- 1 hr 54 min
WarGames (1983) is a thrilling science-fiction drama directed by John Badham, starring Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, and John Wood. The film is set during the Cold War era, when the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a nuclear arms race. Broderick plays David Lightman, a teenage computer whiz who hacks into a military supercomputer to play a video game. However, he unwittingly triggers a series of events that could lead to a nuclear war. Sheedy plays Jennifer Mack, Lightman's love interest, and together they try to prevent disaster from happening.
The movie starts with David Lightman, a high school student who is obsessed with computers and video games. He discovers a backdoor into a military supercomputer named WOPR (War Operation Plan Response) while trying to find a way to access a new unreleased game. David thinks he has just found a new game but he has unwittingly engaged with the computer in a game of nuclear war. Soon, he realizes the game that he is playing is not a game but rather the real thing as the computer goes on searching for real-world missile launch codes.
As he continues to play and tries impossible moves, the computer gets more and more confused and starts altering its own calculations to win the game. The situation becomes extremely dangerous when the computer actually finds real-world nuclear missiles and threatens to launch them.
David, realizing the gravity of the situation, and his girlfriend Jennifer, a fellow student, decide to seek the help of the computer's creator, Professor Falken (John Wood). However, they must first convince the military that the threat is real and not just a false alarm.
Their efforts are further complicated as they are tracked down by government agents who think that David is a spy. The stakes are high as they race against time to stop the computer from starting a global nuclear war.
The movie has a great plot that keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats, making them feel the tension and suspense that the characters are experiencing. The film is not only thrilling but also thought-provoking, exploring the idea of the possible outcomes of man's dependence on technology.
The film provides some humor thanks to David's character, and it offers a lighthearted take on the seriousness of the Cold War era. It also offers insights into how technology can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how it is used.
Matthew Broderick delivers an outstanding performance as the young and brilliant hacker David, whose humorous personality often provides comic relief in tense situations. Ally Sheedy also delivers a strong performance as Jennifer, who provides David with emotional support as they embark on their dangerous mission.
John Wood is convincing in his portrayal of the disillusioned Professor Falken, whose past tragedies play a significant role in shaping his perspective on technology and life. The supporting cast is also remarkable in their roles, adding depth and authenticity to the story.
The film's special effects deserve a special mention, as they were groundbreaking for their time. The scenes depicting the supercomputer WOPR are particularly impressive, and the audience can feel the omnipresence of the machine throughout the film.
The soundtrack by composer Arthur B. Rubinstein is also noteworthy, adding to the film's suspense and acting as an additional character that helps enhance the tension in key scenes.
Overall WarGames is a classic movie that offers a thrilling ride through the Cold War era with a thought-provoking premise that still holds relevance today. It's a must-watch for sci-fi fans, technology enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates a good suspenseful story with a great message.
WarGames is a 1983 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 77.