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WarGames (1983)

 -  Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  3 June 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 64,627 users  
Reviews: 146 user | 79 critic

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.


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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kent Williams ...
Joe Dorsey ...
Irving Metzman ...
William Bogert ...
David Clover ...


A young computer whiz kid accidentally connects into a top secret super-computer which has complete control over the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It challenges him to a game between America and Russia, and he innocently starts the countdown to World War 3. Can he convince the computer he wanted to play a game and not the real thing ? Written by Colin Tinto <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Global Thermonuclear War." You may think it's one hell of a game. You couldn't be more right. See more »


Sci-Fi | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

3 June 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

War Games  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)


$79,568,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is an non-exhaustive list of the possible war scenarios run by Joshua in Global Thermonuclear War: U.S. First Strike, USSR First Strike, NATO/Warsaw Pact, Far East Strategy, US USSR Escalation, Middle East War, USSR China Attack, India Pakistan War, Mediterranean War, HongKong Variant, SEATO Decapitating, Cuban Provocation, Atlantic Heavy, Cuban Paramilitary, Nicaraguan Preemptive, Pacific Territorial, Burmese Theaterwide, Turkish Decoy, Angentina Escalation (possible misspelling of "Argentina Escalation"), Iceland Maximum, Arabian Theaterwide, U.S. Subversion, Australian Maneuver, Sudan Surprise, NATO Territorial, Zaire Alliance, Iceland Incident, English Escalation, Middle East Heavy, Mexican Takeover, Chad Alert (repeated twice), Saudi Maneuver, African Territorial, Ethiopian Escalation, Turkish Heavy, NATO Incursion, U.S. Defense, Cambodian Heavy, Pact Medium, Arctic Minimal, Mexican Domestic, Taiwan Theaterwide, Pacific Maneuver, Portugal Revolution, Albanian Decoy, Palistinian Local (possible misspelling of "Palestinian Local"), Moroccan Minimal, Czech Option, French Alliance, Arabian Clandestine, Gabon Rebellion, Northern Maximum, SEATO Takeover, Hawaiian Escalation, Iranian Maneuver, NATO Containment, Swiss Incident, Cuban Minimal, Iceland Escalation, Vietnamese Retaliatio (possible truncated name for "Vietnamese Retaliation"), Syrian Provocation, Libyan Local, Gabon Takeover, Romanian War, Middle East Offensive, Denmark Massive, Chile Confrontation, S.African Subversion, USSR Alert, Nicaraguan Thrust, Greenland Domestic, Iceland Heavy, Kenya Option, Pacific Defense, Uganda Maximum, Thai Subversion, Romanian Strike, Pakistan Sovereignty, Afghan Misdirection, Thai Variation, Northern Territorial, Polish Paramilitary, S.African Offensive, Panama Misdirection, Scandinavian Domestic, Jordan Preemptive, English Trust, Burmese Maneuver, Spain Counter, Arabian Offensive, Chad Interdiction, Taiwan Misdirection, Bangladesh Theaterwid (possible truncated name for "Bangladesh Theaterwide"), Ethiopian Local, Italian Takeover, Vietnamese Incident, English Preemptive, Denmark Alternate, Thai Confrontation, Taiwan Surprise, Brazilian Strike, Venezuela Sudden, Maylasian Alert (possible misspelling of "Malaysian Alert"), Isreal Discretionary (possible misspelling of "Israel Discretionary"), Libyan Action, Palistinian Tactical (possible misspelling of "Palestinian Tactical"), NATO Alternate, Cypress Maneuver, Egypt Misdirection, Bangladesh Thrust, Kenya Defense, Bangladesh Containmen (possible truncated name for "Bangladesh Containment"), Vietnamese Strike, Albanian Containment, Gabon Surprise, Iraq Sovereignty, Vietnamese Sudden, Lebanon Interdiction, Taiwan Domestic, Algerian Sovereignty, Arabian Strike, Atlantic Sudden, Mongolian Thrust, Polish Decoy, Alaskan Discretionary, Canadian Thrust, Arabian Light, S.African Domestic, Tunisian Incident, Maylasian Maneuver (possible misspelling of "Malaysian Maneuver"), Jamaica Decoy, Maylasian Minimal (possible misspelling of "Malaysian Minimal"), Russian Sovereignty, Chad Option, Bangladesh War, Burmese Containment, Asian Theaterwide, Bulgarian Clandestine, Greenland Incursion, Egypt Surgical, Czech Heavy, Taiwan Confrontation, Greenland Maximum, Uganda Offensive and Caspian Defense. See more »


When David is typing in the passwords and fails, the log on screen spells out "Indentification failed" not Identification. See more »


Stephen Falken: I loved it when you nuked Las Vegas. Suitably biblical ending to the place, don't you think?
See more »


References Wonder Woman (1975) See more »


War Games
Performed by Crosby Stills & Nash (as Crosby, Stills & Nash)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Ahead of it's time
18 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wargames was a movie that was way ahead of its time. No one was making films about hacking into computer systems. The only computers used in movies were on space ships. No home computer has ever really been brought to the big screen. Wargames broke from the normal studio sci fi norm of either Earth being visited by aliens (E.T) or battles of Good and Evil in space (Star Wars, Star Trek). With the raise in hacker crime rate now, and seeing how Dependant we've become on computers, Wargames was a movie with it the eye on the future. Imaginative story, great cast (who, despite other reviews, do not phone it in) Wargames is a true gem, as it was recently listed by AFI as one of the top 100 sci fi movies of all time. Broderick was perfect as a slacker teen, and Ally Sheedy turns in one of her best performance, making the most of an under developed character. Dabney Coleman showed why he was one of the busiest actors in the 1980's (though he always better cast as a villain), and Barry Corbin could play almost anything convincingly. while the special effects may be dated by todays standard, Wargames helped shape the way people think and speak. Backdoors, hacking, were not common terms like they are today. Without a doubt, much in agreement with AFI, Wargames remains one of the most important films ever made.

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