Old 10-04-2012, 04:40 PM

Directed by Ben Affleck

Written by Chris Terrio

Plot: As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA 'exfiltration' specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador.

Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman

Rated R for language and some violent images

Runtime: 120 minutes

Looks pretty good. Affleck can only grow as a filmmaker.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:48 PM
One of my most anticipated of the remainder of the year. I'm a big fan of Affleck's previous two directorial efforts and by the sounds of it, this is his best yet.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:53 PM
I've waited four years for this movie. I posted a story about the actual events four years ago, hoping that it would be made into a movie one day. I can only hope it ends up as good as I envisioned it in my head.

Fun fact: My girlfriend works with a woman who used to work at the CIA (legal department; not a spy), and it turns out that her boss at the time was none other than Tony Mendez, the main character in the movie.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:35 PM
I'm a bit conflicted on this one. On the one hand, Affleck has shown himself to be quite skilled behind the camera, and it has a decent cast. On the other hand, fuck the CIA.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:38 PM
Solid cast, solid story, great up-and-coming director. Sign me up.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:49 AM
Originally Posted by xseanymacx View Post
Solid cast, solid story, great up-and-coming director. Sign me up.
Agree. Looks very good, and I think it could end up a major awards player.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:49 AM
Definitely one of my most anticipated movies of the year. Looks fantastic. Can't wait.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:51 PM
Might be seeing this next weekend.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:23 PM
my most anticipated film for the rest of the year
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:34 PM
Really looking forward to seeing this. I wouldn't call it my most anticipated of the rest of the year (Skyfall, Django Unchained), but this is up there.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:21 AM
wow... fucking wow!

This movie delivered in spades!

The final 20 minutes or so rank as the most tense, edge of your seat scenes I have ever seen in any movie ever.

That entire scene, i mean, the point of the entire story is for that 1 scene, and my god, Affleck succeeded even better than I anticipated in terms of creating a sincerely edge of your seat scene. Even though we all may know how this story turns out, those final 20 minutes when they are at the airport and they figure out who the 1 guy is... just my god, so intense!

I have been an Affleck fan since he broke out, Armageddon is still one of my all time favorites (unapologetically) and I love Kevin Smith movies and we all know Affleck was the Bomb in Phantoms yo!

The skill he demonstrated in this movie is beyond comparison. If he isnt nominated for a Best Director Oscar it will be a sincere injustice. With Gone Baby Gone and The Town he showed he could make great movies, but with this movie he showed that he has the talent to go down as one of the best directors of his generations. Just watch those last 20 minutes of this movie and try and disagree!

Phenomenal movie... go see it!
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:58 PM
This is getting EXCELLENT reviews.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:39 PM
"Argo' (true events) a political hostage crisis thriller (in 1979 Iranian crisis) is a rare intelligent blend of drama and humor, where a fake movie production is used to rescue 6 Americans

A praiseworthy, fascinating and precise made film. It works on all levels. Ben Affleck has arrived as a complete director. And he's not too bad directing himself in the lead part.

The fake movie plot is so increditable bizarre how is it conceivable. It held my interest from the opening reel until the credits. And hang around for the credits.

4 1/2 **** (A)


Spoiler: "Argo" is the name of the fake film and it took 18 years before Prez Clinton declassified the CIA operations
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:50 PM
Doesn't this kind of have a similar plot as The Last Shot? That movie starred Alec Baldwin as an FBI agent who uses the making of a movie to take down the mob. Only that movie was an all out comedy and Baldwin's character gets so wrapped up on making the movie that he seems to forget what the real purpose of this was. Matthew Broderick and Toni Collette also star in the movie. It wasn't great, but it was amusing.

I always thought these two movies sounded kind of similar. I mean, obviously there are some big differences, but both movies use the making of a movie as a means for something else.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:06 PM
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
Doesn't this kind of have a similar plot as The Last Shot? That movie starred Alec Baldwin as an FBI agent who uses the making of a movie to take down the mob. Only that movie was an all out comedy and Baldwin's character gets so wrapped up on making the movie that he seems to forget what the real purpose of this was. Matthew Broderick and Toni Collette also star in the movie. It wasn't great, but it was amusing.

I always thought these two movies sounded kind of similar. I mean, obviously there are some big differences, but both movies use the making of a movie as a means for something else.
Sure, but the events in Argo actually happened. Even though the events in the film are massively adjusted to make things more suspenseful, but the crux of the story really happened.

