101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

Its Oscar win for Best Picture might have overshadowed the strength of this script, which took home both the 2013 Writers Guild Award and Oscar for Adapted Screenplay. Chris Terrio’s script is a marvel of narrative construction, drawing from multiple source texts as well as historical facts to recount how CIA operative Tony Mendez was able to rescue six U.S. diplomats during the Iranian hostage crisis using the ruse that they were part of a Canadian film crew making a science fiction movie. In another notch for truth over fiction, the scheme worked.