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Reviews & Ratings for
Argo More at IMDbPro »

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76 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

Argo F#ck Yourself

Author: alex (doorsscorpywag) from United Kingdom
14 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Argo is not a particularly great film but tells an interesting story in a somewhat ironic fashion. Ironic because the central tenet of the tale is an imaginary movie and how Hollywood could create a lie to mask the rescue told in a way that is in itself as big a fantasy as the movie for that very rescue.

I am a big fan of Ben Affleck and enjoy his films and think he is a capable director. But sadly Argo is pretty dull and even the fake scenes made up to ratchet up any tension fall flat.

The acting is not particularly that good either. Not because the actors were at fault. Clea DuVall is a fine actress and Arkin and Goodman both excellent. But sadly the script does not give them a lot to work with. The fake scenes in the Canadian Ambassadors house are hardly riveting. Although we do get a bit of Led Zeppelin IV which showed they had some musical taste.

Afflecks character is pretty two dimensional with a bit of a sad family background thrown in to make us sympathetic. Sadly it does not work. The CIA look a bit more organised than Zero Dark Thirty but we do get the odd banging and shouting scenes at the climactic fake finale scene as they rush desperately to make the flight out of Iran.

That whole segment of the film was quite the worst part of the whole exercise and the shots of the Revolutionary Guard chasing the plane was frankly silly more than tense. Of course in reality they just turned up early in the morning and were waved with no fuss onto their escape flight and the movie cover was barely an aspect of the getaway.

Another aspect of the movie was how it makes a point that the British and New Zealand embassies turned away folks from the American embassy which was NOT remotely the case and both embassies played a part in keeping them safe. I understand that for the narrative and pace of the movie these facts were not addressed. But I don't understand why Affleck felt the need to lie about what these people did by saying they did NOT help. Why not just say nothing at all. I guess it is a sop to the uninformed American audience who like to think that their allies are so unreliable and it makes the American part in the rescue more important.

The Iranian's or Eyeranians as they have become known don't get much of a good deal either reduced to screaming lunatics rampaging around the streets hanging people from mobile cranes. But let's not forget how they ended up like this due to decades of Western interference. I am sure the vast majority of people there are decent enough folks. But America needs its boogie men and after all to be fair the hostage taking and probably rather frightening captivity of the other 50 odd Americans was not a fantasy.

Overall the lies and fantasy of Argo overwhelm the good parts of the tale and drag it into the realms of the nick of time Bourne type thriller without the car chases, shoot outs or cool martial arts fights.

Along with Zero dark Thirty and Lincoln another revisionist pap fest wrapped in red white and blue. Which is a shame as the real story was quite a decent tale on it's own but probably not as exciting.

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234 out of 429 people found the following review useful:

Affleck delivers another amazing film

Author: rgblakey from United States
12 October 2012

After years of being one of those actors that was hit and miss with people, who would have thought he would become one of the most sought after great directors in the industry. After his last film The Town received so much acclaim and award nominations everyone was wondering if it was just a fluke. His latest film Argo takes on the actual events during the Iran Hostage Crisis finds him once again taking on double duties with directing and starring, but can he bring these events to life and create another great film along with it?

Argo follows the unbelievable true story of six Americans that have found shelter with the Canadian ambassador in Iran when the revolution reaches a boiling point. The CIA works alongside some heavy hitters in Hollywood to create a fake film production to concoct a risky plan to try and get them out of the country. For a movie that focuses on a situation that was so dire and heavy, this film comes off a bit lighter than expected. Ben Affleck has crafted a brilliantly entertaining film on numerous levels. The story alone is intriguing watching their unbelievable plan come to life. During this time of the film it delivers some really funny moments, without falling to far off track and confusing the kind of film this is. The acting here is top notch with everyone involved, including Affleck himself delivering some awesome performances. The dynamic between Affleck and Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston is perfect creating a duo that both entertain as well as keep this story on track. The biggest treat in this film are brilliant and a lot of time funny performances from John Goodman and Alan Arkin. These guys really bring all the Hollywood aspect to the film to life while delivering Oscar worthy performances that will hopefully be recognized. The gritty look to this film really helps to capture the vibe and tone of the film while combined with the attention to detail, helps take you into the time period it takes place.

