Release Date



  • John Badham


  • Matthew Broderick
  • Ally Sheedy
  • Dabney Coleman

A young hacker unwittingly initiates a US military supercomputer programmed to execute nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

High school student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer while searching for new video games. After starting a game of Global Thermonuclear War, Lightman leads the supercomputer to activate the nation's nuclear arsenal in response to his simulated threat as the Soviet Union. Once the clueless hacker comes to his senses, Lightman, with help from his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy), must find a way to alert the authorities to stop the onset of World War III.

Part delightfully tense techno-thriller, part refreshingly unpatronizing teen drama, WarGames is one of the more inventive—and genuinely suspenseful—Cold War movies of the 1980s. [Rotten Tomatoes]

Banner image courtesy of MGM/UA Entertainment Co./Photofest

Past Programs


AI and gaming

Discovery Place, Charlotte, NC

Cybersecurity: WarGames vs. today

Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA