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Dec 03, 2013

MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Ben Affleck


Ben Affleck

Bryan Cranston

John Goodman

Chris Messina


2012 Warner Brothers Studios

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Argo.

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Overall C+
Run Time128

Making the Grades

Any Canadian my age or older will have no problem recalling the moment in history when the ambassador to Iran from the icy land “up North” was heralded a hero after assisting a half-dozen U.S. citizens escape from the tumultuous country. Now, this story that is apparently obscure in America, is brought back to light in the release of Argo.

Ben Affleck throws a double-punch in this production, acting as both director and playing real life CIA agent Tony Mendez, the man who came up with a crazy rescue idea that involved a fake film script as an excuse to go to Iran to scout shooting locations. With the help of a Hollywood makeup man (John Goodman) and an aging movie producer (Alan Arkin), Mendez manages to create a fictitious front for a sci-fi film that’s so believable it includes an office and advertisements in trade magazines. Next he convinces the Canadian government to supply six passports for his “crew”—the six trapped U.S. Embassy workers that managed to evade capture when the Iranian building was overrun and found refuge in the home of Ken Taylor (played by Victor Garber, an authentic Canuck), the Canadian ambassador to Iran.

While the movie’s promotions herald Argo as based on information that was not declassified until years after the event, this screenplay takes liberal opportunity to embellish the tension and action—right down to a runway chase at the airport. (The actual departure of the hostages at the airport happened without incident.) But, just as the plot spinners in this true story illustrate, Hollywood has never let reality stand in the way of a good movie and if you’re shopping for thrills and nail-biting moments, Argo delivers.

Sadly language is the reason for this production’s R-rating in the U.S. with needless sexual expletives and other profanities peppering the dialogue. We also see a body hanging from a construction crane in the streets of Tehran, some still images of torture in the movie’s opening moments and a firing squad where prisoners are subjected to the psychological torment of believing they will be executed. As well, expect a great deal of cigarette smoking and drinking in this film set in 1980.

However, aside from these elements, Argo reminds us of a time when two national friends worked together. With their efforts, plus a little bit of show business ingenuity, a dangerous situation was navigated and ultimately lives were saved.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Argo.

CLick here to learn more about the history behind the daring rescue of these stranded Americans, and the help they were offered by the Canadians,

View the original news story from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Here is a Canadian journalist’s view of Argo.

Trailers & Clips

Canadian Movie Ratings

PG Coarse Language, Violence.
AB 14A Coarse Language.
MB 14A Violence, Coarse Language, Tobacco Use/Promotion.
ON 14A Coarse Language, Disturbing Content, Tobacco Use.
QC G Not Recommended For Young Children.

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Argo...

Home Video Notes: Argo: The Declassified Extended Edition

Release Date: 3 December 2013

After winning an Oscar for Best Picture of 2012, Warner Brothers Studios has decided to re-release Argo to home video in a Declassified Extended Edition. Extras in this package include:

- Copies of the feature film (Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Digital Copy)

- Argo Theatrical release (120 minutes)

- Argo Extended edition (129 minutes)

- 64-Page In-Depth Book with Behind-the-Scenes Argo Photographs

- Argo: A Cosmic Conflagration Movie Poster Reproduction (14” x 20”)

- Map of “Argo” Movie Locations (14” x 20”)

- ID Card Prop Replica

- Picture in Picture: Eyewitness Account

- Feature length audio commentary with director Ben Affleck and writer Chris Terrio

- Rescued from Tehran: We Were There

- Argo: Absolute Authenticity

- Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection

- Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option

- Argo Files

- Argo Declassified: Tony Mendez’s daring operation gets honored as part of the CIA’s 50th anniversary

- Ben Affleck’s Balancing Act: Balancing humor, politics, Hollywood and international intrigue as only Affleck and his team could do

- Argo **** Yourself: Ben Affleck leads an all-star review of Argo’s classic line

Home Video Notes: Argo

Release Date: 19 February 2013

Argo releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Digital Copy) with the following extras:

Audio commentary with director Ben Affleck

Feature Length Picture in Picture: Eye Witness Account

Rescued from Tehran: We Were There

Argo: Absolute Authenticity

Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection

Escape From Iran: The Hollywood Option

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