Culture Street

Film review: Argo

On November 5, 2012

By Rebecca McRitchie

Argo follows the true events that occurred in 1979 when the American Embassy in Teheran was stormed by Iranians protesting America’s protection of a deposed Shah. Amongst the chaos, six American Embassy workers manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian Ambassador. To rescue the six, a CIA ‘exilftration’ agent concocts a risky plan to smuggle the Americans out of Iran under the guise of a fake Canadian science fiction movie crew.

Directed, produced and starring Ben Affleck, Argo is an engaging political thriller that is intense from the very beginning. Despite this, the screenplay, written by Chris Terrio, is peppered with in-jokes and jibes about Hollywood that still ring true today. Alan Arkin and John Goodman also star as the Hollywood names, providing much needed comedic relief that cuts the film’s relentless tension.

Affleck does a superb job in crafting a thrilling, intelligent and entertaining heist movie. The ending, although likely riddled with dramatic liberties, is incredibly suspenseful to the point of nail-biting.   As the CIA exfiltration agent, however, Affleck’s character could have had more depth. In fact, as a whole, the movie could have had more character development, not only for Affleck’s character but also for the six Americans at the centre of the story.

In spite of this, the film tackles important topics that are discussed today and does so cleverly, particularly with regards to the East-West dichotomy, the notion of ‘the other’ and the volatile, political history of America’s relationship with Iran.

Affleck captures the overwhelming violence and claustrophobic fear that will leave you gripping the arms of your seat. Audiences will definitely enjoy Argo and there is a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding the film. Overall it is a solid film but Oscar-worthy? I’m not entirely convinced. I give Argo a 3.7 out of 5.

You Might Also Like

Promised Land starring Matt Damon

Matt Damon plays a corporate salesman who is sent, along with his partner (played by Frances McDormand), to a rural town to close a deal for his natural gas company....

On September 28, 2012

Before I Go To Sleep to be adapted for the screen

We just love all the film news this week. Nothing makes us smile quite so much as a great book being adapted for the big screen, except the possible mention...

On February 8, 2013


Film review: The Wolf of Wall Street

By Sophia Whitfield

On January 23, 2014

Political satire too close for comfort

By Rebecca McRitchie

On August 21, 2012

Highlights from upcoming films

We have put together a few highlights from films soon to be released. Enjoy!

On October 11, 2013


Tim Winton's The Turning, starring Cate Blanchett and Rose Byrne

The full length trailer has been release for award-winning author Tim Winton’s The Turning.

On August 28, 2013
Copyright © 2012 - 2020 Culture Street