Argo (2012) Movie Review

by squidooprincess2012

Directed by Ben Affleck, Argo (2012) tells how a CIA agent rescued 6 American diplomats from the hands of militants in Tehran, Iran. Is it worth watching? Read this movie review.

Ben Affleck can direct a movie, who knew?

In Argo, Ben Affleck stars as CIA operative Tony Mendez, who is tasked to find the best way to extract 6 American diplomats trapped in Tehran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

After several brainstorming sessions with the other CIA agents, Tony comes up with a silly plan. They are going to develop a fake sci-fi movie called Argo.

Is this movie worth watching? Join me as I walk you through it with this review.


Argo won 3 Academy Awards on February 24th, 2013. Check out the awards below!
  • Best Picture
  • Best Adapted screenplay (Chris Terrio)
  • Best Film Editing (William Goldenberg)

Congratulations to the producers of Argo: George Clooney, Ben Affleck, and Grant Hezlov!


I. Plot Overview

The year is 1979. Iran is in turmoil because the United States is holding their fallen leader. The people want him back to their country so they can punish him for his past actions. But the US won’t budge. So in protest, the militants storm the US embassy in Tehran.

As the crowd gathers at the embassy’s gate, the diplomats inside become anxious. And when the crowd goes louder, wilder, and more violent, the Americans know it’s time to take action. Quickly, they start incinerating top-secret records and important documents. From one document to the other, the officers pile as much as they can. But the incinerator stops working, and the militants have already entered the building.

Some Americans are caught, but 6 of them manage to escape and seek shelter at the house of a Canadian ambassador.

Back in the United States, Tony Mendez and the CIA work day and night to find the best way to extract the diplomats. But all the options are not without dangerous risks and consequences. And just when everyone thinks all hopes are gone, Tony comes up with a brilliant idea.

One night, he calls up his son and learns he’s watching Planet of the Apes. Inspired by this sci-fi movie, Tony starts crafting a fake movie which they plan on filming in Iran.

Through the help of Hollywood make-up artist, John Chambers, and Lester Siegel, a film producer, they develop and execute Argo.

II. Argo (2012) Official Trailer

III. Main Cast and Roles

  • Ben Affleck - Tony Mendez; the CIA operative who successfully extracted the American diplomats from the militants
  • Bryan Cranston - Tony Mendez’s supervisor; went against the command of his boss to secure flight tickets for the diplomats
  • John Goodman - John Chambers; Hollywood make-up artist who helped craft a fake movie, Argo, with Tony Mendez
  • Alan Larkin - Lester Siegel; a film producer who helped John Chambers and Tony Mendez with the movie 
  • Victor Garber - Ken Taylor; the Canadian ambassador who helped the American escapees
  • Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Christopher Denham, Scoot McNairy, Kery Bishe, Rory Cochrane - Robert Anders, Cora Lijek, Mark Lijek, Joe Stafford, Kahty Stafford, and Lee Schatz; the 6 American diplomats

IV. What I Like About the Movie

I’m a sucker for true or real-life-inspired stories, and this movie gave what I was looking for. Though some of the facts are inaccurate, the movie was able to re-create scenes from events that actually happened during the crisis -- at least from the pictures presented at the end of the movie.

Ben Affleck is one talented dude, won’t you agree? First, he and his best pal Matt Damon wrote the screenplay of Good Will Hunting, which won them an Oscar. And though he is yet to win an award for his acting prowess, I have no doubt in my mind that the guy can act. And now, with Argo (and The Town), we can see that he can also direct.

Case in point: A cliff-hanger, Argo makes you stay on your seat to watch every second of it -- the type of movie that makes you hold in your urine.

Own Argo in Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Argo (+Ultraviolet Digital Copy)

V. What I Don’t Like About the Movie

I must admit that the movie was pretty impressive. I thought the creators did a good job re-creating the hostage crisis.

But when I did my research, I found out that there are several inaccuracies.

If this movie were pure fiction, I would easily forgive Ben Affleck for these errors. But it’s not. I personally think that it’s the filmmaker’s responsibility to present actual facts because the public may believe what they see, and the movie was pretty convincing.  

VII. My Recommendation

So, the big question is, should you watch it?


But, if you’re from Britain, Canada, or New Zealand, here’s a little caveat. You may find Argo a little debasing because according to some of the articles I’ve read, this movie is not that accurate.

For instance, it claims that Britain turned their backs on the American escapees, but in actuality, they were the first one to take them in.

No more spoilers from this point, but let’s just say I already warned you. Wink!

Do you know anyone traveling to Iran (or any part of the world)? Here are some cool travel gadget gifts.

9 Travel Gift Ideas | Extremely Useful, But Space-Saving
A list of 9 extremely useful and practical travel gadgets for you or for someone you know

Updated: 02/25/2013, squidooprincess2012
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cmoneyspinner on 07/23/2013

Excellent review! I'm a Ben Affleck fan. I don't think his movies are to die for. But they are good entertainment. I'm saving this to my Pinterest board for Movies and Music.

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