Argo: The Greatest Movie Never Made

Cameron Hines

If there’s one thing to take away from Argo, it’s that Canadians are the nicest people in the world. Islamic militants during the Iranian Revolution, however, were not so kind. Argo focuses on these events in 1979 that follow six U.S. citizens trapped in Tehran who will be sentenced to death if they are discovered by the Iranians. As it sounds, Argo rockets with intensity that only lets up for comic relief moments to lighten the heavy weight of the material.

A CIA technical operations specialist must come up with a way to extract U.S. citizens without the Iranians discovering their existence.

To get the six out alive, a CIA technical operations specialist, played by director Ben Affleck, must come up with a way to extract them without the Iranians discovering their existence. After shooting down many ideas, he comes to the decision that they need to pretend to be filming a big-budget Hollywood movie (titled Argo) on location, and that the six are part of his crew: he flies down, gives the six their aliases, they get out. Easier said than done.

He soon realizes, with help from John Goodman and Alan Arkin giving truly spectacular performances, that to sell this façade requires really making the film seem authentic. This is where the more lighthearted part of the film shows. But as soon as Affleck touches down in Iran for the extraction, the film instantly changes tone to a truly suspenseful 40 minute sequence.

Argo is actor/director Ben Affleck’s third movie, (his previous being Gone Baby Gone and The Town), and this certainly feels the most exhilarating. Affleck directs and edits this film beautifully, capturing all the tension and emotion possible in each scene. It’s truly spectacular how this film ramps up, and for the rest of the time gets the adrenaline going and your heart beating. In fact, I was still on an adrenaline kick after the movie ended, that’s how suspenseful it is. The performances don’t even feel like acting. You feel like you’re watching real people, not performances.

With a film that had as much promise as this one, it was wonderful to see it not only not fall short of expectations, but also exceed. Affleck proves again that he’s a phenomenal director as he not only recreates this story in stunning dramatic style, but also creates a phrase that anyone who’s seen this film will use the rest of their life (it’s not exactly school-paper appropriate so I’ll save it for you to see the film). If drama, suspense or good movies are something you enjoy, Argo will not only satisfy, but will also surpass your expectations.