Movies like Argo will make you enjoy thrillers, dramas, and biography films with dramatic overtones and intriguing plots involving the CIA, revolutions, hostages, politics, espionage, and US embassies.
Argo achieves the heights of a nearly flawless movie, which every filmmaker strives to achieve, by combining the correct amount of tension, drama, suspense, artistry, narrative arc, and comedy relief. For the sake of the writing, the movie does take a few cinematic liberties.
Still, everything is to amplify the suspense to the point where you might feel gasping in amazement or grasping your fists multiple times throughout the play.
And the climax, which appropriately brings the dramatic suspense to a close, is when that tension reaches its highest point.
1. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
- Director: Kathryn Bigelow
- Cast: Jessica Chastain
- IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
- Running Time: 2h 37m
Having only worked on the Al Qaeda file since being hired by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1999, Maya received her first field mission in Pakistan in 2003 as an analyst working with an interrogating team.
If only due to 9/11 and the knowledge that Al Qaeda was accountable for it, this mission is now more crucial than it was when they hired her.
The team’s primary assignment is to eliminate Al Qaeda; if Osama bin Laden is found and killed, that would be a bonus.
Maya is unprepared for the emotional strain of the work due to her young age and inexperience, especially given the brutal interrogation tactics she witnesses. Things shift when Maya becomes more involved in the case.
Techniques for questioning suspects once considered “torture” may now be criminally charged.
However, Maya also changes when she zeroes in on bin Laden and is willing to use any means necessary to get him, including those cruel interrogation methods.
There was a debate over what constitutes a risk level or probability in the pursuit of the ultimate goal of taking out bin Laden always on the table.
This focus causes her to argue with anyone in a place of authority above her who may not concur with her appraisal of a situation. This movie is regarded as one of the best movies like Argo.
2. Captain Phillips (2013)
- Director: Paul Greengrass
- Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Katherine Keener, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, and
- IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
- Running Time: 2hr 14m
The MV Maersk Alabama, commanded by Captain Richard Phillips and his crew, is taken over by four Somali pirates while transporting cargo around the Horn of Africa.
The captain and a few key crew members stay on the bridge as the highly armed pirates make their way up to take control of the ship.
However, Phillips’ team heeds his orders to conceal until they hear him give the safe word.
But the invaders quickly learn something that makes them furiously angry.
Phillips argues that the Maersk stopped functioning because the crew pushed it too hard to elude the assailants after shutting down the ship.
Phillips offers them the $30,000 kept in the ship safe to placate their brutal leader, the Muse.
Muse insists that Phillips assist him in searching every nook and cranny of the boat to find the terrified crew since that is insufficient.
When that scheme falls through, the pirates consent to steal the money from the safe and escape in the lifeboat of the Maersk.
The US Navy would rather see the photograph sunk with Phillips inside than allow it to reach Somalia.
However, it became involved in a tense standoff due to its decision to capture Phillips at the last minute to supplement its take with a hefty ransom. This film is one of the best movies like Argo.
3. Body of Lies (2008)
- Director: Ridley Scott,
- Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, Oscar Isaac, Ali Suliman, and Alon Aboutboul
- IMDb Rating: 7/10
- Running Time: 2h 8m
In the Middle East, Roger Ferris works for the C.I.A., while Ed Hoffman is his supervisor at Langley.
There is cynicism all everywhere. Roger works with Jordan’s head of security, Hani Salaam, in Amman.
His only commandment is, “Don’t lie to me.” The Americans are looking for a priest in charge of an organization detonating bombs across Europe.
Roger and Ed devise a plan to bring the cleric to them when Hani rejects Ed’s demand that Jordan permits the Americans to utilize one of Jordan’s double agents.
Being a secret from Hani and Roger’s attraction to a nearby nurse makes the plan challenging.
Modern warfare uses satellites and cell phones, corpses, and lies. This film is one of the best movies like Argo.
4. Killing the Messenger (2014)
- Director: Michael Cuesta
- Cast: Jeremy Renner, Jina Sims, Robert Pralgo, Robert Patrick, Hajji Golightly, Ted Huckabee, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead
- IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
- Running Time: 1h 52m
Based on the journalist Gary Webb’s real-life experiences. The story took place in the mid-1990s when Webb discovered the CIA’s previous involvement in bringing massive quantities of cocaine into the country.
Afterward was then aggressively peddled in ghettos throughout the nation to earn money for the rebel force of the Nicaraguan Contras.
Despite intense pressure not to, Webb decided to look into the matter and made his proof public by publishing the “Dark Alliance” series.
He thus endured a nasty smear campaign supported by the CIA Webb then found himself standing up for his morals, his family, and his life. This film is viewed as one of the best movies like Argo.
5. The Infiltrator (2016)
- Director: Brad Furman
- Cast: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Amy Ryan, Leanne Best, Daniel Mays, and
- IMDb Rating: 7/10
- Running Time: 2h 7m
In the 1980s, the US Undercover “Bob Musella,” Special Agent Robert Mazur of the Customs Service, plays a crucial role in helping drug traffickers clean their dirty money.
