Directed By: John Badham Starring: Matthew Broderick

Customer Reviews   Write a Review

5 out of 5
Total Reviews
Overall Satisfaction
Ease of Use

A Classic

by bwb@emuhq.com on 12/31/1999

A classic computer movie! Good acting and a good computer history lesson.

Was this review helpful to you?


Product Overview

A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting world war III.


Studio MGM
SKU 40096262
UPC 027616705624
UPC 14 00027616705624
Format DVD
Release Date 3/20/2001
Rating Rating
Essential Cinema
Family (General)
Nuclear Destruction
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note In director John Badham's WARGAMES, Matthew Broderick stars as David Lightman, a young hacker who accidentally logs on to the Department of Defense's network. Thinking that he's found a cool new computer game manufacturer, David plays checkers, chess, and other more intriguing games like Global Thermonuclear War. Realizing that their system has been tampered with, military operatives arrest him. However, the computer continues to play the "game" of thermonuclear warfare without David and generates the very real threat of World War III. In an attempt to prevent global disaster, David and his girlfriend, Jennifer (Ally Sheedy), search desperately for the scientist who designed the system before the goverment computer initates a full-scale nuclear war.^A landmark of 1980s cinema, WARGAMES was keenly tuned into its time. Computers remained a relative mystery in the early 1980s, as they were used primarily by large corporations and government agencies, but not by many individuals at home. The general public had already been warned of the danger of computer takeover in 1968 with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and this paranoia grew as computers became more popular. The threat of communist takeover and nuclear war loomed large in the collective consciousness, before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the cold war. Video games had become highly popular, however, and for a generation of Pac-Man and Space Invaders players WARGAMES combined the country's deepest fears with its biggest fantasies. Badham's suspenseful film brings those fears to light in an exciting, fast-paced film with a great cast (Broderick, Sheedy, John Wood, Barry Corbin, Dabney Coleman) and excellent special effects.
Plot Summary
Summary Matthew Broderick stars as David Lightman, a teenage computer whiz in the 1980s who causes an international nuclear crisis when he hacks into the U.S. Defense Department's computer system. Director John Badham's film is a finely wrought, edge-of-the-seat thriller that helped to define a generation of young video game players and computer geniuses living under the threat of nuclear war. A state-of-the art set and huge computer headquarters created an atmosphere of science fiction fantasy as well as real technological mastery.
Memorable Quotes
Quote "Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess?"--Joshua, the government computer, in response to David's (Matthew Broderick) request to play Global Thermonuclear War.
New York Times "...Entertaining....[Broderick is] very appealing..." 06/03/1983 p.C17
Variety "...A terrifically exciting story charged by an irresistible idea for today's young audience..." 05/11/1983
John Badham
Matthew Broderick
Cast & Crew
Ally Sheedy - Actor
Dabney Coleman - Actor
John Wood - Actor
Matthew Broderick - Actor
John Badham - Director
William A. Fraker - Director of Photography
Arthur B. Rubinstein - Musical Score
Harold Schneider - Producer
Leonard Goldberg - Producer
Richard Hashimoto - Producer
Walter F. Parkes - Writer
Lawrence Lasker - Writer
Alan Blumenfeld - Actor
Angelo P. Graham - Production Designer
Arthur B. Rubinstein - Original Music By
Barry Corbin - Actor
James J. Murakami - Art Director
John Spencer - Actor
Lawrence Lasker, et. al. - Writer
Leonard Goldberg - Executive Producer
Michael Madsen - Actor
Tom Rolf - Editor
William A. Fraker - Cinematographer
Technical Info
Catalog ID 907056
UPC 00027616705624
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 113 minutes
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Winner (1984) British Academy Awards, Willie D. Burton, et. al., Best Sound
Nominee (1984) British Academy Awards, Angelo P. Graham, Best Production Design/Art Direction,British Academy Awards, Michael L. Fink, Best Special Visual Effects,Oscar, William A. Fraker, Best Cinematography,Oscar, Michael J. Kohut, et. al., Best Sound,Oscar, Lawrence Lasker, Walter F. Parkes, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
ReviewSource Variety
Review Although the script has more than its share of short circuits, director John Badham solders the pieces into a terrifically exciting story charged by an irresistible idea: an extra-smart kid can get the world into a whole lot of trouble that it also takes the same extra-smart kid to rescue it from...Matthew Broderick is on the mark as the bright teenager, bored by traditional high school subjects like biology, but brilliant with computers. Unfortunately, thinking he's sneaking an advance look at a new line of video games, he taps into the country's Norad missile-defense system to challenge its computer to a game of global thermonuclear warfare...WarGames' weakness, sad to say, is that the adult side of the yarn is not peopled with very realistic characters, although the performances are fine...Ally Sheedy is perfectly perky as Broderick's girlfriend; Dabney Coleman brings his usual dissonance to the role of the computer-reliant defense specialist; but John Wood's large talents aren't fully used in a somewhat confusing part as the misanthropic eccentric who designed the computer.
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Computers only do what they are programmed to do, and they will follow their programs to illogical conclusions...Sooner or later, one of these self-satisfied, sublimely confident thinking machines is going to blow us all off the face of the planet. That is the message of "WarGames," a scary and intelligent new thriller...As a premise for a thriller, this is a masterstroke. The movie, however, could easily go wrong by bogging us down in impenetrable computerese, or by ignoring the technical details altogether and giving us a "Fail Safe" retread. "WarGames" makes neither mistake. It convinces us that it knows computers, and it makes its knowledge into an amazingly entertaining thriller..."WarGames" was directed by John Badham, best known for "Saturday Night Fever" and the current "Blue Thunder," a thriller that I found considerably less convincing on the technical level. There's not a scene here where Badham doesn't seem to know what he's doing, weaving a complex web of computerese, personalities and puzzles; the movie absorbs us on emotional and intellectual levels at the same time. And the ending, a moment of blinding and yet utterly elementary insight, is wonderful.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Collector's Edition, Theatrical Version, Trailers
Product Attributes
Actor Broderick,Matthew
Label Mgm Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times An amazingly entertaining thriller. A masterpiece!
Christopher Null, FilmCritic.com The movie's effect on Hollywood and the American consciousness can still be seen today.
Fred Topel, About.com Classic techno-thriller. Despite the old hardware, the concepts still hold up today.
James O'Ehley, Sci-Fi Movie Page Exciting and well-paced.
Michael Booth, Denver Post As tense and effective now as it was 25 years ago.

