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4.0 out of 5 starsHighly Recommended (PS its not true)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2016
As 2 hours of entertainment - this is outstanding. It has high drama, almost unbearable tension, some sparkling dialogue and lovely humour. Affleck has done a great job as an actor and director. Late 70s USA and I suspect Iran are shown so well its as if someone had found a time machine. Alan Arkin and John Goodman are great as two cynical but clever Hollywood operators given the chance to do some good. It should be 5 stars, but a point has to be knocked off for the usual shameful riding roughshod over the real facts, which wouldn't appear to add to the story greatly but do make the US look better. Yes its based on a true story but as with all these films it takes itself very seriously and is happy for people to take it as fact (which many people do of course) If you can stomach or ignore this - then its highly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 starsGripping thriller based on an almost unbelievable real event
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 10, 2015
An entertaining, enthralling, often gripping portrayal of a real event, a CIA operation that relied on a bizarre deception. I knew of the story because of the involvement of my all-time favourite comic book artist, Jack Kirby. As part of the plot, the CIA needed to produce a convincing fake film production called Argo. To lend a sense of reality to it, they used a group of designs that Jack Kirby had done for a proposed sci-fi theme park based on the novels of Roger Zelazny. Ben Affleck, who also directs, is great as the agent tasked with pulling off this unlikely rescue of a group of American diplomatic staff trapped in Iran after the fall of the Shah. The rest of the cast are equally good and Affleck's direction is assured, nicely building the tension and cleverly blending documentary footage into the mix. Excellent.
4.0 out of 5 stars5* film minus 1* for Americanising History again.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2013
It's not often a film gets a 5* review from me; there's usually something not quite right or room for improvement. Argo nearly warrants a top star rating. I'm always sceptical about movies nominated for loads of Oscars as often they're just jingoistic flavour-of-the-month or hyped by a well funded PR campaign (witness `The Hurt Locker'). In the case of Argo the recognition of a job well done is mostly deserved. Ben Affleck the actor seems to be improving & maturing with each successive movie, but in his return to directing since the disappointing `The Town' he has taken a refreshingly un-Hollywood approach to attention to detail and production values.
I'm old enough to remember the events first-hand (though admittedly it was a long time and a lot of wine ago) but I was pretty shaky on the detail but the introductory `history lesson' using real and cleverly faked footage from the time made sure that we were fully aware of the context of the crisis. What we, and everybody else at the time, were unaware of was the CIA's and Hollywood's improbable involvement in the repatriation (or `exfiltration' as they seem to call it) of a group of escaped hostages. However, the alleged historical veracity has suffered, as usual, at the hands of the Hollywood machine. Just a brief bit of Google'ing shows how actual events have been subverted by the convenient `based on a true story' subtitle. The role of the British was completely ignored (just what have the Yanks got against us?) and the role of the Canadians was downplayed significantly.
This could have easily been one of those slow, stodgy films that take themselves far too seriously but there's just the right undercurrent of light humour in the Hollywood proceedings and the casting of Alan Arkin and the irrepressibly good humoured John Goodman was inspired. Despite the American penchant for re-writing history for their own shallow glorification this is still a splendidly watchable film and we shall undoubtedly re-watch it many times.
5.0 out of 5 starsA Very Whatchable Film Based On True Events.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 11, 2016
A very convincing film from Ben Affleck who both stars in this film and directs also. I did notice George Clooney is listed as a Co-Producer of this film. I think Ben Affleck should have talked Clooney into doing a cameo role in this story.
A film based on true events and the pace of Affleck's direction is faultless, you will be taken along with this story and Ben Affleck's character is a super cool CIA Operative who takes his very dangerous work...in his stride.
The acting of everyone is believable...Alan Arkin being an over the top Film Producer, who swears constantly..(some of them do) I think he was in his element...having seen some of these people first hand.
A good film, very entertaining...and Ben Affleck is showing his considerable Directing Talent.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2020
After having to endure an unacceptably loud sound track of an advertisement for 3D cinema, I eventually reached the start point for the feature film, which unlike all my other Blue Ray films, I was unable to play. The disc will simply not play. Further testing proved that there is nothing wrong with my disc player.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2020
Excellent service. Package arrived on time and in excellent condition. Really enjoyed this movie (especially the extended cut). Lots and lots of extras. The best part is that it's based on a true story. Well worth adding to your collection.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2014
I had no idea what this film was about and therefore, watched it with no preconceptions. I absolutely loved it!! As I had no idea about the story, even though it is based on true events, I had no idea what the outcome would be. To say I was on the edge of my seat is an understatement. I even found myself talking to the tv, I was so engrossed. I can't say that this film is for everyone, but if you enjoy films based on true stories and are looking for something understated, yet thrilling, this is for you. Until the very end, I was still unsure how it would pan out. Great buy!
A good yarn. Saw an interview with the CIA guy who actually went in to do the job and so I decided to get the film. Obviously Hollywood has used a little artistic license here in order to increase the entertainment value but I enjoyed it and will keep it and watch it again sometime.
5.0 out of 5 starsThis is an absolutely stunning film, and no surprise ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 19, 2016
This is an absolutely stunning film, and no surprise that it won three Oscars. What is so compelling is the way that it ratchets up the tension as the film goes on simply through telling the story in a very matter-of-fact way. It is not 100% true to the facts, but it take you right back there, and the portrayal of the different characters is masterly.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe best film I have seen in ages
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 17, 2015
What an astounding film! I was blown away by the acting and the storyline. You very quickly become drawn in and caught up with all the tension in situations and the ultimate fate of the characters. I've watched this time again, yet still sit on the edge of my seat in complete fear and anticipation along with the cast, right up until the climax! The best film I have seen in ages, that comes highly recommended.
A very watchable and well made film which provides entertainment ( forgive the cliche) for all the family. Although the film is 'based on facts' the only niggle, which has been voiced a number of times, is that there are inaccuracies. It would have been satisfying for the Brits to get the praise they deserve and may well have enhanced the overall story. Never mind well worth watching.
fingernail - bitingly tense film, but the tension is underscored by subtle humour along the way. Based on a true story, an undercover agent goes into Iran to rescue some US embassy employees who've jumped ship rather than become hostages at the US embassy, who're hiding out inside the Canadian embassy in Tehran. But how will he get them out of the country undetected? I've seen this film four times and I still worry they're not coming home in one piece! Brilliant acting - I loved it.