Top 10s


Movie Review WarGames
 July 13, 2004
Grade:  A
Director:  John Badham Released:  June 1983
Writer:  Lawrence Lasker, Walter F. Parkes MPAA Rating:  PG
Players:  Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, Barry Corbin, Maury Chaykin Running time:  114 minutes
Ratings Methodology


There has not been another movie centered around computers that can touch WarGames.  That's over 20 years of films, and nothing comes close.  It's the best hacker movie ever.

The most important thing this film portrays correctly is the true secret to bypassing security.  Your memory of this film probably tells you that Matthew Broderick sat at his computer while hacking into systems using his exceptional computer skills.  Actually, that's only partly true.  Most of the "hacking" he performs is done away from his computer.

For example, to access the school's computer so he can change his grades, he looks up the password where it is written on a piece of paper at the school.  To find his way into the back door of NORAD's computer, he does library research on the man who designed the system.  And when he goes searching for a way into the game company he saw advertised, he simply dials information to get the area codes and prefixes for phone numbers in the Sunnyvale area.  The computer is just another tool for him, most of the truly valuable information he obtains through "normal" channels.

Obviously, the technology from this film is now outdated, but the methods of obtaining information are still the same.  If you want to break into a system, the easiest way is still to find the place where somebody is writing down the password.

WarGames is a movie I grew up with, watched it over and over.  Classic.

- crocoPuffs


The real life equivalent of W.O.P.R., the NORAD computer, was actually named B.U.R.G.R. in the 1970's.


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