The Good: Exceptional cast. Exceptional direction by Affleck (who's now a perfect 3-for-3). Great writing; a perfect balance of suspense, laughs, and drama. Yet another beautiful score by Desplat. Replicates the look and feel of late 70s/early 80s thrillers rather well. The climax is just sheer cinematic perfection (I must admit I got teary-eyed really bad). A genuine crowd-pleaser (the audience clapped eight times. Eight! And that's including twice during the end credits. I have never seen anything like that). "Argo f*ck yourself."
The Bad: A little contrived and Hollywoodish at times (which is typically a pet peeve of mine, but this is one of those rare instances where it didn't bother me because the film is just so darn well-made).
The Bottom Line: An unrelentingly intense and nerve-racking thriller, Argo is (and will remain), without a doubt in my mind, one of the best movies of the year. Highly recommended. Don't miss it.
Too true to be real, Argo is the mesmerizing true life story of one of the most improbably strange rescue operations in CIA history. The events were deemed classified at the time, but now that time has passed director Ben Affleck can provide his own take on it.
Argo really is a breath of fresh air. It does what you expect it to do with proficiency. Like most Hollywood genre, crowd-pleasing movies, it has something to say whilst providing some escapist thrills with good technique.
But Argo is a cut above the norm. It has genuine emotional power and resonance that simply hasn't been seen at the movies this year. An experience unlike any other. It is timely enough to be acknowledged in the pop culture realm of American movie making. However, it is also like a foreign film with a lot of exotic tone and feel. It has been released this year, yet it remains timeless. The acting is nuanced enough to be recognizable in 2012 but it has this aura that it was made 30 years ago.
The film has a great deal to say about Hollywood, it has even more to say about humanity and what divides and unites us. The film is never heavy handed but it is always very clear. Never before has the last 20 minutes of a Hollywood film been so suspenseful, so tense, so unbearably poignant and also funny. This is one special film.
The cinematography, editing, writing and (yes) directing all deserve Oscar nominations come next Spring.
Matt, you'd better start playing catch up. I think you're bud has one up'ed for the time being.