Ok, when you get home at 2AM, it's hard to write up anything comprehensive. So, I have to say: this is the kind of action film that doesn't get made that much any more. You may (or may not) know the ending, but the suspense in this film is absolutely palpable.. we start with the fall of the Iranian government, and the taking of the US embassy. Those moments are fantastic. I mean, tense.. very tense. You know what's coming and yet the film moves in such a great method and you can completely understand the urgency of all the characters.. people who are going to be hostages who are desperately shredding paper, burning documents and breaking Visa plates as well as those thinking about fleeing.
As the crowds get more unruly and they know it's over for them, there is a clear desperation of: do we get out? What happens to these people if we run? Where do we run? The first 20 minutes of this film is GANGBUSTERS. Once that is done, and the setting moves to DC as they discuss how to get them out, we enter a portion that you can either think of as gallows humor/dark comedy and a bit of a con job - how do you quickly set something up to free people? When the Carter administration shuts the CIA out and plans to use bicycles to get the people out, it moves into outright comedy, and once we get to Hollywood Adam Arkin and John Goodman provide fantastic support in their roles as true patriots who want to help their country save people's lives..
The plan is ridiculous.. but it falls into the "it's so crazy it just might work" (and yet, no one says it). Once we are in Tehran again, the pressure falls on the entire cast - and people turn in lights out performances. Ben Affleck is fantastic in his performance and manages to really sell his role.
I'm very divided because so far this year, this and "The Master" are the two films I think of most as "the best films of the year". But a film I'd watch again, repeatedly? It's Argo. This has incredible rewatch value. This is the kind of classic spy, thriller, suspense, comedy movie you just don't get that often. The farther I'm away from it, the more I want to rave about how good I think this really is.
This will easily be in my Top10, and unless something radical changes it's right near the top in my "best of the year" right now.
Not a big Ben Affleck fan, but his acting has improved over the years.
Previews look great, hopefully not one of those things where they edit little bits of the film to make it look fantastic. Think I'll actually give this a chance. Haven't seen a film in a theatre since "Gladiator" but was planning on going to "Skyfall". Sounds like this one may also be worth the effort.
"Argo" is a solid film, good script, direction, and performances. During the hostage situation in Tehran in 1980, 6 American embassy workers escape the initial assault on the embassy and hide out in the Canadian consulate, and the CIA comes up with a far-out plan to get them home.
It's weird to see how far telecommunications has come in 32 years. Most of what happened would have been so much harder to pull off in current day where instantaneous communication is the norm. The film is paced well, and concluded with plenty of on-the-seat-of-your-pants tension as the rescue mission unfolded.
Ben Affleck does a good job both in the lead role and in the director's chair. My audience applauded at the end.
I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.
I think this may be the first film I've seen in the theater in over 6 months and maybe this whole year. It's the first film my wife has basically
asked me to go with her to see in years. She would easily give it an A+.
Alan Arkin and John Goodman were great.
The Adrienne Barbeau short section was just a riot though my wife didn't quite understand why I was chuckling. She didn't know it was AB until the credits rolled.
My assessment -- Solid A-
"it's so crazy it just might work" (and yet, no one says it)" -- I swear that was said somewhere in the dialog though I can't remember by whom.
About 3 different trailers for Les Mis which I've been informed I am going to see BTW. Overall it looks like it could be pretty spectacular for Christmas.
Ben Affleck may have a had an up and down and up again acting career, but as a director he's a solid 3 for 3. Argo is his best film yet. It's engrossing, suspenseful, often hilarious, always entertaining, and emotionally engaging and satisfying as well. This is Hollywood commercial filmmaking at its best.
I knew we were in good hands when the film opened with the classic WB logo from the 70s. That simple yet brilliant stoke immediately takes us back to the late 70s. The films not only gets all the period details right, but it looks and feels like it was made in the 70s.
The acting is superb throughout. Affleck impresses in the lead, but John Goodman and Alan Arkin steal the show as the CIA's "Hollywood Connection". Someone should make a movie with these two as a pair of con men or something, because they are GREAT together! We also get several movies worth of great character turns from such names as Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, Victor Garber, and many other faces you will recognize.
The audience at my screening applauded at the end as well. Argo may have finished second at the box office this week, but this one will have legs, fueled by great word-of-mouth. It's a sure Best Picture nominee, and right now may be the favorite to win it all. Affleck will likely get a Director nod as well. It's a great kickoff to what is looking like the best holiday movie season in years.
My audience applauded too at the end including myself. Ever since Hollywoodland in 2006, Affleck has given solid acting performances over and over again. His directing career has even been better since that time. He's come a long way since Gigli in 2003. He appears to have it all, a beautiful wife, great family and now a very solid film career. Ben, don't screw the pooch. By the way, I loved how he filmed this movie to capture the look of film stock used back then as the retro looked great and the actors really resembled the real people they portrayed in the film.
Finally saw this today. Who would have thought you could so successfully combine "Midnight Express" (in reverse) with "Get Shorty" Other than that, pretty much agree with everything that has been said in this thread. Terrific movie. Affleck got fucked by the Academy.
I was really glad to see Argo take best picture. An original story about virtually unknown events and people, great script, acting, directing, editing. The fact that it won 3 oscars is as amazing as it getting made in the first place.
I viewed it for the first time this weekend, prior to the Academy Awards. Very impressed with the recreation of the era. Really a well made film that brought back a lot of memories from that time. (I had a buddy that I worked with back then who was Italian, but could pass for Arabic with very strong features including a full beard and dark curly hair. I remember that he got more than just a few hard stares from folks at the time.) My film viewing has been off pace the past few years so I have missed a lot of the nominees; so I'm not sure where to personally place this film in the crop for 2012, but it was a solid piece of film-making. The use of actors that mirrored their real-life counterparts was a nice detail that while not a requirement, showed that folks were paying attention. The scenes with Goodman and Arkin were pure gold. - Walter.
My wife and I finally saw this and we enjoyed but were disappointed with how much was made up for the movie. We made the mistake of watching a documentary on History channel about this incident before watching the movie and were then kinda of surprised with how much was changed. I know Hollywood changes things but the ending was almost completely made up, except for the fact that they got on a plane. Enjoyed the movie, just didn't think it lived up to the hype. Maybe we would have felt differently if we hadn't watched the History channel first.
Saw this on the plane during a recent vacation. OK film, but I also don't think it was worthy of all the praise, hype and awards. But I seldom agree with Hollywood about any awards they bestow upon themselves.