Saturday, November 28, 2020

MOVIE REVIEWS: ARGO

October 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

It has been nine years since Ben Affleck starred in Gigli, reviled by almost every critic at the time and regarded to this day as one of the worst movies ever produced. How times have changed. Affleck’s latest film, Argo — which he directed and starred in — is being praised by virtually every major critic in America. The film describes an actual incident that took place during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis when a CIA agent, played by Affleck, concocted a scheme to rescue six Americans who had taken refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran by disguising them as members of a film crew sent to Iran to scout locations for a phony science-fiction film titled Argo. “Even though most people know the outcome,” writes Amy Biancolli in the San Francisco Chronicle, “this movie still will have you on the edge of your seat.” Several critics acknowledge that the filmmakers have taken some liberties with the truth, but that those liberties wind up serving the truth. Manola Dargis in the New York Times observes that the movie “embellishes the official story without eviscerating it.” “This is no documentary,” comments Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a major studio motion picture, and a heck of a good one at that.” While Affleck receives high marks for his work as a director and star of the movie, so do the rest of the filmmakers connected with the film — from writer to cinematographer. Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal enthuses: “If you’ve forgotten how gratifying a Hollywood studio film can be, this is the best good idea you could ask for.” “Equal parts great escape caper, Hollywood satire, and political commentary, Argo is easily one of the year’s best films,” concludes Claudia Puig in USA Today. And Rex Reed in the New York Observer agrees: “It’s rare as a pink giraffe, but every once in a blue moon a movie comes along in which each piece fits seamlessly and every detail works. Argo is one of them.”