Ty Burr: 7. “Argo”
Ben Affleck, filmmaker, comes of age. What’s most impressive about this nerve-wracking history-based thriller isn’t the art of the thing but its craft: the sense that the director is collaborating with a host of skilled specialists behind the camera just as he’s sharing the screen with so many fine and fascinating actors. “Argo” is smart enough to effortlessly summarize decades of US-Iran relations in its opening minutes, savvy enough to move through the Hollywood backlot scenes with the jaded wit of people who’ve been there, and astute enough to avoid gung-ho posturing and concentrate on the only thing that matters: story. Affleck gets it and he brings it, and he’s building a career that’s starting to look like that of a latter-day Sidney Lumet.