7.1/10
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Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

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A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

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(screenplay), (book)
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3,513 ( 464)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paul Brown
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Crystal Lee
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Kelly
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Stacey
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Stoned Guy
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Limo Driver
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Storyline

In the early 1980s, Charlie Wilson is a womanizing US congressional representative from Texas who seemed to be in the minor leagues, except for the fact that he is a member of two major foreign policy and covert-ops committees. However, prodded by his major conservative supporter, Houston Socialite Joanne Herring, Wilson learns about the plight the people are suffering in the brutal Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. With the help of the maverick CIA agent, Gustav "Gust" Avrakotos, Wilson dedicates his canny political efforts to supply the Afghan mujahideen with the weapons and support to defeat the Soviet Union. However, Charlie Wilson eventually learns that while military victory can be had, there are other consequences and prices to that fight that are ignored to everyone's sorrow. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the world wasn't watching, they changed it forever. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

21 December 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juego de poder  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,952,430 (USA) (23 December 2007)

Gross:

$66,661,095 (USA)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin was very happy that Mike Nichols directed Charlie Wilson's War. See more »

Goofs

The Pakistani Army helicopter used to take Charlie Wilson to Peshawar had a Pakistani flag from edge to edge on the vertical tail fin and the green circle insignia on tail boom. In real life, the helicopter has a significantly smaller Pakistani flag (with or without white stripe) on its vertical tail fin, and the green circle insignia is on the cabin's body, just before the tail boom. It is also a much lighter color. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
CIA Award Presenter: The defeat and break up of the Soviet empire, culminating in the crumbing of the Berlin wall, is one of the great events of world history. There were many heroes in this battle but to Charlie Wilson must go this special recognition. Just thirteen years ago the Soviet army appeared to be invincible. But Charlie, undeterred, engineered a lethal body blow that weakened the communist empire. Without Charlie, history would be hugely and sadly different. And so for the first time a ...
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Crazy Credits

This film is carbon neutral with NativeEnergy See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.48 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Israeli Café, No. 3
Written by Shai Hadad
Performed by Shai Hadad
Courtesy of S. Hadad
By Arrangement with The Orchard
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Refreshing Political Satire
29 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In one of the better movies of the year, Tom Hanks stars as Congressman Charlie Wilson in this sardonically funny and extremely relevant (given reasonably current events) historical comedy-drama surrounding the 1980s Afghan/Soviet fiasco. The Soviets were attacking Afghanistan killing hundreds of people. Why should anyone care? People are dying, right? No, the reason the United States got involved through Charlie Wilson was because the Afghans, in fear they would get blown to sh_t, started illegally coming into Pakistan which in turn p_ssed Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq off. Charlie Wilson in an effort to fix this situation teamed up with the sixth richest woman and religious fanatic in Texas, Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) and a amusing and robust American spy for the CIA, Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to help supply Afghans with high-tech weapons to destroy Soviet fight air-craft that would try and attack their land.

Although certainly not a serious Oscar contender for Best Picture, 'Charlie Wilson's War' is probably one of the best of the many political films of the year. Academy Award Winner Mike Nichols provides solid directing as to be expected while Emmy Award Winner Aaron Sorkin (Sport's Night, The West Wing) provides a remarkable screenplay that near-flawlessly balances comedy and drama. The acting is great for the most part as well. Tom Hanks delivers his best and most enjoyable performance since his 2000 Oscar-nominated turn as a FedEx worker stranded on a tropical island in 'Cast Away'. Hanks takes a slimy character like Wilson and with his trademark charm turns him into a likable guy. Amy Adams and Ned Beatty are reliable as always, but the real stand-out performance of the film is from Philip Seymour Hoffman. Arguably the finest actor working in the film industry today, Hoffman takes a small supporting role and upstages everyone around him. From his first scene where he's screaming at his boss before violently breaking his window, Hoffman sucks you in. The only disappointing cast member is unsurprisingly overrated Hollywood starlet Julia Roberts. Hamming her way through yet another movie, Roberts' overbearing and over-the-top portrayal of a rich Texas oil woman hits all the wrong notes and is at most times flat-out annoying. At 97 minutes, the movie is short and sweet, and that isn't to say it doesn't drag at some points but when it does drag it's for a very brief amount of time.

In conclusion, 'Charlie Wilson's War' is not a perfect film by any means, but it's certainly worth a look. Grade: B+


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