Brilliant directing, acting, story and some fun sci-fi references throughout takes Argo into the realm of one of the best films to come along in some time. Affleck proves once again of his talent as a director and that The Town was no fluke. This is a must see film that will no doubt be all-the buzz when award season comes around and deserves every bit of it.

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64 out of 93 people found the following review useful:

Argo- The dictionary should have this movie name next to the word boring.

Author: kakumba
24 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Watching this movie was a test of patience for myself. Boring, bad script, falsified facts and the acting was mediocre. Only brainwashed patriots might believe the storyline presented here and find it entertaining.

The portrayal of Iran in this movie is biased and seems geared towards propaganda for war. America solves the problem(s) they caused by doing something dramatic that makes no sense; right, nothing new here.

**Spoiler**: This film can be summarized as 6 Americans (whom I didn't connect with or care about at all) get captured and America saves the day by making making a fake movie to ensure their escape.

I normally don't bother rating movies. This one was so bad that I joined IMDb so I could give this garbage movie the rating it justly deserves.

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180 out of 328 people found the following review useful:

Get Ready To Hear "Argo for Best Picture"

Author: Greg ( from Oakville, Ontario
9 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No movie being showcased by this year's Toronto International Film Festival caught our interest as much as Ben Affleck's directorial follow up to The Town. Argo, based on a true story and starring Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Adam Arkin, tells the astonishingly true story of how a CIA exfiltration specialist attempts to free six Americans who have taken shelter in the home of the Canadian Ambassador during the Iranian hostage crisis. The story opens on November 4, 1979 when Islamist militants took control of the U.S. Embassy in Iran. 52 Americans were taken hostage and held for 444 days until their eventual release. But six American's were able to sneak out of the Embassy and find refuge unbeknownst to the Iranian rebels. The CIA, lead by agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) hatched a plan to rescue the house entrapped Americans by posing as producers of a fictional science fiction film. The idea was that Mendez would land in Iran and then convince the six Americans to assume roles as screenwriters, directors and co-producers of the film and they would all fly out of the country together once location scouting was complete in 48 hours. In an effort to have the mission legitimized, Mendez recruited Hollywood producer Lester Siegel and Special Effects man John Chambers to green-light the script and give the entire project credibility. If the entire notion of the plan sounds like something that only Hollywood could come up with well, you're half right. But Affleck sticks to the facts of the true events and ravels a bite-your-nails type thriller that is guaranteed to be rewarded with year-end nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and most certainly Best Supporting Actor for Alan Arkin. Every note, every frame of Argo looks authentic. Affleck, who received incredible support for his last directorial effort, The Town, ups the ante and films Argo with the confidence of a maestro at the top of his game. The movie shifts between locations of Iran, Hollywood and both the CIA Headquarters and even the White House in this brilliantly crafted adventure. Each scene and character oozes with atmosphere and purpose and Affleck confidently and flawlessly directs himself as the expected hero of the film a man who risks his own life and career for the lives of six strangers. Towards the concluding chapters of the film, audiences are sure to be on the edge of their seats even if they are aware of the historically recorded outcome (shades of Apollo 13). Once the rescue attempt his its apex, the audience at the Toronto screening erupted in an applause never before experienced by this reviewer in his thousands of theatrical screenings. That reaction is a testament to Affleck's direction that grabbed audiences by the emotional drawstrings keeping us involved in our character's fates and caring for their safe return. Argo is not only an important piece of history that many of us were completely oblivious but it is also one of the better films of this or the past few years.

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44 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Argo : Political…Just Political.

Author: Ali Foroughi from United Arab Emirates
12 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was so horrible that I can't even begin to describe it.

First, I'm going to break it down in 2 sections: the technical part and the historical aspect.

The Story was a mess and cliché. Such stories have been done so many times that 2 minutes within the movie you are able to guess every event and turnover that the story is going to take: An Unknown CIA agent who has troubles with his wife and family goes on a dangerous, life threatening mission to save the lives of Americans. In the process, he disobeys a direct order, accomplishes the mission, comes back home and gets a medal for it. And he is reunited with his family. And everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

That's the movie, summed up. And I can bet everyone can agree that it's a cliché and overdone story.

