ARGO

Argo

Opens: Oct. 12

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Review by Joe Hagen

Argo, the story of a CIA “exfiltration” agent tasked with getting American hostages out of the Iranian revolution, is a wonderfully paced, perfectly shot and fantastically acted film. An all-star cast spearheaded by actor/director Ben Affleck, Argo brings grit and honesty to a story that needed to be told.

With Academy Award caliber acting from talents such as Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, and a show-stealing Alan Arkin, each actor brings the perfect balance of intensity and humor. Most notable is the performance of Arkin, who plays an absolutely hysterical Hollywood producer recruited to provide an alibi for the CIA. With so many moments of tenseness, Arkin’s performance of Lester Siegel allows the audience a chance to breathe, reflect on the levity of the events unfolding, and possibly most importantly, laugh.

Showing directorial flashes of brilliance in The Town, Affleck brings a maturity and vision to Argo. Using the right combination of flecks on the screen, sepia tones, tight camera shots, props, and a spot-on soundtrack, Affleck shows that he appreciates the larger conceptual themes at play in his storytelling.

With a fantastic “don’t say more than needs to be said” screenplay by Chris Terrio, it allows Affleck the freedom to explore the visual richness of the Iranian culture and gives a subtlety to the depth of each character. By flipping your pre-conceived notions about the film, Terrio allows a wonderful story to be told in a simple, straight-forward way.

Argo is an intense, emotional, funny story told in a complete and satisfying way. Top-notch actors combined with spot-on technical film-making that ultimately delivers a compelling and important story that is worth watching.