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Charlie Wilson's War Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… Oscar-grubbing kind of movie … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's a fascinating story, but Mr. Nichols and his actors never stop reminding us how fascinating it is. With the exception of Mr. Hoffman, a master of understatement, everyone acts up a storm, yet context is lacking.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    This is definitely the year of Philip Seymour Hoffman.In Charlie Wilson's War, he and Tom Hanks make a particularly sharp and engaging duo, bouncing clever lines off each other as if it were a verbal ping-pong match.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's all about a likable scoundrel who discovers what it means to act out of conviction. The film's underlying twist, though, is tartly ironic.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Charlie Wilson's War reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Adult comedy takes an incisive look at politics.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie is decidedly adult. For starters, it deals with complex issues connected to political wrangling and Middle Eastern power struggles. And then there's the booze, gunfire, and sexual content (including some nudity), strong language (be ready for lots of "f--k"s)-- it's all here and then some. That said, the movie is also smart, with a main character who's infinitely more interesting than many other people in movies. While it's not perfect, it's still a worthy watch, especially for older teens and adults interested in the political process.

  • Families can talk about Wilson's motives for supporting the Afghan rebels. Does it seem realistic that he would so quickly devote himself to a cause he doesn't at first appear to understand? Is the movie subject easy or hard to understand? The film is also one in a recent rush of war-themed movies; do you think it encapsulates the issues of the time in a clear and succinct way? Why is Hollywood producing so many war-themed films lately? How do the politicians come across?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Wilson isn't exactly the poster child for good behavior; he's sometimes lewd and pushy and he's plenty manipulative (so his is friend Gust). But his devotion to the rebel cause appears to be fueled by a need to do some good; when he visits Afghanistan, Wilson is moved to help make change happen. In fact, almost everyone involved in the Afghan cause in Wilson's inner circle seems to truly believe in their mission.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Some depictions of war violence, including demonstrations and artillery fire. In one memorable scene, a man argues loudly with his superior, then proceeds to break a glass window by hacking at it with a metal bar.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Charlie Wilson staffs his Beltway office with busty women, and there are plenty of cleavage shots. Even more skin is shown when women and men are naked in a hot tub; nude women are shown from the side and front, and there's a flash of a male backside. Charlie also beds a Texas socialite who wants him to help her political cause. They kiss, take a bath together, and speak in sexual innuendoes.

  • language false5

    Language: Frequent use of strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," and "a--hole." Politics is a rough-and-tumble world, and so is the language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Political names (John Murtha) and causes get plenty of air time, as does signage for locations. TV footage of news segments displays station logos and shows names.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of boozing, in both social and professional settings (Wilson even asks his secretary to give him a drink). There's also a scene in which a crowd snorts cocaine, and everyone appears to smoke as well.