Charlie Wilson's War Reviews

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Gina Carbone
Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
December 31, 2007
Without Philip Seymour Hoffman's Gust, this would be a mildly amusing 2-star dramedy. His deadpan punchlines elevate it beyond well-intentioned shlock
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
May 1, 2008
[A]nyone who's seen, say, Michael Winterbottom's Welcome to Sarajevo or even one of those late-night "Save the Children" TV spots has seen much more gut-punching stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 21, 2007
Something doesn't smell right with Charlie Wilson's War. I'm not particularly concerned with the specific facts it has left out of its telling. But what has been left in feels compromised and dodgy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 21, 2007
I didn't believe a bit of it, thanks to the movie's style, except for some newsreel and documentary footage, and even that felt epoxied on.
Fernando F. Croce
CinePassion
August 27, 2009
The satire darkens not into sobering relevance but into wishy-washy 'relevance'
James Rocchi
Cinematical
December 20, 2007
Nichols's cut, gutted version (of Aaron Sorkin's script) offers a few cheery, breezy moments of rat-a-tat comedy, but Charlie Wilson's War stops being funny when you realize we're living in the sequel.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
December 17, 2007
Neither [Roberts] nor her illustrious co-stars can compensate for a facile screenplay without many laughs or insights into our government's inner workings.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Bill Weber
Slant Magazine
December 14, 2007
As for the nuts-and-bolts of political strategy, Nichols navigates them as prosaically as he did in his last treatment of a sybaritic pol, the trivial Primary Colors.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Brian Orndorf
eFilmCritic.com
December 20, 2007
When dealing with larger-than-life personalities, world conflicts, and a future of unspeakable misery, 90 minutes and some sugared patter just doesn't satisfy.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Prairie Miller
NewsBlaze
December 27, 2007
Hanks brings down the USSR superpower solo, on his down time between snuggling with herds of babes in the buff, snorting coke, and full time boozing. File this one under the Pink Elephants section.
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
December 16, 2007
In place of a plot, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (writer of television's West Wing) supplants a stylistic veneer of dialogue gloss so thick that Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are like giant fleshy insects encased in transparent amber.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
December 20, 2007
Only Hoffman manages to make a silk purse out of this sow's ear... by blustering through his line readings with a raw energy the rest of the film sorely lacks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Matt Pais
Metromix.com
December 20, 2007
Like grafting the conflict-free pizzazz of Ocean's Thirteen onto Lions for Lambs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Dan Jardine
Apollo Guide
December 30, 2007
Nichols and Sorkin take the easy way out, promoting the personal tale of the roguish Wilson, rather than establishing a real socio-political context within which something insightful might have emerged
Full Review | Original Score: 67/100
Jeremy Heilman
MovieMartyr.com
January 7, 2008
Charlie Wilson's War manages to be at once utterly irresponsible and mildly entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 46/100
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
December 20, 2007
Sorkin is a deft explicator of Washington geopolitics for dummies, but he patronizes us with blunt lessons on the mujahideen and Afghanistan geography.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 21, 2007
Contrary to what Sorkin and Nichols seem to think, the problem is not that topicality and entertainment don't mix. It's that audacity and self-congratulation don't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 21, 2007
A well-intentioned wreck.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
December 27, 2007
Maybe it wasn't his fault those chickens came home to roost in the form of the Taliban, but you have to wonder: Would Nichols have given Oliver North such an easy ride?
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
October 18, 2008
...succumbs to an overly and relentlessly talky vibe that prevents the viewer from connecting to the film's story or characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

Digital Spy
July 14, 2011
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