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Good movie but took a lot of liberties
cheche112 October 2012
This is a great movie. The story, acting, pacing, editing, etc. was just fantastic. Affleck's directing was solid, and the suspense will keep you entertained right through to the last seconds. I loved it.

It did have one irritating thing, though, kind of a big one. It pointed most of the accolades to Affleck's character and the CIA. This really was not true. It was Ken Taylor and the Canadians who really pulled 'the Canadian Caper' off so successfully.

"When Taylor heard a few years ago that Mendez had sold movie rights to his book (which, to be fair, is much more generous than the movie about Canada's role), "I said, 'Well, that's going to be interesting.'...."The movie's fun, it's thrilling, it's pertinent, it's timely," he said. "But look, Canada was not merely standing around watching events take place. The CIA was a junior partner."

"The old postscript sent the message that, for political reasons, Canada took the credit. A sarcastic kicker noted that Taylor received 112 citations. The clear implication was that he did not deserve them."(Sept/Oct., 2012,".

So the USA does another revision on history here. I believe 'Argo' goes this far. Yes, it's based on a true story - the movie does it's best to allude that it sticks to technical accuracy. And it really does, in some ways. Historical pictures of flag burners, rioters, gate climbers, etc.. up against Argo film stills run by during the credits make it seem that the facts were adhered to down to the tiniest detail. In reality, it wasn't Tony Mendez or the CIA who were responsible for the success of this operation; actually they were barely there.

Since the movie premiered, Ben Affleck has added emphasis on the movie postscripts since then that gives kudos to the Canadians' role. This was after Ken Taylor politely complained, as a Canadian would tactfully do. But Affleck did this only after pressure from Taylor himself.

I can understand the need to spice up events to make them as exciting and entertaining as possible, don't get me wrong. But this film needs to let the audience know that more explicitly than it does, even after the changed postscripts.

Still, a really entertaining and riveting film, very well done, and easily worth seeing. As a matter of fact, don't miss it.
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Formulaic and historically inaccurate
Jonathan Russell9 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A reasonably competent movies from a technical point of view, but in other respects very misleading.

What I liked was Ben's restrained performance as the CIA field operative, and fun to see John Goodman in a straight role, but everything else was a bit lacking. Iran is an extraordinary, culturally rich and diverse country, but it is portrayed as populated entirely by thugs and fundamentalists, with the rest of the population invisible or cowering victims. I'm not being an apologist for a state with poor human rights and a dictatorial government - but it is not what is portrayed in this movie.

The basic fact that for a short period several American consulate workers were in hiding and were flown out under fake identities is true, but a lot is missed out. They first hid in the British consulate, but were moved to Canada House on British advice (as best as I can glean from various Internet sources), and the whole operation was a joint venture between at least three countries. What we get is a 'Yankwash.'

The film-makers have said that people forget that "this is a movie", and deliberate latitude and creativity is necessary for entertainment purposes to make it watchable and engaging. Okay, so if that is the case then what is left is formulaic: bad guys do something bad - maverick individual comes up with a daring plan - plan almost fails at the last minute - car chase - everyone alright now!

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy the excuses. This is a lazy way of film- making. The more accurate story could have been well told - with acceptable dramatic liberties such as condensing number of characters, timescales and even adding the (actually never happened) car-chasing-a- jumbo-jet-bit as they finally flee - without having to rewrite history t a degree that becomes offensive.

So, averagely enjoyable if it was fiction and a polished production from a acting and technical point of view, but a desperately inaccurate pastiche of what really happened - a great shame as the real story would have been just as good, if not better for being real.
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Based on the Truth?
jamesthealchemist26 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I am severely disappointed in this film for the main reason that we see US movie makers twisting the truth so that they come out looking like heroes. And I am not alone in this. The UK and French governments were quite rightly upset by the movie saying that their embassies had refused to help out the Americans in trouble. The UK embassy took the refugees in at great risk and kept them there until the Iranian guard was getting suspicious. Ben Affleck claims he had the refugees refused because he wanted them to appear to be isolated would be funny if it wasn't so clear that he actually wanted it to be the US who really saved them. At least the movie makers did have the Canadian embassy involved as it had been at the time. The movie should have said at the start that the facts had been changed in the name of drama. Movie makers have a responsibility when making movies based on the truth to let people know what really occurred. When they don't they are actually guilty of trying to change history and worse people believe what they see on the screen. And lastly seeing the guards at the airport chasing the jet in order to try and stop it was absurd. Why didn't they simply shoot at it or have the Iranian air-force force the jet to land. A joke of a movie so far removed from what actually happened and to say its 'based on the truth' really shows just how far the truth gets abused.
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Puzzling success for a disaster of a film
szezonmeister25 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I understand it may flatter US patriotism, or recall memories to those who remember the events and I don't even dispute Affleck's directorial and acting skills. However, this is a completely superfluous, empty and desperately predictable movie. The historical inaccuracy has been pointed out by several other reviews: no, things didn't happen that way, the Canadians deserve much more credit in that operation than this portrayal ever shows. Notwithstanding the role of the US in sustaining a puppet dictatorship during the Shah and actively interfering in a sovereign country's domestic politics for decades prior to the events. But this is only a secondary concern: historical accuracy is not the most important factor for a fiction, even when it's based on actual events. What I dispute is how incredibly shallow and predictable the storytelling is: cliché anonymous US CIA antihero agent with issues at home goes to a dangerous place, saves innocent lives, takes risks against orders, comes out victorious to reunite with his family. Who on Earth cares, seriously? And no, the fact that it's based on historical events - and therefore you can't argue with history - is not an answer precisely because the script takes so many liberties with the events. I don't care about the liberties taken with history but I care about the ability to portray convincingly the complexity of human emotions and relationships. There is none here. And make no mistake, a fictitious 2 min car chase at an airport is the closest you ll get to see some emotions (ie. anguish at being killed by the revolutionary guards). The characters come out of a cardboard factory, they have zero critical self-reflection about their own role in interfering with a foreign country's domestic affairs, total solidarity with each other and pure love for their partners. This is a Disney version of human psyche, a dishonest and partial historical account and a debauchery of time, energy and money ill spent. Affleck is an able actor and I hope will prove more convincing in his future efforts as a director, but what really baffles me is not the mediocrity of this film, it's the uncritical enthusiasm of so many for it.
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Ben affleck can grow a beard
nainfroid28 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I was watching this movie with 2 friends and none of us said anything until it was over. While I was watching it something was bothering me but I didn't say anything because I thought the other two were into it, Ben Affleck with a beard doing CIA stuff in 1980 Iran being a sort of archetype of what an cool movie should be these days...

Anyway I kept my mouth shut, and when the movie ended I looked at my two companions. They both seemed a little off, I couldn't tell if it was indifference or confusion or flat out boredom. One thing was clear though: this movie sucked.

First, at no point whatsover does one feel any connection and/or sympathy for the main character. Ben Affleck makes the SAME FACE during the entire movie, his eyes gazing in the distance and his mouth gaping ever so slightly, giving him an expression vaguely similar to what I imagine someone coming out of months of Electroshock Therapy would have.

I never saw how this 'acting' contributed to the 'character' in any way. In fact, there is almost no character to speak of, and you'd almost forget him if it weren't for the fact that he is in almost every scene of the movie.

Second (Spoiler I guess), even thought it started with a cool premise, the story unraveled poorly and I honestly didn't get the point. So what, they spent the whole movie training, all of it to get through a 5 minute scene at the customs where nothing really happens and another climatic 5 minute chase on the runway where clearly the car has no chance of stopping the plane, and in fact it doesn't, so there, the end? I mean, seriously??

I can only imagine that this movie has such a good rating because most people haven't even bothered reviewing it. There was a bunch of other stuff I wanted to complain about but that movie was so bland that I forgot.
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Argo : Political…Just Political.
Ali Foroughi12 February 2013
Warning: 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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Argo F#ck Yourself
alex (doorsscorpywag)14 January 2013
Warning: 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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Dull and Overrated
SampanMassacre16 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In a particular scene, one of the "hostages" (one of the escaped Americans from the taken-over Iranian Embassy) is looking outside the window of the safe house, and he sees, right on the street, a guy getting shot... The guy looking out the window has a blank expression, and this sums up the overall suspense and vibe of ARGO that, until the last twenty minutes when the characters are trying to silently escape through the airport, has little momentum and simply goes through the motions.

