Mark Twain's often-quoted "Truth is stranger than fiction" sums up a plot that could be hard to believe if we didn't know it was true.
Argo tells a well-crafted story from a gripping moment in history.
Ben Affleck stars and directs the film that already has Oscar pundits talking.
Argo is the story of a daring mission to rescue six Americans from revolutionary Iran.
The time is 1979 and the Shah of Iran has just been deposed by the Ayatollah Khomeini.
The people are angry at the United States for propping up the Shah for so long and storm the US Embassy in Tehran.
With their future looking exceedingly perilous, six of the staff sneak out a side entrance of the embassy and manage to obtain sanctuary at the residence of the Canadian ambassador.
The one factor in their favour is that the Iranians don't know they have escaped, and while that continues they are safe.
Back in the States, the plight of the six escapers is foremost with the CIA and the White House.
And taking a personal interest is Tony Mendez (Affleck), a specialist in extracting hostages from hostile environments.
He concocts a daring plan that involves creating a fake film being shot in Iran.
It is just crazy enough to work but he must get everything in exactly the right place if he is to pull it off.
Argo has a gritty reality about it.
The style of shooting is extremely raw, which helps enhance the tension and drama of the life-and-death mission to escape Iran.
(M) 120 minutes
Rating: 4 / 5