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 ...
Susan Davis ...
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 <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Is it a game, or is it real? 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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The huge door into the underground Cheyenne Mountain complex looked very similar to the actual door, as seen during a December 1987 media tour. The biggest difference is that it opened the opposite direction. See more »


They Call the "43rd" Bomb Wing at Loring AFB near the end of the movie, But the 42 Bomb Wing was stationed at Loring. The 43rd was stationed in Guam. See more »


David Lightman: This is unreal! You don't care about death 'cause you're already dead! I know a lot about you. I know you weren't always like this. What was the last thing you cared about?
See more »


Features One Million Years B.C. (1966) See more »


History Lesson (Long Line Leading To Man)
Performed by Arthur B. Rubinstein, Cynthia Morrow, Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli (as The Beepers)
Lyrics by Cynthia Morrow
Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Produced by Anthony Marinelli (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Nuggets of Truth
9 July 2003 | by (Shermer, Illinois) – See all my reviews

WarGames remains the definitive "hacker" movie, surpassing the raunch of Swordfish and the idio-parody of AntiTrust. Historically-speaking, there are two movies that have shaped public opinion about computers: 2001 and WarGames. With 2001, there is the question of "What happens when an automated computer system makes decisions on its own?" In today's world of automatic Windows updates and random error messages for no reason, it seems very prophetic. WarGames poses the question of "Who uses the computer and what do they do?" The consequences, as one can easily guess, are enormous. Even when hardware ages, the ethics remain.

WarGames isn't perfect. There are plenty of logic problems in the script, but it still presents its topic with a naive fascination. What the writers don't know, they pretend they do. Matthew Broederick is, once again, the nerdy teen with social problems (Ferris Bueller had a different problem, though). Aside from Glory, he won't be able to shake that image even now in his 40s.

I saw this movie when I was eight and had to admit that if someone didn't understand the 80s "Red paranoia", then the whole movie was a misfire. I will admit, it fascinated me with computers and military hardware, changing my life forever in a subtle fashion.

Overall, an interesting movie that becomes more real every year. In today's world of identity theft, cyber-terrorism, MicroSoft, and broadband, some elements are undoubtedly lost on someone who can't remember or understand the Cold War. 3.5 out of 5 stars

42 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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