Run time: 120 mins
This beautifully drawn account of a real event, skilfully plays the truth against some delicious poetic license to make a riveting tale of a catastrophic real-world moment and disguising it as a tightly executed caper.
This period thriller tackles an incendiary period in the history of US-Iranian relations. Set during the 1979/80 hostage crisis, where Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized Tehran’s US Embassy, it is the story of six Americans who managed to escape.
Finding refuge in the Canadian ambassador’s house, their only hope of getting out alive is expert CIA extractor, Ben Affleck.
His plan? To fly into Iran with fake IDs and convince Tehran the six are a Canadian film crew scouting locations.
The film has two ingenious contrasts. The Tehran side is a thriller so tense you’ll be hanging on to every (mostly audible) word. The other, a sweet relief from Alan Arkin and John Goodman’s old-headed Hollywood producers taking on Argo’s ‘best worst idea’ escape plan. Big Ben Aff’s stoic performance is easily and knowingly squashed under the weight of these great supporting roles. Hence, Ben’s a pretty decent director. He lets the audience in, knows what’s important to tell, and tells it. You’ll find Mr Arkin’s unequivocal brush-off may come in handy too sooner or later. An Oscar for a story well told.