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Argo - Directed by Ben Affleck


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Synopsis: Based on true events, “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis—the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA “exfiltration” specialist named Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

I consider Affleck a solid director but neither of his films have been much to write home about (although most of the problems come from the script end). The trailer for Argo looks more promising and with a cast including Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kyle Chandler, Kerry Bishe, and Alan Arkin the performances should be good.

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Looking at the RT rating for his previous two films, I predict a 94% Fresh rating. ;)

But seriously, this looks promising. And who wouldn't want to see a movie that stars both Walter White and Walter Sobchak?

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  • 3 months later...

Shown at the Toronto Film Festival today. Early word is that it's very good.


Argo is a near-brilliant nail-biting thriller. Fantastic performances/prod design. Ben Affleck’a smartest film yet as director.

First Showing:

Argo - Damn that was outstanding. Got totally lost in the story, still sweating. Cast is fantastic all around, plus Bryan Cranston rules!
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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Very exciting start. Extremely tense. Lovely, accurate production design. Did an animated Persepolis introduction to explain our culpability in the revolution.

Roseanne's husband, Coach Taylor, Lt. Bookman, Walter White, Little Miss Sunshine's Grandpa, Sydney Bristow's Dad, Larry David's Cousin Andy, Silas from Deadwood, Drazen from 24. Together at last!

Loads of my favourite TV actors. But this felt like a posh TV movie, and I didn't buy any of the performances. My wife thought Affleck as director put a thousand too many big close ups of his own mug on screen. I found The Town passable I suppose, but I don't like Affleck's other films at all.

It's a terrific story, and the trailer fascinated me enough to dig out the original article. This was a good idea, as this was an enjoyable read, but it was not a good film, I'm surprised its getting decent reviews. I hate it when true events are amped up into a Hollywood version, and this was full of silly fictions. It took away from the power of the story completely. And it made the closing credits seem absurdly self congratulatory. Why make a big deal about how accurately you matched contemporary photographs of the Hollywood sign or the storming on an embassy, if you're then going to show an untrue story? It can only be to give your lies the sheen of authenticity.

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I quite enjoyed The Town, but it wasn't without huge flaws. Saw the trailer for this (having not heard of it) while waiting for Skyfall. I thought it looked quite promising! Also, it amuses me that Ben Affleck is now Hollywood's version of the Little Britain Dennis Waterman.

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Right, I'll make the long trip to the cinema on Monday to see it if it is that good. However, for those claiming it as film of the year, what did you think of Affleck's previous two directorial efforts?

I thought they both had some interesting ideas and were well made but didn't quite rise above. This one feels much more comfortable and mature. It's a really well realised thriller.

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Does it talk about the political background at all?

Like who put the Shah into power?

I was just looking at the WIki page, apparently it's full of inaccuracies.

The beginning makes it very clear that the Americans put the Shah into power. The CIA and State office are made to look rather bumbling.

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