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War Games (1983)

Matthew Broderick , Ally Sheedy , John Badham  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (375 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood, Dabney Coleman, Barry Corbin
  • Directors: John Badham
  • Writers: Lawrence Lasker, Walon Green, Walter F. Parkes
  • Producers: Bruce McNall, Harold Schneider, Leonard Goldberg, Richard Hashimoto
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 1998
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (375 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792838467
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,421 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "War Games" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 8-page booklet with trivia and production notes

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

The DVD release has a widescreen presentation, theatrical trailer, Dolby sound, director commentary, optional English, French and Spanish subtitles. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club) star in this compelling drama filled with action, suspense and high-tech adventures! Featuring superb performances by Dabney Coleman and Barry Corbin, WarGames is "brilliant...funny...and provocative" (New York)a fast-paced cyber-thriller. Computer hacker David Lightman (Broderick) can bypass the most advanced security systems, break the most intricate secret codes and mastereven the most difficult computer games. But when he unwittingly taps into the Defense Department's war computer, he initiates a confrontation of global proportionsWorld War III! Together with his girlfriend (Sheedy) and a wizardly computer genius (Tony AwardÂ(r) winner John Wood), David must race against time to outwit his opponent...and prevent a nuclear Armageddon.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
124 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars would you prefer a nice game of chess? July 6, 2000
Format:DVD
This was an instant teen classic. Far more than a movie about romance, lust or "parents who just don't understand" .... this was a great flick and it still is.
Matthew Broderick introduced the masses to the world of hacking, phreaking and global thermo nuclear war.
The average person at that time had never heard of a phone phreak, but we see the lead character get free calls on a payphone and stealing software via his 300 baud modem before anyone knew there was software worth stealing.
Not only are his parents affluent enough to supply him with a computer, he gets discarded computer hardware from friends at a local university to make the super-duper hacking machine that ends up getting him in big big trouble.
While a lot of this story is pretty improbable, some of the plot was dead on for the time. There were no minature computers and cameras and while the government had satelites, they couldn't count your eyelashes from the stratosphere like they can today.
Nuclear war with the Soviet Union was a real threat when this movie came out... all of my friends talked about it and posters with mushroom clouds were all over our school. Sting came out with the song "Russians" and we all peed in our pants when the show "The Day After" aired on prime time TV.
It was a scary time and this movie masterfully played on the fear of nuclear threats and the real likelihood (and nowadays a reality) of having formerly human-manned stations automated by computers.
Lots of excitement, great background music and lots of 80s nostalgia abound in this film. If you're in your late 20s to early 40s and you haven't seen this film, it's your duty to get it!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie is great, but the commentary is superb! September 6, 2000
Format:DVD
Watching this movie again brings back some great nostalgic feelings -- back in these days computers were *special*, something amazing and almost magical. Being a software professional, I often yearn for those times again, where we weren't something as boring as "IT professionals" but "wizards". Reading an old copy of BYTE from 1980 or watching WarGames helps :)
I won't praise the movie further, but I want to highlight the commentary audio track: the director, John Badham and the two writers, Lawrence Lasker and Walter Parkes comment every scene in the movie. It's really great stuff, not the usual junk you might hear actors say about their own role in the movie (that seldom sounds convincing) but lots of technical details about how the movie was made (for example, the initial blizzard scene was apparently created with the help of helicopters) to exactly what sort of computer equipment was used (a TRS-80) and why. The commentators are having lots of fun and manage to share a lot of trivia (for example, W.O.P.R. was considered named PSIOP(sp)).
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97 of 126 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Image cropped on all sides February 3, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a review of the 25th Anniversary Edition.

This DVD was made from a full screen version where the left and right sides were cropped. From that image, they cropped the top and the bottom to produce this so-called widescreen version. The image you see when watching this DVD consists of a small rectangle cut from the center of the original movie. If you could find a full screen version, you would see more of the original movie than if you watch this so-called widescreen version.

The package says "widescreen". In the past, the term widescreen meant that you see the entire original image. More and more, when a DVD package says widescreen, that means they cropped the top and the bottom so the image will fit a modern TV. Whereas in the past, widescreen meant you see more than with full screen, now it means you see less.

Why all the positive reviews here for this horrible product? Please, we can find movie reviews on imdb. Here on Amazon, we need critiques of the DVD. If everyone here would give mutilated movies the lowest rating, maybe the DVD makers would get the message and stop mutilating the movies we like. At least it would warn people against buying them.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but still worth watching. July 19, 2004
Format:DVD
When this movie was released it was very up to date with the technology it featured. In this day of laptop computers and Internet access to mobile phones it certainly looks dated but put that aside and you are still left with a really good movie with a plot idea that still works today.
The story revolves around an underachieving, bored teenager (played by a very young Matthew Broderick) whose main interest in life is his computer. From his bedroom he can alter his school grades, reserve flights, and download software, all by hacking into other computers. While searching for new games from a software company he comes across a set of titles he assumes are games and decides, with his girlfriend, to play Global Thermonuclear War. Unfortunately it isn't a software company he has hacked into but a military system and he is playing against NORAD's computer. When the realisation hits that the NORAD computer, when it's turn comes round, will launch atomic missiles for real, the race is on the stop the game.
This is still a gripping film that can well pump up the tension even after several viewings. Recommended
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars gave as present
always a good movie, would recommend to everyone..a oldie but a good movie to watch on the weekends, so enjoy
Published 1 day ago by janet moser
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess?"
Before The Italian Job (2003) and The Matrix (1999) and Hackers (1995) and Sneakers (1992), there was WarGames, a film that originally had Stephen Hawking and John Lennon in mind. Read more
Published 1 day ago by H. Bala
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, how technology has changed!
I remember this movie when it first came out and the computers that were around then. Although the technology is light-years ahead of what is seen in this movie, it is a... Read more
Published 1 day ago by The Phantom
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
As a software developer, I generally enjoy any movie that depicts my skill set on the screen. This movie does so better than any other movie and only The Social Network does it,... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Thomas B
5.0 out of 5 stars Watched with 11-year old son. Still a good movie
Haven't watched this since I was young, but my son wanted to watch it. As an adult, the first thing I noticed was how bad the acting was. It was worse than Disney-Channel quality. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Robert
3.0 out of 5 stars Cant' recommend it
Too bad that movie makers seem to think that we won't enjoy their productions unless they use ugly language. Read more
Published 4 days ago by L. Scarboro
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT movie! Fun, entertaining. Want to play a game?
Also, a great tool to teach younger generations about the insanity of 'mutual self assured destruction.' Involves us in a very special time... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Len
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Classic 1980s film about the Cold War and computers. The film does a great job covering the debate of whether or not we should become more reliant on computers and what impact the... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Keith Price
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic . . .
Watched the movie with my son . . . 30 years after I saw the original. A can't go wrong weekend movie with the kids.
Published 8 days ago by David Frischling
5.0 out of 5 stars AN OLDIE BUY A GOOD ONE
Yes, the technology is dated but the story is timeless. I actually enjoyed a "flashback" to the 70's tech, as I was "in the business" at the time and well remember... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Nancy Thompsen
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War Games Soundtrack
who performs 'Edge of the World'?
Jul 24, 2008 by Humanity's children are returning home... |  See all 4 posts
Tom Keogh is horrible
I agree with other's assessments of Mr. Keogh's critiques. Mr. Tom Keogh seems to be unappreciative of the goal or achievements of particular films and/or directors. Many of his reviews are positive of many films which, while have enjoyed box office successes, have been very weak in plot and... Read more
Nov 3, 2012 by Daniel P. Elliott |  See all 3 posts
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