As far as The Last Shot, the original script for Argo (the film being released today, not the alien-script that fooled the Iranians) was a straight comedy apparently. I'm glad Affleck saw the wisdom in changing that up.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:48 PM
Originally Posted by AceD View Post

the original script for Argo (the film being released today, not the alien-script that fooled the Iranians) was a straight comedy apparently. I'm glad Affleck saw the wisdom in changing that up.
Was it really?! Ya, thank god someone saw the light of day on that one. The tension in the final 20-30 minutes of the movie is the best I have ever seen, and literally had me on the edge of my seat.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:20 AM
Okay...so bare with me...

I just came back from the film so it's fresh in my mind, and perhaps I set the bar and my expectations too high. Now, don't let me saying that fool you to think I thought this was a bad film, quite the opposite.

I think Affleck directed the shit out of the film, it moves at a brilliant pace, the story telling is phenomenal and you are never bored. I also think it'll be nominated and probably win best screenplay.

Alan Arkin was so good, he has a fairly small role but when he is on screen it's brilliant perhaps a best supporting nod.

Now, where this starts to slide for me is the tension. Everyone has been talking about it and how "edge of your seat it was" and I agree it was tense, I was twirling and pulling on my beard as I was watching the film. But I expected it to be even more tense and over the top and palm sweat inducing then it was. I feel like it's my fault because like I said I expected it to blow my mind, and it didn't - it was just a good movie.

What a sin, for me to be complaining about a good movie when there is such shit out there, but I hope people understand where I'm coming from, especially those who have seen the film and read this.

Rating: B
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:24 AM
Pin... i think I can get what you are saying, simply because, as you admit, in your head you went in expecting something. But where I differ is, even with those high expectations, for me, it delivered!

I mean, this is a true story that the majority of us know how it ended

The mission is a success! The hostages are free'd

but I could not have imagined or hoped for the tense nature of those final moments!

There are a lot of movies that have those last minute races, those "oh no, we are going to get caught" moments, and they are all done very well.. but the way Affleck and the Editor made this final scene, again, for me, was the best I have ever seen Tension used. I never clap in a movie, but

When the lady gets on the Airplane PA system and says they can now serve Alcohol

I nearly got up and gave a standing ovation! The theater I was in had several people clapping at that moment.. it was... genius!
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:25 AM
I may go see it again at a better theater today after I watch Seven Psychopaths...perhaps it was the shitty theater I was at...who knows...
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:29 AM
I'll be seeing this Sunday night, probably Monday.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:01 PM
Here's my full Review, a more in depth though provoking write up from what I did above - http://wp.me/p2CCWq-2gE
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:15 PM
Affleck knocked it out of the park. He is the real deal. The writing and editing was also incredible (the structuring is terrific). One guy whose name isn't being thrown around in many reviews is Scoot McNairy. He was really good in this and I can't wait to see him again in Killing Them Softly.

The film also provided the birth of a new classic line


Last edited by Bourne101; 10-13-2012 at 05:22 PM..
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:20 PM
The surprising and wonderful career of Ben Affleck, filmmaker continues and with his third effort it is clear that he continues to mature and evolve to a great degree. Argo, based on the true story, is first and foremost a major directorial accomplishment. This isnít a case of flashy direction or showboating, though. Argo is hugely assured and delightfully old fashioned, relishing in the detail and specificity of a major historical moment. It feels and acts like a film that was made in the late 1970s, and that is perhaps the biggest compliment I can give it.

Sometimes the strangest and hardest to believe stories are the true ones, and thatís certainly the case with Argo. This film depicts a tumultuous time in the history of Iran and the way America became involved in a country wide revolution. From the beginning it is clear that Argo is not a film that is going to play around. We witness a riot outside the American Embassy in Iran, cutting between those rioting, the Americans inside the embassy, and officials in Washington, D.C. attempting to deal with the crisis. The filmmaking on display is efficient, thoughtful, and filled with great movement. The camera tracks and zooms, capturing events with immediacy and intimacy. It feels propulsive and alive. Documentary and television footage is interspersed to achieve authenticity, but the film does a terrific job of doing that on its own accord, helped by Alexandre Desplatís typically strong musical score. Rodrigo Prieto shoots on great film stock and gives the film a smoky, classic tone. Best of all, William Goldenbergís editing is clean, energetic, and economical. All of these technical elements should be strong awards contenders this year.