The aspect about the fake film, that will provide a cover to save the hostages, is rushed, and although Alan Arkin has funny lines, there are very few obstacles for the characters to get that fake movie going... One step to another, all the characters seem to sleepwalk through each scene where people sit behind desks and talk to each other.

Affleck's directing style is good, it looks good, but his performance is dull and listless... Much like those hostages that we are supposed to feel for but, with their horrendously distracting 1970's wigs and mustaches, they're just wallpaper in a wallpaper experience.

This is the most overrated movie of the last decade.
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A very shallow movie
Cindy Chanceler3 March 2013
Warning: 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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Beyond bad...
nazgulero_023 February 2013
Warning: 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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Intense Film Packed With Emotion
Calum Rhys24 February 2013
Argo is the political thriller based on the 1979 Iranian hostage situation in which 6 Americans were left to fend for themselves in the centre of Tehran. CIA Operative Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck) is sent into Iran to evacuate the Americans out safely under the cover of being a film production crew working on a picture called 'Argo'.

The film is absolutely amazing and definitely one of the best films I've seen in a long time, throughout 2012 and 2013 so far we have been treated with some great films such as Skyfall, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty and more, but in my own personal opinion Argo takes the bait as the best of them all. Proof is present as it won 3 BAFTA's for best picture, best director and best editing, also nominated for a further 8 Oscars in 85th Academy Awards.

The film is packed with a sense of threat, peril and intensity all portrayed exceptionally well through the ensemble cast including Ben Affleck (The Town), John Goodman (Big Lebowski), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Alan Arkin (Edward Scissorhands) and Victor Garber (Titanic). The ending is by far the most intense ending I have seen in a long time, visually presented in such an astounding way.

Director Ben Affleck started out his auteur career after his directional debut Gone Baby Gone became critically acclaimed, three years later The Town came out with an Oscar nomination. Now 2 years on we have Argo, Affleck's best film by far.
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Argo- The dictionary should have this movie name next to the word boring.
kakumba24 February 2013
Warning: 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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Criminally Overrated
Joshua N13 February 2013
Warning: 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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What a load of sh*t
tercero24 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I can't believe how this piece of garbage has been hyped. It's a revisionist hunk of crap that only shows how out of touch Hollywood and the American public really are. The main character, Tony Mendez, was in Iran for 1 and half days. It was the Canadians who created the background story. It was the Canadians who issued the passports. It was Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor that took ALL of the risks. Yet, Ben Affleck seems to think if you tell a lie long enough and to enough stupid people, they'll believe it. After the fiasco that was U-571, you'd think Hollywood would have the decency not to go about spreading such misleading information. Apparently not. I'd give ARGO a zero if it were possible. It's disappointing that it's nominated for an Oscar. Argo - And Ben Affleck - You suck.
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The entire film plot is about 6 Americans in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution.
kdillon-569-67943531 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It could not be more islamophobic if it tried. I am not saying the Iranian revolution was something pretty. It really wasn't. Here is a list of the disturbing in the portrayal of Iran in Affleck's Argo: -When the Iranian people spoke Farsi in the film there were no English subtitles. If an American spoke farsi there magically appeared subtitles. -Every single Iranian in the film was angry. This was the only emotion they could express. According to Argo all Iranians are hostile. -Showed no culture, not a single educated Iranian of there own right. There was one "good" Iranian who was a housekeeper to the Canadian ambassador. No character development at all, she serves her purpose and leaves. Apparently fled to Iraqi cause thats going to end well for her children. -The streets of Iran were made to look like the streets of hell. The streets are shown with either one of these characteristics 1. angry Iranian mob protesters who are in favour of the Khomeini 2. militia terrorizing and murdering it own citizens 3.objectified Iranian dead bodies. Do yourself a favour and rent Persepolsis (2007) written and directed by Iranian refugee and graphic artist Marjane Satrapi.
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A Very Misleading Movie - Garbage By Affleck
SpitfireIXB24 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Here we go again. This time a really exciting true story has been dumbed down with mostly fabrications by Ben Affleck and his writers for reasons unknown.

Argo claims to be an accurate account of the evasion and escape of six American embassy staff from Iran. Tag lines for the movie Argo state "the movie was fake but the story is completely true." Nothing could be further from the truth. Argo is as fake as the movie cover story in the true story and, in fact, this movie cover story was concocted by the Canadians not the CIA.

