Argo — 8/10

ARGO (2012, Ben Affleck): 8/10

About as ruthlessly efficient a plot machine as I’ve seen in a while. Affleck keeps this thing lean and briskly paced — it doesn’t lag and it doesn’t dwell. The drawbacks to this method are that characterization is sacrificed across the board (though in some cases that’s a good thing — we don’t need to see yet another domestic argument between a spy and his wife over how much he works, how he’s not home enough, how he’s not there for the kid, etc.; just a single shot of an unanswered phone tells us everything) and the themes are a bit underdeveloped — this is a fairly shallow movie given the subject matter. But the benefits are that these two hours pass in what seems like 45 minutes thanks to keenly placed plants-and-payoffs, and terrific supporting turns by the likes of Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, and John Goodman. This is Affleck’s best film to date: astute period detail, gorgeous Rodrigo Prieto photography (what else is new for the genius behind the camera for 25th HOUR and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), and above all else — it’s damn entertaining.

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One response to “Argo — 8/10

  1. Jennifer

    Finally saw this just now. LOVED IT. Agree with pretty much everything you said, of course. Arkin was great relief but really the whole cast was tight. Huge respect for Affleck right now.

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