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Argo More at IMDbPro »

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18 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Decent, but...

7/10
Author: asc85 from Mercer County, NJ
15 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In general, I liked this film, as well as the other films that Affleck directed - Gone Baby Gone, and The Town. The problem at this point with Affleck is that his films start out very strong, but like a Grisham, novel, he has problems closing them.

The opening of the film, which purports to show the storming of the American Embassy in Iran is amazing, and sets the tense tone of the picture. The rescue, back story, etc. are all amazing, and I can see why this became such a hot project to be attached to.

My problem with this movie is the ending. Now I know that they are saying that this movie is "based" on a true event, rather than the actual event. So that gives them some poetic license. But in this movie, their escape onto the plane is literally seconds away from being blown in multiple instances, and I'm sure while this escape was daring, stressful, etc., I'm sure it wasn't this razor-tight. For me, even if boarding the plane was more uneventful than shown, I still would have liked it, and probably thought it was more faithful to what really occurred. I didn't need to be hit over the head on how dangerous this operation was, and how courageous all the operatives were to get this done.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just read the review please!

1/10
Author: arminhage from Los Angeles
10 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Early in the morning on Sunday, January 27, 1980, Mendez, "Julio", and the six American diplomats, traveling with real Canadian passports and forged entry documents, made it easily through security at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport"

That's the real story according to Wikipedia. They easily boarded the aircraft and they left! Was it based on chance? I'm sure it was to some extent. To an audience of year 2012 the whole thing looks like a huge high adrenaline gamble with 1/100 chance of success but considering that year 1980 was 25 years away from the dawn of information age, it was absolutely possible to easily fake everything and get out of the country with aid of an insider at airport. I have no problem with dramatizing a simple true event in order to make an appealing movie out of it and that's what Chris Terrio did exactly, following all the clichés of Hollywood but somehow the end product came out to be the worst possible story. Here is why:

1. I have no respect for CIA but I do not believe that they are stupid otherwise God helps us all. Since they are not stupid, they would never approve of a mission heavily relying on luck. This mission as odd as it looked, had reasonable chance of success with aid of a local agent to place fake entry papers at airport and I'm sure they had such aid and for obvious reasons, they just ditched him out of the screenplay (and the public story of the true event). Without that local agent, that would be a suicide mission as pictured in the movie and I'm sure no one in Washington would approve such mission. "If they are going to die, let them die in streets of Tehran, it's much less embarrassment for us"... this would be their logic.

2. We are talking about Tehran's International Airport in the year 1980. Passengers boarded on the plane? fine, they are still in Iran. call the airport administration and ask them to revoke the clearance of the flight. It takes time? Plane took off? Fine! Ask air force to intercept. It normally takes an hour and half for a 747 to get out of Iranian airspace. Bottom line, provided that we accept what pictured in the movie was what actually happened, they had ZERO chance of success after exposure at Tehran's airport.

3. They managed to reconstruct an imitation of Tehran with computer but almost all of the real time street scenes were shot in Istanbul. Iranian cities have very distinct architecture. You can shot a movie in Istanbul and claim that it was Cairo or Damascus but that doesn't work for Tehran. If you want to picture Tehran or other Iranian cities, you have 2 ways. either you go there or recreate them with computer using the thousands of clips available on Youtube as your reference.

Besides what was mentioned, I would say the main problem with the movie was lack of a descent villain. It doesn't matter how stupid the whole idea is as long as it is presented appropriately. The revolutionaries and hostile situation are not considered as villains. A single person should represent them as villain. A person who presents from the very beginning of the movie till very end were he is defeated (or wins) as the final resolve. I like to know who was the story consultant! Overall it was a flat boring movie from start to finish. The screenplay was awful, horrible dramatization of real events, relying all on chance, it could be emotionally involving for the people who were involved with the hostage situation but absolutely not emotionally involving for ordinary audience. BTW! What happened to Julio? The other guy who were supposed to be with Mendez?????

This is not a movie I recommend someone to waste his time on. If you haven't seen it, just move on!

