Ben Affleck directs and stars in this exciting new thriller based on a real story. The film works perfectly on every level providing the viewer with a terrific time at the movies. The story takes place during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1980 and until recently, had been classified by the U.S. Government. When the U.S. embassy was overrun and hostages taken, six American diplomats managed to escape and take refuge in the Canadian Embassy. This is the story of what happened to those six Americans.
The direction is so good that it's hard to believe this is only his third time behind the camera. The editing is terrific as Mr. Affleck cuts through what must be a very complicated story to get to it's core elements and move the action along at breakneck speed. The plan of the rescue mission is faking a movie shoot in Iran and smuggling out the Americans under the guise of a Canadian film crew. The scenes in Hollywood are very funny with the laughs coming from John Goodman and Alan Arkin who help Mr. Affleck create his fake film cover story. The humor here and scattered through the rest of the film is a welcome relief from the dramatic tension of the situation.
Mr. Affleck brings out the best from his actors, including Bryan Cranston, as his CIA superior and his six American diplomats who display first fear, then boredom, confusion, and fear again as their situation becomes more and more desperate. Using actual archival footage mixed with recreated scenes, Mr. Affleck makes you believe every moment and the last act of the film increases the tension to unbearable "edge of your seat" viewing.
The film is smart, fast paced, exciting and very entertaining. A great start to the "serious movie" season.