Ben Affleck is going back to the Oscars.

For his third directorial try, the star executes an intelligent, riveting thriller that's one of the year's best.

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During the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, a CIA agent (Affleck) must rescue six Americans in hiding. His plan: Mask them as crew members of a sci-fi flick (cue the wry inside-Hollywood jokes).

Even with a grand international backdrop, Affleck wrings palm-sweating suspense out of the most mundane events (a jingling phone) -- while meticulously re-creating retro details. Oh, and he's a pretty good actor too.

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Us Rating: 4 out of 4 stars

This article originally appeared on Review: Ben Affleck's Argo Is a "Riveting" Oscar-Worthy Thriller