Affleck proves to be a director of great control, and every element is in play to serve the larger whole. The production design and set decoration is appropriately detailed and the film has great and believable period elements. This feels like the late 70s/early 80s, and the costuming and hairstyling lends its hand in that department as well. The massive ensemble cast is game to go very late-70s in their look. And what a terrific cast this is. Affleck has gathered a wonderful collection of character actors, each one delivering strong and convincing work, from Kyle Chandler to Bryan Cranston and on to Scoot McNairy, Clea DuVall and Tate Donovan. Whatís wonderful is that each actor contributes to the whole; nobody overacts, but instead they create believable and lived in portrayals of men and women all trying to deal with an impossible situation. Some may say this isnít great acting, but I would strongly disagree. It is great acting precisely because it doesnít feel like acting at all. Miraculously, despite featuring numerous characters, each feels well developed and it is easy to relate to and care for these people.

Argo is a film that perpetually builds throughout its runtime, from the intense riot of the opening act to the halls and corridors of Washington, D.C. in the 2nd when a few men must decide how to accomplish this strange mission. After the riot, six Americans escape and take refuge in the house of the Canadian Ambassador to Iran. It becomes a chief goal of American security agencies to attempt to rescue these men and women and bring them back home from a country that absolutely despises them. Ben Affleckís Tony Mendez is tasked with this impossible assignment, and Affleck has never been this understated or restrained. Mendez is a determined man yearning for his old family life but utterly dedicated to his job, and Affleck makes a strong anchor for the entire film. This is an intelligent film, filled with great suspense and tension. There are no gun fights, explosions, or extreme violence and yet it manages to thrill more effectively than any other film I can recently remember. This is partly because of the high stakes of the story, partly because we care about the characters, and mostly because of the strong film craft I spoke of earlier. The final act is a breathless and exciting set piece that pays off the filmís perpetual building in a big way. It is cathartic.

Argoís biggest secret weapon, though, is its humor. These are intense and dangerous real life scenarios, yet Chris Terrioís script is filled with witty dialogue and very amusing scenes. Much of this is owed to the absurdity of the rescue mission. Mendez decides to create an elaborate backstory and cover identities for the stranded Americans involving a fake science fiction film. This is where Hollywood comes in to play, and we meet characters portrayed by Alan Arkin and John Goodman. These men bring great levity to a film that is almost impossibly tense, and it is this wonderful balancing act that further cements the filmís greatness.

Simply put, Ben Affleck has knocked Argo out of the park. This is an intelligent and amazingly crafted thriller that tells a strong and important story. Coupled with a terrific ensemble, top notch technical merits, and a great sense of period and authenticity, this is a film that entertains and thrills in the best old fashioned ways.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:27 AM
Saw this yesterday and really enjoyed it..I probably would have got more enjoyment out of it though if I wasn't suffering from a sinus migrane
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:42 PM
I haven't been fully convinced by Affleck as a director in the past. Gone Baby Gone was one of my most anticipated movies that year (and one of my favourite books at the time) and I thought he handled that one rather poorly, with some hammy acting, incredibly flat camerawork/shot compositions, and especially bad editing despite all the talent he assembled.

But The Town was a very good leap forward, a generally smart thriller that was a cut above the Hollywood norm, with some great performances and energy.

With Argo, Affleck has grown as a filmmaker yet again (with some help from Rodrigo Prieto, William Goldenberg, and Alexander Desplat), and by a healthy amount. I had read the article this was based on a few years ago but despite knowing the story, the movie had me in its grip from the thrilling opening all the way through to the end. Affleck builds the mood expertly - I'll cut him some slack for the "right down to the wire" Hollywood-type scenes because for the most part, they work as he peels off every layer of the case for maximum tension. The film works as a fantastic slow-burn thriller (Affleck has said he's a big fan of All the President's Men and it shows) but it's also effortlessly entertaining in its many moments of levity thanks to a great cast that make strong impressions with limited screen time.

It's great entertainment buoyed by great filmmaking. Affleck has come a long way.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:45 PM

well done. Mr Affleck here. a taut thriller. Goodmen and Arkin make for a great team.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:17 AM

While promoting his new film Argo, Director/Actor Ben Affleck and various talk show hosts poked fun
at the changes he made to his physical appearance for the film.Well it was all worth it because Argo
is one of the best films of the year.
The film opens with a brief history lesson that brings us up to speed to the subject matter of the film.
When the United States took in the recently deposed Shah of Iran,this set off a chain of events:
giving Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, supreme power and Islamic militants taking over the U.S. embassy in Tehran
and taking most at the embassy hostage.There were 6 that evaded capture and hid in the home of Canadian ambassador
Ken Taylor (Victor Garber) but with the militants going over every bit of documents shredded at the embassy
it wouldnt be long before the 6 would be found and possibly killed.

