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WarGames (War Games) Reviews

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hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

May 12, 2013
A teenage computer hacker accidentally starts a World War III simulation with a military supercomputer.
In the oeuvre of "the machines are winning" films, like Dr. Srangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb or The Terminator, Wargames ranks among the best of in this genre. If that's not enough, in the oeuvre of Cold War era peace films, like Fail Safe and The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, Wargames's message fits witth the best of these as well. Without being terribly preachy, the film deftly expresses these two sentiments -- the over-determination of technology on our lives and the stupidity of Cold War era foreign policy. Particularly, "I was going to learn to swim" was a very nice touch.
Matthew Broderick was such a great actor in his younger days. He was so understated. His work was similar to a young Dustin Hoffman, and while his recent work has fallen off slightly, it's always great to revisit Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Biloxi Blues, and this film, Wargames to see how great he was.
I found the plot predictable, and the bit with Falken and the helicopter was too deus ex machina for my tastes.
Overall, this is a very good film about concepts that remain relevant today.
blkbomb
blkbomb

Super Reviewer

January 25, 2013
Stephen Falken: What you see on these screens up here is a fantasy; a computer enhanced hallucination! 

"Is it a game, or is it real?"

Wargames is a classic thriller that stars a young Matthew Broderick. It's a quick paced film that uses the cold war to good effect. It isn't a perfect movie, nor is it an amazing movie, in my opinion. What it is though is a fun film. It's entertaining, it's occasionally funny, occasionally thrilling, and it does have a brain. It's involving, but not quite as involving as I initially thought it would be. In the end, I rather enjoyed it though.

David is an intelligent high schooler, but also an under achiever. He spends most of his time on the computer and has gotten pretty good at hacking into systems. When he tries to hack into a gaming computer to steal some of its games, he accidentally gets into a military one. When he sees a list of games he decides to play Global Thermonuclear War. What he thinks is just a game turns into a real life situation when NATO thinks the Soviets are attacking. Is it a game, or is it all too real?

The movie definitely suffers a bit with its age. It's dated for sure, and some of the acting isn't the best. Had I watched this in 1983, I probably would have appreciated it a whole lot more. Watching it for the first time in 2013, it all seems extremely silly, but still fun. There's nothing here that makes me want to say anything too harsh about the film, but there's also nothing that makes me want to declare it as one of the best movies of the 80's as many like to claim. 

This is worth a look if you're one of the few people who haven't seen it. It's worth it for a young Matthew Broderick and its involving story about cold war hysteria and computers vs. human beings. 
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

October 15, 2011
Overrated teen sci-fi flick starring Matthew Broderick is good, but not enough. It is like watching Ferris Bueller play tech-y rather than hooky, and it tries to add some humor, but it usually fails.

The last few moments of WARGAMES are the best of the entire film. It is filled with algorithmic logic and obfuscated equations (do I need to make myself sound like I'm part of the Mental Floss staff?), but it still is pulse-pounding, witty fun, with a twist. Still, the rest of the film is stiff, and the critics were generous.
DreamExtractor
DreamExtractor

Super Reviewer

April 12, 2011
A really exciting and funny movie. Was it trying to be to be funny, who knows, but it was. The pure stupidity of these characters was funny to me. The plot was actually good, and really interesting. I think a lot of people check it out.
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
Another great technology gone awry themed film. This stars a young Broderick, and he's really cute. This is a great movie, I love it.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

December 24, 2007
Haven't seen this in forever, but I liked it when I did.
ScoopOnline
ScoopOnline

Super Reviewer

December 11, 2009
This Movie reminded me of Brain Storm so I quit watching after about 20 minutes.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

April 29, 2007
Computer whizzkid Matthew Broderick hacks into a computer and starts playing a game called Thermonuclear War, only to discover that the game's for real. An invigoratingly entertaining and nail-biting thriller, with plenty of laughs, a little romance and just the teeniest bit of preaching.
Broderick is solid, and Ally Sheedy even better, but what really sells this film is everything else. John Wood, Dabney Coleman and Barry Corbin make the excellent supporting performances. You know the casting people behind this movie were on the ball when the opening sequence features two very recognizable faces, those of Michael Madsen and John Spencer, in what were film debuts for both.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

