OK for kids 16+
Taut political thriller based on real-life escape from Iran.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Argo is based on the true story of a daring covert rescue mission, carried out by CIA operative Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck, who also directs), during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. A few scenes feature unruly mobs and dead bodies, and there are some extremely tense sequences during the escape, but there's not much actual on-screen violence. Other issues include swearing (there's quite a bit, including "f--k" and "s--t") and several scenes that show people smoking and drinking during social occasions.
- Families can talk about the fact that the whole Argo mission is built around a huge deception. Why is it OK to lie in this situation? Are there other times that it's OK?
- Some Canadians are apparently miffed that their participation in the rescue has been minimized in the film. When it comes to portraying real-life events, should Hollywood hew to the historic accounts? Or does entertainment trump accuracy?
- Are the characters role models? What about the "bad guys"? How are they portrayed? How might this story play out differently if it had been made in another country?
The good stuff
Messages: The CIA goes to extreme lengths -- and one agent risks his life -- to save six people who need to get out of Iran before they're captured by revolutionaries. It's a patriotic story, based on a real mission, that highlights the agency's sense of duty during very difficult times.
Role models: CIA operative Tony Mendez has one firm rule: Never leave anyone behind. He goes to extraordinary lengths to rescue six people before they're captured. The entire movie is built around a huge lie, but it's clear that the deception is both justified and necessary, and Mendez puts his own life on the line to pull it off.
What to watch for
Violence: An unruly mob overruns the U.S. embassy, waving guns and threatening people. Soldiers fire tear gas into a crowd. People are manhandled and shoved around. Later, militants threaten to shoot hostages, even setting up a firing squad. Other scenes show victims of the violence in Iran, including death by point-blank gunfire and hanging. Several scenes include tense stand-offs between soldiers and people trying to hide their identities, and though there's not much violence, the anxiety is palpable. Lots of guns.
Sex: Some scantily clad actresses in scenes involving sci-fi movie shoots. A married couple hugs.
Language: Frequent swearing includes "f--k" (and many variations thereof, including a running joke involving the movie's title and word "f--k"), "s--t," "prick," "a--hole," "d--k," "hell," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), and more.
Consumerism: One character drinks Miller beer and eats at McDonald's. A wealthy movie executive drives a Rolls Royce.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Several scenes show people drinking wine and cocktails at meals. A man drinks liquor alone in a hotel room, straight from the bottle, after getting bad news; it's also implied that he drinks wine "for courage" in another tense situation. Pretty frequent smoking (accurate for the era).
Fan Reviews provided by
ArGOOOOOOOOOOOO See This Movie by Darkola
This movie is a true story based on the 1979 hostage situation in Iran, where 6 hostiges managed to escape the embassy itself. The story itself deals with the 6 as they stay hidden in Iran, and the plan to go into Iran to try and rescue them 6 people. The story itself was an incredible story, well written and well produced. The acting was top notch throughout, this is a movie that I can easily see as being nominated for an acadamy award. Ben Affleck continues to amaze me with his acting skills, as he gets better with each movie I see him in, and he is flexible to play many parts, and also he is in my opinion one of the best directors out there. Remember when seeing this, that its based on actual events, there are parts alot of parts where things transpire at the very last second, if that is true or not, or what happened to certain people .. not sure they can really say, but all in all, I'd very highly recommend this movie and I would definitily give it 4 of 4 stars myself, enjoy :)
Back Where Affleck Belongs by FlimFlamFilmFan
We just saw ARGO in a large theatre with a mature audience old enough to vividly recall America?s angst during the 444 day Iranian hostage crisis. The audience applauded at the end. This movie is formulaic and predictable?in all the good Hollywood ways. We know these characters and this story and how it?s all going to end?yet it?s so deftly done, we cannot take our eyes off the screen. Well done, Mr. Affleck, well done indeed. It?s good to see you again behind the camera, up on the screen, and back on top of the movie game?right where you belong.
ARGO by jan_s25
Many of us remember the sketchy snippets provided by our television news journalists - as we waited and watched, for tales of the six, but more for word of the remaining hostages. This, as I recall, was the first major international incident, in which Canada was admittedly a major player!
Perhaps the fact that Mr. Ken Taylor is a fellow Albertan, with an already firmly established household name in the province, made the situation more firmly etched in our minds and hearts.
"Argo," provides insight and depth into the terror but also the humanity of all ethnicities, through the recently released twist in plot. The political espionage is likely to be lost on the under 12 group.
The cast, producers, directors and crew did an inspiring job of bringing the whole of it to us with unexpected turns, including bursts of comedy.
Ben Affleck's performance was unparalleled, carrying an indelible role that may come to be one of the finest of classics!
Stay for the credits!
"Argo ____ yourself!!" by ajdes05
Very timely subject matter, handled with good balance of suspense and humor, never risks being to hokey or jingoistic... Ben Affleck is 3 for 3 as a director!!
Argo by jeanne4715
Fantastic movie. Ben Affleck was fantastic. I knew how this true store ended but was sitting on the edge of my seat for the last half hour. All the actors were superb. Must See.
ARGO by ruthimis
Excellent historical drama of a little known event effecting 6 hostages during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 in Teheran. The acting was authentic; great role portrayals. This along with excellent directing and cinematography makes for a real spellbinder with very real heroes. Not to be missed if you enjoy history and learning classified facts that were eventually released by the government. A true story of how people from different countries can pull together for the good of individuals. A must Go!!
am icy reminder by ron_miami 2009
most of us had an idea on what went on during the hostage taking aftyer the fall of the Shah of Persia; however this movie, crowning Affleck's career, shows us a different aspect of that horrible situatuion. A few weeks ago, I read an interview of the CIA operative who was responsible for the Argo maneuver: it was real! the whole story is based on real facts!
it is amazing how Ben and his team, with the support of Tony Mendez, was able to show us on the big screen how the whole idea and realization took place.
don't miss it!
Sucks you in and keeps you there by Mike Muilenburg
It's a good thing I ate the box of candy BEFORE the movie started; the box was destroyed by the end. I recall the incident clearly. I was 5 yrs removed from college, and even then, had developed an appreciation for the hostility Persian students had for Americans. Carter's big mistake was granting asylum to the Shaw. Now, the rest of the story!
ARGO - Fabulous & Suspenseful by bbrown999
We all knew the outcome, but it didn't matter. It is a brilliantly constructed movie that easily merits the cliche "keeping you on the edge of your seat." The recreation of the atmosphere in Iran was superbly done. Even the 6 hiding Americans were made to look almost identical to their real counterparts as you will discover in an extended, informative epilogue. A unique aspect is the way comedy is effectively woven into this very serious story.
Perfectly timed film! by liznigro
Ben Affleck's best, a humorous, suspenseful portrayal of the Iranian hostage situation during the Carter administration. His character is world-weary, but cool and confident he can rescue a group of the hostages. He just has to figure out how, and comes up with the idea of pretending to make a fake movie, scouting for a location in Iran. Given the recent terrorist attack on our embassy in Libya, I felt real terror as the Iranian mob broke into the embassy, and the occupants struggled in their final moments of freedom to calculate their next move-- before their possible deaths. That cloud of fear hangs over the film, even as you enjoy the darkly humorous moments.