Movie power rankings: Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ sails to No. 1

Now that festival season is fully underway in Toronto, Telluride and Venice, Ben Affleck’s real life drama about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis is receiving great reviews and may be among the front runners for the Oscars. Special acclaim seems to be going to co-star Alan Arkin, who is part of the large ensemble cast that also includes Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Kyle Chandler. After the success of “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” “Argo” is sure to cement Affleck as one of Hollywood’s most in-demand directors. 

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As for the rest of this week’s list…

September 8, 2012
1. “Argo” (Last week: Not ranked)
Will the Oscars follow in the footsteps of the Emmys, and give a trophy to co-star Cranston? Or will Arkin steal the spotlight?

2. “The Master” (Last week: Not ranked)
Another American film gathering buzz at festivals this fall, Paul Thomas Anderson’s follow-up to “There Will Be Blood” looks sure to be an Oscar contender as well. 

3. Clint Eastwood (Last week: Not ranked)
Will his bizarre, rambling RNC speech hurt or help his upcoming film “Trouble With the Curve” and his Oscar chances?
4. “The Hobbit” (Last week: Not ranked)
Now that there are three films, Peter Jackson and co. had to re-arrange the trio’s titles. As of now, part 2 is “The Desolation of Smaug,” and part 3 will be known as “There and Back Again.” The latter will even be a summer release, set for July 18, 2014. 

5. “Jack Ryan” (Last week: Not ranked)
The Tom Clancy hero is back on the big screen, and Paramount recently released pics of Chris Pine in the role. How do you think he’ll fare compared to Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck? Ryan is like the American James Bond.  

6. Academy Awards (Last week: No. 3)
The Oscars are making even more alterations to categories, attempting to better the much-maligned original song section by maintaing a quota of I’ve nominees. Will Florence and the Machine’s “Snow White” tune be present? Or any of the “Hunger Games” songs?

7. “Iron Man 3” (Last week: Not ranked)
If Guy Pearce’s role is really just a “cameo,” does that mean he’ll return for a fourth installment? At the very least, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) will have his hands full taking care of The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). 

8. “Robocop” (Last week: Not ranked)
Michael Keaton is stepping in for Hugh Laurie in the upcoming sci-fi remake, joining Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and more. 

9. “To the Wonder” (Last week: Not ranked)
Where did Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Martin Sheen and Amanda Peet go? Only fussy auteur Terrence Malick knows why they were cut from his upcoming film, which stars Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams, and is predictably dividing critics

10. “The Possession” (Last week: Not ranked)
The horror film scared up a surprising $21.3 million in its opening weekend, and continues to lead the box office. The only thing scarier is having to go back to school. 

Watch the previous installment of Movie Power Rankings here

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