7.1/10
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297 user 274 critic

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.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writers:

Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), George Crile (book)
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Popularity
2,862 ( 607)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Charlie Wilson
Amy Adams ... Bonnie Bach
Julia Roberts ... Joanne Herring
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Gust Avrakotos
Terry Bozeman ... CIA Award Presenter
Brian Markinson ... Paul Brown
Jud Tylor ... Crystal Lee
Hilary Angelo ... Kelly
Cyia Batten ... Stacey
Kirby Mitchell ... Stoned Guy
Ed Regine ... Limo Driver
Daniel Eric Gold ... Donnelly
Emily Blunt ... Jane Liddle
Peter Gerety ... Larry Liddle
Wynn Everett ... Receptionist - Charlie's Angels
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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:

Based On The Outrageous True Story. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | Dari | Russian | Urdu | Hebrew | Arabic

Release Date:

21 December 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Juego de poder See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,952,430, 23 December 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$66,661,095

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$119,000,410
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Om Puri, who played Pakistani President Zia in this movie, is actually an Indian. See more »

Goofs

When Charlie and Gust are talking with the Green Beret in the park playing chess with 4 guys the Green Beret (Mike) states, "The Russians did not come in on a Euro Pass they came in on...", the EuroPass was not implemented until 2004. 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 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.167 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Opus 1
Written by Speedy West
Performed by Jimmy Bryant
Courtesy of Capitol Records Nashville
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Refreshing Political Satire
29 December 2007 | by MichaelMargetisSee 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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