Action / Adventure / Biography / Drama / History / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 96% · 364 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90% · 100K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.7/10 10 632226 632.2K


Top cast

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez
Titus Welliver as Bates
Adrienne Barbeau as Nina / Serksi the Gallactic Witch
Bryan Cranston as Jack O'Donnell
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 2160p.BLU.x265
751.26 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
Seeds 19
2.00 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
Seeds 66
5.36 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
Seeds 19

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rmax304823 7 / 10

In The Beginning, There Was the Shah.

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?

Reviewed by LeonLouisRicci 5 / 10

Overrated and Undeserving

What is nothing more than a competent Political Thriller has managed to once again tick a lot of people off at the Academy Awards and rightfully so. There are times when healthy debate can arise among Movie goers and Film lovers about the Best Picture winner or nominees, but occasionally there are mind bending and head scratching entries. Opinions can vary and discussions can ensue about the Art and the crafting of Film.

This one goes nowhere new and is rather boring and unremarkable in most respects. All of the characters on screen look and act as though they are truly in a Hollywood Movie that is about a non existent Hollywood Movie. Affleck is the worst of the bunch. Here he has one expression throughout and is totally unconvincing. His one emotion, seen here, is rolling his eyes toward Heaven when they are given the go ahead at the airport. That's it.

The Movie is without doubt overrated to the extreme and is not bad it just isn't much. It has nothing exceptional and nothing outstanding. It is rather stale and stodgy with fake emotion and it tries real hard at being matter-of fact, but when delivered it is Movie of the Week mediocrity and melancholy to a fault.

Historical inaccuracies or not. It just doesn't matter. This does not have the substance or Artful integrity to matter. The only matter worth mentioning is its undeserved attention and pawing patronizing. That alone is a matter of great mystery and deserves discussion.

Reviewed by dromasca 5 / 10

recent history a la Hollywood

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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