Later, he infiltrates the biggest cartel in the world and aided in dismantling the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
This cartel had illegally acquired shares of the First American Bank in Washington, DC, survived the fraud, and went on to have a long and successful career. This film is one of the best movies like Argo.
6. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
- Director: Guy Ritchie
- Cast: Armie Hammer, Henry Cavill, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani, Sylvester Groth, and Hugh Grant
- IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
- Running Time: 1h 56m
In 1963, CIA agent Napoleon Solo was classy and sophisticated. Although he had a criminal past, the CIA decided that his unique skills would serve the nation better as a spy than they would if he was in prison.
Dr. Udo Teller, a renowned German rocket scientist who worked for the Americans on their nuclear program after World War II until he vanished two years ago, is the subject of his current investigation. They saw him in Rome.
To track down Teller, Napoleon can smuggle Gaby Schmidt, Teller’s biological daughter, out of East Berlin and into the west.
The Americans don’t think she has any information about her father’s whereabouts the hasn’t been in touch with her in 18 years.
But they believe she has the power to influence some people who do, like her uncle Rudi, an executive at Vinciguerra Shipping, a company in Rome run by husband and wife Alexander and Victoria Vinciguerra.
According to the significant national intelligence services, the firm is allegedly a front for creating nuclear weapons.
Victoria, the mastermind behind the scheme, is believed to have abducted Teller to construct an atomic bomb.
They compelled Napoleon to cooperate on this investigation with KGB operative Illya Kuryakin due to its potential worldwide repercussions.
Beyond the American and soviet split, Napoleon will find it challenging to work with his new partner.
That’s because of their previous unpleasant meeting in East Berlin and Illya’s explosive and violent temper, which can overshadow his profession. This film is one of the best movies like Argo.
7. American Made (2017)
- Director: Doug Liman
- Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones, Lola Kirke, and Jayma Mays
- IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
- Running Time: 1hr 55m
Barry Seal, a talented and ambitious TWA pilot, began smuggling Cuban cigars in 1978 to boost his pay.
Monty Schafer, a CIA agent, contacts him out of the blue and offers him to work for the agency photographing facilities over Central America with a cutting-edge tiny plane.
Soon after, the Medellin Cartel contacts Barry and asks him to transfer drugs to the USA while acting as a courier for the CIA Schafer then requests that Barry transport weapons for the Contras in Nicaragua.
Barry plans routes to smuggle cocaine for the cartel and invites pilots who are pals with him.
Barry continues to amass wealth as the CIA turns a blind eye to the scam. He uses Mena, Arkansas, as a money laundering hub. But he is being sought after by the FBI and DEA.
When the CIA foils the plan, Barry is left behind and is taken into custody by the authorities.
What will happen to him and his Family? This film is one of the best movies like Argo
8. Taken (2008)
- Director: Pierre Morel
- Cast: Maggie Grace, Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, David Warshofsky,, and Holly Valance
- IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
- Running Time: 1h 30m
Kim, seventeen years old, is Bryan Mills’ pride and pleasure. Bryan, a retired CIA operative, left the organization to be close to Kim in California. Kim resides with Lenore, her mother, and Stuart, her affluent stepfather.
Kim can persuade her reticent father to let her visit Paris with her friend Amanda.
When they first get to Paris, the girls ride in a cab with a stranger named Peter, and Amanda casually mentions that they are traveling alone.
An Albanian human trafficking ring abducts the girls using this information. Kim hardly had time to phone her dad and alert him of the situation.
In a brief conversation with one of the abductors, her father threatens to kill the abductors if they do not release his daughter.
Bryan Mills departs for Paris to search for his daughter and her spouse after the kidnapper tells him, “good luck.” This film is one of the best movies like Argo.
9. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
- Director: Tomas Alfredson
- Cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Zoltán Mucsi, Mark Strong, and Péter Kálloy Molnár
- IMDb Rating: 7/10
- Running Time: 2h 7m
After a disastrous operation in Budapest, Hungary, the director of British intelligence control resigns in the early 1970s during the Cold War.
It turns out that management thought one of four senior service members was a mole, a Russian agent, and that the Hungary operation aimed to determine who that person was.
Despite being compelled to retire due to control’s departure, George Smiley was summoned is asked by a high government official to look into a betrayal story that rogue Agent Ricky Tarr told him.
Smiley believes that the Hungary operation’s failure and the ongoing success of Operation Witchcraft, which appears to be a key source of Soviet intelligence, verifies this, and he undertakes the task. This film is viewed as one of the movies like Argo.
10. The Report (2019)
- Director: Scott Z. Burns
- Cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Ted Levine, Corey Stoll, Evander Duck Jr, and Linda Powell
- IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
- Running Time: 1h 59m
A thriller called THE REPORT is about actual occurrences. Senator Dianne Feinstein appointed ideological staffer Daniel J. Jones to Oversee an investigation of the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program, which was established in the wake of 9/11.
The results of Jones’ unrelenting search for the truth reveal the depths to which the country’s top intelligence agency went to obstruct justice, destroy evidence, and conceal a horrific secret from the American people. This film is regarded as one of the best movies like Argo.