I was very young at the time of these events,but i do recall certain things and i sought them out in the film,and
Affleck nailed every one of them.He completely captures,the look and the feelings of that time period.
From the tied yellow ribbons to Presidents Carter's strong stance against Iran,from the eyewear to
a Mcdonald's bag.
No one is short changed in the film what the hostages experienced,the aggravation,and fears of the six
in hiding,and CIA specialist Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) who comes up with the plan of using the guise
of making a sci fi film in Iran and the six as the crew of the film in order to get them out of Iran safely.
Equally good are Alan Arkin as producer Lester Siege and John Goodman as make up artist John Chambers,
and ,Bryan Cranston as C.I.A supervisor Jack O'Donnell.

I liked how the film not only pokes fun at the Hollywood machine,but also how if you are going to sell
anything or make it believable in this life you have to dress it up,and dressing up the faux sci fi
film was of vital importance from fake posters in Hollywood mags,to script reads and press parties.

Argo,has humor,drama and all the right moments of edge of your seat tension,even though i knew the
outcome,and that says something for the Director Affleck and the writer Chris Terrio of this
stunning film.I see a lot of awards in it's future.

Scale of 1-10 a 10
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:48 AM

Finally, after a slew of disappointing movies (The Master, End of Watch, Sinister) I finally see a movie that actually lives up to the hype! Argo is a fascinating, taut, gripping and thoroughly entertaining movie that is also a rousing crowd pleaser! It's a movie that manages to put you on the edge of your seat and makes you want to cheer out loud.

A lot of critics are saying this is Ben Affleck's best directorial effort yet. I'm not so sure but that is because Gone Baby Gone was a truly fantastic movie with a haunting conclusion. I don't think this movie is quite as powerful as that was. But it is my second favorite of his and it's definitely one of the year's best thus far.

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Old 10-17-2012, 07:35 PM
With Argo, Ben Affleck seems to make a concise point that heís a filmmaker, and he knows how to make movies, Impeccably directed, edited, and acted; Argo isnít a movie classic that some movie reviews are claiming to be, but that doesnít mean that this isnít a damn fine piece of filmmaking, because it is. Affleck handles a true story about a top secret CIA mission during the 1980 Iranian Revolution in such accessible cinema glory that any fan of film, big or small, will eat this film up.

Iím going on a limb, but letís face it, there are certain historical/political dramas that some viewers just have no interest in seeing. Whether itíd be too talky or the topic is just isnít interesting, some films donít have that overarching grasp to all the viewers. Argo is handled in a way that Affleck makes sure that the politics and history are intact, but that the film is involving for all the viewers involved. And boy, does he nail that sentiment. This film is thick with tension that you can cut it with a knife, with an opening sequence, showcasing the beginning of the Iranian Revolution crisis, that is riveting in how the clock is winding down, and when the shoe is dropped.

But, while the information is dropped regarding the Iranian Revolution and the proceeding plan involving the safe securing of 5 missing Americans who escaped when the US embassy was overrun, Affleck never loses the viewer with what is going on. He handles the proceedings in a concise fashion, building the plan with enough showcase and star power, but also knowing when to cut corners to continue the story. Thereís always forward momentum for this film, moving forward to the next important piece of the CIA game, and never dawdling in the unnecessary. Then, when the plan finally goes ahead does the film really kick into gears, with suspense hitting fever pitch as the film draws to a blood-curdling conclusion.

Affleck has the enormous star power within this film, with Affleck himself as Tony Mendez, the CIA analyst who puts the plan known as ďThe Hollywood IdeaĒ into fruition to save the Americans. Affleck is fine in the role, playing it subdued and control, never getting impatient when the plan goes awry. John Goodman and Alan Arkin as Hollywood players who get their hands in the CIA plan. They make up the lighter moments in the film, delivering one of the best lines in the film. Bryan Cranston is a class act as usual, playing an overseer to the rescue plan and getting a good funny line or two. Other well-known actors like Affleckís go-to actor Titus Welliver, Kyle Chandler, Clea Duvall and Tate Donovan shine in the overall ensemble.