Other aspect is the historical aspect. I'm from Iran myself (but I don't live there now) so I know exactly what went down. Let me start by saying that the movie in fact IS a true story but it's not the WHOLE truth. They managed to "forget" some important notes that I'm sure lots of people noticed but chose to ignore it because of all the undeserved hype around the movie. First thing is that the U.S government could give up the Shah at any time and got the hostages back in a moment's notice. But they didn't. Why? Didn't the lives of 60 US citizens outweigh the life of a dictator who needed to be brought to justice? This was never mentioned. Secondly, the Canadians role; it's very popular among the people to call that mission "Canadian Caper". The Canadians had a HUGE role in this process. In fact they had the main role. They were the ones who issued REAL Canadian passports, they were the ones who arranged the flights and coordinated people within Iran. But we see their role cut down substantially to just the mere presents of the Canadian Ambassador. Thirdly, the movie fails to mention that the attack on the US embassy in Tehran was a result of decades of the US interference in Iran's politics and decision making; All the way from appointing prime ministers to staging coups. That's what drove the people to that point, and the film, once again fails to mention that. The film goes on to do what a typical Hollywood "true story" does. Dramatize actual events and make it into a Hollywood film. and a typical Hollywood ending scene (which never happened in real)

Once again, horrible, horrible movie.

Rating 4/10 : Only for the visual effects and production design which was adequate.

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64 out of 103 people found the following review useful:

A daring pearl of a film good will the last drop.

Author: Ronnie Steele from Canada
19 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Imagine, if George Cloonys smug Oscar speech magically Pinocchio'd into a man like director and made a movie. Well that movie would be called Argo.

The tension in this film is so well done it's ... over cooked. Yeah I said it.

Wow the car won't start and wait, spoiler alert, it starts. The security guard is staring at her fake passport for what seems to be an eternity, is this the end, spoiler alert, he passes it back and sends them on through. And that's not all each tension filled moment is followed by an even more tension filled moment like a boss level in Super Mario World. First it's just some jumps, but wait fireballs and what's this the ceiling is falling, very stressful.

Oh that's something else this movie lacks, suspense. I didn't feel any of these so called hostages were in any danger. Except when the Iranians were chasing them near the end but we're they really chasing them because since they had no idea they were being chased...hmmm if a tree falls in a forest...and something I forget, nevermind. Anyway this movie has it all and Ben Afflect.

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36 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Beyond bad...

Author: nazgulero_0 from Netherlands
23 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is so bad, I don't even know where to start. None of it makes any sense. Many basic movie making mistakes make it look like it is done by an amateur film crew. A guy waving a burning US flag, and it is more than obvious that it is CGI burn. An Iranian woman running towards the camera and looking directly into the camera, not even angry, but clearly having fun. In the next shot, from the side, she is gone. That is basic continuity. The head of security for the US embassy out of the blue decides to open the door to 'reason with these people', only to be taken hostage within 5 microseconds. That is beyond stupid. The entire film crew plot never makes any sense and is never put to work, as everything comes down to a security guard at the airport by accident reading about the filming of the movie. Right. What are the chances of him having a magazine on his table, and accidentally stumbling upon just that article ? The guard then calls the office in LA, which had already been shut down, but Goodman and Arkin for some inexplicable reason HAVE to go there in a hurry, even at the expense of ruining the shooting for another movie. What do they want in that office, and why the hurry ? The final car chase at the airport is the low point. There is no way an open jeep can keep up with a commercial airliner at full takeoff speed. This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Just another Ben Affleck ego trip, as we are treated to many, many closeups of his face.

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47 out of 71 people found the following review useful:

Slow and Tedious and very confusing, Also too heavy on the propaganda.

Author: Michael McGarry from Jersey, UK
11 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As the title says, i'm not a massive fan of this new film by Afleck and i'll try to explain why.

The film opens pretty interestingly enough. It gives a small tale of what happened to the oil rich country of Iran i.e., the US installed their own man and the subsequent revolution.

THEN the film becomes a film about making a production of a sci-fi film to rescue the 6 people trapped in Tehran. The action is painlessly slow and often quite tedious.

The question I ask myself is - what is this film about? It is confusing.

As said we have had the opening and then we meet the story of HOW they are going to rescue the 6: but the story seems to be very much PRO-West/USA and anti-revolution and anti-Iran, and I find this a little disturbing.

We have a depiction of Tony (Affleck) eating burgers and sharing Hollywood information with his son (Plant of the Apes) and the myriad of shots of Hollywood and the actors and producers - in particular John Goodman. He's pretty great in the part and seems real in the role. But it is all very much strange.

