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86

Universal acclaim - based on 45 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 810 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on true events, “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis—the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point,Based on true events, “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis—the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA “exfiltration” specialist named Tony Mendez comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 9, 2012
    100
    Argo is a triumph. It has tension, sincerity, mystery, artistic responsibility, entertainment value, technical expertise, a narrative arc and a thrilling respect for the tradition of how to tell a story with minimum frills and maximum impact. It's a great footnote to history, one of the best films of 2012 and a sure-fire contender on Oscar night.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 11, 2012
    100
    Argo is movie magic. Ben Affleck's third directorial outing, is an entertaining, real-life, race-the-clock thriller that nabs you at the start and never makes a wrong move.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Oct 11, 2012
    100
    A blue-chip Oscar contender that's also a rousing popcorn movie, Ben Affleck's Argo offers plenty of nail-biting thrills as well as funnier scenes than you'd ever imagine possible in the grim context of the Iran hostage crisis.
  4. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 11, 2012
    88
    Argo's white-knuckle nail-biter of a climax takes liberties with how events played out in real life. But while Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio have opted to go Hollywood, it's high-class Hollywood, not the low-rent and exploitative route that the make-believe movie at the heart of this tale would have taken.
  5. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Oct 10, 2012
    83
    Only the finale threatens to undo all that hard work. Though well-done, the last act leans less on the facts of the case than on Hollywood contrivances, heightening the tension with embellishments that feel at odds with the methodical, deliberate film leading up to them.
  6. 80
    A marvel of cunning, an irresistible blend of cool realism and Hollywood hokum.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Sep 10, 2012
    50
    In terms of quality, though, Argo is just so-so.

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 181
  1. Oct 12, 2012
    10
    Argo is a triumph. It has tension, sincerity, mystery, artistic responsibility, entertainment value, technical expertise, a narrative arc andArgo is a triumph. It has tension, sincerity, mystery, artistic responsibility, entertainment value, technical expertise, a narrative arc and a thrilling respect for the tradition of how to tell a story with minimum frills and maximum impact. It's a great footnote to history, one of the best films of 2012 and a sure-fire contender on Oscar night. Expand
  2. 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 wellExcellent, 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
  3. 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 performancesThis 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 Expand
  4. Aug 24, 2014
    8
    Argo is the Academy Award Winner for Best Picture of 2012, and while it was an amazing film, the actual story was far less interesting. InArgo is the Academy Award Winner for Best Picture of 2012, and while it was an amazing film, the actual story was far less interesting. In 1980, the tensions between Iran and The United States began, and the U.S. embassy in Tehran was overrun. Hundreds were held hostage for over a year, but six did manage to escape and went into hiding. Knowing that their lives were even more in danger than those of the hostages, the C.I.A. developed a unique plan to get them out of Iran. They sent in one of their top agents, with credentials claiming that he was part of a Canadian film crew. Armed with fake documents, he would smuggled the six out of the country. The film was intense and featured one close call after another, but in reality, getting them out was almost too easy. They were never stopped or questioned, and slipped out under the cover of early morning, without a hitch, but what kind of a movie would that be? Once these classified files were released by the U.S. Government, Hollywood saw the chance to tell this story in an extreme manor, and did so much to the delight of audiences and much to the chagrin of the other countries involved. Ben Affleck both stars and directs this film, and while everyone raves about his performance, I thought it was typically cold and flat. Ben Affleck wasn't interesting, the character he played was. Affleck wasn't any more likeable or skillful here than he was in any other role and that's why he didn't win best actor. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the man is a fantastic Director, but a very mediocre actor. That being said, the extreme locations and huge cast, were his biggest challenge to date as a Director, and I was very impressed by the way he managed to pull it off. Argo is based on a true story, it's fast paced, and even though we all know what happened before seeing the film, it's still an edge of your seat thriller that really shouldn't be missed. Expand
  5. Jan 27, 2013
    7
    great film! not sure I understand the hype? good storyline and screen play, but nothing extra special? ben Affleck is obviously talented as agreat film! not sure I understand the hype? good storyline and screen play, but nothing extra special? ben Affleck is obviously talented as a director, writer and actor. but for me it falls short of any other critically acclaimed film this year? Alan Arkin is superb and partnered with John Goodman they make a humours, realistic depiction of their characters. A great film, and a must see if you like a tense drama... but isn't the best film of the year? its barely memorable! Expand
  6. Mar 18, 2014
    0
    I don't understand why this has such great reviews. It was a boring as all hell patriotic American BS movie that drags along until the end.I don't understand why this has such great reviews. It was a boring as all hell patriotic American BS movie that drags along until the end. Boring story. Expand

See all 181 User Reviews

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