In “Argo,” director and star Ben Affleck creates an utterly disarming and believable depiction of what happens during a life and death crisis: Both the rescuers and the rescued in this true story about the C.I.A.’s mission to “exfiltrate” six embassy workers in 1980 during the Iran Hostage Crisis experience unfathomable tension and fear and doubts, and treat their wounds with the unsavory salve of gallows humor. This is a no-nonsense and quietly stunning film that could play as a dark satire of covert ops and diplomacy, but it’s all true — even the elements that look like Hollywood exaggeration — which is part of what gives “Argo” its power.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Victor Garber. (Language and some violent images)
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