11. American Hustle (2013)
- Director: David O. Russell
- Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., and Jack Huston
- IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
- Running Time: 2h 18m
American Hustle is a fictional movie about a brilliant con man named Irving Rosenfeld, who they forced to work for a crazy FBI agent named Richie DiMaso.
The story of the seductive world of one of the most stunning scandals ever to rock our country.
DiMaso forces them into a mafia and power brokers’ world in New Jersey that is both dangerous and alluring.
Carmine Polito, played by Jeremy Renner, is a passionate and erratic political figure from New stuck between the Feds and scam artists.
Rosalyn, Irving’s unstable wife, might be the one to snap the chain that topples everything. This film is one of the best movies like Argo.
12. Salt (2010)
- Director: Phillip Noyce
- Cast: Angelina Jolie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Liev Schreiber, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl, Daniel Pearce, and Hunt Block
- IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
- Running Time: 1h 40m
A Russian man going by the name of Orlov and posing as FSB enters the covert CIA offices in Washington, DC, to defect.
He claims to know a Russian sleeper cell whose members have been trained since they were little.
Ultimately, they want to bring down the United States starting on a specific day, code-named “Day X,” which will begin with the assassination of the current Russian President in New York City at the upcoming funeral of the American Vice President.
Their mission is to infiltrate the American system by posing as one of them. Until Orlov specifies the agent entrusted with assassinating the Russian president, Evelyn Salt, the CIA interrogator dismisses him as crazy. This film is one of the best movies like Argo.
This last bit of information is crucial because it identifies Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent currently interrogating him in the same room. He does not and should not know her name at this time.
As part of the protocol, Evelyn must be questioned by Darryl Peabody of the CIA counterintelligence, who is watching the interrogation, before she leaves the building.
Evelyn, who vigorously denies all charges, chooses to flee instead, saying she is doing so to protect her husband.
German archeologist Mike Krause, whom she feels has been singled out as part of the Russian scheme against her.
13. Allied (2016)
- Director: Robert Zemeckis
- Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Vincent Ebrahim, Xavier de Guillebon, Camille Cottin, and Michael McKell
- IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
- Running Time: 2h
In tumultuous 1942, at the height of World War II, the daring Wing Commander Max Vatan flies into the Moroccan dunes to meet Marianne Beauséjour, a Paris-based member of the French Resistance.
Max and Marianne flee to England to start a family soon after attempting to kill an elusive target during a suicide mission in the heart of Casablanca.
However, when Max receives a startling call from the Secret Service Division, it further strains their strained relationship.
Max must muster the strength to search for answers amid the dangerous streets of a blasted London, regardless of the outcome.
However, while in disbelief, with a horrible task in his hands, and crushed under a tragic decision.
Who will survive, and who will perish right now, among duty and love? This film is one of the best movies like Argo.
14. The Town (2010)
- Director: Ben Affleck
- Cast: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, George Carroll, and Owen Burke
- IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
- Running Time: 2h 5m
Generation after generation, the Boston area of Charles town is well known for producing many armed robberies.
These thieves never leave the Charles town neighborhood where they live because an unspoken code protects that way of life.
Friends Doug MacRay, James Coughlin, Albert “Gloansy” Magloan, and Desmond Elden are some of these robbers.
Doug and James, in particular, treat one another like family because Doug views the Coughlins as his family ever since his mother left and his father, Stephen MacRay, was imprisoned.
Doug has a casual sexual relationship with Krista Coughlin, James’s drugged-out sister, who is a single mother.
The four carry off a largely successful bank robbery, but owing to unforeseen circumstances, they briefly hold bank manager Claire Keesey hostage before releasing her unharmed.
Learn that Claire resides near Charles’s town, so they want to make sure she didn’t witness anything that may make them look bad if they ever run into her again.
To learn more about what she knows and what she’s told the FBI and the police, who are in charge of the inquiry, Doug thus starts a personal relationship with her.
He discovers that she withheld some information from law enforcement for her safety, but information that may specifically identify James.
However, just as she does for him, Doug falls slowly for her. This film is one of the best movies like Argo.
15. Without Remorse (2021)
- Director: Jodie Turner-Smith
- Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Jamie Bell, Guy Pearce, Lauren London, Jacob Scipio, and Todd Lasance
- IMDb Rating: 5.8/10
- Running Time: 1h 49m
This movie has a dramatic origin tale of action hero John Clark, one of the most well-known characters in the movie; he is an elite Navy SEAL who unearths a worldwide conspiracy while pursuing revenge for the murder of his pregnant wife.
A group of Russian soldiers murders his Family as punishment for his participation in a top-secret operation. Chief John Kelly makes every effort to find the murderers.
Kelly’s mission accidentally exposes a hidden conspiracy that might plunge the US and Russia into all-out war after teaming up with a fellow SEAL and a shady CIA agent.
Kelly must confront his opponents without hesitation if he intends to escape tragedy and expose the influential figures behind the scheme. Kelly is torn between personal dignity and loyalty to his country.