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86

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

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 848 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
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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 185
  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. Collapse
  2. Mar 24, 2013
    10
    Argo is magnificently brilliant in every way. It's perfect in terms of espeonauge and story telling (even though it's based on a true story).Argo is magnificently brilliant in every way. It's perfect in terms of espeonauge and story telling (even though it's based on a true story). Not only was there great acting, but director, Ben Affleck, reels in some great acting as well. But overall, Affleck has given us an incredible experience of how far one man will go to save the lives of others. Expand
  3. 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 lovedArgo 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
  4. Sep 1, 2014
    8
    Affleck has directed and crafted one of the best films of not only this year, but of his entire career. This film manages to take a true storyAffleck has directed and crafted one of the best films of not only this year, but of his entire career. This film manages to take a true story and turn it into a masterpiece. Expand
  5. 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 stessaAll’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
  6. 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"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

See all 185 User Reviews

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