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Argo More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Ridiculous propaganda film

1/10
Author: Fle_23
18 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK i know that America thinks they are the good guys and whatnot, but to change facts and replace them with fiction to make yourselves look better is just pathetic. Adding to that they had the audacity to call it "Based on a true story".

A ridiculous attempt once again by America to make Islam and Islamic culture look like the devils own. A propaganda film at its best (which is not much considering that Kristen Stewart probably has more acting skill than Ben Affleck) It just seems to gloss over the fact that it was America and its allies were the real VILLAINS who put Iran under the rule of the puppet master in the coup in the first place, so they could exploit the country and stop it from progressing. This was just the people taking back their country. if the same puppet had threatened America in any way, they would have gone after him like they did to Iraq, Afghanistan, (Insert name of Muslim country here). Fact is this movie was just made to make America feel happy about itself.

and no I'm not a Muslim. Just a believer in truth and fact.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

OK film but seriously flawed in places

6/10
Author: Dominic Hanagan from United Kingdom
23 March 2013

The storyline itself makes for a great film if time was given to explore characters more and background more, the film hits the ground running then its given the rest of the time it has to try and elongate a very specific part of the story which culminates in a fevered 15 minute ending.

I would watch it again but not biased on the reviews that others have given it. I did not approach the film from an historical point of view only from an entertainment point. So please find that this review has no shouts of the film being racist, anti-Iranian, anti this and anti that I only wish that people reading this review do not take into account some other reviewers offering reviews biased on their political and religious opinion. Just review the chuffing film. please

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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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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not best-picture worthy.

8/10
Author: CinematicInceptions
22 September 2017

I don't like to believe the myth that Hollywood loves movies about itself, but this movie proves that myth true better than any other I've seen. It's a cool story for sure, but it gets too wrapped up in the premise of making a fake movie. There is a lot of time spent shooting down other ideas and going through the process of publicizing a fake movie. It was necessary and sometimes entertaining to see, but it could have taken up less time. Even the "Argo f--- yourself" line adds to sense that the movie is rather full of itself.

What I found more interesting was the details of the plan to rescue the six Canadians. Ben Affleck's character Tony is at his best when he's trying to get the hostages to buy into his plan and working to get them home. There was a much more human element to it, and they were more in line with what I think is more of the purpose of movies that are based on real events. When events are described in the news or in many historical books, it is easy to forget that they are about real people with real stakes, and dramatizations of such events help to put those sorts of things into better perspective. Argo is paced much faster and made a bit more entertaining than most non-fictional movies, but it neglects its characters for the most part.

For these reasons, I don't agree with it winning the Best Picture Oscar. There was too much that could have been better, and a little too much narcissism laced into it. Perhaps someone who really enjoyed it could convince me of its value and quality, but I find it to be overrated and not true to itself. Overall Rating: 7.2/10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

In The Beginning, There Was the Shah.

7/10
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
7 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's an important movie because the incident that began this whole Middle East muddle in which we now find ourselves -- let's think of it as the index incident -- is fast disappearing down the memory hole. The Iranian takeover of the U.S. embassy in Teheran in 1979 is as remote from younger Iranis as the Vietnam war is to our college students. It's something they read about in history books. The mutual enmity has become functionally autonomous; it's an ongoing thing and now feels as if it's always been there.

So it's important if only for its educational value. It's also a suspenseful story in itself. While the enraged Iranis storm the American embassy and occupy it, six of the staff escape out the back door and are finally given safe quarters in the house of the Canadian ambassador, while the rest of the staff are not so lucky. No one has any idea of what will happen to the six escapees. They could be caught and murdered momentarily. And they have no way of getting out of the country.

Enter Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez, intrepid agent of the CIA, whose book this screenplay is based on, alas. I hope no one expects a personal memoir by a CIA hero to reflect any characterological weaknesses such as self doubt or vanity or hesitancy or fear. Affleck is grimly determined throughout, despite the company's attempts to shut the operation down. "I will get you out. That's what I do," he tells his terrified wards repeatedly. The outrageous plan is to give the six Americans new identities as location scouts for a film company.

The script, and Affleck's performance, turns Mendez into a cipher. He seems to have only one trait -- that obsession to get them out. But then the script doesn't give any of the six hostages any personality either. They each have one trait, if that many, and are otherwise impossible to distinguish from one another. Well, that's not entirely true, because you can tell the men from the women.

The story itself is intrinsically strong. The problems of getting a new identity and fooling the house-to-house Irani searchers at the airport, are spelled out in a jumbled kind of way. But Affleck, the director, and his cameraman seem to have caught some sort of palsy that has been endemic in Hollywood for the last decade or more.

The hand-held camera is hardly ever still. The cuts come quickly, one upon the other. There are swish pans, wobbles, innumerable close ups of static faces where there need be no close ups at all. That's during the contemplative periods. During the action scenes, forget it -- a kaleidoscope of flashing images. As a result, the movie has taken on some of the visual qualities of a rock video, or a TV commercial for pimple cream, exercycles, or SUVs with Ma Deuces on top. ZOOM, BANG, Ooops, pardon me! The stylistic quirks juice up a story that needs no more juice than it already has. A suspense thriller doesn't need to convince us that it's supposed to be thrilling. I mean, cf., "All The President's Men", and count the close ups and wobbles.

But the directorial and editing style may just be trying to keep pace with the headlong layout of exposition. A brief but very valuable and dispassionate historical introduction is quickly tossed aside in favor of in favor of shots in which some Suit rushes into an office somewhere, grabs a phone and shouts, "WHAT? They can't DO that!" And I couldn't tell who "they" were or what they weren't supposed to do.

Except for Affleck's robotic honcho, the performances are okay, and some are better than that. Thank God for Alan Arkin and John Goodman, who inject a necessary dose of humor and cynicism into the movie. Even without them, the movie would have been better than the average junk pouring out of the studios, if only because of its political and historical significance. Yet, I'm getting awfully tired of being yanked by the ear from one place to another. Why don't "they" take a breather and watch "Lawrence of Arabia" again?

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

True Events provide Thrills but is too Manipulative

6/10
Author: kgprophet
22 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film starts with the title card "Based on a True Story". Yes, you can base a film on a true story and then fictionalize parts of it. But it is another thing to add way too many obvious tension-building fabrications to suggest that their escape was inches away from doom. Aside from these implausibilities within the manipulative plot, this movie jumps with energy by wise dialogue and quick pacing.

Many things are done with assured direction that is easy to see why it was nominated for many Academy Awards. There is sharp exchanges between government entities. Using the "E.R." template, all these conversations take place in motion while the characters are en route to somebody's office or some other place. This type of staging is effective in propelling this risky drama in the backdrop of the hate-fueled protests in Iran in the late 1970s. I also enjoyed the tension-filled early technology, when a phone was still leashed to a wall inside a room.

But these spoilers had me groaning…

I wonder if the potential hostages had to really parade themselves through a busy marketplace as part of their disguise. I really wish it was true that the CIA pulled the plug by deliberately removing the flight reservations (why??), and leave a CIA operative stuck in Iran empty-handed. I really wish it was true that the housekeeper of the Canadian embassy was interrogated as the Americans were heading to the airport. Or that one of the dozens of students piecing together shredded photos recognised one of the Americans as they were boarding the airplane. Or that police vehicles were chasing down the 747 as it was lifting off.

….End Spoilers

I really wish it was true that this winner of Best Picture earned it's stripes by the authenticity of this caper, based on a true story. But of course the intricate details of the event will not be available to the public to verify. I think Ben Affleck has a great sense of pace and intelligence, but I was feeling a little too manipulated in order milk the tension to the level of disbelief.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Overrated

6/10
Author: Caps Fan from Washington DC
28 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I finally got to see this film when it came out on DVD. And my question, having done so, is: just what is all the fuss about?

I was still a callow youth when the actual events on which the movie is supposedly based happened, but I remember feeling really sorry for those taken hostage. But that's the problem with this film. I really didn't feel any connection at all with the 6 people shown being hidden in Iran by the Canadians, before being taken out under fake identities. The scene on the Swissair flight when it becomes clear they have actually got out is nice, but no more.

Most objectionable is the politics, with American heroism and ingenuity being talked up, the role of the Canadians being reduced to a supporting act, and the British, who also helped, not being mentioned at all.

There are some plus points. The acting is mostly good. The climactic scene as the Iranian authorities chase a jumbo jet along the runway at Tehran airport is fictitious and implausible, but exciting all the same. The music is effective.

When all's said and done, though, the film just doesn't deserve the awards it won– but, to be fair, I wouldn't give it any Razzies either.

Rating: 6/10

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This is How American Craps on its Friends

3/10
Author: Venge from Vancouver
13 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie suggests that it is telling the "real" story about what happened to the six Americans trapped in Iran during the Iran Hostage Crisis and how they escaped the country. It is a fanciful mumbo-jumbo of how the CIA, using good old American ingenuity, created this ingenious cover story of "Argo" and to the relief of the timid Canadians, who were getting nervous and scared about harbouring them, whisked them magically and suspensefully out of the country and back to freedom. All would be well, if it there was even a shred of truth to it. Instead, it is all fiction, but to a new generation of American youth, this will be how it "really" happened. You can hear them now chanting, "USA!!USA!!"

So why does Hollywood make a movie like this? Well, for one, you do not make a movie for Americans showing "anyone else" having to rescue them. Their egos just will not stand it. It has to be Americans who rescue their fellow Americans, for god forbid that the "greatest nation on earth" should ever be in a position to need rescuing!! A movie, based on the actual facts of the incident, remembered in history as the "Canadian Caper" would keep American audiences away from the cinema in droves. But bend the truth, make an American CIA agent the hero, and Voila!! Not only a box-office hit, but an Academy Award winner for Best Picture!!

Who cares if this pictures takes a dump on America's few remaining friends. England, who originally harboured the fugitives and then snuck them to the Canadian ambassador's house, and New Zealand, who actually helped transport the fugitives to the airport for their flight to freedom, were said in this movie to have "Refused to help". Well thanks for nothing guys. The Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor, who in real life quietly led the US contingent through the airport and out of the country with no fanfare, just quiet common sense, is portrayed and afraid and clueless.

Maybe the moral of all this is, next time America needs help, their friends should tell them to go ask Hollywood.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Worst Picture of the Academy Awards

1/10
Author: PatriciusJ
26 December 2015

I am simply stunned (but I should not be surprised anymore) how in the world and with right reason does Argo even get nominated for any Academy Award, let alone win Oscars, including best Motion Picture? Ben Affleck must know the right people in charge, etc. and that is all that really matters for him to win again this trophy. The integrity of the Academy Awards once again is at stake. I simply cannot understand it anymore. I wonder why folks like Sergio Leone, Peter O'Toole, Liam Neeson, and so many others have won nothing for their role in a film at the AA. O well! As far as the Argo flick itself, I will not give it away, but judge it for yourself and ask if it is better than A Most Wanted Man (2014)?

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