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Argo (2012)

review

When I was in school I was always interested in the history lessons as the teacher I had was very good at telling the stories, making it fun to listen to. I must admit that I really can’t remember much of what I learned during those classes and only remember him saying that everything which happens in America will happen over here as well, just five years later. It was very interesting and for a while seemed to be a valid theory. Anyway I’m sure you are reading this to find out my thoughts about Ben Affleck’s third movie in the director’s chair, Argo about historic events which took place in Iran. Now I am pretty sure this was never discussed in the history lessons I took, so going into this movie (just like any other) I had no idea what had happened and was ready to be surprised.

review

The movie opens with protests in front of the American embassy in Iran, where the embassy employees look in fear as their building is attacked by hundreds of people. A tense situation recalling the recent events which took place in Libya. Instead of fleeing documents need to be destroyed to make sure Iran won’t have access to sensitive information. It’s a situation with lots of panic and during it there are six Americans who manage to escape. They are staying with the Canadian embassador and have no way of getting out of the country as there it won’t take long before there will be a manhunt. The CIA is aware of the situation and has to find a way to get to these people and free them. Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) is an expert when it comes to this and after brainstorming, the best (worst) idea he can come up with is to pose as a filmmaker scouting for a new location. The film he’s going to make is called Argo.

It’s amazing that this movie is based on real events as it’s such an unconventional idea and of course the perfect story to be turned into a movie. Affleck shows that he’s done the research and has made sure that the adaptation of the story is a very compelling one. The attention to detail is amazing. You immediately notice it when the movie starts and the Warner Bros logo which was used in 1980 shows up. There isn’t a moment that you think this might be a different time period, everything is just right about it.

review

Now you might expect that a movie about such a serious situation might not be entertaining, but you would be wrong. As you are watching this you are hooked, you feel like you are going through the emotions the people hiding are feeling and know the risks everyone is taking to make the mission a success. There is room for quite a lot of jokes as well, most provided by John Goodman and Alan Arkin who are very funny as two big names helping Affleck’s character.

Walking out of the theater I was thinking about what I didn’t like about this movie and I just couldn’t think of anything which I didn’t like. It’s a movie which almost makes you hold your breath for its entire running time, serving up suspense and a tense atmosphere till the end credits role. One of my favorites this year.

  • ckckred says:

    It’s a great movie and one of the year’s best. I really liked Arkin, Goodman, and Cranston in the film. Nice review.

    November 20, 2012 at 3:53 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yes it is and their roles were fantastic. Thanks!

      November 20, 2012 at 11:14 am
  • le0pard13 says:

    Easily, one of my favorites for the year. Fine review, Nostra.

    November 20, 2012 at 4:07 am
    • Nostra says:

      Mine as well, thanks for commenting :)

      November 20, 2012 at 11:14 am
  • threerowsback says:

    A great example of confident, exhilarating moviemaking. One of my favorites of 2012.

    November 20, 2012 at 4:40 am
    • Nostra says:

      Exactly, there’s not a moment where the movie isn’t exciting to watch.

      November 20, 2012 at 11:14 am
  • jlo2000 says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with your review. I think Argo is one of the best films in 2012.

    The tension was maintained from start to finish. The contrast between the real events and the Hollywood connections was exquisite.

    November 20, 2012 at 4:47 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks! I loved that tension as well!

      November 20, 2012 at 11:15 am
  • Courtney Young says:

    I agree that I left the theater with no complains. Arkin, Goodman and Cranston really stole the movie. When I started to read reviews post-TIFF, I was disappointed with all the fact/fiction crap controversy…I made note of that in my review for Argo. As a film I thought it was great! Good review!

    November 20, 2012 at 4:55 am
    • Nostra says:

      Nice to hear Courtney and they did steal the show. I didn’t mind the differences between real and this movie. It needs to be entertaining, so some liberties can be taken in my opinion.

      November 20, 2012 at 11:15 am
  • filmhipster says:

    I need to see this, I’m such a slacker. :)
    Great review.

    November 20, 2012 at 5:05 am
    • Nostra says:

      I’m almost sure you won’t be disappointed. Go and see it!

      November 20, 2012 at 11:16 am
  • keith7198 says:

    Wasn’t it exceptional? I really really liked it & can’t wait to see it again. Great review.

    November 20, 2012 at 7:47 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, I wasn’t expecting it to be this good! I’ll probably rewatch it as well once it’s out on DVD.

      November 20, 2012 at 11:16 am
  • Natalie Stendall says:

    One of the best movies this year. Affleck builds the tension so well, I was exhausted by the end!

