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Watch Matthew Broderick Grow Up Before Your Eyes With 10 of His Best Movies

From 'Ferris Buller' to 'The Stepford Wives,' this list has it all

Matthew Broderick movies will bring to any Generation X-er’s mind truant teen Ferris Bueller, and though that may indeed be the actor’s most iconic role, he’s actually gone on to play a wide diversity of characters in a four-decade, award-winning career. In chronological order, here are 10 of our favorite Matthew Broderick movies from over the years.

1. WarGames (1983)

Before Ferris Bueller made him a superstar, Matthew Broderick had a seminal role in WarGames as David Lightman, a young computer geek and aspiring hacker who, thinking he’s about to play a game, accidentally accesses a top-secret government computer — which looks amusingly dated today — and gains control over the country’s nuclear arsenal. A countdown to World War III begins as David aligns himself with Ally Sheedy’s Jennifer Mack to convince the computer he was playing a game.

2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986): Matthew Broderick movies

The quintessential Matthew Broderick movie is, hands down, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s the ultimate rebellious teen anthem of the 1980s in its portrayal of devil-may-care Ferris and his elaborate scheme to con his clueless parents and suspicious principal while he ditches school. Ferris’ grand deception includes a sleeping dummy in place of his supposedly sick body, fake voice recordings, stealing his friend’s father’s Ferrari for a joy ride around Chicago (spoiler alert: things do not end well for the car), and dancing and singing “Twist and Shout” on a parade float.

The funny thing about this movie? We thought Ferris, with his boyish charm, was so cool as kids, but now, when we watch the movie as adults, we might find ourselves thinking he’s one narcissistic, sneaky little you-know-what. Those of us who have been parents or teachers may even find ourselves — gasp — rooting for Principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) to catch Ferris and bust him. Oh, what a difference in perspective a few decades make!

3. Project X (1987)

In Project X, Broderick plays Jimmy Garrett, a U.S. Air Force airman who is tapped to work on a top-secret project involving chimpanzees he discovers are going to be killed in experiments done in a flight simulator. Feeling compassion for the primates, he and graduate student Teri MacDonald (Helen Hunt) help the chimpanzees escape to safety. We are suckers for movies involving people helping animals, so this is another winner.

4. Biloxi Blues (1988): Matthew Broderick movies

In Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues, Broderick plays eager military recruit Eugene Jerome during World War II. He and his fellow recruits face a ruthless drill sergeant (Christopher Walken) and abusive training at boot camp. Meanwhile, Eugene discovers the joys of young love when he meets Daisy (Penelope Ann Miller). All around, a great wartime movie.

5. Glory (1989)

For Civil War buffs, Glory easily makes a Top 5 list of movies about that historic conflict. Matthew Broderick gives a dynamic performance as Col. Robert Gould Shaw – the young leader of the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first regiments of the United States Colored Troops. Glory is heartbreaking and haunting, yet riveting, in its portrayal of the overwhelming tragedy of thousands of young men like Shaw dying in the Civil War, and the amazing courage Black troops showed for a country that treated them like second-class citizens. Broderick shows a dramatic shift from his carefree, cocky Bueller character as Shaw, and thus we see what a wide range he has as an actor.

6. The Cable Guy (1996): Matthew Broderick movies

There is no such thing as a free lunch, or free cable TV. Don’t believe us? Watch The Cable Guy, a dark, absurdist comedy featuring Broderick as Steven Kovacs, the apartment tenant who gives the cable guy (Jim Carrey) some money to connect him to free cable. When Kovacs rejects the cable guy’s bid for friendship, the creepy fellow becomes obsessed and stalkerish. Yikes! Just pay your bill the proper way, Steven — lesson learned.

7. Addicted to Love (1997)

The 90s were the golden era of romantic comedies, and Broderick played the leading man in rom-com Addicted to Love. This time out he’s Sam, whose lady love has left him for another man. Devastated, Sam moves into an abandoned building by his ex’s apartment in hopes of winning her back. Then, along comes Maggie (Meg Ryan), a tomboyish motorcyclist out for revenge against her ex – Anton (Tcheky Karyo), the man now with Sam’s ex. Sam and Maggie clash at first, but then join forces. It may be all too predictable, but still brings the awww as Maggie and Sam start falling for each other.

8. The Stepford Wives (2004) : Matthew Broderick movies

In The Stepford Wives – remake of the 1975 film of the same name that gave us the phrase referring to obedient wive with little personality and a plastered-on smile — Broderick plays Walter Eberhart, who moves himself and wife Joanna (Nicole Kidman) from Manhattan to the upper-crust community of Stepford, Connecticut to escape stress. Then they discover the strangely blissful housewives in town. Could they really be that perfect? Find out in this mix of comedy, sci-fi, and thriller.

9. The Producers (2005)

In The Producers — remake of Mel Brooks’ 1967 film — Broderick plays a timid scoundrel named Leo Bloom, who teams up with dishonest producer Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) to scam elderly ladies into investing money into a horrendous musical about the Nazis. But the women assume “Springtime for Hitler” is a satire, and it turns into a hit. Do the scammers get away with their shenanigans? Watch this 2005 hit to find out.

10. Deck the Halls (2006): Matthew Broderick movies

In 2006, Broderick stars in a Christmas comedy as Steve Finch, the foil opposite Griswold-like neighbor Buddy Hall (Danny DeVito). Buddy decorates his house so flamboyantly that he wants it to be visible from outer space, much to the chagrin of his neighbor. Buddy also replaces Steve as the go-to guy for all things Christmas in the neighborhood, so the yuletide rivalry is intense.

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