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Short Circuit
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Reviews & Ratings for
Short Circuit More at IMDbPro »

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70 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

Underrated

9/10
Author: simonperera2000 from United Kingdom
25 July 2005

I'm sorry, I can't see why this film has been given such a low rating. This film is wonderfully life-affirming through the character of robot Jonny 5 (the scene where he realises what it means to be alive through crushing a grass hopper is beautifully portrayed), Ally Sheedy brings a bucket load of positive energy to the character of the naive but loving Stephanie, and to top it all there is a subtle but powerful comment on American militarism. There is a real emphasis on quality screen writing here which only comes through on a small ratio of films. The characters could easily have become 2 dimensional stereotypes, but instead given some interesting dialogue and motives (science, military etc). Yes it is cheesy, and I think many people label it as a cheap and tacky 80's movie, but having watched it again recently I think history may well judge it a minor classic.

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55 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

A rarity among family-oriented films...

8/10
Author: mentalcritic from Southern Hemisphere
12 February 2005

There have been many films that claim they can entertain audiences of all ages. Indeed, this seems to be the most profitable kind of film to make, with the family-oriented often translating to the lowest common denominator. There is a rare kind of film in this oversaturated market, however. Namely, the film that claims it can entertain an audience in almost any age bracket, and really can deliver on this promise. I know how this sounds, so bear with me a moment.

Short Circuit is, at heart, a comedy about what happens when a robot designed to replace a special forces soldier is struck by lightning, and starts to believe he is a living entity. Much of the rest of the film revolves around either Number 5's attempts to evade capture by the people who made him, or his attempts to convince the people he meets of the truly wonderful thing that has happened to him. Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg provide an excellent support cast that does a first rate job of interacting with the character. This was one of the first films to show human actors engaging in conversation with what was essentially a full-scale puppet, and it remains one of the best. With brilliant voice acting by Tim Blaney, Number 5 seems more human than some of the other actors in the film, especially G.W. Bailey. They must have had a special on Police Academy alumni that year.

Speaking of Police Academy, the "let's rip the front seats out and sit in the back" joke gets a couple of references here. In fact, a few old classics get a good reference in this effort. Interestingly enough, the Three Stooges short that is shown and imitated in a couple of sequences is called Woman Haters. Go figure. The one weakness of the film is that it seems primarily constructed around a few puppeteering or special effects sequences. The use of the laser beams here seems very dated by modern standards, and the computers would look unbelievable if I hadn't personally seen the computers that were available to the public and business around this year.

Sadly, they do not make films like this anymore. In this day and age, where every film has to be made as expensively as possible, and even films aimed at children seem segmented, nobody seems willing to consider that the adults in the audience might need to be entertained, too. Which is a real pity. Films like Short Circuit have the ability to appeal to this viewer even more now that he is twenty-something years old than was the case when he was eight years old. I doubt that anyone who turns twenty-six in 2020 is going to same the same about the Pokemon or other such mind-numbing single-digit-age-only crap that is being churned out.

I gave Short Circuit an eight out of ten. It is starting to show its age, but as a relic of the mid-1980s, it also shows that there were people asking questions about the advancement of technology. Indeed, on the basis of films like Short Circuit, I am almost willing to regard the 1980s as the last bastion of creativity in the mainstream film industry. Give it a look expecting a film about more than money, and you may be pleasantly surprised.

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37 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

A very fun movie!

9/10
Author: Troy (Troy2Slick) from Toronto, Ontario
30 July 2002

I remember watching this when I was 8 years old. It was all that and then some. When you are a kid, anything amazes you though, I guess.

However, I recently had the chance to watch this flick again. I must say, that it still has it's redeeming value to it.

If you ask me, Number 5, is STILL alive! I recommend this movie to anyone. 7 out of 10.

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32 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

I still love this one today

10/10
Author: grayorca from United States
25 May 2005

I practically grew up watching this one. And this film is two years older than I am. Number Five has long been a movie personality I grew to adore, as well as his human co-actors. There has never been a time where I have watched and not smiled at it's quirky verbal humor. I have recommended it to many acquaintances looking for a good, old 80's comedy. The sequel is not quite as up there, but I also keep it mixed in with my favorite DVDs. For any science fiction fan, it can be seen as a classic and prelude to movies such as "I, Robot".

10 out of 10 is my rating because this movie has played a great part in my movie-watching life. I first saw it at the age of 9 (edited Disney broadcast version, with the adult language cut out) and have looked to it ever since if I just want to get a little laugh. And, for me, a little laugh in my otherwise stressful life is a great thing.

10/10

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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A sweet and genuine comedy

7/10
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
17 September 2000

I think anyone any age can appreciate this film, and some might even find it funny. Not terribly funny, but just good. The plot involves a robot (#5) who after getting electricuted, becomes malfunctioned, in a good way (the robot thinks it's alive). And some light hearted comedy (and some messages about life) ensues. Nice to watch on a weekend day. A-

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22 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

"A wonderful film"

10/10
Author: simon-trek from Sydney, Australia
26 April 2004

This is a great comedy and family film. No. 5 is a cute, friendly and fun filled robot. After he becomes struck by lightning and runs away from the Nova, he is at first just a curious wonderer, until he runs into Stephanie's house. Stephanie is this young woman who loves animals and finds No. 5 to be this innocent looking robot who she takes into her house. No. 5 keeps saying "Malfunction.

