Argo (2012)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Victor Garber, Clea DuVall, Tate Donovan, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Kerry Bishé, Christopher Denham, Taylor Schilling

Directed by: Ben Affleck

R. 120 mins

A tense, engrossing, and at times humorous tale based on true events. Argo chronicles the covert operation to rescue six Americans who were taking refuge inside the Canadian Embassy during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979. CIA “exfiltration” specialist Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) devises a plan to bring them home: masquerade as a Canadian film crew shooting exotic locations for a science-fiction film known as Argo. Affleck directs with confidence, good characterization and careful pacing. Arkin and Goodman make for some good cinematic satire in this tale that seems almost too ridiculous to be true. While I enjoyed Argo, the events depicted are terribly watered-down and there is a sense of political cautiousness that proves frustrating – not the mention the distinctly American lens that we are privy to. Then again, perhaps the true purpose of these sorts of films is to take a complex historical event and infuse it with the pulse of fiction – * * * 1/2

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