Reviewer's grade: A-
In a movie made by A-list filmmakers and starring A-list actors, everyone is at the top of their game in "Charlie Wilson's War." The movie tells the true-life story of little-known Texas congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), who spearheaded covert CIA funding of Afghan guerrillas defending that country against the 1979 Soviet invasion. Wilson makes for an unlikely Cold War hero: He preferred cocktails in the morning and buxom women in the evening, but he also found time to champion the plight of Afghanistan's commie-hating freedom fighters.
Hanks is clearly having a ball as the delightfully sleazy titular character, and he is matched by Philip Seymour Hoffman as an irascible CIA agent with anger-management issues. Julia Roberts, Amy Adams and Ned Beatty also give memorable performances.
It's relatively easy to shine, however, when the director is legendary Mike Nichols and the screenwriter is "The West Wing"'s Aaron Sorkin. Here, the pair fashion a political satire that is funny, sophisticated and sharp. R