More Buying Options

Seller Infomation Price & Shipping  
M and N Media $36.21 + $4.24 shipping
Condition: Used-Acceptable
In Stock

Usually ships in 1 to 2 business days
Add to Cart
M and N Media $45.34 + $4.24 shipping
Condition: Brand New
In Stock

Usually ships in 1 to 2 business days
Add to Cart
M and N Media $45.36 + $4.24 shipping
Condition: Used-Like New
In Stock

Usually ships in 1 to 2 business days
Add to Cart
$36.21 + $4.24 shipping
Earn 37 ($0.37) Rakuten Super Points™
What are Rakuten Super Points™?
Get rewarded when you shop! Earn 1 point per dollar spent. That's like getting cash back on every purchase. Easy to see matured points in checkout. Use points just like cash.
Learn More
Format: DVD
Condition: Used-Acceptable
In Stock. Usually Ships in 1 to 2 business days
Please select an option to buy
Add to Cart

Sold By:  M and N Media
What is a Marketplace and Shop Owner?
  • Our marketplace is a platform where approved third-party retailers (Shop Owners) can sell their products
  • Items are sold and shipped by Shop Owners
  • Your credit card and personal information remain secure; Rakuten.com meets all PCI Security Standards.
  • Purchases can only be returned to the Shop Owner
  • All purchases receive Rakuten Super Points™
Promotions & Offers (2)
  • coupon
    Get $25 off $100 site wide when you pay using Visa Checkout and promo code VisaCM. Limited Time offer. Terms apply Use promo code VISACM at checkout. Ends 11/30/2015.
  •  custom promo
    12% Back on Videos with Promo Code CYBERMONDAY at Checkout - Ends 11/30/15 *See page for details
Recent Product Reviews

A Classic by bwb@emuhq.com on Dec 31, 1999