Charlie Wilson's War (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)



Critic Consensus: Charlie Wilson's War manages to entertain and inform audiences, thanks to its witty script and talented cast of power players.

Movie Info

Charlie Wilson was a bachelor congressman from Texas who had a habit of showing up in hot tubs with strippers and cocaine. His "Good Time Charlie" exterior, however, masked an extraordinary mind, a deep sense of patriotism and a passion for the underdog, and in the early 1980s the underdog was Afghanistan-which had just been brutally invaded by the Russians. Charlie's longtime friend and patron and sometime lover was Joanne Herring, one of the wealthiest women in Texas and a virulent anti-communist. Believing the American response to the Russian invasion was anemic at best, she prods Charlie into doing more for the Mujahideen (Afghan freedom fighters). Charlie's partner in this uphill endeavor is CIA Agent Gust Avrakotos, a blue-collar operative in a company of Ivy League blue bloods. Together, the three of them-Charlie, Joanne and Gust-travel the world to form unlikely alliances among the Pakistanis, Israelis, Egyptians, arms dealers, law makers and a belly dancer.Their success was remarkable. Funding for covert operations against the Soviets went from $5 million to $1 billion annually. The Red Army retreated out of Afghanistan. When asked how a group of peasants was able to deliver such a decisive blow to the army of a superpower, Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq responded simply, "Charlie did it."more
Rating: R (for strong language, nudity, sexual/content and some drug use)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Aaron Sorkin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 22, 2008
Box Office: $66.6M
Universal Pictures - Official Site


Tom Hanks
as Charlie Wilson
Amy Adams
as Bonnie Bach
Ned Beatty
as Doc Long
Julia Roberts
as Joanne Herring
Emily Blunt
as Jane Liddle
Om Puri
as President Zia
Denis O'Hare
as Harold Holt
Jud Tylor
as Crystal Lee
Terry Bozeman
as CIA Award Presenter
Brian Markinson
as Paul Brown
Kirby Mitchell
as Stoned Buy
Peter Gerety
as Larry Liddle
Wynn Everett
as Charlie's Angel
Mary Bonner Baker
as Charlie's Angel
Rachel Nichols
as Charlie's Angel
Shiri Appleby
as Charlie's Angel
P.J. Byrne
as Jim Van Wagenen
Thomas Crawford
as Maitenance Man
Joe Roland
as McGaffin
Patrika Darbo
as Auctioneer
Amanda Loncar
as Slave Girl
Salaheddine Benchegr...
as Pakistani Steward
Faran Tahir
as Brigadier Rashid
Rizwan Manji
as Colonel Mahmood
Maurice Sherbanee
as Refugee in Wheelchai...
Salam Sangi
as Refugee Building a W...
Navid Negahban
as Refugee Camp Transla...
Mozhan MarnÚ
as Refugee Camp Transla...
R.M. Haley
as Embassy Official
Michael Spellman
as Agent Patrick
Russell Edge
as Agent Wells
Christopher Denham
as Mike Vickers
Joe Sikora
as Chess Player
Gabriel Tigerman
as Chess Player
Tracy Phillips
as Belly Dancer
Daston Kalili
as Mujahideen Translato...
Pasha D. Lychnikoff
as Russian Helicopter P...
Ilia Volok
as Russian Helicopter P...
Sammy Sheik
as Stinger Mujahideen
Quill Roberts
as Stinger Presenter
Jim Jansen
as Congressional Commit...
Harry S. Murphy
as Congressional Commit...
Spencer Garrett
as Congressional Commit...
Kevin Cooney
as Congressional Commit...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Charlie Wilson's War

Critic Reviews for Charlie Wilson's War

All Critics (196) | Top Critics (48)

Hanks may at first seem like an unlikely choice to play a seasoned Texas playboy bachelor, but he's so ingratiating that he almost pulls it off.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Hanks' performance as Wilson is tone-perfect, capturing both the public-servant seriousness and playboy rakishness of his character. And he does it without breaking a sweat.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

[Philip Seymour Hoffman's] rumpled, cranky spy is hilarious--George Smiley by way of Jack Black--but with an edge of quiet ferocity that makes every scene he's in play a little sharper.

Full Review… | September 22, 2008
The New Republic
Top Critic

Set the irony meter at eleven and enjoy.

Full Review… | April 28, 2011
East Bay Express

Aaron Sorkin has written an acute, hilarious, and informative screenplay which is rich with character, and is perfect fodder for director Mike Nichols, who has a knack for meshing comedy and drama.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

The satire darkens not into sobering relevance but into wishy-washy 'relevance'

Full Review… | August 27, 2009

Audience Reviews for Charlie Wilson's War

It's not an exceptional film, however the real-life story it depicts is interesting enough and the performances are generally strong, particularly that of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


A hedonistic womanising congressman from Texas seems to be the only person on Capitol Hill who realises the full implications of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and sets about ensuring the US gives its support to the freedom fighters of the Mujahideen. The Aaron Sorkin penned script based on actual events shares a lot of elements with his flagship TV series The West Wing. The combination of politics and drama with amusingly quirky characters and witty, fast talking dialogue will be very familiar to fans and a collection of fine performances all round make for a very entertaining piece of historical edutainment. Inevitably it all seems quite rose-tinted in its depiction of the role of the US but Sorkin's edgy dialogue always keeps one eye on the hypocrisy and duplicity of American politics and the timing of the project is surely no coincidence. It would have made for a much weightier experience if it had continued the commentary through to its natural conclusion concerning where Afghanistan found itself once America had got what it wanted, but Sorkin does at least touch on the subject at the last gasp. Witty, smart and consistently entertaining, Charlie Wilson's War is well worth watching if only for the great Philip Seymour Hoffman's show stealing turn as the wise cracking, no-nonsense CIA analyst.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Director Mike Nichols and writer Aaron Sorkin are no strangers to political satire. Charlie Wilson's War is simply fantastic. It's funny and incredibly well written. But the real disturbing elements emerge in the films final ten minutes, when you realize exactly how dangerous America's meddling into world affairs has become.

Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

Charlie Wilson's War Quotes

– Submitted by Ram C (17 months ago)

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