Top 100 Cybersecurity Movies

  1. The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969)

In The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Kurt Russell stars as an underachieving college student whose intellectual capabilities skyrocket after an electrical accident with a computer when its “brain” fuses with his own. (Note: you’re going to notice this type of theme with multiple movies on this list — someone gets zapped during a storm or electrical overload and, bam, something major happens as a result… yada, yada, yada.)

  1. The Italian Job (1969)

The Italian Job stars Michael Caine as a recently released convicted criminal who recruits infamous computer hackers in the U.K. to steal a shipment of gold in Turin, Italy — all while avoiding the police and Italian mobsters. They do this by hacking the city’s traffic light system to cause a massive city-wide gridlock. This is one of the classic hacker movies that should definitely be included on any list of cyber films.

  1. Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

In Colossus, the United States has developed a massive supercomputer (Colossus) to protect the nation from nuclear attacks. However, Russia has created a similar supercomputer, called Guardian, and the two machines begin a dialog. The communication between the two artificial intelligences (AIs) leaves its creator, Charles Forbin, worried about what could result, and so he severs the connection. This leads to Colossus threatening global destruction unless the link is restored. Considering the heightened political tensions going on around this time in our history, it’s understandable why this cyber movie highlighted issues of concern surrounding artificial intelligence (AI).

  1. The Conversation (1974)

The Conversation, which was nominated for three Oscars, stars Gene Hackman as a highly regarded surveillance expert whose work leads to the death of a woman and child and, he fears, will lead to the deaths of a couple if he doesn’t intervene. (Note: Hackman gets to reprise his role as a high-tech wizard again a few decades later in another movie that you’ll see further down the list.)

  1. Three Days of the Condor (1975)

In Three Days of the Condor, Robert Redford stars as a CIA codebreaker who discovers all of his coworkers were murdered. Soon, he realizes that individuals higher up in within the agency are responsible. He then goes into hiding to avoid being killed by a hired hitman while trying to figure out why his own employers want him dead. If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s definitely one to add to your list.

  1. Prime Risk (1985)

In Prime Risk, a female engineer and her friend (played by Julie Collins and Michael Fox) figure out a way to scam ATM machines. In the process, however, they realize they’ve stumbled upon a way to destroy the U.S. Federal Reserve as a whole.

  1. Tron (1982)

Tron stars Jeff Bridges, who plays a hacker/arcade owner whose physical body is transformed into a digital form by a software pirate called Master Control. There, he’s forced to participate in gladiatorial-style games. To outmaneuver his enemy and attempt to escape, Bridge’s character has to team up with a computer program character.

  1. WarGames (1983)

This hacker movie focuses on Matthew Broderick’s teenage genius character as he hacks his way into secret U.S. military program and interacts with its artificial intelligence (AI) system. He thinks he’s playing a video game with the system, not initially realizing that the actions he set into motion, if left unaltered, would lead to a global meltdown as the result of a nuclear war between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

  1. 23 (1998)

23 is a movie that’s based on the story of real-life hackers from Hannover, Germany, in the 1980s. In this film, an orphan uses some of his inheritance to purchase a computer. At first, he just discussed conspiracy theories online but soon dives deeper. Along with a friend, he starts infiltrating military computers.

  1. Disclosure (1994)

This is definitely not one of the hacker movies to watch with your kiddos. In Disclosure, a computer expert goes on the offensive when he finds himself the sexual harassment target of ex-lover-turned-boss who sets out to destroy his career, reputation, and personal life. This star-studded cast includes Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, and Donald Southerland. While the focus of the movie is more on sexual harassment in the workplace, cyber security and technology still play a critical role in Douglas’s character’s efforts to discredit his attacker.

  1. Enemy of the State (1998)

As someone who is a huge fan of Will Smith (and others in this star-studded cast), there’s no way that Enemy of the State wouldn’t make my list. Smith plays a lawyer who is (unknowingly) in possession of video surveillance evidence of a politically motivated crime. He finds himself the target of corrupt politicians who do everything in their power to destroy his reputation, life, and eventually frame him for murder.

