Argo ★★★★½

Ben Affleck truly stepped up his game, and the result is an excellent political thriller. There was drama, there was action, there was comedy...but all without seeming too Hollywood. Affleck's direction gave this film the appropriate realistic vs. dramatic elements.

The most obvious comparison among this year's Oscar nominations is the other political thriller, Zero Dark Thirty...however, where I felt that ZD30 suffered from pacing issues and lack of character development, Argo took an essentially large ensemble cast, made you care about the characters, and put them into a compelling dramatic situation from beginning to end.

That being said, the beginning was a tad bit slow moving for me, not being familiar with the history and having to keep up with all the characters being introduced. But the acting was excellent from the large cast - aside from the "big names," pretty much every other actor caused me to think, "who is that? what else are they in?"

It was a great period piece...it actually reminded me of Apollo 13 in the way the era was portrayed and how those in the "control center" were working behind the scenes of the "homeward bound heroes."

I hope Ben Affleck continues to produce & direct films as well made as this one!