Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. 30
    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.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 111 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 53
  2. Negative: 1 out of 53
  1. May 16, 2014
    7
    Besides oversimplifying serious and complex subject matters, Charlie Wilson's War brings a unique style of filmmaking that mixes comedy and seriousness in a way that becomes fun. Full Review »
  2. May 29, 2012
    7
    First and foremost, Charlie Wilson's War is extremely well-performed, with Tom Hanks giving his best performance in years as the Texas Congressman who transforms from an irresponsible playboy scumbag to a moralistic defender of Afghanistan. Julia Roberts also impresses as Joanne Herring, a manipulative and religious socialite, as does Philip Seymour Hoffman playing the maverick CIA operative Gust Avrakotos. Aaron Sorkin's script is an absolute joy, full of fun, energy and satire not only of the past, but the present as well. It's really a wonder why the events shown are not more widely known about, or heavily appropriated for film, as "the largest covert operation in history" makes for cinematic gold. Everyone thinks of this fascinating period of history as simply another war (albeit without actual military engagements) between the USA and the USSR, and it's easy to forget how many other countries were drawn into this conflict between two superpowers. The film does attempt to address this oversight in cinema, and its hugely gratifying to witness lesser-known history on the big screen. The finale is a little generic and disappointing in comparison to the rest of the film, and you could certainly ccuse director Mike Nichols and Sorkin for presenting a rather rose-tinted view of the controversial Wilson. Though the congressman's intentions may have been noble, you cannot ignore the fact that he lent substantial support to groups and individuals whose intentions were decidedly less so. Romanticised though it may be for the sake of empathy and dramatic resonance, the film is still an enjoyable insight into an extraordinary figure in the history of international politics, and a fitting and intelligent tribute to a man who many remember with much admiration. Full Review »
  3. Sep 15, 2014
    8
    The D.C. political jargon is kicked into high gear with "Charlie Wilson's War," but - if you can keep up with and look past the red tape - what emerges is a heartfelt, honest, and ultimately comforting political drama with a slam-bang performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman. Full Review »