‘Tetris’ is a biographical thriller directed by Jon S. Baird. It tells the story of Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton), an entrepreneur who discovered the game Tetris in 1988 and is immediately mesmerized by it. Rogers, who travels around the world to secure console and handheld rights for upcoming video games, makes it his mission to visit the USSR and convince Tetris’s creator, Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Yefremov), to help him acquire the rights for Nintendo in the middle of rising Cold War tensions.
Movies based on video games are nothing new in cinema. With their witty dialogues and amazing CGI and practical effects, they captivate the audience’s imagination. But a film produced on what goes behind the scenes and what it takes to bring a video game to the players is a rare treat. The Cold War drama in the backdrop is the cherry on top. If the film’s premise intrigued you, here is a list of similar movies you might enjoy!
8. Steve Jobs (2015)
‘Steve Jobs’ paints an intimate portrait of the Apple founder who was at the epicenter of a digital revolution. Directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle, The film follows 14 years of Steve Jobs’ (Michael Fassbender) life as he strives to put Apple on the map as the leading tech company by launching three new products in the market, all the while facing problems in both his personal and professional life.
The personal struggle faced by Steve Jobs resonates well with the personal struggle Henk Rogers faces in ‘Tetris,’ as both men try and make others believe in the capability of a product that they know for a fact will be groundbreaking.
7. Pinball (2023)
Directed by Meredith and Austin Bragg, ‘Pinball’ is another film based on a true story. Roger Sharpe (Mike Faist), a writer, finds comfort in the game of pinball which he has played until he mastered it. But when a police raid in New York City ends up destroying all the pinball machines because the game is considered illegal, Sharpe embarks on a journey to have the game he loves legalized. Roger Sharpe’s devotion to a game, which others might find trivial and inconsequential, rings similar to Henk Rogers’ admiration for the game of Tetris and his ability to see something beautiful in a computer program.
6. WarGames (1983)
Directed by John Badham, ‘WarGames’ is a science fiction techno-thriller that revolves around David Lightman (Matthew Broderick), a high school student who, in his boredom, unknowingly hacks into the WOPR (War Operation Plan Response), a United States Military Supercomputer which is programmed to run war simulations and counteract should an actual conflict occur.
While connected with WOPR, Lightman starts playing what he believes is a computer game with it, but in reality, is a simulation for Thermonuclear War with the Soviet Union. Both ‘WarGames’ and ‘Tetris’ are set during the Cold War era, with the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States reaching to new heights over a quest to acquire video games.
5. The Founder (2016)
Directed by John Lee Hancock, ‘The Founder’ is a biographical drama that follows Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), who turns the efficient McDonald’s fast-food restaurant into a popular and successful franchise; thus turning him from a milkshake machine salesman to the founder of McDonald’s. Ray Kroc’s belief in the potential of McDonald’s and that it will prove to be a game changer in the fast-food industry will remind viewers of Henk Rogers’ belief that ‘Tetris’ will be the start of a revolution in the gaming industry.
4. The Social Network (2010)
Directed by David Fincher, ‘The Social Network’ chronicles the creation of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s (Jesse Eisenberg) battles over ownership that followed the website’s unfathomable success. A true story, the biographical drama film is based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaire’ by Ben Mezrich. Like ‘The Social Network,’ ‘Tetris’ also follows the story of a product that changed the face of human interaction for a generation and paved the way for many more technological innovations in gaming through its success.
3. The Current War (2017)
‘The Current War’ is a historical drama film inspired by the famous rivalry between Thomas Elva Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), two of the greatest inventors in history. The story follows their conflict over which electricity distribution system is the safest and most efficient – Edison’s Direct Current or Tesla’s Alternating Current.
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the zeal with which Edison and Tesla try and market their inventions in ‘The Current War’ matches the dogged pursuit of Henk Rogers in ‘Tetris’ to bring Tetris to the world, and will be just as entertaining for the viewers.
2. The Imitation Game (2014)
Directed by Morten Tyldum, ‘The Imitation Game’ is a biographical drama that revolves around Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his pursuit to build a machine that could crack the German’s Enigma Code during World War II. The film is based on the 1983 biography ‘Alan Turing: The Enigma’ by Andrew Hodges. Fans of ‘Tetris’ will certainly enjoy the masterfully executed cloak-and-dagger aspects surrounding an invention and its inventor during wartime while watching ‘The Imitation Game.’
1. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
‘Ford v. Ferrari’ is a sports drama film that centers around the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. Automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) are hired by Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) and Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) to build a race car to defeat the Italian racing team, Scuderia Ferrari.
The relationship between Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles in the James Mangold directorial will remind fans of ‘Tetris’ about the bond between Henk Rogers and the Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov, which started with mistrust between the two over conflicting ideas but turned into a close friendship at the end.