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…
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…
This was one of my favourite movies as a kid growing up. The Commodore 64 had been released the year before and armed with a fistful of floppies I was a wannabe hacker. Unfortunately I lacked a modem and the skill to actually hack so I just played games. Still the thought that hacking into military computers called WOPR was just so exciting.
A much underrated film that looks at the cold war from a computer gaming point of view. Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy are fantastic in this film and the plot was horrifying for the time.
The movie is a bit dated today after 30 years, the computers look a bit silly and we have moved on from this fear but the idea behind it is still there. It's a good movie and the story remain's timeless that is why even 30 years later you can't be bored watching this film
How is this not in the Library of Congress National Film Registry? Silly but appropriate for the time period. Managed to somehow enjoy it thoroughly.
How awesome are all those old computers? Its practically inconceivable to see those plates sized floppy disks an old green screens.
Had not seen this in years. Perfectly captures the war tension of the 80s. A neat snap shot of 80s America in general. Arcades, 7 11 stores and massive computers. Film works really great as an unoffcial Terminator prequel :) very likeable cast. Gorgeous Ally Sheedy and Ferris Buller did good too.
The opening scene had Argo like Tension!
A needed rewatch after reading Ready Player One. Still so good.
Fine popcorn entertainment but heavily dated and forgettable. However, the ending is quite moving and strangely powerful for today's state of mind.
(I will preface this by addressing the recent overload of 80's movie-watching by saying... I don't know why, but it is fun)
The movie started off interestingly, but slightly boring. I cannot tell whether or not the fact that I was more invested in whether or not Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy would kiss or not was my problem, or the writer's (or both.) Either way, I enjoyed watching their scenes more than the military stuff.
The plot was obviously unbelievable - after getting past that, I realized how fun this movie is. It's not too thrilling, as I'm sure it intended to be, but it holds up surprisingly well, considering the subject matter (computers igniting World War III circa…