Film » Film Features

Opening This Weekend: Argo



Argo Ben Affleck's drama about the rescue of six American diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis deserves credit for placing the events in accurate historical context. The movie leads with a narrated history of events leading to the crisis, including the 1953 U.S.-engineered coup that deposed Iran's prime minister Mossadegh (who dared to nationalize Iran's oil resources) and the installation of the tyrannical puppet Shah. The film's drably colored, documentary-like texture is perfect for the subject and time period; Affleck and company took pains to make everything look authentic, from the aviator eyeglasses, shaggy hairstyles and '70s wardrobe to casting actors who closely resemble the real-life players. Affleck plays Tony Mendez, a CIA "extraction specialist" tasked with getting the diplomats — hiding riskily at the Canadian Ambassador's home — out of Iran.. He cleverly invents a cover story that has the Americans playing members of a Canadian film crew making a sci-fi movie in Iran. Mendez arranges an actual film, with a script, a cast and the knowing help of a special-effects man and a veteran producer (John Goodman and Alan Arkin in amusing roles). Though the outcome is known, Chris Terreo's very linear narrative creates almost unbearable suspense as the Americans navigate a dangerously militant Tehran. (Pamela Zoslov)

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.