British Academy Awards, Willie D. Burton, et. al., Best Sound
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
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.
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.
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Collector's Edition, Theatrical Version, Trailers
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.
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