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Predictable storyline and far from reality

1/10
Author: Cristi Jora
12 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm sorry but i couldn't even stand watching it with any interest at all and when i saw its 8.0 rating on IMDb i just could stand writing a review. First of all i would like to say that for me it was a very poor, predictable,uninteresting,American promoting and a bit racist film.The storyline was very predictable even when watching it doing other things.The film itself skips so many realistic moments that could happen in such a situation and just goes over them magically to make the poor and predictable escape of the 6 persons possible.Above that, this film gets some prizes and awards that i was shocked to hear about.Oh common, get over it.This film does nothing but promote American patriotism and nothing more.It doesn't portray reality in any way and has a lot of racist elements in it.I would call it very poor and not deserving any award at all.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Solidly entertaining but another example of US historical revisionism

4/10
Author: Alan Taylor from North London
11 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let me start by saying as a piece of entertainment Argo is very good. Good acting, good editing, great music and solid direction by Ben Affleck and some great casting (The actors are almost splitting images of the real people concerned, see the films end credits) The attention to visual detail is superb. The reason I'm only giving this film a 4 star rating is the historical inaccuracies. The film only as a postscript acknowledges the Canadian input into the hostage rescue, and this was only added to the film after a test screening. OK the final tense scenes at the airport never happened in real life and that is excusable as it adds nail biting tension to the drama but to depict the rescue as solely a CIA endeavor is inexcusable. This is American cinema at its most disrespectful and nearly as bad as the historical re-write in the film U571 where the Americans claimed to have captured the German Enigma machine whereas in reality the British captured it. Entertainment is an important release in these troubled times but keeping historical accuracy in films is more important IMO. The real story is a triumph over multi national cooperation and has enough meat to make a great film, so why alter the facts? Argo is a good entertaining story but could have been a classic film without the stars & stripes BS.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

About as interesting as watching pasta boil

3/10
Author: (majic-5) from United States
19 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Creating suspense when a movie's outcome is pre-ordained is a high art. "Lincoln" (2012) did it. "Flight 93" did it. "Apollo 13" did it. "Flags of Our Fathers" did it. What they shared in common what great characterization. "Argo," on the other hand, is almost solely about the narrative. What little characterization in the script is extremely pedestrian, and none of the hostage actors (except for Tate Donovan) has the chops to infuse it with credibility and empathy.

The casting problem extends to Affleck himself. Always a piece of wood on camera, he again simply speaks his lines rather than embodies them (the scene where the CIA scuttles plan A excepted). Plus, since the movie went to great pains in the credits to show how physically similar the actors were to their real-life counterparts, why didn't Affleck get a portly, curly-haired Latino (Luiz Guzman comes to mind) to play Tony Mendez? The movie could have been more interesting if the story line had followed the actual events of the embassy workers being shuttled from the UK embassy to the Canadian embassy and receiving help from the New Zealand and Denmark embassy staffs. Then, I could have forgiven the hokey and completely fictitious climax. As it was, though, I nodded off a few times prior to the airport scene and simply didn't care at that point whether the hostages pulled off their caper.

Like the pasta boiling, this movie needed some zesty sauce to be more than limp and bland.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

6 was a 10, until I researched the facts

6/10
Author: db-beurylaw from United States
23 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There should be a ratings system (another one!) for movies "Based on a True Story." There would be one rating "T" for true story one that supplements a History education with a true depiction of historical events. A second rating with be "SL" this movie is based on real events by Some Liberties have been taken for dramatic effect. And finally "TBS" although this movie does relate to real historical events, it is Totally Bullshit.

Argo is sorta based on real events, but as it goes along, it gets more and more like a comic book version of what happened in Tehran in 1980. Six Americans escaped the takeover of the American Embassy and were able to hide in the Canadian Ambassador's house after they were hid by the British and with help from the New Zealanders. If you believe this movie the British turned the American's away. Ouch turning on our best friends in the world!

If you believe this crap, you believe that one brave American outsmarted the Iranians and rescued these six Americans. The facts were that it was a very brave Canadian Ambassador who stuck his neck out and orchestrated the escape.