  1. Entrapment (1999)

The sexy action-thriller Entrapment, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, is about a renowned thief and an undercover art investigator who team up to steal priceless works. The movie is one elaborate caper after another and involves them eventually hacking into a server room or vault to reroute traffic for a high-level stock exchange. Although the technical processes in the movie aren’t necessarily accurate — which I won’t get into without giving away spoilers — it still doesn’t take away from the appeal of the film. Therefore, it stays firmly planted on my list of favorite hacker movies.

  1. Ghost in the Machine (1993)

Ghost in the Machine is about a serial killer whose consciousness transfers to an MRI machine due to a freak accident during an electric storm. In his new form, continues his killing spree using computers, kitchen appliances, and other technologies that are attached to networks and power grids. The title of the movie refers to a phrase from British philosopher Gilbert Ryle in reference to Rene Descartes’ concept of mind-body dualism to describe how a person’s consciousness is its own entity that’s exists independent of the physical brain.

  1. Hackers (1995)

In Hackers, a child hacker-turned-18-year-old  meets up with a group of teenage hackers who, together, uncover evidence of a massive embezzling scheme. Unfortunately for them, their cyber intrusion is discovered, and they are blamed for creating a virus that will capsize an oil fleet. They must work together to gather proof of their innocence and to save themselves. Although the “high-tech” data center servers hilariously look like just some colored glass pillars, this movie still claims a place in our hearts.

  1. Johnny Mnemonic (1995)

In Johnny Mnemonic, Keanu Reeves plays a data trafficker who uses his brain as a mule for a computer chip transport sensitive data. Until he gets a delivery that’s too big for the chip! Now he must dodge assassins and complete the delivery in just 24 hours.

  1. Jurassic Park (1993)

While this classic dino movie may not be a hacking movie or cyber security movie in the traditional sense, Jurassic Park definitely involves hacking in a roundabout way. The actions of a hacker-turned-criminal (think insider threat) cause the park’s defense systems to malfunction, allowing the dinosaurs to escape and terrorize the park’s visitors. But it’s also the actions of another young hacker that ultimately reboots the park’s security systems and saves remaining survivors.

  1. Masterminds (1997)

As a movie aimed at teenagers, Masterminds follows a cat-and-mouse battle of wits started when villainous security expert (played by Patrick Stewart) takes an exclusive school full of high schoolers hostage for ransom. His biggest challenge? A rebellious teenage hacker who snuck into the school’s basement just before everything went down. He finds himself in the position of using his wits and prank skills to outwit this criminal mastermind.

  1. Sneakers (1992)

In Sneakers, Robert Redford plays the head of a group of computer and espionage experts — think penetration testing experts to the extreme — who are hired to steal a computer program that’s designed to serve as a universal code breaker. However, things go awry when the device’s creator gets murdered — they become suspects and must do everything within their power to clear their names.

  1. Terminator 2 (1991)

No list of tech, cyber security, or hacker movies would be complete without at least mentioning The Terminator franchise and Skynet, the advanced artificial intelligence that everyone uses as an analogy today for concerns about AI threats. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a cyborg identical to the one from the first movie, is sent to protect Sarah Connor’s son, John Connor from an even more advanced model. In this movie, John demonstrates advanced technical skills by bypassing the security systems at Cyberdyne and hacking an ATM machine.

  1. The Matrix (1999)

This science fiction movie blew minds and made millions question reality. The Matrix, which stars Keanu Reeves, is about a hacker who learns that he — and the rest of mankind — is living in a simulated reality constructed by super intelligent and evolved computers that intend to keep humanity its prisoners of war to use their bodies as a source of organic fuel. Reeves’ character, known as Neo, teams up with a small group of mysterious rebels to continue their war against the controlling forces.