November 2, 2007
An obviously dated, yet still very cliched and forgettable tech thriller with a "bleh" performance from the usually solid Matthew Broderick. The dialogue doesn't help, but neither does the "all too typical" set-up, and the ending is some kind of terrible. Although I will admit the red-neck General was a first as far as characters go, most of the characters seem pulled from every other movie ever made. Although it shows promise by picking up a load of steam at the end and creating some bonafide suspense scenes, it ruins it all with its "oh shucks" grand finale. To think, 96 percent of critics worldwide approved of this film! Not completely terrible, but not great either.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 30, 2009
It?s ok, I didn't see it when I was a kid so I hold no nostalgic feelings for it. Must have been one of the first films about hacking though so points for originality awarded. Watched it mainly because the film game on pub quiz machines always asks a question about it!
Dean !

Super Reviewer

January 2, 2007
A pretty good 80's action film as a kid hacks into the military defense computer and almost starts a war.
cancercapricorn2002
cancercapricorn2002

Super Reviewer

August 29, 2008
Wargames is one of my favorite movies out of the 80's I know that Joshua (the computer) is outdated by today's standards and David (Matthew Brodrick) never would have broken into NORAD but it's still one of the best hacker movies ever made and a great cold war thriller. Now I was only 10 when this movie came out so I didn't understand the finer elements of the story.

The acting is solid across the board. Broderick and Sheedy do top notch acting work here. With Dabney Coleman leading a great supporting cast but even though there is a good cast here, the story is what I think makes Wargames the classic that it is. There really is a sense of menace that World War III might actually start and that it might just be all David's fault. This should serve as a reminder to never play Global Thermonuclear War when your computer has tapped into the national defense network.

The NORAD sets are pretty damn cool and they manage to look quite authentic. The soundtrack also must be given special attention just because it has that special 80's flavor and they even made it electronic sounding for the movie. In the beginning you can find a young Michael Madsen in one of his first roles. Maybe even the first I'm not sure.

To sum up here. Wargames is a quality film that will take older moviegoers back to their childhood or young adulthood and will make younger viewers think "they had computers back then?!" A true classic and one that makes a great addition to any DVD collection.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

August 11, 2008
Wargames is a lot of fun for the most part. It's great to see those retro machines in action. Strange I watched this on the same day as Crimson Tide, both very similar dealing with nuclear war and such. For a supposed kids film this is pretty deep at times launching into discussions of mankind's demise at his own hands and sometimes the best way to win is to not take part. Broderick is fun and cheeky, like a computer nerd Ferris Bueller. It works on many levels and the first scene is awesome with Michael Madsen being cool even with just a few minutes of screen time.
movieguru12
movieguru12

Super Reviewer

April 24, 2008
It was Excellent,and just FANTASTIC!!!!
Jens S

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2006
A true child of the 80s this movie combines a cast of really familiar faces of that time with some early computer graphics and a story of cold war and atomic threat into a pretty decent thriller. The soundtrack and look of the early computers, floppy disks and screens alone is worth seeing this for nostalgic reasons but especially the second half of the movie is actually pretty exciting. In the end the message is clear: there'd be no winner in an atomic war. Kids of today may sit through this movie in disbelief how things looked and worked 25 years ago. Those who saw this movie back then or at least lived in the 80s may appreciate it for the cheesy factor.
Michael S

Super Reviewer

June 11, 2007
classic
CloudStrife84
CloudStrife84

Super Reviewer

June 8, 2007
Another good reason to why I love the 80's. If you haven't seen it yet, make sure you do :-)
Jon L

Super Reviewer

October 30, 2007
Interesting perspective of computers and technology from a 1980s perspective.
A B

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2007
A computer geek's reference point. Nice movie in it's day, but very dated now. Nice to see Ally Sheedy, pre-Breakfast Club/Short Circuit and a very young Ferris Beuller.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

October 5, 2007
I like this one. It's almost a comedy these days with such outdated tech featured in the movie.
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