Need input." So Stephanie lets No. 5 reed all her encyclopedias then lets him watch the T.V. all night.

After all the initial fun and "input" the chase begins when No. 5 realises that the people from Nova are after him and want to dismantle him. Because they think he's malfunctioning.

"No dismantle! Not malfunction. No. 5 is alive!" Are what No. 5 says. And N. 5 has to go through a number of obstacles to avoid being destroyed by these soldiers and a ruthless general who will do anything to permanently shut No. 5 down. But No. 5 is just too smart. He out smarts military men in many was, using all these tricks he has up his sleeves...or in his massive memory bank.

So overall if you have a heart then No. 5 is the perfect friend. He will truly capture your heart.

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20 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Great fun for kids and adults

10/10
Author: Daniel (TERMINATOR180) from United States
27 November 2001

What makes this movie so entertaining? It could be a number of things: A cute robot, a good cast, great comedy, and John Badham, the director that can take a low budget film and make it into a classic (such as his previous work, Saturday Night Fever, which was alot more vulgar) Or Maybe it's just fun to watch all of the neat little gadgets Number 5 has, showing that some of the least expensive things can be made to look high-tech.

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

This movie has been under-rated

8/10
Author: Methodless_Man from Markham, Ontario, Canada
13 October 2003

This is NOT one of the best movies of all time, and I am not going to try to tell you that it is, however, this movie has been made well and considering it was made in 1986, it's funny. It's not 2003 funny, but it IS 1986 hilarious. The movie kept me laughing enough, and I felt that the ending was also a nice one. I'm not going to spoil the movie as to what makes the ending great, but I liked the way the movie ended.

I also think that the type of people who would enjoy this movie are the people who feel like Newton Crosby. He's devoted his entire life to something (science and technology), just to have others who used to be devoted to it steal it all away from him. It's almost like the whole movie you want to score one for the little guy. Most of us have been there at some point in our lives. This movie kind of captures that, and if you watch the movie with that intent, it does keep the viewer intrigued.

The movie also makes you appreciate what your life is, when you see just what the robot can do, and you realize just what your mind is capable of.

All in all, I think I found it a lot more touching than it should have been, because it was 3:15am when I started watching it, and I THINK I watched the movie Pi right before it.

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

I Heart Number Five.

8/10
Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida
19 April 2004

Short Circuit is an off-the-wall comedy about a series of robots made of the military. They sort of resemble Conky from the old Pee Wee's Play House series. One of the robots, 'Number Five', escapes and finds sanctuary in the home of Stephanie Speck (Allly Sheedy), a nice lady with a soft spot for runaways.

Speck becomes good friends with 'Number Five' who begins to take on a lot of human characteristics, transcending the static life of a robot or the hostile life of a military weapon, which is what the robots were designed for.

Speck learns that Number Five's owners are looking for him, but she knows that the military would only destroy Number Five or terminate the emotional drive that he has developed. Number Five's designer, Newton Crosby (Guttenberg) and his silly assistant Ben Jabituya (Stevens), have yet to appreciate what Number Five has achieved, as a shell of wires and controls able to take on human qualities, but, soon, they too will join Speck in the quest to save 'Number Five.'

Some of it is kind of reminscint of other 80s sci-fi movies like 'Batteries Not Included' and 'E.T.'

There's two issues at work in this movie. The first, and obvious one being about the development of human emotion and would it be possible for anything to gain an understanding and appreciation for it? And the second being the ethics of military useage. Plus, it's your standard 80s love and friendship story. Because of the story and the sharp wit comedy and sarcasm, it's makes for good comedy. I haven't seen the sequel in a long time, but I do remember enjoying it almost as much as the first. I think that's because 'Number Five' is such a funny, loveable robot.

If you like the theme of this movie, I recommend seeing the hilarious comedy, 'Making Mr. Right,' which is about a robot designed for space exploration rather than military use. But, the robot begins to take on human emotions while the owner becomes increasingly more like a robot. (It's from Susan Siedleman, the director of 'Desperately Seeking Susan.')

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

What a great movie for kids!

10/10
Author: punking73 from United States
28 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I bought it this evening for my kids they are 7 and 5. My kids sat and they laughed like they've never laughed at any movie that i can recall like that before. They absolutely fell in love with Johnny 5. My son who is epileptic and has ADHD and high functioning autism sat through the WHOLE film, it was a wondrous joy to hear him squeal with delight, nearly uncontrollably, and i found myself in tears when the fake #5 that Johnny 5 built was blown up, as i saw my sons reaction, because he thought it was the real one, then he cheered in the end when Johnny 5 showed up from under the truck with Steve Guttenberg and Alley Sheedy. They begged me to watch it again after it was over, but it was bedtime so I promised them that they could watch it in the morning. Great movie for kids! 10 out of 10!

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