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Charlie Wilson's War | 2007 | R | - 6.5.8

Tom Hanks stars as Charlie Wilson, a Texas congressman who initiated the U.S.'s support for the ill-equipped mujahideen who resisted the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the early 1980s. With the help of a rogue CIA agent, Wilson managed to persuade the CIA to train and arm the fighters, who eventually morphed into the Al Qaeda. Based on George Crile's book. Also with Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Shiri Appleby. Directed by Mike Nichols. [1:37]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - Several women, two of whom identify themselves as "strippers," sit nude (bare breasts and buttocks are visible) in a hot tub with two men (they are bare-chested): one man gets out of the tub and we see his bare back and buttocks.
 A man sits in a bathtub covered to the shoulders with water and bubbles, he talks to a woman wearing a robe who is seated in the room (she's applying makeup) and it is implied that they have had sex -- he remarks that she "looks very good naked."
 A woman wearing a shirt, bra and panties walks down a flight of stairs and a man watches her; they hug and flirt briefly, she lies against him on a sofa and falls asleep and he caresses her bare abdomen and belly button (nothing else sexual is shown).
 A scantily clad woman (cleavage, her bare abdomen, bare thighs and back are visible) dances seductively while men watch with interest. Scantily clad young women (cleavage, bare shoulders and abdomens are visible) are auctioned off as "slave girls" during a party/fundraiser.
 Several women on a congressman's office staff wear low-cut tops and tight fitting skirts that reveal cleavage and accentuate their form. Women wear low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage in a few scenes. We see a painting of a nude woman (bare breasts, abdomen, hip and thighs are visible but not in detail).
 A man and a woman kiss.
 There are accusations that congressmen are "having sex with their male interns" and that there is drug use and abuse by congressmen. A man accuses another man of having an affair with the fiancée of another man.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - Helicopters fire on people on the ground, and we see people and animals being struck (blood spurts or they seem to disappear completely in a cloud of dust and shrapnel). Helicopters fire on people on the ground, men with RPGs fire back at the helicopters, which when struck, explode and crash to the ground.
 We see a young boy in a hospital with burns on his chest and neck and a young girl seated next to him is missing both arms; we are told that children pick up shiny things off the ground thinking it is money or toys and they turns out to be explosive devices that blows up and either kill or maim them.
 A man describes what happened when invading troops moved into their villages: "Parents were forced to watch as the throats of their children were slashed," and "people were piled up and driven over by tanks." A man talks about an invading army "raping women and bayoneting the pregnant ones." We read that many helicopters, fixed-wing planes and armored vehicles are destroyed. A man says, "We're killing Russians." A man is told that he has many character flaws.
 Two men argue bitterly and one of them breaks an office window (glass shatters and drops on the floor, but no one is injured).
 People drive into a refugee camp where food is being distributed, they watch people fight over the rations and some are whipped when they try to climb onto the truck.
 A woman uses the point of a safety pin to separate her eyelashes while applying mascara.
 During a party/political fundraiser, young women are auctioned off as slave girls.


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LANGUAGE 8 - 36 F-words and its derivatives, 6 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, name-calling (poncey schoolboy, child, infant, stupid, idiot), 4 religious profanities, 8 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman is shown snorting cocaine several times in a hot tub scene and then again in a limousine. People drink alcohol at a party, men and women are shown drinking alcohol in a hot tub scene, two men drink alcohol, a man orders an alcoholic beverage and is told that none are available, and several men smoke cigars and drink alcohol while watching a woman dance. Men and women are shown smoking in many scenes throughout the movie. Accusations are made that a congressman used illegal drugs.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Communism, the fall of the Soviet Empire, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, fence sitting, loneliness, regret, suffering, alcoholism, oppression, Christian values, Islam, freedom fighters, hope, religious conflict, religious wars, alienation, covert operations, covert wars, CIA, cold war vs. actual war.

MESSAGE - If you are going to engineer wars, be prepared to stick around to clean up after the fact. You never know what mess you might get into when you mess in the affairs of other countries. Fear mongering makes for messy situations.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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