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Films >> Charlie Wilson's War (2007) >>

1) Americans often ask: “Where have all the heroes gone?” Well a lot of them come roaring through in this tour de force of reporting and writing. Tom Clancy's fiction pales in comparison with the amazing, mesmerizing story told by George Crile. By resurrecting a missing chapter out of our recent past, Charlie Wilson's War provides us with the key to understanding the present. (Dan Rather, Northeast Book Reviews)

2) An amazing tale, made all the more amazing because it was missed by the press. George Criles has written a book revealing the extraordinary details and intrigue of a secret war, and that alone would be a monumental achievement. But he has also written a book about how power works in Washington, about how the C.I.A. succeeded in this war but failed because it armed an ally who became our enemy, about how we might better understand Islamic fundamentalism, about how a solitary Congressman guilefully moved the U.S. government, and all of this comes with a breathtaking cast of characters worthy of a LeCarre novel. Only it's all true. And just as vivid. (Ken Auletta, New Yorker)

3) It's very hard to be a woman. It isn't enough to be supposedly intelligent; you have to be glamorous and elegant, too. And if you're not, men are very disappointed. If I only had to put on a tie and run a rag over my shoes, that would be just wonderful. (Joanne Herring)

4) It's just fine to be liberal. I love it when somebody argues with me. (Joanne Herring)

5) I think the more extreme the circumstances, the more possible for a great work of art about those circumstances. (Mike Nichols)

6) Fun is this movie’s unlikely and persuasive motto. If it’s the best politically themed movie to come around in a while, that may be because the director, Mike Nichols, and the screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin, grasp that politics, for all its seriousness, is an essentially comic undertaking. (A.O. Scott , New York Times)

7) There's a great story here. If you don't know Charlie Wilson, he was the Democratic Texas congressman — with a rep as a boozing horn dog — who finagled covert financial support so the Afghan mujahedeen could stick it to the Russians during the 1980s. (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

8) The next time you hear about Reagan ending [The Cold War], ask yourself if he ever heard of Charlie Wilson. (Roger Ebert)

9) We read the book first and figured out if there is a way in order to make this happen, this is a fascinating story that I’ve never seen before. It’s hard to make movies that you’ve never seen before; by and large. . . . Charlie was an iconoclastic American that breaks all the rules. (Tom Hanks)

10) I pushed and pushed and pushed for [the film] to portray the true heroism of the Afghans, and our debt to these guys who took on the Russian army and defeated them when nobody thought they could, except me. (Charlie Wilson)

11) Charlie is a wonderfully funny, brilliant, flawed hero. One wouldn’t expect that he’d be responsible for one of the great turning points of the 20th century. (Aaron Sorkin, Daily Motion)

12) [The lack of attention to the war in Afghanistan] struck me as a missing chapter demeaning the role of the Afghan war in helping to trigger the collapse of the Soviet empire. [It] suddenly expanded into a second missing chapter about how we not only lost, mysteriously, one foe that seemed to be omnipotent but why equally as abruptly we found ourselves with a brand-new global enemy seemingly able to strike at will. (George Crile)