Charlie Wilson's War

Charlie Wilson's War

4.1 19
Director: Mike Nichols

Cast: Mike Nichols, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman


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Produced by Tom Hanks, written by Aaron Sorkin, and directed by Mike Nichols, this adaptation of George Crile III's incendiary bestseller tells the remarkable story of the Texas congressman whose efforts to prevent the Red Army from overtaking Afghanistan eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet UnionSee more details below


Produced by Tom Hanks, written by Aaron Sorkin, and directed by Mike Nichols, this adaptation of George Crile III's incendiary bestseller tells the remarkable story of the Texas congressman whose efforts to prevent the Red Army from overtaking Afghanistan eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union while simultaneously fueling the rise of radical Islam. In the early 1980s, a hastily assembled army of Afghan "freedom fighters" achieved the remarkable feat of fending off Soviet invaders despite the fact that the odds were overwhelmingly stacked against them. At the time, Texas congressman Charlie Wilson (Hanks) was a key member of the hugely powerful House Appropriations Committee. Illuminated to the specifics of this remarkable war by a high-profile Houston socialite, Wilson spearheaded an effort to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and training to the Mujahideen with more than a little help from brilliant but prickly CIA operative Gust Avrokotos.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
From his very first film, a blistering version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Mike Nichols has proven over and over again that he is arguably the finest adaptor of plays for the screen. His stage work -- in both improv theater and his legendary time with Elaine May -- taught Nichols the power of exquisite timing. He understands not only how a line should be delivered, but also when. Charlie Wilson's War continues this fine history. As Charlie Wilson, a Texas senator familiar with the shadier sides of his private appetites, Tom Hanks embodies someone who both enjoys the privileges of and respects the power he possesses. He embodies the seemingly sexist career politician with a winning good ol' boy charm. He hires only attractive women to staff his office, but they are all smart and politically savvy, and he listens to their advice. After seeing a news report about Afghani rebels fighting the Soviet invasion of their country, and being egged on by a very wealthy hardline Anti-Communist Texas socialite (Julia Roberts -- reteaming with Nichols after Closer) interested in funding his reelection, Wilson decides to covertly fund the rebels. The large portion of the film is a nearly journalistic revelation of the steps he took to achieve this. The script, adapted by Aaron Sorkin from a non-fiction book, has the snap of the best West Wing episodes. You feel as if you are seeing how politics really works -- how idealism and intelligence and humor can be used to manipulate the seemingly unmovable bureaucracy of the Federal government -- a process full of unique types like a youthful weapons expert and a spineless diplomat. This is not a dry history lesson, but a fast-paced, witty exposé of a man who found himself in the right place at the right time to affect history. The film maintains a sarcastic tone thanks to the crack writing, and the presence of the always brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman. As a violently moody, fiercely intelligent CIA man, Hoffman gets the kind of role good actors dream of and great actors, like him, make unforgettable. His impeccable delivery draws huge laughs from the script's best lines, and in a subtle final speech he offers the film's surprisingly pointed moral. For 90 minutes, Charlie Wilson's War is a portrait of American can-do ingenuity, but the final ten minutes offer a reminder of what can be expected from any change made in the world -- a lesson that couldn't be timelier. With Wit, Angels in America, the aforementioned Closer, and now Charlie Wilson's War, a 76-year-old Mike Nichols has proven over the course of this decade that while other skills might erode with age -- perfect timing does not have to be one of them.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
[Wide Screen, Color]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Stereo]
Sales rank:

Special Features

The making of Charlie Wilson's War - an inside look at the making of the film featuring interviews with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts; ; Who is Charlie Wilson? - a profile of the real Charlie Wilson, featuring interviews with Charlie Wilson, Joanne Herring, Tom Hanks, Aaron Sorkin and Mike Nichols

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tom Hanks Charlie Wilson
Julia Roberts Joanne Herring
Philip Seymour Hoffman Gust Avrakotos
Amy Adams Bonnie Bach
Ned Beatty Doc Long
Emily Blunt Jane Liddle
Om Puri President Zia
Ken Stott Zvi
John Slattery Cravely
Denis O'Hare Harold Holt
Jud Tylor Crystal Lee
Peter Gerety Larry Liddle
Brian Markinson Paul Brown
Christopher Denham Mike Vickers
Tracy Phillips Belly Dancer
Wynn Everett Actor,Charlie's Angel
Mary Bonner Baker Actor,Charlie's Angel
Rachel Nichols Actor,Charlie's Angel
Shiri Appleby Actor,Charlie's Angel

Technical Credits
Mike Nichols Director
Mary Bailey Associate Producer
Maria Teresa Barbasso Art Director
John Bloom Editor
Celia Costas Executive Producer
Gary Goetzman Producer
Stephen Goldblatt Cinematographer
Michael Haley Asst. Director,Co-producer
Tom Hanks Producer
Petur Hliddal Sound/Sound Designer
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Edward Hunt Associate Producer
Ryan Kavanaugh Executive Producer
Victor Kempster Production Designer
Paul A. Levin Associate Producer
Ellen Lewis Casting
Josh Lusby Set Decoration/Design
Jeff Skoll Executive Producer
Aaron Sorkin Screenwriter
Antonia Van Drimmelen Cinematographer,Editor
Albert Wolsky Costumes/Costume Designer

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