Ender's Game
In a world where the Earth has been assaulted by a bug-like alien race, The International Military seeks a child prodigy that can lead their space warships to victory. Could a self-assured yet compassionate boy named Ender be the savior the demanding Colonel Graf has been waiting for? Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, and Hailee Steinfeld star; Gavin Hood directs. Read our full review here.

Few kid movies are as ambitious as Ender's Game, but quite a few feature similar sequences, be they kids mastering challenging technology, war games, or intergalactic diplomacy. The trio of titles below share Cold War inspirations with the novel on which Ender's Game is based, as well as some key plot points.

WarGames (1983) Matthew Broderick stars as a brilliant high schooler whose skill for hacking taps him into a supercomputer at North American Aerospace Defense Command. He thinks he's playing a new video game about nuclear war, but little does he know he is escalating the Cold War tension between the US and Russia. Dabney Coleman and Ally Sheedy co-star; John Badham directs.

Explorers (1985) Ethan Hawke stars as sci-fi obsessed whiz kid whose vivid dream inspires him to build a spacecraft of his own. With the help of his best friend Wolfgang (River Phoenix), Ben constructs a ship out of a Tilt-A-Whirl car and travel all the way to another galaxy. Joe Dante directs.

Super 8 (2011) Inspired by the Amblin movies of the 1980s, writer-director J.J. Abrams created this thriller about six kids whose plans to make a monster movie lead them to discover an alien who has recently escaped military containment. While the town lives in fear of this unearthly creature, one boy overcomes his own terror, and tries to uncover the truth about this intimidating extraterrestrial. Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, and Elle Fanning co-star.

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