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Charlie Wilsons War

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4 out of 5
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Well produced but not perfect

on 7/1/2011

"Charlie Wilson's War" tells an interesting tale, and production quality is good, but I found it uninvolving despite good performances by Hanks, Roberts, and - especially - Philip Seymour Hoffman. Much of the time I felt as if I were watching through a plate glass window: able to see what was going on, but feeling little or no connection to the players or the events. If this chapter in U.S. history interests you, or if you are a fan of the three lead actors, it's worth watching, but I would not put it on the top of my "must see" list

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Product Overview

A drama based on a texas congressman charlie wilson's covert dealings in afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.


Studio Universal
SKU 207544964
UPC 025195004848
UPC 14 00025195004848
Format DVD
Release Date 1/3/2010
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Cast & Crew
Aaron Sorkin - Screenplay
Amy Adams - Actor
Antonia Van Drimmelen - Editor
Emily Blunt - Actor
George Crile - Based On Book By
James Newton Howard - Original Music By
John Bloom - Editor
Julia Roberts - Actor
Maria-Teresa Barbasso, et. al. - Art Director
Mike Nichols - Director
Ned Beatty - Actor
Paul A. Levin - Executive Producer
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Actor
Shiri Appleby - Actor
Stephen Goldblatt - Cinematographer
Terry Bozeman - Actor
Tom Hanks - Producer
Tom Hanks - Actor
Victor Kempster - Production Designer
Nominee (2008) British Academy Awards, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Supporting Actor,Golden Globe, Charlie Wilson's War, Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy,Golden Globe, Tom Hanks, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy,Golden Globe, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Golden Globe, Julia Roberts, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Golden Globe, Aaron Sorkin, Best Screenplay - Motion Picture,Oscar, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review It's a curious thing. Whenever this much talent is assembled for a motion picture, the result inevitably seems to be a letdown. And to say that Charlie Wilson's War is topheavy with talent is to understate the matter. The cast features three Oscar winners and two nominees. The director has been nominated five times and won once. The writer is a multiple Emmy winner. The cinematographer has a couple of Oscar nominations and the composer has six. Almost against the odds, however, Charlie Wilson's War does not collapse under the weight of expectations. In fact, it meets them squarely without flinching. 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...With so many movies working on auto-pilot, it's easy to forget the pleasure of a well-written screenplay, and even easier to forget how good things can be when a director of Mike Nichols' pedigree brings the script to life. The film has it all: suspense, drama, and humor...From start to finish, Charlie Wilson's War is an unrelieved delight, and it works even better for those who understand the bridges that took us from the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan to 9/11 and beyond.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review You might think Tom Hanks is miscast as the lovable sinner. Dennis Quaid, maybe, or Woody Harrelson. But Hanks brings something unique to the role: He plays a man spinning his wheels, bored with the girls and parties, looking for something to bring meaning to his slog through the federal bureaucracy. He and Gust (a perfect name) are well-matched. "Do you drink?" he asks the CIA man on their first meeting. "Oh, God, yes." Gust has been fighting for years to budge the CIA on Afghanistan, and now the right congressman falls into his hands...Nichols fills the edges of the screen with unforced humor. There are "Charlie's Angels," Wilson's office staff of buxom young women, all of them smart. There's Charlie's special assistant Bonnie, played by the lovable, fresh-faced Amy Adams ("Junebug," "Enchanted"), who cleans up after him, gives him good advice, keeps his schedule, and adores him. And there is the presence of Hoffman himself, a smoldering volcano of frustration and unspent knowledge. It's hard to see how Charlie could have ended the Cold War without him, and impossible to see how Gust and Bonnie could have ended it without him. The next time you hear about Reagan ending it, ask yourself if he ever heard of Charlie Wilson.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, English, Spanish, French, Dolby, Dolby Digital (5.1)
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun Philip Seymour Hoffman steals the movie.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Rude, crude and hilarious...Hoffman is the film's sparking live wire.
Rick Kisonak, Film Threat ...[Hanks and Hoffman] have terrific chemistry and riff off one another like partners in a veteran comedy team.
Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian ...a sobering account of the geopolitical hijinks that gave shape to our current world.
Stephanie Zacharek, ...[a] terrific tale of political wheeling and dealing.
Todd McCarthy, Variety ...a smart, sophisticated entertainment for grownups.
William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer A witty, literate, wryly sophisticated parable of American politics...

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Well produced but not perfect on Jul 01, 2011