Charlie Wilson's War

Director: Mike Nichols
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 3.0

Fun, middlebrow movie from Nichols - whose filmography leaves much to be desired - based loosely on Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson's alliance with the CIA (embodied by chain-smoking know-it-all Philip Seymour Hoffman) to get weapons to Afghanistan and defeat the Russians. Tom Hanks (as Wilson) and Hoffman have fine rapport and the 'Yay, America!' tone is clear, though there's a dark undercurrent to the picture that shows that the victory in Afghanistan - in no uncertain terms - led directly to the 9/11 attacks, since the U.S. did not invest time in 'nation building,' and the terrorists snuck into the devastated nation. It's a neat little history lesson for the curious - the cost of killing Commies is national security, the butterfly flapping in the Gulf causes the towers in New York to fall....