Argo is mostly a complete fabrication of the events surrounding the evasion and escape of the six American Embassy employees from Iran and not only deters from the exciting true story (see Escape From Iran, the Canadian Caper) but does a tremendous disservice to the staff of the Canadian embassy, especially the late John Sheardown. Mr. Sheardown was the first Canadian the Americans contacted for asylum and he and his wife, Zena, actually did hide some of the American evaders in their home in Tehran for almost three months. Yet, the late Mr. Sheardown and his wife are not even mentioned in the movie, Argo. Also, the Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor and his wife were relegated to the role of mere overwrought, if not somewhat incompetent, bystanders. This is misleading in the extreme. Argo's original credits stated that the awards received by the Canadian Ambassador and his staff for their role in the evasion and escape were undeserved since it was a complete CIA operation. This is a lie. Ambassador Taylor called these postscript lines "disgraceful and insulting" and demeaning to the Canadians involved. This movie's claim that Canada was "allowed to take credit" for the operation because the escape plan was a secret CIA operation is also a misleading lie. Argo's claim that there was only some cursory help from the Canadians is a misleading fabrication.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter commented on the accuracy of the Argo story when he appeared on CNN recently (Thursday night, Feb 21, 2013). President Carter said: "90 per cent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian, but the film gives almost full credit of the plan to the American CIA." Also, in a recent address to Queen's University, President Carter called "Argo" a complete distortion of what happened. He stated: "I saw the movie Argo recently and I was taken back by its distortion of what happened because almost everything that was heroic, or courageous or innovative was done by Canada and not the United States." Argo's claim that it was a completely a CIA operation is untrue and an insult to the Canadians who helped the Americans to evade capture and escape from Iran. The Canadian exit visas and passports issued to the Americans were forgeries made on authentic documents and passports that were supplied by the Canadian government not the CIA. In truth, the CIA agent was actually in Iran for less then 36 hours and he was not even at the airport when the Americans exited Iran. It was the Canadian Ambassador, his wife, and his staff who smuggled the Americans through Iranian controls and checkpoints and onto the departing flight at Tehran airport.

Ben Affleck must apologize to The Canadian Ambassador; the ambassador's wife; the late John Sheardown's widow, Zena Sheardown; and all the other Canadian Embassy staff members who made the escape of the six Americans from Iran possible. Also, Mr. Affleck should then apologize to all Canadians. I was going to say Argo-f**k yourself to Mr. Affleck but why bother.

From a technical point, the cinematography is very good and with several exceptions, the cast was adequate. However, Argo's script is something you should not put aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force.

This story needs to be remade, perhaps using the script from "Escape From Iran - The Canadian Caper" and not turned into some mindless drivel that is represented by the movie Argo. The true story of the evasion and escape of the six Americans from Iran is so exciting and full of tension that it would definitely keep you on the edge of your seat, unlike Argo which is full of something else.

3/10 stars for the cinematography only.
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Slow and Tedious and very confusing, Also too heavy on the propaganda.
Michael McGarry11 November 2012
Warning: 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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A daring pearl of a film good will the last drop.
Ronnie Steele19 October 2012
Warning: 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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Well done Ben
Johnny Lee9 October 2012
Honestly, I came into this movie with so-so expectations as the trailer I saw in a different movie made me give myself a 50% chance to watch it, up in the air if you will. But from the moment the movie began up until the end, I was gripping for the characters the whole way, the way movies should be.

The opening of the movie played a huge part in setting the tone of the rest of the film. As I had no history or prior knowledge to the events that transpired in Iran in the 1980s, the brief amount of a history lesson was just enough to maintain my interest. Throughout the film, there are times when I might have started to wander through long bouts of dialog, but witty comments by the characters kept me entertained. By the time the climax was about to hit, I was sitting on the edge of my seat, biting at my fingers, awaiting their next move.

Well done Ben, well done.
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Solidly entertaining but another example of US historical revisionism
Alan Taylor11 October 2014
Warning: 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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Too loosely 'Inspired'
Benjamin Williams13 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Pretty much nothing in this film actually happened(time-wise, people- wise, story-wise), so what's left is just the movie at itself. Where Ben Affleck portrays a man with clearly no emotions, the group of six 'escapees' clearly experienced difficulties portraying fear. Add up the classic 'America is the smartest country in the world, and the bad guys have the intelligence no bigger than a pile of (you know what)' and you'll find this movie pretty annoying (like I did).

