Charlie Wilson's War - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Charlie Wilson's War Reviews

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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 18, 2008
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 | Original Score: B
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 18, 2008
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.
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
September 22, 2008
[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.
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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
January 29, 2008
Mike Nichols' fast-talking political comedy says every word but Osama Bin Laden.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Wally Hammond
Time Out
January 11, 2008
The performances are likeable and entertaining, while Nichols pumps the whole proceedings with a satisfyingly fluid, dramatic energy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
January 2, 2008
Nichols and Sorkin have made a Cadillac of a movie, a handsome, beautifully designed chassis with a powerful motor and luxurious attention to detail.
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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?
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 26, 2007
It's a homerun.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 21, 2007
A terrific tale of political wheeling and dealing.
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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
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 21, 2007
A well-intentioned wreck.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
December 21, 2007
It is briskly paced, nimbly acted and crisply directed by Mike Nichols.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 21, 2007
It is so much fun watching these actors enjoy bouncing off each other, it's almost too easy to forget the importance of the story being told.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 21, 2007
The film moves along smartly despite being stuffed to bursting with details of arms deals, diplomatic ploys and political maneuvering.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
December 21, 2007
If Charlie doesn't feel quite real, Hanks at least makes him good company.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 21, 2007
A feel-good comedy about a covert US effort to fund resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? What will Hollywood think of next?
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 21, 2007
Though not great, Charlie Wilson's War is definitely worthwhile and entertaining, and clocking in at a modest 98 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 21, 2007
The season's oddest and perhaps most effective war movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 21, 2007
Tom Hanks delivers another of his patented good-guy roles.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 21, 2007
While not deeply insightful, Charlie Wilson's War is an eye-opening and sassy tale of political will making for unlikely bedfellows.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 21, 2007
Highly entertaining -- and mildly uncomfortable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
December 21, 2007
Mr. Hanks comes through with an egoless performance -- no movie star is so adept at not acting like a movie star -- and Mr. Hoffman continues his year of doing no wrong
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 21, 2007
Nichols fills the edges of the screen with unforced humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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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
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 21, 2007
It's quite a yarn, and the filmmakers relate it with clarity and verve.
| Original Score: 4/5
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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.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 21, 2007
Charlie Wilson's War takes a kernel of truth and roasts it into a popcorn movie. There's terrific fun to be had, and much wry comedy too.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 21, 2007
Charlie Wilson's War tells its tale briskly, almost merrily. This is not a sober history lesson, but a political comedy laced with sex (party girls in limos, strippers in hot tubs), booze, and even good old-fashioned cocaine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 21, 2007
Charlie Wilson's War is an anachronism, the wrong movie at the wrong time. Not only does it tell its tale in a style that feels dated and artificial, the story itself focuses on events that history has overtaken.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
December 20, 2007
Nichols succeeds in spinning an entertaining yarn.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 20, 2007
As creator and head writer of The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin had a gift for making policy debate seem sexy, but what worked in the context of that liberal fantasy founders badly amid the realpolitik of this cold war drama.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 20, 2007
Gosh, does this movie have it all or what? Smart dialogue, Julia Roberts in a bikini and looking grrrrrr-eattttt, and Russian helicopters going boom! It's also short! What's not to love?
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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
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 20, 2007
Charlie Wilson's War, a crisp, biting satire that confidently mixes sex and politics, glides along so smartly and smoothly, it makes you wonder how it's possible that director Mike Nichols and writer Aaron Sorkin have never teamed up before.
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
December 20, 2007
All of a sudden, Hoffman is having one of the most spectacular years any movie actor ever had.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
December 20, 2007
A funny, sprightly tribute to the American can-do spirit, with a bleak ending that suggests that our plucky protagonist may have just dug his own (or, in this case, his country's) grave.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 20, 2007
When Charlie Wilson's War is on target -- pretty much every time Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman appear on-screen together -- it's a really enjoyable movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 20, 2007
This entertaining romp, directed by Mike Nichols, has elegantly turned bluster to burn, and a host of true-blue American types who don't even pretend to be flesh and blood.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 20, 2007
The history that's here is worth knowing, and Hanks, Roberts, Hoffman and Nichols make those Beat-the-Russkies '80s seem like a party.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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David Fear
Time Out
December 20, 2007
Just because a politically savvy satire has an eloquent tongue in its cheek doesn't mean the message won't seem painfully obvious.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
December 18, 2007
The big-screen Charlie Wilson's War, clocking in at 93 fly-by minutes, is dark and funny and mean and sexy, damned near pitch-black-perfect considering that at the end of this boozy comedy you wind up with, oh, Osama bin Laden.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 18, 2007
With its rapid pace, smart screenplay, and top-notch acting, this is one of the 2007 Oscar season's most appealing and compelling adult motion pictures.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 17, 2007
Tells a momentous story -- a story every American should know -- in a boisterous, lickety-split style that makes the history lesson go down easily.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
December 17, 2007
The film, adapted from George Crile's book, doesn't always work, but it sure offers value for money.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 13, 2007
This is certainly the most dynamic of the war films that have been choking and dying at the multiplex.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 12, 2007
Charlie Wilson's War is a journalistic satire of realpolitik in which our jerry-rigged alliances, which looked strategic at the time, end up biting the U.S. in unforeseen ways.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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David Ansen
Newsweek
December 10, 2007
Hoffman brings out the best in Hanks -- they riff off each other with delicious comic teamwork.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
November 29, 2007
Charlie Wilson's War is political drama played as comedy and true life as satire. Sorkin's script comes loaded with computable comic lines.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
November 29, 2007
Charlie Wilson's War is that rare Hollywood commodity these days: a smart, sophisticated entertainment for grownups.