A good-hearted but mischievous teenager tries to impress his small group of friends by hacking into a giant corporation’s mainframe, but accidentally gets trapped inside a computer program where he has to out-hack an evil genius while fighting off a team of slick-suited government agents.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m currently in the middle of a cyberpunk movie spree. Seriously though, can you blame me? How can you not love the catastrophical intensity, nostalgic corniness, and unbelievably epic hacking scenes.
In an effort to satisfy my cravings, I decided to put together a list of the top hacker/gamer/cyberpunk movies of all time. Yes it’s a loose genre, but oh what a genre it is! After getting some input from folks around the SmartBear office, I came up with the beautiful list you see below. I will say, though, even among us SmartBears, it was basically impossible to draw the line on movies that should be included on the list, let alone rank them from 1-10.
Now that I’ve done my part, it’s time for you to do yours. Are you happy with the list I put together, or do you agree with Greg from sales and think it’s outrageous that “Swordfish” was left out? “What about Johnny Mnemonic!?” you may be asking. Well, there are two ways that you can help improve this list.
- list.ly allows you to vote each film up or down, or you can add your own favorite movie to the list.
- Don’t want to register for list.ly? No problem. Go ahead and leave a comment below to give your feedback.
So, without further ado, here’s SmartBear’s list of the Top 10 Hacker/Programmer Movies of all time:
Top 10 Hacker/Programmer Movies
SmartBear Software's list of the top 10 programmer- and hacker-themed movies of all time.
Matthew Broderick is a young wise-guy who nearly destroys the whole world when he tries to show off his hacking skills by gaining access to unreleased computer games. We've all been stuck in that situation once or twice, right?
A restless hacker meets a group of rebels that tell him his reality is actually a digital mirage created to keep humans docile while intelligent machines harvest them for their bioelectrical energy. What's not to love about this classic? Well, aside from the sequels, I mean.
This classic pits a young Angelina Jolie and her Anonymous-like crew of hackers against an evil genius known as "The Plague." Can you say 'battle of the century'?
A bio-pic about the early friendship, and heated rivalry, of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I believe New York magazine said it best when they described this film as a "hoot."
With or without Justin Timberlake, Facebook's back story is just too entertaining to ignore.
While I've often said that I thought TRON was a little bit overrated (I know, I know, blasphemy) there's no arguing that it's a classic!
An open source favorite, for sure! Antitrust follows a young programmer who abandons his friends for a dream job at a huge software company, which is run by a eerily Bill Gates-like dictator.
The only animated film to make the list, this film follows a cyborg agent as she hunts down a cyber-criminal in the most rad, anime-thriller way possible.
I see this as the black sheep of this list. While you may think of it as more of a goofy comedy than a hacker movie, the plot of Office Space does revolve around co-workers who use their knowledge of programming to rebel against the company they hate. Who among us hasn't day-dreamed about doing the same?
One commenter on Rotten Tomatoes refers to this movies as, "a Twinkie for techies, an enormously entertaining time-waster." Although it is a great flick, I like to think of the high ranking as more of a tribute to Twinkies than anything else.
Gamer is a 2009 American science fiction action thriller film written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. The film stars Gerard Butler as a participant in an online game in which participants can control human beings as players, and Logan Lerman as the player who controls him.
Swordfish is a 2001 American action crime thriller film directed by Dominic Sena and starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle and Vinnie Jones. The film centers around Stanley Jobson, an ex-con and computer hacker who is targeted for recruitment into a bank robbery conspiracy because of his formidable hacking skills. The film was a slight box office success and was negatively received by critics upon release. It was also notable for Halle Berry's first topless scene.
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