The Wizard (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The adventures of two brothers en route to California.
PG (adult situations/language)
Action & Adventure , Comedy , Drama , Kids & Family , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures

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Luke Edwards
as Jimmy Woods
Fred Savage
as Corey Woods
Beth Grant
as Diner Manager
Will Seltzer
as Putnam
Frank McRae
as Spanky
Jenny Lewis
as Haley
Wendy Phillips
as Christine
Lee Arenberg
as Armageddon Registrar
Sam McMurray
as Bateman
Jim Pirri
as Studio Tour Guide
Gregor Hesse
as Younger Boy
Steven Grives
as Armageddon Announcer
Ray Bickel
as Trucker #2
Jason Oliver
as Tough Teen #1
Anthony Blair
as Hotel Security
Gene Skillen
as Stickman
Stephen Grives
as Armageddon Announcer
Roy Conrad
as Bus Clerk
Roderick Dexter
as Trucker #1
Dea McAllister
as Counselor
W.K. Cowan
as Salesman #1
David D'Ovidio
as Armageddon Official
Sonny Dukes
as Biker
Zed James Frizzelle
as Lucas' Buddy
Valana C. Hatter
as Diner Waitress
T. Dan Hopkins
as Old Navajo
Tom Kerley
as Pinball Teen
Jacqueline Lear
as Bubblegum Girl
Preston Scott Lee
as Tough Teen #3
Rowdy Metzger
as Tough Teen #2
Terri Lynn Neish
as Poolside Waitress
Chuck Skinner
as Grease Monkey
William C. Thompson
as Salesman #2
William Thompson
as Salesman
Marisa Desimone
as Mora Grissom
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Critic Reviews for The Wizard

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3)

Video-addicted kids may well find this exciting, but for anyone old enough to stay out later than 9 P.M. it's a distinct bore.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Hollywood hucksters, zap them, have borrowed from Japanese game-pushers in this shameless attempt to sucker America's children.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

It was only after the three kids arrived safely at the championships that I began to question the ethics of the film, which is, among other things, a thinly disguised commercial for Nintendo video games and the Universal studio tour.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

An ad for video games that makes video games look like a peyote hallucination.

Full Review… | July 29, 2015
Antagony & Ecstasy

A solid and entertaining road film that is never cloying or abundantly sweet.

Full Review… | June 21, 2013
Cinema Crazed

The runaways' actions provide anything but responsible models for the children who make up the film's target audience, and the likable cast flails against the rampant idiocy and gross commercialism.

Full Review… | March 12, 2010
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for The Wizard

Does that above trailer look like product placement and late 1980's cheese? That is because it is. Do not get me wrong here, I can be a sucker for these types of films if they have a good payoff in the end or some drive toward a decent story. What made me happy watching this film, is that it does exactly that. Fred Savage has always had that little-kid charm to him and the supporting cast around him all serve a purpose toward this story. As his little brother Jimmy has the goal of getting to California, his talents of being a nintendo master surface. As three kids embark on a road trip to California, where the world championship nintendo games are being held, other stories from their past come to fruition. Now, the main story is as cheesy as it sounds, but when the gut punch comes, getting you emotionally invested in a particular character, "The Wizard" becomes slightly surprising. I am not trying to praise this film or call in great in any regard, but it is a serviceable story with more heart than you'd expect. "The Wizard" is a fine time.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

It's more than a game... It's the chance of a lifetime. Saw it again! Great movie from my childhood which I still love and enjoy every single time I see it! Very nice roles by everyone who acted on this one. Super Mario Bros.3 one of the best video games ever created hands down! Corey and Jimmy Woods are two brothers who are being separated due to their parents divorcing. Jimmy is a mentally unstable kid that has had problems ever since his sister died at a young age. One day, Corey discovers that Jimmy has a natural talent for playing video games. He is one of the best around, and the two journey to the West Coast to compete in a video game championship, but along the way, they must avoid the adults, who are trying to take Jimmy away.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer


having grown up on this film i was excited to show it to my kids, and despite being about dated games, they loved it as much as i did. as long as one goes into this for good family fun, it works despite the unbelievable storyline.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

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