then they hid him in the US when he was wanted for crimes in Iran. However, they still manage to turn this into a "the US is awesome" film. It's insulting. Expand
  25. Nov 28, 2012
    7
    Maybe my expectations were too high, but Argo fell a little flat for me. Definitely an old-school spy caper with "docudrama" feel given the real story. However several of the suspense/thriller moments felt contrived (though some were well done) including the ending act. Ben Affleck was good, but probably miscast himself--which is a real career hazard when Actor turns Director. Really liked John Goodman and Alan Arkin as the Hollywood guys--overall, a pretty good film but as far as great (recent) spy capers to me: Tinker Tailor Solder Spy and the Bourne movies hold the top honors Expand
  26. 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.
  27. Nov 27, 2012
    9
    This movie was enjoyable though not for what I thought it would be. My friends and I walked in not knowing what to expect and came out pleased. I was expecting a bit of action, of which, there was little to none which is not a bad thing for this type of movie. Suspense is what the movie rides on and it does that well, especially towards the end. The build up has a good mix of suspense, surprise, disbelief, and good writing with a nice amount of comedy. All around a good experience and I would recommend it. Expand
  28. Nov 25, 2012
    7
    How can one not enjoy Argo. Sure we all know how it will end, but the story was too good and the film was too well made to let that get in the way. All petty quibbles about historical inaccuracies aside, Chris Terrio
  29. Nov 25, 2012
    10
    As we all know that majority of the films that are inspired by true events do not work properly, they don
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.