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OK, put down your coffee and steady yourself, because you are about to read “Ben Affleck” and “best movie of the year” in the same sentence. Yes, it’s true, it wasn’t so long ago — somewhere between “Pearl Harbor” and “Gigli” — that Affleck wore out his welcome as a Hollywood A-lister, and nothing seemed to get his career back on the rails, not even “Surviving Christmas.” (Cheap shot, I know.)

Then he began directing: With “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” Affleck showed an affinity for gritty crime flicks set in his hometown of Boston, and proved he had a way with suspense. With “Argo,” he has definitely hit his stride and has made what may well be the best film of 2012.

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