Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Is it a game, or is it real?
High School student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) has a talent for hacking. But while trying to hack into a computer system to play unreleased video games, he unwittingly taps into the Defense Department's war computer and initiates a confrontation of global proportions! Together with his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy) and a wizardly computer genius (John Wood), David must race against time to outwit his opponent...and prevent a nuclear Armageddon.
Today, WarGames is a nerd’s time capsule, possibly the biggest of them all, a celluloid equivalent of that box you have in your basement with obsolete technology kept out of misplaced sense of attachment, or maybe just because recycling electronics is hard and annoying.
Shall we even try to count it all? Eight-inch floppy disks, early VCRs, microfichés, paper library catalogs, dot matrix printers, galvanic modems, video game arcades with 8-bit shoot ’em ups, first hobbyist microcomputers, ASCII graphics (or was it ANSI?), analogue telephony, public phones, mainframe data centers with tape drives and blinkenlights.
Mr. Moore would be proud: it is astonishing to realize just 30 years later literally none of this exists any more. Without context – and…
It’s difficult to look back on a childhood favourite with fresh eyes, and not romanticise one’s memory of what it was like to watch first time round (and second… and third…). I watched the hell out of this in the years following its release, and while its politics, technology and production values have dated, the pace and youthful energy still hold up.
Broderick and Sheedy have great chemistry, largely because they don’t play quite to type: he’s more aloof and she more confident than was typical in other films of this era. Elsewhere the archetypes are more clear-cut (the suits, the parents, the Linux types), but there’s enough humour mixed with the serious and the ludicrous (nobody realises the supercomputer is playing a game simulation despite it saying so on its display?) that it all makes perfect sense.
Bonus points for recognising Michael Madsen and John Spencer as the two silo commanders in the pivotal opening scene.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I swear the general in this heavily inspired the general from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2. Anyway, I digress, let's actually talk about WarGames.
This film is a nerd's dream. The sets are fantastic, there's always something to look at, whether it be large, retro computers, HUGE floppy disks or Matthew Broderick's awful hair cut. It helps keep you glued to the screen. The story does, obviously too.
Broderick plays a kid who's name I don't remember, he's just Matthew Broderick to me, and a bloody young one at that, who hacks into the US's military systems, triggering their computers to believe that a nuclear war is about to occur.
Awesome technology, world war III, arcade, this all the things…
It has it's moments and it was certainly fun watching the early days of IT and giggling at how silly it all seemed. An actual physical phone used to dial up the internet, nonsense!
Mathew Broderick displays early signs of the charm that made Ferris Bueller's Day Off so enjoyable but at such a young age is unable to keep the film from becoming a little uninteresting as things progress.
Nice ideas and a little 80's nostalgia always goes a long way but ultimately not a very good film.
Carphones, George H.W. Bush posters, and dated Windows screens aside, Sneakers aged relatively well. WarGames, put together nine years before by the same pair of writers, is almost a polar opposite. Its allegiances to 1980s are obvious and immediate: disco music, John Hughes-esque teen romance, Cold War paranoia. On its surface, the movie seems like a relic.
Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Being engulfed by nostalgia is nothing if not wonderful. This is the movie with the young Matthew Broderick even before he became Ferris Bueller. The movie that introduced the general public to not just the idea that computers can be connected and talk to each other – but also, often, to computers themselves. The movie that…
I must have seen this at some point as a kid but I barely remembered it. Kinda fun! I liked the existential scientist arguing with the All-American teenagers about the folly of man.
Still holds up pretty well all these years after my first look.
I expected a movie that people only like due to nostalgia, but it really is well put together, even if the computers don't seem quite so impressive now. Also, even though it's a dumb family(ish) film and I know there will be a happy ending, I still though the countdown to potential nuclear war at the climax was very effective/tense.
Do you want to play a game?
Great 80's atmosphere. Great actors and a fun film to watch. I love the score.
Surprisingly, for a childhood classic I missed during my own childhood, it's still a lot of fun. Babies Broderick and Sheedy help a lot, but especially the game cast of adult character actors lead by Dabney Coleman.
Shall we play a game?
Enjoyable movie with interesting story.
Going through cheesy 80s films phase, and WarGames does not disappoint in that respect. Revel in the nerdiness of Matthew Broderick and 80s internet access! Furthermore, this movie touches upon the constant future dilemma of whether or not to trust machines... Will it always be so bleak? :)
Yay character actors! Yay for baby John Spencer! The thermonuclear threat remains gripping even pixilated. The wannabe John Hughes beats that permeate the rest of the film have not aged as well. Broderick and Sheedy make for an appealing couple and both seem engaged in what could be very silly.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Le Samouraï
- Come and See
- The Third Man
- American Graffiti
- House of 1000 Corpses
With such a diverse community on here it would be interesting to see what you all get up to when…
- About Last Night...
- The Accidental Tourist
- Across the Universe
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.