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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2010
I have to disagree with the Amazon review:

"After that, it's not hard to predict what's going to happen: government agents swoop in, but the story ends up in the "hands" of machines talking to one another. Thus we're stuck with flashing lights, etc."

You have to remember this film was brought out during the cold war and the era of the ZX Spectrum. Square blobs on a screen were impressive enough, but the idea of playing out multi-screen global nuclear war was enough to blow any 13 year old's mind at the time. This was combined with the fact that the computer software in question was named after the programmer's dead son and played the same kind of games, tic-tac-toe, that a child would. So, the final scene is not just about flashing lights, it's about a father teaching his son about life and the futility of war - and in so doing teaching every adult present in the US Army bunker the same lesson. This amounts to a very tense and touching finale.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2002
This movie is a classic, a must own for all the "computer people". It's the Nostradamus of computer movies. It talks about hacking at a time where the internet was science fiction and the average computer was half as powerfull as a Game Boy. It has some old school phreaking (tampering phone lines) in there as well but all information is just of historical value. All the things that you see in the movie is a common thing of todays computers, like speech, but when you watch this film have in mind that it was produced in 1983! It's also the movie that inspired programmers to write War Dialers (well known type of software among todays crackers used to find phone lines connected to computers). If you are not interested in classics and historical values but you want some computer action try something like "Hackers", "SWORDFISH" and "Antitrust". But if you are interested in classics also check "Tron".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2009
I remember the day my father took me to the cinema to see this movie. Several months before going to see it I was very fortunate to have been bought a Commodore 64 computer (ask your parents) by my parents as a birthday present. My young mind was full of possibilities after seeing that movie, I recall standing in the foyer of the cinema after the screening talking to other kids around the same age as myself at that time (15 y/o) and fantasizing about what we could do with our computers! This was I suppose the first ever movie to cover the issue of "hacking" whereby you gain access to another computer system illegally. This was long before the advent of the Internet as we know it today. It was a era when these issues were only dreams and fantasies of admirers of technology back then. One thing was for sure, I never looked at a computer in the same light again. The performances of the main characters David & Jennifer (Broderick & Sheedy) were quite believable back then. I suppose there was a lot of virgin technology that the characters had to get to grips with making the fluent dialogue sound quite realistic. Mathew Broderick was only 19 years of age when appearing in Wargames and just fitted the part of the computer nerd perfectly. If this is your kind of film you may also be interested in these titles: "Battle Beyond the Stars" and "The Last Star Fighter" both of which I have been able to buy on Amazon bringing the memories of my childhood on to my home cinema system today. Great movie for it's time.
Yours Kevin Burke from Glasgow Scotland UK
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2013
This was one of my favourite movies of the '80s, but which I had somehow neglected adding to my DVD collection until now. I expected to find it juvenile, and rather naive regarding technology, but in fact found that it still holds up surprisingly well as a thriller. I had no problem believing in any of the characters or their motivations. I enjoyed it so much that I watched it again with a friend the following evening, both of us enjoying a bit of movie nostalgia.

Listening to the excellent commentary even answered one of my old minor objections to the movie: you see I was then (and still am) a computer programmer. I could see that most of his equipment was years obsolete even when the movie came out, but the commentary pointed out that this was deliberate, after all this was a schoolkid - no income, so all his kit was hand-me-downs that others were throwing away.

My personal standard for a 5 star movie is, will I still want to be watching this in a few decades time? Since this movie has already met that test the score must be automatic! So 5 stars it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It may be an old film now but its still a cracking good story that has stood the test of time very well.We are so used to computers now that its a bit easy to forget we didn't always have pcs,we may have had some sorts of computers but nothing like we have now so its a gentle reminder of how far we have progressed in technology.The U.S. DO play wargames,as do the Russians,as did we when we were a significant nuclear power.Now we are but a shadow of our former slightly aggressive and distinctly prickly selves,its somewhat reassuring to know that such wargames are practised by the one power in the world that is not totally without honour,they do at least have the sense to put themselves first and to hell with trying to please everyone,its a damn shame we don't have the courage to follow suit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2010
The 2001 MGM Home Entertainment issue for Region 2 is not anamorphic, so you will get a letterboxed display if viewing on a widescreen TV. Even the 2008 UK release is the same! You will need to get the 2008 25th Anniversary Fox edition to enjoy the movie in widescreen with full resolution without bars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2015
One of the underrated films of the 80's & next to "Ferris Beauller",Brodericks equal best.Worth visiting IMDB for some trivia about the film,especially the amazing NORAD set which was better than the real thing.This has stood the test of time quite well,obviously the computers are very very dated & it's a bit cheesy in places,but up against something like "The Breakfast Club",which while STILL being a great film,is quite dated.
Everyone else has gone through the story so I'm not going to repeat whats already been said,except,if you haven't seen this yet,you're missing a trick.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2012
Specs

Region Code; A only (will not work on standard UK players)
Full Widescreen 1:85:1 (full use of your screen)
Audio; DTS HD MA 5.1

To appriceiate this movie you would've needed to see it the year it came out, the worlds changed...alot, and so has the way we make movies, I seen this on VHS when it was released on video in the mid eighties and it was amazing....kind of lost it's qualities abit but for me it was a great watch especially as it's now in full HD!!
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on 8 August 2012
Mainly this is one of my favourite films because of nostagia. It is a very well made film and has excellent acting, cast, direction etc, etc, but the obvious flaws lie in the technological gulf between the 80's and today (2012). For me the old computers and equipment are a hazy hark back to the carefree days post mobile phones, social networking and when there were only 4 tv channels. Today it stands as a filmic stepping stone as opposed to groundbreaking but I suppose that at the time the technology was state of the art.

But then the film itself is extremely good. This was a well made action (ish) thriller blockbuster. Yes at times it seems a little too easy for Matthew Broderick's David to escape from high security govt installations but it was more of a romp than a true expose' of the times. But it was a precursor to such films as most of anything Shia Leboef has been in, as the geeky underdog wins the day. And Joshua as a character is also extremely well realised, even today.

A sub-classic of sorts, and one I will always watch fondly. But it's probably only for those who grew up in the 80s.
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There was a time when Matthew Broderick was Hollywood's go-to guy for charming teenage reprobates, and he seemed a ubiquitous presence on the big screen when I was an adolescent. Ally Sheedy was another of the unofficial `brat-packers' who was regularly cast as `kooky girl next door', a role she plays with aplomb here, as she and Broderick's character David proceed to embark upon a mischievous attempt to hack into a computer game designer's account, in the process inadvertently triggering what seems to be an imminent nuclear war between Russia and the USA.
Once the initial premise has been delivered, the film becomes all about David's attempts to escape the military compound where he is inexplicably taken after his hacking has been discovered. A race against time to track down the computer's reclusive creator tells the story of the second half of the movie, and the denouement is fairly standard. Overall then this is a daft but amusing creation by director John Badham, and a nostalgic treat for those of us who grew-up with Broderick's impish slacker in those halcyon days of 80s teen dramas.
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