Who doesn’t love a good hacker movie? I know I do!
The long Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S. is the perfect time to kick back and enjoy a flick that puts cyber issues front and center. Not sure where to start? Well, here are six classics to put on your play list. Consider these the “must-sees” for anyone who wants to understand hacker culture.
IMDb Ranking: 7.1
This 1980s’ classic is a throwback to old-school hacking and Cold War science fiction. In this movie, our hero unintentionally breaks into WOPR (War Operation Plan Response) U.S. supercomputer and, thinking it’s a game, convinces WOPR to run a nuclear war. No biggie, right?
IMDb Ranking: 7.1
This is my favorite hacker movie. In this humorous drama, a security systems tester (played by Robert Redford) finds himself blackmailed and sends his team to recover an important item and save his name. Only — spoiler — the blackmailers don’t turn out to be who they first appeared. The quirky characters encounter some serious security issues, just as relevant today.
IMDb Ranking: 5.8
The hero (played by Sandra Bullock) is a programmer who likes to collect computer viruses. When a friend calls and asks her to help fix a problem on a website, she clicks on to something she probably shouldn’t have (sound familiar?!) and ends up in places she definitely shouldn’t be. Her life gets turned inside out, and she realizes the danger of only connecting with people in the digital world.
IMDb Ranking: 6.2
A young boy writes a computer virus and finds himself in trouble with the U.S. Secret Service. He’s banned from touching either a phone or a computer until he turns 18. After his 18th birthday, he and his friends (including a young Angelina Jolie) stumble on a plot involving a dangerous computer virus. He finds himself being chased by the U.S. Secret Service once again, while also tracking down the developer of the new and threatening virus.
IMDb Ranking: 8.0
This anime classic takes place in a futuristic 2029 filled with high-tech cybercrime that needs to be controlled. That’s the job of Section 9, staffed with human-computer cyborgs that can tap into any network, anywhere.
IMDb Ranking: 8.7
This 90s’ icon is all about bending, altering, fighting reality. From an interesting crew of rebels, the hero (played by Keanu Reeves) learns about the scary world beyond the virtual/digital reality of his mind, and together they try to take down the bad guys. If you haven’t seen it — how did you miss it?? — or haven’t seen it in awhile, now’s a good time to take the Red Pill.
*Image from Sneakers, Universal Pictures/IMDb