The Grade Book: “Argo”








Plot: In 1979, during the Iranian Revolution, the CIA hatches a plan to fake a location scouting for a fake movie in order to rescue six U.S. diplomats who escaped an attack on the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

Director: Ben Affleck.

Writer: Chris Terrio.

Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, and Victor Garber.

Genre: Historical Drama, Thriller.

Running Time: 2 hours.

MPAA Rating: R.




SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: Argo is a meticulously crafted and highly entertaining film, telling an incredible true story and featuring a heart-pounding climax. Ben Affleck shows tremendous skill in the director’s chair (and in the acting department), as he has made one of the best films in recent years.


  • Christian Becker:

Grade: A

It exceeded my already high expectations. Ben Affleck continues to impress us with his skills as a storyteller, and he does not let up on the tension. The final forty-five minutes of this movie had my heart pounding more than any other movie this year. My favorite film of the year so far.

  • Ryan Fecskovics:

Grade: A

A well-crafted film for sure; a wonderful feature from the immensely talented Ben Affleck. And a near lock for Oscar Nominations (although it’s only October). It’s sure to resonate with audiences, too. I love the film!!!

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):


Grade: A

One of the best films of the year! Ben Affleck should stop acting and focus the rest of his life on making great films!

  • Steven Hunt:

Grade: B+

This is a very interesting movie that keeps your eyes glued to the screen at all times. Whether it’s the great dialogue or the intense situations, you’ll always care about what’s going on. Ben Affleck is a great director, and it shows here. I’d love to see Bryan Cranston get nominated for an Oscar, because he does some of his best work yet in this movie. This is a fantastically made movie, although I don’t see myself watching it too many times in the future.

  • Scott Menzel:

Grade: A-

With solid direction, a remarkable story, and some great performances, I can safely say that Ben Affleck is 3 for 3! Argo is one of those films that screams for an Oscar. This film looks and feels as if you were watching it in the late 1970s to early 1980s. This film really grabs the audience and the final 20 minutes is so intense that you can’t help but be on the edge of your seat. While Argo is near-perfect, it does have one minor flaw within the pacing of the film itself. About half way through the film you do feel the length, but other than that it’s one of the best directed and crafted films of the year.

  • Kevin Morrison:

Grade: A

Ben Affleck does a great job recreating the 1970s and telling a brilliant true story. This is one of the best ideas for a movie I have seen in a long time. A great film that works as a spy thriller as much as it does as a historical true story.

  • Jake Peffer:

Grade: A

Brilliantly directed and acted. Ben Affleck handles the subject of the serious story very well. There is a good balance of tense moments and humor throughout. This will be an Oscar nominee come Oscar season.

  • Austin Putnam:

Grade: A

An all around excellent based off a true story film. Ben Affleck is not only a fantastic actor, but has shown his skill as a film-maker. Many scenes had my heart pounding in anticipation. Just excellent.

  • Daniel Rester:

Grade: A

The mise en scene and framing in the opening scene alone is reason enough to see Argo, but what follows is equally masterful. After making Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and now this, Ben Affleck shows that he isn’t messing around when it comes to directing films. As director for Argo, he gets the most out of his actors, establishes a fitting pace, and fills the air with intensity from the first shot onward. As an actor, this is one of Affleck’s best performances — completely understated and assured. Alan Arkin and John Goodman also provide the film with some laughs, and Bryan Cranston turns in a solid performance as well. I also loved how the film was shot with some graininess, expertly complimenting the production values in front of the camera — all making for a believable time and place. My only complaint is that I wanted it to go on a little longer so a few of the characters could have been fleshed-out a bit more. That aside,  Argo is a near-masterpiece.

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