The first we meet Tehran is when Tony is flying over Iranian airspace (we meet this motif at the end also!) and he is told to put his alcohol away a reference that no alcohol is allowed. BUT, WHY? This is an ideological POV that we the audience are enveloped and ensconced. Then we see many images of children ( the dialogue in the film is "sweat shop kids") putting together the images of the 6 people so that they can get captured - and tortured and "have their nails pulled out" - This dialogue comes from the film.

So, I don't want to go on with this and I hope you've got an idea for why I do not like this film.

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32 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

A very shallow movie

Author: Cindy Chanceler from United States
3 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched Argo last night and was very disappointed. It is just a typical Hollywood commercial movie. It is probably entertaining, but definitely not thought-provoking. The directing is just so so. That explains why Ben Affleck did not get nominated for best director. It should not be given the best picture, either. Among the 9 movies nominated, I have watched Lincoln, Les Miserables, Django Unchained, and Life of Pi besides Argo. I must say Argo is the worst one. After 10 years people won't remember it as a must-see in life.

I watched the Italian movie The Unknown Woman on TV before going to the theater for Argo yesterday. Obviously the Unknown Women is far more superior to movies like Argo.

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28 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Criminally Overrated

Author: Joshua N from United States
13 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Where to even begin? Maybe with the positives?

Well, I found the pacing to be pretty good, and this film wasn't an overlong snooze-fest like Lincoln, so that made it somewhat entertaining. Some of the camera work was very good--I really liked some of the shots they took. Bryan Cranston was amazing in his role--it made me want his character to be the lead actually. Alan Arkin also shone in his role. Finally, the editing was good and is rightfully nominated for an Oscar.


All of the other Oscar nominations are pure folly. Best Picture? Absolutely not. Really? A more boring Oceans 11 meets the streets of Tehran is good enough for Best Picture these days? How sad is that? Best Screenplay? So, turning an interesting, real-life caper into a droll, boring, formulaic Hollywood movie is a good thing? The dialogue was generally trash when Goodman and Arkin weren't delivering one-liners. At no point did any character say anything about themselves or their situation that felt like it actually mattered or had any impact. Best Sound? Seriously? In a movie that has a soundtrack populated with Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and Scottish bagpipes? Sure, real original....You can go to any college bar in America and hear that soundtrack. Did America's movie establishment collectively snort a few lines of PCP-laced coke before watching this? Is that how it came to be such a great experience?

As for the picture itself, aside from the nominations, this played quite fast and loose with actual historical facts, which is kind of a no-no when doing a film based on reality. To divide the credit 95:5 USA:Canada is about a 50-point swing from where it probably should be, and Canadian reviewers have said as much. Also, the fact that Iranians are writing in that they feel the need to say they are not from Attila and the Hun and they aren't all bloodthirsty psychos bent on pillaging and murdering is pretty telling. Hollywood hasn't produced a film so stereotypically wrong about a whole race of people for, what, 3 months? I mean, Persian culture developed mathematics for crying out loud! Yet, this group of people has no more human qualities now than territorial apes? The fact that this was set in Tehran, which makes Iranians kind of important to the story and not a SINGLE Iranian is portrayed with any shred of a conscience is deeply troubling. The pigeonholing of Iranians as barbarians and Canadians like a little, ineffectual brother is absurd.

I was struggling with the fact that the movie would have been so much better had Ben Affleck's character actually been played by Chuck Norris! That says something (and not that I'm a fan of Walker, Texas Ranger which I'm not). The worst part, aside from 35 minutes of Affleck-face screen time, was the meeting he went to and completely shredded everyone's ideas (which were stupid, one had any other ideas, seriously? In an intelligence agency?). He subsequently proposed something so preposterous that no intelligence agency would EVER have green-lighted it, except for that it actually happened...hmmm...HOW? Maybe some more background about how this proposal made it through! Surely, that's not still classified at this point. This is how you immerse your audience in the story, Ben, you need to be stronger with the details--and give history buffs a reason to say, "hmmm, that's something I didn't know!"

TL;DR: As for my rating being 2/10, which may seem overly harsh, well, an OK movie, technically, was ruined by historical pandering, a suspense-less caper that was oh so predictable, and a series of implausible action scenes with virtually no action in them. That this and Lincoln will be duking it out for many Oscars really makes me happy that I don't go to the cinema all that often anymore.

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