TIIF 2012: Argo Movie Review [8.1/10 - Great]
Review by Guardian
Reality gets a primping in Ben Affleck’s version of the true story of Tony Mendez, a CIA operative who helped a group of six American diplomats impersonate a Canadian film crew, in order to escape Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis.
Mendez, an “exfiltration” expert, was a tenacious and creative agent who, in the midst of the Iranian revolution, tapped his Hollywood contacts to help him launch a bogus blockbuster that would free the six. Scripted, storyboarded and backed by Oscar-winning makeup artist John Chambers (played here by John Goodman), Argo was a movie that was designed not to be. A Star Wars knock-off set in the middle east, it would exist just long enough to provide a good cover story.
Review by THR
Director Ben Affleck tells a dense, multi-layered story about the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-81 with confidence and finesse.
Argo is a crackerjack political thriller told with intelligence, great period detail and a surprising amount of nutty humor for a serious look at the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-81. Proving even more than before that he’s a behind-the-camera force to be reckoned with, Ben Affleck tells a dense, multilayered yarn “based on a declassified true story” with confidence and finesse, while its unlikely Hollywood angle will make the hometown industry crowd feel proud of itself. From all points of view, this is one the major releases of the fall season.
The current perilous state of U.S.-Iranian relations can only heighten the interest and relevance of this fascinating sideshow to the main event, as a reminder of a dire turning point in modern history for those old enough to remember it and as a pertinent history lesson for people under 35. The truth about the “best bad idea” the CIA could concoct to rescue six U.S. embassy workers who had escaped the compound was unknown until 1997 and even then did not receive enormous publicity.
Review by Film.com
The year is 1979, and Iran is in a state of crisis. The Shah has been ousted as supreme ruler by Ayatollah Khomeini, and The US Embassy in Tehran is about to be overrun. During the fall of the embassy, a group of six plucky Americans escape to the streets, mercifully taken in by the Canadian Ambassador. Still, they’re in serious peril, as outside the walls of the embassy they are extremely vulnerable to rogue Iranian elements seeking revenge for The Shah’s U.S. asylum. Oddly enough, the group of six is in more immediate danger than the 65 “official” captives, because any Americans found outside the embassy are far more likely to face harsh repercussions.
Now then, if you’re The American government, how exactly do you get those embassy workers to safety without embarking on a potentially lethal political disaster?