STARRING: Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Alan Arkin
Man with a plan: Affleck
On Nov. 4, 1979, a student demonstration at the US Embassy in Tehran boils into a furious mêlée, re-created by director Ben Affleck with scary, explosive immediacy. Sixty-nine days later, six escaped staffers are holed up at the Canadian ambassador’s house while Iran's Islamic Revolution rages, and back in Virginia CIA cool-dude strategist Tony Mendez (Affleck again) hatches a brainwave.
With the audacity of desperation, Mendez and two Hollywood insiders (Goodman and Arkin, killing it) set up a phony production company for their equally phony sci-fi blockbuster, Argo. Under the guise of location scouting, Mendez then heads to Tehran and shepherds the wanted six, posing as key crew members, through the powder-keg city. And yes, folks: it isn’t entirely fiction. Affleck the director is as commanding a storyteller with this sprawling, socio-political canvas as he was with the Boston-centric settings of Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Argo is a ripper fragment of modern history that hums with a slyly mocking wit and edge-of-seat suspense that Tinseltown screenwriters would kill to come up with.