If there wasn't already plenty of documentation to back it up, especially the book of the same name by the late CBS correspondent George Crile, you might have a hard time believing that Charlie Wilson's War is based on a true story. The tale and its larger-than-life characters seem too outrageous to believe. The truth, they say, is stranger than fiction, and this film is proof.

Mike Nichols, the 76-year-old director who last visited politics as unusual in Primary Colors, shows he's every bit as much in command of Charlie Wilson as he was of Benjamin Braddock in his 1967 film, The Graduate. And yet, for all of his considerable talent, one can't help getting the feeling that even the director is being directed on this one. This is one film where even the minutest detail is laid out in the script.

Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The American President) is easily and effortlessly Hollywood's most politically astute scribe. In his first film since more than a decade doing superlative work on television (Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), Sorkin has found a too-outrageous-to-be-true story that both appeals to his inner politico and flawlessly suits his audacious talent. Charlie Wilson's War has all of his flash and blistering one-liners on display, but dials back somewhat on the customary rat-tat-tat delivery. The riotous manner in which the script is written is the spoonful of sugar that helps the history lesson go down.

Congressman Charlie Wilson (D-Texas) is the uncle you had growing up who always embarrassed your parents to no end, but whom you secretly loved because he was the only one who seemed to know how to have any fun. Nichols and Sorkin wisely show us what kind of man Charlie is, rather than merely ...

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Charlie Wilson's War
Our Rating
3½ Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
R (for strong language, nudity/sexual content and some drug use)
Genre
Directed By
Mike Nichols
Run Time
1 hour 42 minutes
Cast
Tom Hanks, Amy Adams, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Theatre Release
December 21, 2007 by Universal Pictures
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