Ben Affleck has been the laughing-stock of Hollywood actors the past decade or so, but in 2007 with Gone Baby Gone and again in 2010′s The Town, he proved that he had a real filmmaker’s vision. His latest, a real thriller, is also his best. The astonishing but true story of a CIA-sanctioned operation to retrieve a group of Americans holed up in the Tehran home of the Canadian ambassador during the Iran hostage crisis, the film stars Affleck as a CIA operative who comes up with a crude but effective plan to get the Americans out of Iran alive: he’ll fly in as part of a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a B-grade science fiction film production and they’ll all fly out together. The ludicrous yet ingenious plan involves a foul-mouthed Hollywood producer (Alan Arkin, terrific), a fat but famous makeup artist (John Goodman) and a bit of finagling on the part of a CIA ally (Bryan Cranston). The results are wonderfully-made, tense, gripping and often hilarious.


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