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Argo (Rated R)

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Ben Affleck’s Academy Award winning film, “Argo”, stars an elite cast including Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Alan Arkin. The movie takes place in 1979 during the Iran hostage crisis when the American embassy in Iran was overtaken with over 50 Americans taken hostage inside.

The plot opens at the very beginning of the hostage crisis and closes 444 days later at it’s end. The focus of the film is Tony Menedez (Ben Affleck), a CIA agent who has been tasked with the seemingly impossible mission to escort the 6 escaped Americans out of Iran. Menedez’s ultimate plan is to build up the release of a new movie that is being filmed in Iran. The 6 escapees are planned to act as the production team in order to get past Iranian security and flee the country. However, the plan is considered highly risky and Menedez admits to his boss, “This is the best bad idea we have, sir.”

The film won three out of its seven Oscar nominations as well as raked in over $220 million in box office. By traditional standards, the film was a success. However, the film was exceptional beyond its high numbers and ratings. Argo, by definition, was a documentary of real historical events that occurred before the memory of anyone under the age of 40. To most moviegoers, a film by such definition would be overlooked without hesitation. Yet, the blockbuster was an immediate and ongoing hit. Why?

“Argo”’s plot, although historically based, is a dramatic thriller. The exciting previews, eye-catching posters and cliff-hanger catch lines of the movie would lead one to believe it was the next James Bond film. And the adventure of the film didn’t stop there. Audiences were immediately drawn in to the exhilarating plot that began with the opening scene of Iranians breaking into the US Embassy. From there, the plot rollercoaster only moved faster with heart pounding scenes of intensity that left people sweating on the edge of their seats. Affleck was generous in the amount of “close-call” scenes while keeping the typical explosion and car chase scenes to almost zero.

The movie’s success was based on it’s overall perfect balance of historical accuracy and accentuated drama that keep any audience actively attentive. It was aimed at all age groups and movie-types, even encompassing some humor and romance, to entice large audiences while still keeping an artistic aesthetic to appeal to reviewers and critics. The film earned 4.6/5 stars and deserved all the acclaim it was credited.



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