Argo – 5/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Argo – 5/5 … Perfection; it is something that is hard to say when it comes to film.  When I review films, I focus on 5 things: Characters, Script, Direction, Cinematography and Score.  When I review films, to hit 5 out of 5, you have to hit perfection in all 5 of these categories.  To give you an example, I have only given a 5/5 out to these movies:

The Godfather


Schindler’s List

Lion King




To say it is a 5 out of 5 film, is a crowning achievement in my book.  Ben Affleck should win Best director for this movie, and it should be a front runner for Best Picture.

Argo is a film based on the real life declassified story that happens during the Iran Hostage Crisis.  As the Iranian Revolution reaches a boiling point, and hostages are taken in the U.S. Embassy, a CIA ‘exfiltration’ concocts a plan to save 6 Americans who escape the Embassy.  They have taken shelter in the home of the Canadian Ambassador.  While there, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) uses the ploy of a Sci-Fi movie to be filmed in a desert to go into the country and get the 6 Americans out as Canadian Movie film crew.  Let us start with the characters.  Tony Mendez is the main CIA agent that must put this plan into action, make sure it goes off with a snatch, and get the Americans out.  Ben Affleck does a deeply emotionally involving perfect job as the CIA agent.  He is cool, calm and collective in his mentality as his meticulous in creating this plan and making it work.  Along with these common traits in being Tony, there is an added depth when he arrives to put the plan into action.  When he gets to Iran, he is very stern and upfront when things are ready, and when things finally go down and it is time to escape.  You are engrossed with his visceral tone towards the plan.  It is truly appealing, as his action keeps you on your seat as he moves these pieces on this ‘chess board’ around to get everyone home safely.   Along with Affleck, we have John Goodman who plays John Chambers.  He is the guy who is the Hollywood makeup artist who helps him put together the planned fake movie used to get the Americans out.  He is straight up comical and just as cool in his attitude like Affleck.  He is the witty comical relief in the film, and even though it is a minor role, it is a much important to the plot as the dramatically toned ones.  Bryan Cranston plays Affleck’s partner in the CIA who helps run everything in the background with this mission.  His character, Jack O’Donnell, is a very strong individual, with a no-nonsense approach in his attitude.  You can tell he won’t take no for an answer.  When the mission starts to get going, he is very believable and forceful in his role, and you feel his anxiety as well as focus when they are in the heat of the climax.  His role is top notch, and you feel like he will get a Best Supporting nod for this role.  Everyone aside from these main three (the Americans, The Iranians, the Canadian Ambassador and Maid) are all very believable, emotional and feel very authentic in their roles (albeit this is a true story).  You are made to feel like you were there at that time when everything is going down.  You feel, very slowly, as the tension builds from when the mission gets put together to when Affleck arrives and gets everyone out.  The characters are on point and give you that ‘on your seat’ action … that you have to applaud how everyone in this movie made a big contribution to the overall story.

As this movie is based on real events, you see that the script is superb.  The dialogue between the Hostages is very venerable, and you feel as if there is no hope for them, even when Affleck arrives.  You sense a feeling of urgency when they are putting the plan together, as well as also have moments of comical relief with the witty dialogue between Goodman and Affleck in Hollywood. All of this weaves into a third act, which is a ‘grind your teeth’; edge of your seat, top notion thriller. ‘Will or won’t they get out’ is what you feel.   The weaving that is going on as the tension flows in the script is well moved by the great filming/direction of the film.  You constantly don’t know if they will get out alive, and you feel like you’re watching your own family members in trouble because of the tone.  Affleck does a great job in moving the film from its buildup in the first 2 acts to the climax of the third act.  When the film ends, you actually feel like the journey of the film to its final moments was a true epic masterpiece.  The score adds depth and levels to this direction.  It adds the element of awe stricken moments from beginning to end.  The music is subtle when people are alone and deliberating about life, faith and mission; as also is pulsating when they are in the heat of the moment, trying to get out of the country.  Another level of intrigue is how authentic that Tehran is made in this film.  I do not know where it was film, but you feel danger throughout Affleck’s visit in this filmed ‘Iran’.  His complete 360 awareness of people watching him, protesting and tension between guards makes you feel more terror then some horror films.  I applaud this, plus the grainy way the film looks brings a great realistic visual to the film.

The feeling of this film is Superb.  From the beginning when people are taking hostage, and the 6 escape, to when Affleck arrives to save the day under the premise of the most ridiculous mission of making a sci-fi movie in Iran, you feel the fluidity in the direction, the rawness of the visuals, the emotions of the characters, and the completeness by the end.  You are awe struck from the characters, the script, the direction, the score and the cinematography.  There is not one down movement in this film.  This is perfection when it comes to filmmaking.  I recommend this film for diehard movie fans, Affleck fans and anyone a fan of great cinema.

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