Argo is, without a doubt, the best film outing by Ben Affleck. Everything is just so assured in the direction, script, as well as acting wise. The film doesnít set the bar in the extraordinary and sometimes settles into the predictable, but the filmmaking and handling of this true CIA mission is just so good that it really doesnít matter.

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Old 10-19-2012, 02:21 AM
Having already read the details of the true story, I was worried that I may not be able to truly enjoy this movie for what it was. Thankfully, that's not the case. The movie was great. I don't really have much more I can add to what's already been praised. So, instead I'll comment on a couple little things that left me feeling slightly mixed about it.

This is not a spoiler, but something I wished they had explored more was the fake Studio 6 itself. The cover they set up was so convincing that they started getting scripts mailed to them and had been setting up meetings for possible future projects and deals. Also, while this was briefly alluded to, they had a special phone line set up by the CIA that would only be called by the agency - making it's ring at the end all the more dramatic.

Also, I don't feel like enough time was spent dealing with the refugees. They did a good job in setting up archetype characters (which seemed to match the real life personalities well), but I think too much time was spent on the CIA end of the story and not of those in hiding.

Granted, these elements may have added another 30 minutes to the movie, but I just wish it had been balanced just a tad better.

Now, for the one thing that everyone says is the movie's best moment: the climax:

This was the only part were I thought it got too big. In reality, there was no big showdown at the airport. Though it was a very tense ordeal, they got through and on board without incident. They weren't pulled aside and harassed; there was no car chase of the runway. Sure, it made for a very intense finale to the movie, but it was pure Hollywood at that point, and it did disappoint me a bit.

Also, if I remember right, they actually got their identities well ahead of Mendez's arrival (to learn them as best they could) and knew what the plan was well in advance. Although the one guy in the group was being a hardcase about it, the others actually embraced their rolls and really got into pretending to be Hollywood types.

That said, I'm still giving it a 9/10. Even knowing what was going to happen, the movie packs a hell of a punch.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:18 AM
This movie has everything going for it - great acting, directing, suspense, and humor to go along with a lot more. Ben Affleck has proven again that he is a top notch filmmaker with an eye for great drama. I even think his performances have improved over his earlier work since he's stepped behind the camera to take on directing duties.

With this movie, he takes on a real life event and puts the audience smack dab in the middle of it. It seems you're right there in the room when Iranians storm the American Embassy in the the late 1970s, you feel the angst as you escape with six Americans and hide out at the Canadian Ambassador's house, and you're right there with the CIA trying to figure out how to get those six out of Iran. John Goodman and Alan Arkin provide the humor, the operation of extracting the trapped Americans provides the suspense, and Ben Affleck is terrific as the man behind the camera and as the character risking his life to make sure the operation succeeds. Bryan Cranston also deserves a shoutout as Affleck's boss who delivers some great lines and scenes in the movie as well.

From the 70s feel to the movie, to the great performances by everyone involved, to Affleck's great leadership behind the camera - Argo has plenty to offer audiences who enjoy good humor and great suspense. It's one of the best movies I've seen this year.

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Old 10-24-2012, 04:11 PM

How to judge a film like this? Every film features arbitrary factors on what makes it enjoyable or not. Films based on real life situations carry certain baggage but none of that baggage weighed this gem down at all. I honestly canít think of a way to make the movie better. Thus, it merits a 10/10 in my book. Itís so very well acted and constructed. I was captivated all the way through and Affleck made it suspenseful to the max. Politically, there are some modern parallels to whatís happening today but that texture isnít even relevant to enjoying the effort as a pure thriller.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:02 AM
Suspenseful, even though I knew the outcome. Really hard to do (for an example of doing it wrong, see Valkyrie).

Greatly timed humor. Wonderful performances across the board.

Yeah... as good as advertised, if not better.

Just see it if you haven't.

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:57 PM
Loved it!
Wonderful directing, and great casting... I was really struck by how closely they nailed the visuals when they flashed all those real photos at the end.
Amazing story, and inspiring to think of the real Mendez's courage.
So glad he finally got the recognition he deserves.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:00 AM
Affleck is on a roll. What an incredibly solid filmmaker he is. Despite knowing how it's gonna end, the film manages to truly hold you in suspense in so many scenes.

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Old 04-07-2013, 08:27 PM
I just saw this the other day. I don't get how this movie won best picture. Sure, it was a fine film, but was pretty plain and boring. I did not feel a fully built suspence moment. I really liked watching it, but it must have been a really down year if this really is best movie.
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