I could, would and should go on about why this movie fails (like pretty much every Hollywood movie) to actually capture a foreign country the way it REALLY is, instead of the way we (apparently) think it is (Iran is a country with a lot of bearded people who are all angry and hate Americans), but it's pretty useless to do so.

John Goodman and Bryan Cranston were fun to watch and some parts of the movie were entertaining, but overall I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

4 out of 10
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Proof that the US is losing it
a579013110 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I'm halfway into the movie now and it's so boring i went on IMDb to check if this is really the movie that won the best picture Oscar. Apparently it is. The fact that it is makes me very very worried about the state the United States is in. Hollywood making propaganda? That's nothing new. The thing is, it used to be genius. It promoted American values, political agendas etc. But this didn't win you a best picture Oscar. The success of American propaganda used to be the result of exceptional talent, creativity, and awesomeness. Think Mickey Mouse. Hollywood created the culture of the 20th century.

But this is just garbage. Nothing memorable, particularly exciting. A normal thriller. It's not horrible and one star is a bit mean. The fake movie idea seems like an interesting variation on an all too familiar setting and plot. But it didn't translate into anything noteworthy. Argo f**k yourself. That was the best line. Well, apparently someone else than the US will have to take care of the 21st century culture because this is just pathetic. Bye bye Miss American Pie and hello Gangnam style I guess
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recent history a la Hollywood
dromasca5 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Americans like redoing wars in movies – and they do not avoid the lost wars. The hostage crisis in 1979 which cost president Carter a second presidential mandate was not exactly a war, but a conflict generated by the departing paths of the Iran in revolution after the overthrow of the Shah and on its way to become an Islamic Republic and the United States government which supported for many decades the old regime. One rescue mission went terribly wrong, but this is not the one shown in Argo but the lesser known and successful one in which six employees who escaped the embassy when events started and were hidden in the house of the Canadian ambassador were taken out of Iran, under the false identities of Canadians working for a Hollywood movie. As with the Rambo series for example, the story is first of all a pretext for action entertainment, and a way of making audiences feel better about a problematic episode in the American history. Same as with Rambo, success with audiences and in this case also with critics (which I am a little surprised) was achieved, but this does not make in my opinion for good cinema, and of course does not really change history.

Does it matter that the film is inspired by a true story? That's an interesting question, and I would say that the answer is to a large extent No. It is not really the factual truth that matters when you watch a fiction movie, but the artistic news. Reality sometimes exceeds imagination, but art is first of all about imagination, and not necessarily about the imagination of the makers but of the one of the receivers, the viewers in the case of movies. The analysis on the Internet show discrepancies between the real events and the story on screen – this is not what bothers me but the result. The final chase for example between the Iranian police cars and the commercial airplane taking off would fit fine a James Bond or Mission: Impossible film, but not one labeled a true story. There was enough material in the story for a much deeper psychological processing, both of the CIA and other people involved in the plot, and of the American confined in the Canadian ambassador's house and waiting for the rescue. Ben Affleck and the other authors of the film went for the broader audiences using the action film tools and inflating the role of the Hollywood producers and of the Americans in general in the whole story. It was a fair and legitimate choice which probably improved the rating, but did not in my opinion make the film better.

I do not like Ben Affleck as an actor. He inspires me dullness in most of the roles he takes, simply made me lose interest in more than a few characters I saw him acting. This is the case here as well. I am not inspired by his Tony Mendez, I cannot distinguish his hero from many other similar action movies heroes, I never got his motivation for making the tough decision of going rogue in order to save lives and accomplish his mission, his divorcée and remote father background is as banal as it can be in the script and Ben Affleck the actor does not pour any life in it. Actually as a director and script author he may be more interesting, his director hand is sure and witty, and as an action movie director he is above average. His image of the 70s is precisely executed, with the help of costumes and sets artists and despite use of stereotypes (like excessive smoking). As with many other of his films Argo promises more than it delivers.
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Get Ready To Hear "Argo for Best Picture"
Greg9 September 2012
Warning: 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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Affleck delivers another amazing film
rgblakey12 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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