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Top Ten Game Movies

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Some movies have the theme of the main character being involved in a game. The whole movie is them playing or navigating through the game. Here are the top ten movies that fall into that category.


#10 Midnight Madness

Leon (Alan Solomon), a genius, summons five college students to his apartment and challenges them to participate in his latest game creation: The Great All-Nighter. He tells them about his game and instructs them to form teams. At first, the leaders refuse to play. However, rivalries between them lead all five to change their minds by the game's start time.

The game works like this:

  1. Teams are given an initial clue to solve.
  2. When the clue is solved, it will lead to a location.
  3. At that location they must find and solve another clue leading to another location and eventually the end.

Leon, as "game master," keeps track of the teams locations with a giant map, and various radio equipment. The teams are supposed to call and check in at each clue (though many of the teams end up skipping at least one location).

Starting at sundown, the five teams meet and are given envelopes with the first clue. They travel around Los Angeles, deciphering new clues in various locations, including the Griffith Observatory, a piano museum, the Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery, a restaurant, a mini golf course, the Los Angeles International Airport, and a video arcade. The first team to reach the final destination, a room in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, wins the game.

The movie focuses mainly on the struggle between the yellow and blue teams. The adventures of the other three teams are subplots, as well as the situation at Leon's apartment ("Game Control"). Here, along with his female assistants (Candy and Sunshine), Leon monitors the progress of the game. Already unpopular with his landlady, Mrs. Grimhaus, for the amount of noise he makes, Leon faces eviction if any of the other tenants complain. Several of them do show up to complain, but as Leon explains the mechanics of the game to them, they become fascinated with it and help run it, much to the annoyance of Grimhaus.

The game culminates in a race-to-the-finish at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, followed by a huge party. The movie stars David Naughton and a very, very young Michael J. Fox.

(Source - Wiki)


#9 TAG: The Assassination Game

At an American college, a group of students play a game with suction cup dart toy guns similar to The 10th Victim where a pair of students are assigned to "kill" the other one first by shooting him with a dart. One student, Loren Gersh (Bruce Abbott) lives purely to play the game with his expertise in "killing" all of his opponents and not being "killed" himself making him a renowned master.

When one of his cringing victims accidentally drops his dart gun, it goes off and hits Gersh, "killing" him. Faced with the embarrassment of losing his reputation by a geek getting lucky, Gersh really kills his opponent, setting him on the goal to use actual weapons and real killing from then on. His opponents in the game are unaware of Gersh's new rules.

Gersh slowly transforms from an average student to a James Bond-type killer. A young Linda Hamilton and David Carradine co-star in this one.

(Source - Wiki)


#8 Cloak and Dagger

Davey Osborne is an imaginative youngster who loves role-playing games, and who often enlists the aid of his best friend, an imaginary super-spy named Jack Flack. One day he witnesses a real murder of an FBI agent who passes a videogame called "Cloak & Dagger" to him before he dies. When the police come, the body is gone, and no one will believe him, including his father, Col. Hal Osborne. Soon Davey finds himself up to his neck in hairbreadth escapes, real bullets, and slam-bang action as the hitmen close in. Can Jack save him before time runs out?

(Source - Amazon)

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#7 Gamer

In 2024, inventor and professional computer programmer, Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall), has revolutionized the gaming industry with his self-replicating nanites that replace brain cells and allow full control of all motor functions by a third party. Castle's first application of this technology is a game called Society, which allows gamers to control a real person in a pseudo community (much like The Sims or Second Life).

With Society's success and huge profits, Castle (now richer than Bill Gates), creates a second multiplayer game, Slayers. The "characters" in this third-person shooter game are death-row or life imprisoned inmates used in lethal battles with real weapons on specially created battlefields. Any inmate who survives 30 matches earns his freedom, while minor offenders only need one match while being limited to a pre-programmed path that they cannot deviate from and not controlled by anyone.


#6 The Game

As a birthday present for his reclusive ultra-wealthy brother (Michael Douglas), Sean Penn gets him an entry into an exclusive game. It's a mysterious game and he's not even too sure he's even playing until the final scene of the movie.

The movie sort of drags along for a while until that final scene when it wows you. It all ties together very nicely and you're left feeling satisfied with the entirety of the journey.


#5 WarGames

Matthew Broderick plays a high school student looking to play the most advanced games he possibly can. So he hacks into a company, not knowing he has just broken into the government's defense system, to play Global Thermonuclear War.

As the game progresses and the scenarios appear that they could be real, it pushes the United States to the brink of World War III. Thankfully, they outsmart the W.O.P.R. computer and save the day.


#4 The Running Man

In the futuristic United States, a falsely convicted prisoner is given the chance to win his freedom by competing on a gladiator style television show called The Running Man. On the show, there are runners and stalkers. Rarely the runners survive the show. Arnold Schwartzenegger plays the lead actor, one of the runners, and Richard Dawson stars as the evil lead of the game show.

Most of the movie revolves around the show and Schwartzenegger, the people that get tied in with him who end up trying to end it.


#3 Tron

A movie about a computer programmer that gets sucked into a mainframe computer and has to interact with various programs and play certain games in order to find his way out. Any movie that can spawn its own video game certainly qualifies for this genre.


#2 Jumanji

A Robin Williams movie about a boy who gets trapped inside a board game and then released thirty years later. Then they have to finish playing the game for everything to go back to normal in their lives.

An interesting plot and some creative acting, but terrible computer graphics, especially with the monkeys. The remake with Dwayne Johnson is fairly entertaining as well.


#1 The Hunger Games

This one was a no-brainer to have on the list. The story of Katniss Everdeen in the futuristic United States and being drawn into the Hunger Games to save her sister. The Hunger Games being a fight to the death between two members from each of the twelve districts of the future United States.

Considering the whole movie revolved around the selection of contestants, training for, and participation in the games, it definitely belongs on the top of the list.

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