User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 812 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 812

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  1. 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 andThis 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
  2. 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 carefulArgo 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
  3. 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
  4. 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'sTo 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
  5. 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. ReallyMaybe 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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,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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Nov 24, 2012
    4
    The movie started mildly fast, got very slow, then very intense. The only reason I saw this movie was because im a huge Bryan Cranston fan, and many people were saying the film was going to win best picture. This movie has two storylines (thats the only word i could think off to describe it) The one about the hostages, and the one in Hollywood and the C.I.A , about them trying to make theThe movie started mildly fast, got very slow, then very intense. The only reason I saw this movie was because im a huge Bryan Cranston fan, and many people were saying the film was going to win best picture. This movie has two storylines (thats the only word i could think off to describe it) The one about the hostages, and the one in Hollywood and the C.I.A , about them trying to make the movie. I would give the hostage situation a 3 out of 10, and the Hollywood story a 7 out of 10. The airport scene at the end, I would give 9 out of 10 that was very intense, and the scene was very well written. I would give the acting 6 out of 10 varying from actor to actor, directing 5 out of 10, and writing 6 out of 10, and overall 4 out of ten. Expand
  11. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    Loved the movie. For a change, we see a government agency functioning well, in this case, the CIA. The cooperation rendered by the Canadians is also wonderful to see. This offsets the typical news items we hear about all day. There are still some highly functional people out there, although there are fewer and fewer of them. Tony Mendez has been totally unknown to most people until now. ALoved the movie. For a change, we see a government agency functioning well, in this case, the CIA. The cooperation rendered by the Canadians is also wonderful to see. This offsets the typical news items we hear about all day. There are still some highly functional people out there, although there are fewer and fewer of them. Tony Mendez has been totally unknown to most people until now. A true hero. I salute him.
    Kudos to Ben Affleck for a thrilling film. He's grown up right before our eyes, and is now a substantive director.
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  12. Nov 14, 2012
    8
    Guess who finally grew up and stopped being a dumb "Chowder-head" from Beantown? Affleck is a far better Director than actor. Also he excels in serious films rather than bubblegum garbage. This is a must see. Also any film with Alan Arkin is good, sort of a law of nature. It really does help to know something about the fall of Shah of Iran and the Student's Revolution. If you areGuess who finally grew up and stopped being a dumb "Chowder-head" from Beantown? Affleck is a far better Director than actor. Also he excels in serious films rather than bubblegum garbage. This is a must see. Also any film with Alan Arkin is good, sort of a law of nature. It really does help to know something about the fall of Shah of Iran and the Student's Revolution. If you are historically challenged, you might want to watch a cartoon or something. Expand
  13. Nov 9, 2012
    10
    Argo-Nuts!

    Ben Affleck is the new Clint Eastwood, but better; not only is he the finest actor turned director, but he makes the barely moving Eastwood look like an emoting Brando bellowing 'Stella! at the foot of the stairs. Wooden is high praise indeed for his lead (or is it lead?) performance. Argo is his third outing and manages to surpass The Town and Gone Baby Gone. Affleck
    Argo-Nuts!

    Ben Affleck is the new Clint Eastwood, but better; not only is he the finest actor turned director, but he makes the barely moving Eastwood look like an emoting Brando bellowing 'Stella! at the foot of the stairs. Wooden is high praise indeed for his lead (or is it lead?) performance.

    Argo is his third outing and manages to surpass The Town and Gone Baby Gone. Affleck loves tightly plotted, unflashy thrillers, and this 'true story' is the tightest, unflashiest bit of brilliance yet. I thought he would do a George V. Higgins first, but no. Someone less good did Cogan's Trade. The story is a barely credible account of how a CIA man - with Canadian help - rescued 6 Americans from wacky Iran in 1980. It is nail biting, re-creates the mood precisely, and features great non-performances from the cast - it almost plays as a documentary in Iran, but that is down to the skill of the cast and Affleck.

    Walking off with the acting honors are John Goodman and Alan Arkin, who, back in La La Land, supply a fake Hollywood backstory for the escape. They are funny, sharp and add the spice that the rest of the film deliberately avoids like poison. The script is exemplarly, tight, believable, and compelling.

    Films this good never win Oscars. They are not flashy enough, emotional enough, and they never do great box office. But they do win Blockies - my own awards.

    I am nominating Argo for Best Picture and Affleck for Best Director. It has a shot at winning both, depending on how the rest of 2012 goes.
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  14. Nov 8, 2012
    7
    This supposedly movie of the year wind up being a lackluster cinematic bust. It may intrigue a certain type of audience, but it's not exactly a well-rounded movie that everyone could enjoy. The thing is even if it was a factual story, the structure and directing made it feel too homogeneous. The movie also lacked suspense until the end, and to do so they had to even exaggerate the scene,This supposedly movie of the year wind up being a lackluster cinematic bust. It may intrigue a certain type of audience, but it's not exactly a well-rounded movie that everyone could enjoy. The thing is even if it was a factual story, the structure and directing made it feel too homogeneous. The movie also lacked suspense until the end, and to do so they had to even exaggerate the scene, because, in reality, they got out easily. The character development, especially those who were rescued, was weak. There wasn't a genuine reason that made a viewer completely want to see them be rescued other than..well, they were captured. If they were going to exaggerate something, it should have been where they were had to stay. Seriously, it didn't even look where they were living was that terrible. At least do something that makes them appear they're in serious peril.

