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.


Mike Nichols


Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), George Crile (book)
2,085 ( 1,797)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


Based on a true story. You think we could make all this up? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Marks the third character Tom Hanks has played with the surname "Wilson". He also played Kip and Buffy Wilson on the television show Bosom Buddies. See more »


Following a montage depicting events of 1987-1988 in Afghanistan, Charlie Wilson celebrates his reelection, and Gust tells him that Doc Long is going to be defeated. Long was defeated in 1984. See more »


[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 »


Farewell of Slavianka
Performed by The Red Army Choir
Courtesy of Naxos
By Arrangement with Source/Q
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User Reviews

A Bittersweet Political Comedy
8 February 2008 | by littlemartinarocenaSee all my reviews

Nice to see a comedy for grown ups. Masterfully structured by Aaron Sorkin via Mike Nichols's own mastery. Mr Nichol's mastery is to present characters in all their shocking truth, from the sad and riveting Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" to the sad and riveting Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Jude Law and Natalie Portman in "Closer". In "Charlie Wilson's War" the shocking truth is outside the characters and the sad and riveting Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams are at the service of something else, it's personal only to a point. Hanks has to bury his brilliance in single malts and Julia Roberts throws parties and introduces characters with blatant straightforwardness. Amy Adams witnesses and exist as a character, witnessing. An insurmountable task that Miss Adams manages to surmount, beautifully. It is Philip Seymour Hoffman's Gus with a t, however, that monopolized my attention. His character may not be a first but it is a first the way that Hoffman presented him to us. Someone who survives the disregard with which he's treated by the absolute conviction that he's smarter than all of them put together. Hoffman is superb. The pacing of the tale helps enormously not to fall in a myriad of useless questions. A sharp, short, smart, sad comedy and when was the last time I was able to say that?

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Release Date:

21 December 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie Wilson's War See more »


Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,656,250, 23 December 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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