This embarrasses me as an American. Americans have accomplished a lot and have shown extraordinary bravery. But that does not mean that every heroic act has to be falsified that it was done by an American. Movies like this and The Great Escape and U-571 are a slap in the face to other nations and belittle us as taking credit for other countries heroism. (In the Great Escape, Americans and British dug tunnels to escape from a POW camp, IN real life the Americans were transferred out before the big breakout and the Brits escaped. In the movie it was the Americans who escaped including a motorcycle riding Steve McQueen who hurdles the barbed wire on his bike.) In U-571 some American Sailors enter a sinking German Submarine to grab a German code breaking machine, Very heroic, except that the sailors were British.

If you are an American you should be embarrassed by this kind of stuff. If another country, say Italy made a "true" movie of how they landed on the Moon, wouldn't you think its a joke? That's this movie.

On top of that, the socko ending never happened. The Ben Affleck character (who was part Mexican in real life) did not take them to the Bizarre, they did not have their tickets cancelled, they did not have a problem with security, and there was no chase down the runway. IN fact they went to the airport at 5 in the morning and caught a plane and flew away.

If you're gonna make a movie based on true events, tell us up front that what you're presenting is a total pack of lies. Embarrassing.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Game Affleck aims for ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN prestige and falters in an otherwise acceptable historical account of Carter era Iranian hostage crises

8/10
Author: george.schmidt (gpschmidt67@gmail.com) from fairview, nj
22 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

ARGO (2012) *** Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishe, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina, Zeljko Ivanek, Titus Welliver, Keith Szarabajka, Bob Gunton, Richard Kind. Based on true life account of the 1979 Iran hostage crises focusing on six Americans hidden by the Canadian Ambassador while the CIA orders a covert op to rescue them from harm's way with Affleck as liaison Tony Mendez who cooks up a wild scheme involving Hollywood as a plot point (posing as a film crew scouting exotic locales for the fictional titular sci-fi flick). As the clock ticking potboiler attempts for ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN prestige it falls short namely for the six characters assumed to be worthy of saving when they are instead depicted as quite frankly obnoxious and irritating. Affleck continues his streak as a filmmaker with a tightly scripted docudrama feel from Chris Terrio's adaptation based on an article by Joshuah Bearman and a solid character actor cast buoys its pretensions with aplomb.

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15 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

From Gigli to Argo - Bravo, Ben Affleck!

9/10
Author: Galina from Virginia, USA
7 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on the actual historical events from 33 years ago, new Ben Affleck's film "Argo" which he produced, directed and starred in, is an excellent picture and a gorgeous thriller. The film recreates the episode associated with the rescue of six American diplomats, who managed to escape from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran during the assault and seizure of the embassy by Iranian militant students-rebels on Nov. 4, 1979, and who found refuge in the residence of the Canadian Ambassador at the time, Ken Taylor. CIA in conjunction with Canadian government had come up with an ingenious and risky operation in saving and extracting the six from Tehran from which even a bird would not be able to fly undetected. The film depicts in details the operation that for long 18 years remained classified. I would not argue that "Argo" may not be historically absolutely accurate but am not going to blame its creators for that. "Argo" turns to be a fascinating piece of cinema and a very timely film, despite the fact that the story it tells took place over 30 years ago.

For many years, Ben Affleck was for me a lesser part of the creative and friendly alliance with Matt Damon. Matt was "Talented Mr. Damon," and Ben - mostly, a pretty boy whose acting career hit the rock bottom with "Gigli", and who became famous as the first syllable in the created by media frenzy compound word Bennifer. I am happy to admit that I was wrong about Benjamin Geza Affleck. Well, he is still the first syllable in the compound word Bennifer, with the different Jennifer though, but he's got real talent as the film director with the sharp clear vision, undeniable craft, and confident style of directing. Ben Affleck is gradually becoming one of my favorite American directors: «Gone Baby Gone», «The Town», and now - "Argo." The latter is without doubt his best work so far and I highly recommend it. I would not be surprised at all that when the awards season arrives, both "Argo" and Affleck will be mentioned as the nominees for several prestigious awards. The film has a lot going for it. One remarkable scene follows another. From the first frames, "Argo's director creates unbearable tension, pulls the viewer inside the screen and holds them there until the end. One of my favorite scenes has Tony Mendes (Affleck) riding a cab from the Airport upon his arrival to Tehran. Pay close attention to what he sees and how short cuts form the streets of Tehran intertwined. For this scene alone, I believe Affleck deserves nomination for directing.

