(R) ★★★★☆

This thriller from director/star Ben Affleck just plain works. Based on unclassified documents, the story is set in 1979 when 52 Americans were taken hostage in Tehran by Iranian revolutionaries. Six U.S. State officials escape and hide at the Canadian ambassador’s home. CIA operative Antonio Mendez (Affleck) concocts a plan: fly into Iran, pose as a film crew scouting locations, fly out again with the six Americans playing the roles of crew members. With a sharp script and deft direction, the movie is tense and entertaining. Oscar buzz is justified.