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What is the name of the movie (between 1970-1989) that involved programming/reprogramming/hacking computers to trigger or stop a (probably global?) war?

I'm not sure whether the name of the movie contains "Battle" or "Wars".

It also has a kid who was pretty smart, who probably discovered how to hack the computers to trigger (or stop) the war.

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up vote 25 down vote accepted

Is it WarGames?

It falls in your 20 year window (1983) and contains the word "war." A "global" war. It also featured a smart hacker kid, played by Matthew Broderick, who inadvertently starts a possible world war.

enter image description here

He must "teach" the computer that it is not possible to win a global thermonuclear war. This is accomplished by getting it to run through variations of Tic-Tac-Toe, introducing the computer to a no-win scenario. The computer (named Joshua) figures it out and the world is not destroyed.

enter image description here

The trailer can be viewed here.

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Coincidentally there was a nice reference to it in the recent Winter Soldier. – Napoleon Wilson Apr 15 '14 at 15:32
> It also featured a smart hacker kid, played by Matthew Broderick, who inadvertently starts a possible world war. Can't be that smart then ;) – user9108 Apr 15 '14 at 20:41
What's really awesome is Joshua's programmer doesn't care at all the world is saved. He's just impressed that his computer learned something. – Almo Apr 15 '14 at 20:51
Great movie! If you're looking for more like it, I always thought The Manhattan Project with John Lithgow was an underrated film with a similar feel to WarGames. – Steve Apr 15 '14 at 21:46
What's also very impressive about this movie is that the hacking is actually very realistic. The kid spends days guessing passwords until he gets it. No funky looking GUI app with a progress bar that says "HAXXING PA$$W0RD" – System Down Apr 15 '14 at 22:15

protected by Community Jun 14 at 10:24

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