User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 116 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 116
  2. Negative: 8 out of 116
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  1. BrianF.
    Jan 1, 2008
    9
    Great and fun movie. Particularly fun for "inside the Beltway" folks. Tom Hanks is terrific!
  2. JeffJ.
    Jan 13, 2008
    9
    First, it was funnier than I expected. I guess you shouldn't be surprised by an "expose" of what being a Congressman is like but Hanks' portrayal of the womanizing Wilson is good (although he did seem less into women than someone who hires them for their looks would be). The real prize here is Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who plays the CIA analyst that partners with Wilson to bring First, it was funnier than I expected. I guess you shouldn't be surprised by an "expose" of what being a Congressman is like but Hanks' portrayal of the womanizing Wilson is good (although he did seem less into women than someone who hires them for their looks would be). The real prize here is Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who plays the CIA analyst that partners with Wilson to bring weapons to the Afghan mujahedeen. It's very entertaining and has no dull spots. Trying to tell a complex real-life story like this in a 2 hr movie is hard and this is the film's only weakness IMO. Expand
  3. DanaM.
    Jan 7, 2008
    9
    I thouroughly enjoyed this movie. Tom Hanks was great as usual. Historically it may not have held the line but was well worth my ten bucks. Lots of laughs and eye-opeing as well to the Afghan/Soviet conflict. See it!. And avoid Sweeney Todd at all costs.
  4. PatP.
    Feb 24, 2008
    9
    This movie is way underrated. The story is compelling, there's plenty of action without gratuitous violence, and the acting is excellent.
  5. DianeMariaB.
    Dec 23, 2007
    10
    A very snappy movie written by Sorkin. Wow! Philip Seymour Hoffman completely steals the movie from Hanks and Roberts, which doesn't seem as if it would be that easily done. I can't wait to see it again!
  6. RichardW.
    Dec 25, 2007
    9
    Witty cynical rendition of real history
  7. EllenC.
    Dec 30, 2007
    9
    Tightly edited with Sorkin's witty, rapid fire dialogue, this is a fine film with wonderful performances. It is a shame that the marketing campaign emphasizes the party-girl background because there seems to be a fear that anything political--or referring to war in the Mideast--will tank at the box office. Loved it!
  8. TimH
    Jun 29, 2008
    10
    Anyone who doesn't give this movie an 8, 9, or 10 must not have gone to the movies lately. This movie is funny, intelligent and the acting goes from very good (Hanks and Roberts) to great (Hoffman). It also is about real life important events that have been shot as an entertaining story that never lets the pace slow down. I just wish I had seen ot on the big screen rather than on a Anyone who doesn't give this movie an 8, 9, or 10 must not have gone to the movies lately. This movie is funny, intelligent and the acting goes from very good (Hanks and Roberts) to great (Hoffman). It also is about real life important events that have been shot as an entertaining story that never lets the pace slow down. I just wish I had seen ot on the big screen rather than on a DVD, it probably would have been even better. Expand
  9. MarcD.
    Dec 22, 2007
    10
    Great film. If you're a political junkie like me, you'll eat it up. Hanks, Roberts, and Hoffman are spot on.
  10. RichardM.
    Dec 24, 2007
    9
    I loved the movie. Fast paced, funny, thought-provoking, great acting, and politically relevant. I was sorry it ended. The movie seemed to fly by.
  11. MikeR.
    Dec 29, 2007
    9
    Great script and witty performances.
  12. JohnR
    Jan 17, 2008
    9
    I really liked this movie an it had a lot of hotties (Charlie's staff does show that they are smart and competent). It doesn't come off as too preachy or left-leaning, which is surprising since Aaron Sorkin wrote it. The only thing that would make it "better" is to include a few more dates throughout the movie. It starts out showing a date in 1980 and a half hour or so later, I really liked this movie an it had a lot of hotties (Charlie's staff does show that they are smart and competent). It doesn't come off as too preachy or left-leaning, which is surprising since Aaron Sorkin wrote it. The only thing that would make it "better" is to include a few more dates throughout the movie. It starts out showing a date in 1980 and a half hour or so later, Bowie's "Let's Dance" is playing in the background, which I guess is a clue to the audience that three years had passed. Then they soon afterwards, they start showing dates in 1987. Minor gripe, but I'm sure most didn't realize that one scene was in 1983 (or 1984). Expand
  13. BillDeMark
    Dec 21, 2007
    9
    I went in expecting to be entertained, and I was. But the humor caught caught me off guard. Big laughs. And a lot of them. Philip Seymour Hoffman is great, as usual; the director's touch is light and sure; and Sorkin's screenplay surprisingly lacks a political agenda. This is a light and breezy comedy with the tone and feel of "Catch Me If You Can."
  14. StaciaM.
    Dec 26, 2007
    9
    I don't understand why this isn't rated higher on Metacritic. It's Mike Nichols, great acting, and a story at just the right length. To top it off, it's one of those true stories that resonates today.
  15. Jan 17, 2013
    9
    Superb performances from Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman have helped create a well-written, cunningly humorous and era-driven tale based on a true story surrounding 1980s congressman Charlie Wilson.
    Aaron Sorkin's writing capability is completely out the open in this film and its nothing short of genius. Sure, the film is not going to run away with any
    Superb performances from Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman have helped create a well-written, cunningly humorous and era-driven tale based on a true story surrounding 1980s congressman Charlie Wilson.
    Aaron Sorkin's writing capability is completely out the open in this film and its nothing short of genius. Sure, the film is not going to run away with any honours because it does sometimes stray from the point by going from a biopic to a straight up war film. But it is definitely the acting capabilities and Soviet era surroundings which make this film worth 90+ mintues of your time.
    The process by which this film plays out, i.e. funding the mujahideen to defeat the soviet onslaught in Afghanistan, is seen as the eventual ramifications which led to the events of 9/11. This shouldn't deter you from watching. The chemistry between Hanks and Hoffman in particular are wonderful scenes to watch, as they bounce off each other like Chuckle Brothers in suits.
    Julia Roberts is delectable as Charlies 'friend' Joanne Herring, bringing a touch of elegance and class to to her role, and lest we forget the then up and coming Amy Adams as Wilson's assistant Bonnie Bach.
    Hanks is a very convincing Charlie Wilson, he has clearly spent much of his time preparing for the role by learning mannerisms and through Sorkin's writing and Mike Nichols direction, has fluidly combined a business and pleasure persona to make a very likeable character.
    The dialogue, as stated before, is very well written and spoken brilliantly by the cast, the chemistry is is natural and doesnt feel forced, and the lines in the film are delivered in a comedic, sometimes elitist fashion, but fun nonetheless.
    Excellent talent at show here has resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable movie that will be hard not to like, and in several occasions, hard not to laugh at.
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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. In this film, directed by Mike Nichols in one of his most satirical moods and scripted by Hollywood's most politically astute writer Aaron Sorkin, a womanizing, alcoholic, easily tempted bachelor gets elected in a Texas district that doesn't care what he does as long as he brings home the bacon.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Charlie Wilson's War is that rare Hollywood commodity these days: a smart, sophisticated entertainment for grownups.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    Of course, hanging over this ironic tale is the deeper historical irony--that many of the "good guy" rebels Charlie is funding (and we're cheering) will become our mortal enemies...It's as if "Titanic" ended with a celebratory shipboard banquet, followed by a postscript: by the way, it sank.