    November 20, 2012 at 10:40 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yes, not a moment to sit back and relax really :)

      November 20, 2012 at 11:17 am
  • Scott Lawlor (@FrontRoomCinema) says:

    Check you out with your new rating logo!!! hehehe

    Great film matey, with a great review!

    November 20, 2012 at 10:50 am
    • Nostra says:

      :) All part of a slight redesign of the blog…all subtle things, but I’m quite content with them :)

      Thanks Scott!

      November 20, 2012 at 11:17 am
  • Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop says:

    I’ve really been looking forward to this but one of the cinemas close to me has it on at ridiculous times to accommodate Twilight and Skyfall, whilst another cinema has bumped it completely. Not impressed! Nice review though :)

    November 20, 2012 at 11:50 am
    • Nostra says:

      That’s a shame you aren’t able to watch it easily. Hope you will able to see it soon Terry!

      November 26, 2012 at 10:38 am
  • themovieuniverse says:

    I was very much impressed by Argo! I think Affleck is fast becoming one of my favourite directors, it seems that he really has found his calling! I expected Argo to be pretty slow and not so entertaining before the big escape comes at the end but all the way through the film the acting was fantastic, direction superb and the intensity and suspense that was created is the best I have experienced this year! Top film!

    November 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    • Nostra says:

      As he is for me as well, no bad movie of him yet (while he’s in the directors chair of course).

      November 26, 2012 at 10:39 am
  • CMrok93 says:

    Good review Nostra. Affleck does a nice job with his direction, but this is definitely not his strongest feature despite being his most ambitious. It’s entertaining, well-acted, and fun to watch, but not as tense as it should have been.

    November 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks. I’m surprised you didn’t think it was his strongest and not as tense as it should have been. I was on the edge of my seat during the whole movie :)

      November 26, 2012 at 10:46 am
  • VictorsMovieReviews says:

    Loved this film, and it made me look up the history (aka The Canadian Caper). My one flaw with the film and the reason I wanted to confirm the actual events was the, to me at least, one too many close calls.

    Good review.

    November 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm
    • wattsatthemovies says:

      I agree! That’s certainly the only flaw, there was enough weight in the material to avoid going the easy route of the back to back close calls. Nevertheless, the rest of the film makes up for that making “Argo” one of the best films of the year and the current front runner in the Oscar race!! :)

      November 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Of course the many close calls near the end were dramatised and that was obvious, but I was willing to see through that.

      November 26, 2012 at 10:47 am
  • MoviePencil says:

    I really cannot wait to watch this but the cinemas over here are sure taking their time. Thanks for making me even anticipate it more.

    November 21, 2012 at 12:23 am
    • Nostra says:

      Shame it’s not out yet, hope you will be able to see it soon!

      November 26, 2012 at 10:48 am
  • momto3feistykids says:

    Great review! I am really looking forward to this movie. Interesting perspective from your teacher on American history. I wonder why he commented that events happening in the U.S. would come to the Netherlands in 5 years? :-)

    http://eclecticbooksandmovies.blogspot.com

    November 21, 2012 at 4:01 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks! Well, I have no idea how he came to that conclusion, but he was kind of right since the influence of the US on the rest of the world is big.

      November 26, 2012 at 10:49 am
  • condemnedmovies says:

    Well, I thought the writer sexed it up to preposterous levels for an empty-calorie sort of film. Might as well have put Transformers and Go-Bots in a story about David Petraeus going to the bath room. But that’s just my opinion.

    November 21, 2012 at 10:22 am
    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you’re preparing a pitch :)

      November 21, 2012 at 11:01 am
    • Nostra says:

      Interesting look at it, but obviously I don’t agree with it. Sure there were a bit too many close calls, but not to the level you describe.

      November 26, 2012 at 10:50 am
  • Jaina says:

    As you know, I completely agree with you. And I had very little knowledge of this event that occurred. Apart from the attempts to rescue the other hostages.

    November 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I know Jaina, happy we agree on this one!

      November 26, 2012 at 10:51 am
  • wordschat says:

    Good review and fascinating story.

    November 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks for commenting.

      November 26, 2012 at 10:51 am
  • Mark Walker says:

    Nice one Nostra. Top marks eh? I really need to see this one.

    November 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yes, which I don’t give often so it is one you need to see! :)

      November 26, 2012 at 10:51 am
  • fernandorafael says:

    Very entertaining movie and great, consistent suspense.

    November 23, 2012 at 8:15 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yes, a perfect description of the movie. Thanks Fernando.

      November 26, 2012 at 10:52 am

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