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These Video Game Movies Don't Actually Suck

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By "video game movie", I do not mean movies that were adapted from video games. Oh, no.

Instead, I mean movies that have video games as a plot element. In light of the upcoming French thriller Black Heaven, now is as good a time as any to take a look back at some of the other films that have incorporated video games into their plot. Several of these movies came out during the early 1980s, hoping to capitalize on the then gaming craze.


These might not be the best films, but they are interesting. And that's good enough for me! Let's dive in. Shall we?



Set in a massively multiplayer online game of the same name, Avalon is a live action film from Mamoru Oshii, who directed the landmark anime Ghost in the Shell. Shot in Poland with a Polish cast, the film is a knowing look at online gaming and, for when it was made in 2001, ahead of its time in many ways. And like most Oshii films, Avalon is interesting, but messy.

Cloak & Dagger

Henry Thomas (from E.T.) witness a murder and gets an Atari 5200 video game cartridge from a dying victim. On the cartridge are plans for a bomber plane. This movie is also why I am afraid of old ladies. Big plus is Dabney Coleman. And his mustache.



David Cronenberg? Genius.

The Last Starfighter

When I was six this was the bestest movie ever.


Like The Last Starfighter, Tron was one of the first films to use computer graphics. The film followed an arcade owner (and former computer software employee) as he delved into the game world of...Tron.


War Games

A "master" at computer games, Matthew Broderick finds computer games — one of which inadvertently could start thermonuclear war. Added bonus: Dabney Coleman.


The Wizard

You know it, you love it, The Wizard. Wall-to-wall Nintendo tie-ins, the movie game American viewers a sneak peak at Super Mario Bros. 3. It is basically a very long Nintendo commercial, but I can still remember seeing this in the theater. And the horrible 1980s clothes I wore.