Pay attention how the tone of the film changes with the Hollywood scenes and how much of professional knowledge of starting the film production details Affleck uses. Making two fine actors John Goodman and Alan Arkin playing the roles of two prominent film personalities who agreed to take part in rescue operation from Hollywood, brings real humor in the dramatic and intense story. The final part of the film is purest Hollywood of its best times when the tension becomes unbearable, and I say this with admiration, because these scenes do not depend on the dizzying special effects, but on the pulsing pace, intense interaction among the characters and their emotions, and the flawless editing that cuts among several scenes occurring simultaneously in different and distant from each other, parts of the globe. While watching the film, especially the final chapters, you squeeze the armrest of your chair hard and clench your fists so the nails dig into the palms.

As we grow older, it gets more and more difficult to lose yourself in the movie, which is after all, only an illusion, 24 lies per second. Rarely can a film completely convince the viewer that the line between him and the screen is gone. I am grateful to Ben Affleck for making me forget about that line while watching the best scenes of "Argo". I completely trusted him as a filmmaker.

I am not going to talk about plot details here. With this film, the less the audience knows about the plot before they watch the film, the better. I only say that bearded Affleck with longer hair looks as convincing in front as he is behind it. Bravo, Ben! I advise you to pay close attention to the prologue of the film before the credits. Affleck remarkably well used animating technique illustrating historical events that led to the crisis of the American hostages in Iran, 1979-1981. Don't leave the theater the film is seemingly over. It is not. For few minutes we are treated to the epilogue where the portraits of actors and their counterparts are compared, and some details of their after Argo lives are revealed.

I'd like to add few words about John Chambers, the character played by John Goodman. John Chambers was in fact one of Hollywood greatest make-up artists. His most famous work using the prosthetic make-up techniques for numerous ape –people from the first classic film with Charlton Heston, "Planet of Apes" (1968) and the characters of the series "Star Trek". Chambers was honored with Oscar for his work on "Planet of the Apes." It was the first Academy Award in the category for outstanding makeup. Compassionate human being, Chambers also devoted his talents to help with the face restoration to the soldiers disfigured during the war, as well as to cancer survivors.

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17 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Quite suspenseful!

8/10
Author: macktan894 from United States
12 October 2012

Ben Affleck continues hitting them out of the park. Based on a true story, Argo re-enacts the events that freed American foreign service employees from their hideout in the Canadian Embassy. The setup involves Affleck's character, Mendes, putting together the cover story of a Canadian film crew scouting locations in the Mideast for a sci-fi movie. Alan Arkin & John Goodman are hilarious as Hollywood hotshots producing this surefire scifi hit. The process follows Mendes as he enters Iran and has to BS his way to some skeptical and hostile Iranian theocrats who almost don't know how to respond to the possibility of a scifi movie set in Iran. Mendes must also deal with frightened and reluctant Americans who are being forced out in the open to pose as a movie crew. Affleck does a good job of injecting suspense and dread all through this section.

But the real nail biter is their exit from Iran. As in other movies of this ilk, the chase heats up with the Iranians on the heels of the Americans. Affleck throws into this chase a huge boulder of an obstacle when President Carter pulls the plug on the film crew ex-filtration & decides to go with Delta soldiers instead. If you want to know what happens, I advise you to see the movie or read the news accounts.

This just goes to show you that not all CIA covert actions are led by armed fighters like Jason Bourne and launched by the Treadstone department. Affleck's character doesn't even carry a gun--he carries a script instead.

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45 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

True story but NOT IN DETAIL

4/10
Author: mahdi shabani from Iran
7 December 2012

I was born in Iran and live in Iran and seeing a movie about my country and my people that goes to the wrong direction just made me angry. I wasn't born at that time but i heard from my parents and others and nothing was like the movie.killing the people every day in streets and calling in streets for returning and execution the SHAH,i am saying you none of them happened like the movie showed. I think it was better for Ben to come Iran and talk with people at that time and heard their opinion not just reading the files and papers and making the movie. At the end i want to say that the people of Iran are not like the characters of this movies and i expecting to every ones to searches about the accidents of that times and then judge about the either the film and my country.

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