Top 10 Hacker Movies of All Time

Top 10 hacker movies

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.

  1. allows you to vote each film up or down, or you can add your own favorite movie to the list.
  2. Don’t want to register for 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:

Headline for Top 10 Hacker/Programmer Movies
Ben Austin Ben Austin
14 items   85 followers   119 votes   31.04k views

Top 10 Hacker/Programmer Movies

SmartBear Software's list of the top 10 programmer- and hacker-themed movies of all time.


Nov 19, 2012 - - 3975

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?

Nov 19, 2012 - - 3960
The Matrix

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.



Nov 19, 2012 - - 5461

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!

Nov 19, 2012 - - 4568
The Social Network

With or without Justin Timberlake, Facebook's back story is just too entertaining to ignore.

Nov 19, 2012 - - 4190

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'?

Nov 19, 2012 - - 5133
Pirates of Silicon Valley

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."

Nov 19, 2012 - - 5076
Ghost in the Shell

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.

Nov 19, 2012 - - 4084

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.

Nov 19, 2012 - - 4915

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.

Nov 19, 2012 - - 4742
Office Space

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?



May 18, 2013 by Nick Kellet - - 4015

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.



Jul 27, 2014 by Samuel Macaluso


May 24, 2014 by Amit Amola

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.


Nov 14, 2016 by Movie Reviews - - 5195
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  1. Another useless post for the masses. Thanks!

  2. Ben Austin says:

    NinjaPig, just a little light-hearted fun during the holiday. Don’t worry, we’ll be getting back to more practical posts after Thanksgiving.

  3. and what about “takedown”?

  4. Ben Austin says:

    Another great option! Anyone else going to support Takedown knocking one of the others off the list?

  5. @Ben Supposedly Freedom Downtime (documentary about Kevin Mitnick)is a much better version.

  6. Shey Crompton says:

    Hackers has to be on the list, surely.

    • Baustin213 says:

      Currently sitting at #5, but it’s gotten a few downvotes so it may not be that high for long.

      And don’t call me Shirley.

      • Shey Crompton says:

        D’oh. Can’t believe I missed it. That’ll teach me to skim read at lunch.
        Thanks for pointing this out, um, Shirley.

  7. You include Sneakers, but not Three Days of the Condor? The scene where Robert Redford calls the CIA from inside the telephone company building is classic, with the CIA’s phone trace showing the call originating from, well, everywhere!

  8. Hmm, how about Swordfish?

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