    After Ben Affleck's greatly crafted movie, The "Town", and after the well-received praised this movie was getting (higher than the Town as a matter of fact), the expectations perhaps were too high. Even if they were, this movie was nothing more than a mediocre capture and rescue true story, though. The problem with true stories is people tend to proceed they are automatically better than fiction stories a lot of times. Well, I went to school yesterday and then watched basketball. That's a true story, but it doesn't mean it's intriguing enough to make it a film about it.
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  15. Nov 8, 2012
    8
    Argo represents the American purposes: get a plan to save their citizens, no matter what. Ben Affleck shows himself as a great director and actor too, once again. Argo is pure action; an amazing piece of thriller that makes you wish so bad that they will arrive in safety to their country. More than dedication, Argo shows the real matter to the Americans.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Nov 3, 2012
    6
    Yes I'm going against the grain here. Overated, overated, overated. Would be alright at home on the couch. I found this movie quite boring. The script was unintelligent and flat. Slightly nail biting toward the end but nothing like other reviews are stating. With a good script and far more character development this could have been great, instead it's only OK...just. I should haveYes I'm going against the grain here. Overated, overated, overated. Would be alright at home on the couch. I found this movie quite boring. The script was unintelligent and flat. Slightly nail biting toward the end but nothing like other reviews are stating. With a good script and far more character development this could have been great, instead it's only OK...just. I should have waited for the blu ray... Expand
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Oct 30, 2012
    6
    This movie's rating average is almost as big as Affleck's head. After seeing "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town" I really wanted to love this movie. But Affleck ruined it for me. Not that he's a bad actor--I just can't relate to him. He's handsome, charming, strong...it's hard to feel sorry for him. They tried to beef up his character with the whole "my wife and I are taking a break"This movie's rating average is almost as big as Affleck's head. After seeing "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town" I really wanted to love this movie. But Affleck ruined it for me. Not that he's a bad actor--I just can't relate to him. He's handsome, charming, strong...it's hard to feel sorry for him. They tried to beef up his character with the whole "my wife and I are taking a break" concept but I didn't believe it for one second.

    So I have to watch this secret agent that's never really in any danger himself try to save people from a desperate situation. Though I felt the situation was well set up, it's hard to get tense when I already know everyone makes it out fine. It felt like just another Hollywood movie celebrating the great victories Hollywood has provided to mankind. Which might be why it's already getting Oscar talk.
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  23. Oct 30, 2012
    0
    Entertaining propanda flick. But why the need to constantly churn out these US Propaganda political/war films? And with the US on the cusp of yet another bloody, wasteful war? Enough already!
  24. Oct 29, 2012
    5
    I had very high expectations for this movie and unfortunately was disappointed on most levels. First the good, this movie looks great. I love the feel of the period in this film. I also think this film was incredibly acted, every performance is spot on with ironically the exception of Afflek. He is however not bad, just the worst of a very strong group. Of particular note is theI had very high expectations for this movie and unfortunately was disappointed on most levels. First the good, this movie looks great. I love the feel of the period in this film. I also think this film was incredibly acted, every performance is spot on with ironically the exception of Afflek. He is however not bad, just the worst of a very strong group. Of particular note is the performance of Arkin, who eats up every scene he is in. This might be my favorite supporting performance of the year. Where does this movie fall short? First the dialogue is flat for me. Especially for a movie that is trying to be witty and hip. Second there are many scenes in this movie that are absolutely implausible. I wont go into details but in the last third of this film their at least half a dozen scenes that completely removed me from the reality that this film is trying to convey. This is inexcusable in any film, but magnified in a true story. Very disappointed in a movie with so much potential. Expand
  25. 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
  26. Oct 29, 2012
    3
    Why did Affleck play Tony Mendez? Mendez is a shorter, chubbier man of Mexican decent. Luiz Guzman would have been a great pick for the lead. Affleck is just trying to make a name for himself and you can't blame him for trying to do so but in the process turned in a very dull performance. The feel of the period was nailed from outfits to mustaches but the acting was hollow. No oneWhy did Affleck play Tony Mendez? Mendez is a shorter, chubbier man of Mexican decent. Luiz Guzman would have been a great pick for the lead. Affleck is just trying to make a name for himself and you can't blame him for trying to do so but in the process turned in a very dull performance. The feel of the period was nailed from outfits to mustaches but the acting was hollow. No one stood out. Better left as a documentary of archival footage than a scripted movie. Gaah! Affleck. Expect no change here despite everyone and their mother urging you he's changed his ways. Expand
  27. Oct 28, 2012
    9
    Great movie. It's action without punches and guns (at least for the main characters), and the acting is outstanding. Ben Affleck has a clear possibility to get at least a direction nod for the academy awards, and Cranston, Goodman, and Arkin have over the top performances too. A must see.
  28. Oct 28, 2012
    10
    A nice suspense throughout the movie, especially nearing the end. It is one of those movies that builds up every last detail then puts it all into action in a short amount of time at the end, and while you might want to see the plan finally put into action, the details they keep adding keep you interested throughout.
  29. Oct 28, 2012
    7
    Argo is an intelligent film detailing a CIA covert operation during the depths of the Iranian hostage crisis is 1980. Affleck directs this taut thriller with a great command of the cinematic elements - using vintage cinematography to convey the period at hand - but the script lacks the emotional depth and characterisation seen in masterpieces of the genre. Nevertheless, it is a realisticArgo is an intelligent film detailing a CIA covert operation during the depths of the Iranian hostage crisis is 1980. Affleck directs this taut thriller with a great command of the cinematic elements - using vintage cinematography to convey the period at hand - but the script lacks the emotional depth and characterisation seen in masterpieces of the genre. Nevertheless, it is a realistic portrayal of a fascinating (and gripping) mission that does not disappoint in terms of sheer intensity. Expand
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.