Charlie Wilson's War (15)

Film

Drama

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Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in Charlie Wilson's War

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Mon Jan 7 2008

It’s a credit to the swagger, charm and easy arrogance of Tom Hanks’ performance as the maverick member of the US House of Representatives from Texas’ Second District who raised a cool $1 billion for covert action against the Russkies in 1980s Afghanistan that you almost forget that the booze fuelled, libidinous politico’s antics not only ‘brought down the Soviet Empire’ but also built up the Mujahideen, helped spawn Osama bin Laden, and contributed to our desperate present geo-political crisis. True, in his adaptation of George Crile’s best-selling ‘true story’, Mike Nichols does allow Wilson a teary-eyed speech in a refugee camp on the need to invest in the post-bellum peace but it’s obvious that the director is more fully at home cheerleading the power-plays between the dapper congressman and Julia Roberts’ bouffanted, right-wing Houston millionairess or keeping pace with the rattling parley in the corridors of Capitol Hill.

As swish, savvy and as self-entranced as Nichols’ earlier political satire ‘Primary Colors’, ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ is less afraid of exaggeration and extravagance, allowing Philip Seymour Hoffman’s seemingly bewigged CIA boffin a grandstanding introduction destroying his superior’s glass office in petulance or indulging Hanks’ self-satisfied sexism to his little harem of ‘jailbait’ secretaries.

But if the film’s lack of real bite or requisite splashes of genuine acid keep it firmly in the limited bounds of slightly old-fashioned, liberal hearted light comedy, Aaron ‘The West Wing’ Sorkin’s snappy, sharp and sometimes sophisticated dialogue offers pleasures aplently, the performances are likeable and entertaining, while Nichols pumps the whole proceedings with a satisfyingly fluid, dramatic energy.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jan 11, 2008

Duration:

102 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|18
1 person listening
Warning

Some slick dialogue and Hoffman's performance sooth the agony of the message; the one about good intentions and bumbling execution. I couldn't possibly rewatch a second of this hoohar to check, but I think the music is mercifully subdued, too, adding to the watchability. 1/10.

philip chance

I think this film was made to entertain and inform and suceeds admirably.The script is mostly brilliant, the characters rich, flawed and fascinating and it attempts to deal with complex issues in a mature even-handed way..totally enjoyable and Seymour Hoffman is,as usual,better than perfect

philip chance

I think this film was made to entertain and inform and suceeds admirably.The script is mostly brilliant, the characters rich, flawed and fascinating and it attempts to deal with complex issues in a mature even-handed way..totally enjoyable and Seymour Hoffman is,as usual,better than perfect

Lara

Enjoyable for the fast paced and often witty dialogue. It left me more intrigued to investigate further than truely enlightened about the Afgan war of the '80s but a fun political satire piece notwithstanding that.

Dirtyhands

Don't expect deep political drama or anything based on the truth. It has some witty lines in it but it is total American feel-good mush. Wilson, his CIA friend and the rest of his gang being portrayed as some good hearted people helping out the Afghans. The Russians as total evil. The funniest thing about this film is that it claims Charlie Wilson and his lover basically defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan. And that American interference in the rest of the world is about good heart but ignorance rather than motivated by money and imperialism.

adlehs

It's a fun, interesting film with great dialogue. Yes, it's quite American and Julia Roberts looks slightly wierd, but it is a very interesting story. In contrast to the review above, I liked the ending, it wasn't heavy handed and let the viewer to make the link themselves with what followed in Afghanistan. Very enjoyable.

Sutton

An interesting and enjoyable movie giving an insight into the past (and present) troubles in Afghanistan. Great performances from Hanks and Hoffman (a man in form). Go see and ignore the dodgy posts below.

vince allen

Little originality at all in this film. Given that Hanks can choose what to do, why do this? It tells us nothing we don';t know and is almost apologetice for looking forward at the consequences of apparent lack of further US involvement in Afghanistan. Comic - yes, in parts, but easy laughs about the US congress and oneupmanship of the CIA man who knows his stuff better than his superior. Bland and predictable. I was looking for a real twist at the end to make the point. It was vaguely there and understated in the extreme. Were we supposed to be glorying too in a man whose goal seemed to be to kill Russians?

TL Frederick

Interesting, insightful, fast-paced and classic new Hollywood fare. Mike Nichols and Aaron Sorkin have made a captivating film. You won't be bored -- you'll laugh and find the whole thing simply amazing. Phil Hoffmann is superb, and Tom Hanks pulls off one of his most nuanced performances in a long time.

TL Frederick

Interesting, insightful, fast-paced and classic new Hollywood fare. Mike Nichols and Aaron Sorkin have made a captivating film. You won't be bored -- you'll laugh and find the whole thing simply amazing. Phil Hoffmann is superb, and Tom Hanks pulls off one of his most nuanced performances in a long time.

Martin Freye

I wouln't take my 15 year old daughter, or my wife, to hear the foul mouthed effing and blinding that peppers this "Film". If a story is not entertaining then using the "F" word every two sentences won't make it any more endearing. I left after 10 minutes and demanded my money back. I recommend that you avoid this film at all costs.

Carol S

A fascinating look at how Congress gets enlisted in causes. A wonderful complement to The Kite Runner

Carol S

A fascinating look at how Congress gets enlisted in causes. A wonderful complement to The Kite Runner

mystic

I am Seymor Hoffmanned out and refuse to see one more film with him in it. And seeing him nude fucking put me off sex permanently. Thanks Hollywood. That's why foreign films are so palatable: The faces (and their bums) are not familiar. Hollywood constantly makes the celebrity overshadow the character.

luke

Characters without any depth, all the cliches of hollywood are in this non-creative, boring and stupid film. If the soviets had won the war , at least this movie would never have been made.

Dave

Amazing movie! powerful acting by TOM HANKS,JULIA ROBERTS and PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN.

Dave

Amazing movie! powerful acting by TOM HANKS,JULIA ROBERTS and PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN.