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WarGames (1983)

PG  |   |  Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  3 June 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 68,561 users  
Reviews: 150 user | 82 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 <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


To David Lightman, "Global Thermonuclear War" will just be one hell of a game. To everybody else, it will be hell waiting to happen. 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?


The studio had the Galaxian (1979) and Galaga (1981) arcade machines delivered to Matthew Broderick's home, where he practiced for two months to prepare for the arcade scene. See more »


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


[after playing out all possible outcomes for Global Thermonuclear War]
Joshua: Greetings, Professor Falken.
Stephen Falken: Hello, Joshua.
Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
See more »


Referenced in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) See more »


Edge Of The World
Performed by Yvonne Elliman
Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Interesting, original idea that delivers for the most part...
29 February 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. Matthew Broderick is the teenager computer nerd who hacks into a military database through a "back door" and starts to unintentionally play games--which are, quite surprisingly, not games after all. He's really controlling the military! With WWIII nearing, the movie takes some twists and turns and it's all good fun.

Broderick is well-cast and this is probably one of the roles, along with Ferris Bueller, that stereotyped him as a continual teenager--which makes it hard for him to get adult roles nowadays. (He's in the upcoming remake of "The Producers"--yay!)

Ally Sheedy and Dabney Coleman both have supporting roles.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film and rate it a solid "4" of five stars.

Trivia note: Sheedy and Broderick both appeared in separate movies by John Hughes: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "The Breakfast Club."

28 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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