Argo is Affleck's third film — the first not set in Boston, and the second that Affleck himself stars in. Though he cast his brother, Casey Affleck, in 2007's Gone Baby Gone, he gave himself the lead in 2010's The Town, a decision that ended up being one of the film's weak links. ("Oh look," my movie going companion pointed out during The Town's forced-soulful denouement. "He escaped to Beardlandia!") But his turn in Argo is, refreshingly, more or less vanity-free — just one gratuitous shirtless scene! — a hopeful sign that Affleck the actor may finally be giving Affleck the director the upper hand.
ARGO opens Fri/12 in Bay Area theaters.