HackersSorry for the cliche, but this had to be my first choice. This movie shows a bunch of silly teenagers using computers to pull pranks, and then finding a more sinister use for their skills. Hackers romanticised the hacking culture in a way that no other movie really has. That was best summarized in the one famous line:
“Remember, hacking is more than just a crime. It’s a survival trait.”It wasn’t an accurate portrayal of hacking itself, but it certainly hit a tone that many identified with.
WargamesMany tout this as the greatest hacker movie of all time as it centers around a heroic David Lightman (played by Matthew Broderick), as a hacking hero who defeats an enemy bent on starting a nuclear WWIII, uses real world hacking techniques, and he even wins the girl! The memorable line “Shall we play a game?” comes from this film and shows an intelligent AI outsmarting the likes of its human counterparts.
Office SpaceOffice Space may not be a strict hacker movie, as it more closely followed a corporate technology meets comedy angle but it certainly showcased the importance of those neglected programmers that are at every company. The real hacking angle centers around the stealing of the leftover decimal points from countless transactions—a fantasy that many hackers chased after the movie aired.
UntraceableThis takes place from the point of view of a definite white hat hacker – specifically, a cybercrime team that is tasked with stopping cybercrime. The twist is around a serial killer who has some zany scheme to comment on the cruelty of the world by broadcasting his murders on a website. The more views his website gets, the faster he kills people. Some of the numbers seemed a bit off, but most of the language was true to the tech culture.
The MatrixThis refers only to the first one; that’s it! A movie that can easily crossover into the themes of existentialism, religion, hacking and kung-fu is a-okay in my books. The focus of the movie is more around the hackers themselves than the actual hacking, since nothing more complicated than those green CRTs ever shows up on screen.Yet, it had that edge of escaping the technological world we’re creating that seems ever more relevant today.
SneakersIf they were going to make a slightly less-serious hacker movie, they couldn’t have picked a better comedic actor to throw in it than Dan Aykroyd. He works with a group of hackers led by Robert Redford who are penetration testers that wind up being blackmailed by... well, let’s not ruin the whole movie.
TakedownOk, now we’re getting into bad territory. This almost true-to-life story follows real life convicted hacker Kevin Mitnick. The movie takes a fairly fictionalized approach to the actual events of his life, but it does have a bit of excitement about it. I must say, watching the villainous Kevin take on the wronged Tsutomu Shimomura can be a bit of fun, but I don’t think I’d watch it twice.