97 min. minutes | Rated R
Is there a writer alive today with a more recognizable line of patter than Aaron Sorkin? Much like Kevin Smith, the award-laden West Wing creator doesn’t write dialogue so much as a constant stream of dueling monologues, all breathlessly delivered in what sounds suspiciously like the same voice. True to form, the Sorkin-penned Charlie Wilson’s War features miles upon miles of speech-clogged corridors. Thankfully, the combined efforts of a top-tier cast, an undeniably relevant mid-’80s storyline, and a director who does this type of highbrow stuff better than anyone manage to punch a breezy hole through the ever-present chattering din. As usual, director Mike Nichols’s unhurried, semisatirical grace is a wonder to behold, particularly in the performances he gets out of his actors. Everything runs so smoothly, in fact, that it isn’t until afterward that you realize there really isn’t a second act—the film proceeds from notion to resolution without much in the way of conflict.
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