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Argo

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Wow...ARGO (2012) starring Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston is one of those unique movies where I never once checked my watch. An engrossing film that keeps you involved in the action from the opening narrative until the end credits is a rare and wonderful thing.

Based on a true story, this thrilling drama follows the incredible process in which Tony Mendez leads a joint operation between the Canadian Government and the CIA to extract six embassy hostages from Iran in 1980. In the midst of Iran's political upheaval, Mendez hatches an ingenious plan to return the Americans hiding out in the Canadian Embassy with help from his Hollywood contacts. Surprisingly, the rouse of scouting for a film shoot is the cover story, and with or without his government's support, Mendez is willing to attempt his rescue.

Ben Affleck plays the part of Mendez, only allowing his eyes to betray the depth of uncertainty in each of his measured steps. A double threat as the lead actor and the film's director, Affleck is a serious talent continually evolving with age. This movie expertly deals with a horribly violent episode in recent history without relying on flashes of blood and gore to shock or thrill us. A
truly spectacular film, the story of ARGO will more than entertain, it will inadvertently educate.

Nominated for 7 Oscars in 2013 including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor, ARGO strangely did not bring Affleck a Best Director nomination. Drama/History/Thriller, 120 mins, R, ***** 5 stars
out of five.

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin January 28, 2013
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