Ben Affleck makes another meaty movie with this spellbinding recreation of the late ’70s/early ’80s Iran hostage crisis, and the strange CIA mission that helped to extricate six American citizens from Iran at a most inopportune time. Affleck directs and stars as Tony Mendez, who hatches an elaborate plan to pose as a Canadian film director scouting Iran for shooting locations, with the six Americans posing as his Canadian film crew. The whole scenario seems ridiculous, yet it actually happened. Having lived through this period of American history, I can tell you that Affleck does a terrific job of capturing the look and mood of the time. The late ’70s were sort of humiliating both in terms of our status overseas and the way folks were wearing their hair. Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Alan Arkin are all superb in supporting roles. This one will be in the running for some Oscars.

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