I had the opportunity to see Charlie Wilson's War this past Tuesday. I was only lukewarm about seeing this movie, quite honestly. However, I figured it was a Tom Hanks movie, so it couldn't be a bad movie.
I was not disappointed.
For those of us that lived in the Reagan era - or grew up in it as I did, this is a fascinating movie. Tom Hanks plays Congressman Charlie Wilson, a typical representative that spends more time trying to get comped than increasing the efficiency and efficacy of our country. That is, until the primary woman in his life pushes him in the right direction of helping the Afghan resistance in their struggle against the Soviet Union. We see Charlie Wilson get sucked into the pain of the Afghan refugees, which is his turning point. He winds up doing the right thing, possibly for the wrong reasons, depending on how you look at the situation.
And how you look at the situation is why this movie is best described as thought-provoking. It shows why people who are likable and not necessarily the best people for the job rise to the top, and the people who are best for the job but not well-liked, languish in basement cubicles.
I strongly recommend everyone go see this movie. There is a little bit of nudity, some disturbing war images, and a little bit of drug use shown. But it is all minimal. Most of the war images shown are literally what we saw in the 1980s news reports on the 11pm news. So get a babysitter if your children are younger than High School age.