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Charlie Wilson's War


Mike Nichols

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About the Movie

Academy Award® winners Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in this compelling and witty film from Oscar® winning director Mike Nichols and Primetime Emmy® winning writer Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing). Based on the outrageous true story, Charlie Wilson's War shows how one congressman who loved a good time, one Houston socialite who loved a good cause and one renegade CIA agent who loved a good fight conspired to bring about the largest covert operation in history.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 196
  • Fresh: 160
  • Rotten: 36
  • Average Rating: 7.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A terrific tale of political wheeling and dealing. – Stephanie Zacharek,, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: 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? – Tom Charity,, Jan 4, 2008

Fresh: [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. – Christopher Orr, The New Republic, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: It is briskly paced, nimbly acted and crisply directed by Mike Nichols. – Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


This is a great film about Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), a United States Congressman from Texas, Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts), a Houston socialite and political activist and CIA operative Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who all play a role in helping persuade the American government to train and arm the Afghan mujahideen to fend off Soviet Troops and their formidable gunship helicopter air support. The Soviets invaded and then occupied the country in 1979. The film takes place in 1987 - 1988. Herring sets a meeting between Representative Wilson - Texas (D) and the Pakistani leadership who suggested that Wilson visit a major Pakistan - based Afghan refugee camp that was overflowing with over 10,000 refugees. Wilson is struck by the suffering and adversity of the Afghans and the fact that despite all of the atrocities they were suffering, all they wanted to do was to fight the major military forces of the Soviet Union. When Wilson returns from his visit he meets and befriends Gust Avrakotos and helps Avrakotos and the handful of men working with him on the whole issue of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan and it becomes clear to Wilson that the American government had no plans to seriously help the Afghan refugees in their conditions of difficulty and adversity. The U.S. was simply throwing a mere $5 million a year to help the Afghan people. They were "bleeding" the situation, which meant they would let the carnage continue until the Soviets finally won the war. However, with Wilson's determination on this issue and his skillful poltical bargaining, the CIA's anti-communism budget evolved from a paltry $5 million to a number I won't disclose so that I don't ruin the film for you. But I assure you it's an effort on Wilson's part that is inspiring. It's a story you should absolutely hear and see in this amazing film and in this case a story of one US Congressman who works the forces of political power and capital toward his will that became the largest covert operation in history.

Charlie's War, I mean CIA operative Gust Avrakotos War

This movie tells a true story through a very good cast. Hanks gives his normal oscar acting work and Roberts does a nice job being the power to Charlie's War. Hoffman on the other hand steals this movie as CIA operative Gust Avrakotos . He is a master in his role. The movie flows just right, has it's politics but does not preach to you. Just sit back and enjoy a part of history that you might not have known through some dramatic humer.

This is THE must see war film...

Was skeptical at first, having been burned out on Iraq war movies. But with a name like Nichols as director, I decided to give it a shot. This movie takes a rather grim subject and gives it a very humorous spin. Won't be disappointed.

Charlie Wilson's War
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  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2008

Customer Ratings