  1. The Net (1995)

This hacker movie is a personal favorite from my childhood, although its theme of identity theft is all too real for many nowadays. In The Net, Sandra Bullock plays a reclusive computer programmer who is just looking to enjoy a little time off when she finds herself tangled up in the conspiracy of a group of cybercriminals. Some of her colleagues mysteriously die, her identity is erased, and her life — and the lives of those around her — hangs in the balance.

  1. Gamer (2009)

Personally, I wasn’t a big fan of this movie (despite it starring Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall, aka Dexter Morgan from the TV show Dexter). However, I’ve seen it included on multiple sites’ lists of the best hacker-related movies, so I figured I’d put aside my own feelings and (begrudgingly) include it as well. In Gamer, a teenager controls a death-row inmate with a remote gaming device. The inmate is forced to fight other prisoners every week in a violent showdown. He seeks to find a way to end the game and defeat the inventor, to win his and his wife’s freedom.

  1. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

This fourth installment of the popular Bruce Willis movie franchise involves a disgraced Department of Defense employee-turned-cyber terrorist (played by Justin Long) launching a large-scale cyber attack to disable the U.S.’s vulnerable computer infrastructure and crash the economy. The main character, John McClane — the NY detective who is “always in the wrong place at the wrong time” (played by Willis) — once again finds himself in the unenviable position of having to save the day. Only this time, he does it with the assistance of a young hacker (played by Timothy Olyphant).

  1. Minority Report (2002)

Minority Report, which takes place about 25 years from now, follows a specialized police division known as Pre-Crime that is authorized to arrest people who before they commit future crimes. The unit’s chief, played by Tom Cruise, himself is accused of being responsible for a future murder and winds up going on the lam to escape capture and arrest by his own team.

  1. Swordfish (2001)

In Swordfish, an elite hacker (played by Hugh Jackman) who was imprisoned for infecting an FBI program was recently released from prison. A woman and her criminal employer (played by Halle Berry and John Travolta) recruit him for the purpose of getting him to write a worm to steal $9.5 billion from a government slush fund. But not everything is as it seems.

  1. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

The Bourne Ultimatum, the third movie in the Bourne series, involves operative Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon) teaming up with an investigative reporter to track down those who betrayed him. In the meantime, a CIA official is trying to assassinate Bourne before his memory returns.

  1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009 and 2011)

There are actually two versions of the same film that came out just two years apart. Because they’re so close together, I’m just lumping them into one callout. The first version of the film stars a Swedish cast, and the second version was released two years later and stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. The premise of the films follows a journalist who enlists the help of a young hacker in his quest to track down a woman who has been missing for several decades. The movies are based on one of the books in the bestselling novel series “The Millennium Trilogy.”

  1. The Italian Job (2003)

This version of The Italian Job, which is a different take on the plot of the original 1969 film, stars Mark Wahlberg, Ed Norton, and Donald Sutherland. Rather than being a comic caper movie about the planning of a heist in Turin, this involves the main character being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, and then planning a heist against a former ally. Although it borrows from much of the original screenplay, it does take creative license and takes the story in a different direction. For me, though, it’s an interesting film on its own merit but I still prefer the original.

  1. V for Vendetta (2005)

Funnily enough, V for Vendetta, which is based on a 1980s graphic novel by Alan Moore, is set to take place in 2020. In it, the population of the U.S. is nearly wiped out by a virus, and Britain is a police state that’s ruled by a dictator “who promises security but not freedom.” Natalie Portman’s character, Evey, is saved from being raped by plainclothes police by an unknown actor known only as V (played by Hugo Weaving), and she ends up joining him in his mission of overthrowing the government in power. Although the movie doesn’t technically involve a hacker, per se (he hacks into the fate computer in the graphic novel series but not in the movie adaptation), it’s what inspired the use of the Guy Fawkes masks that are used to represent members of the real-world international hacker group Anonymous.

  1. Untraceable (2008)

The horrifying thriller Untraceable stars Diane Lane as an agent in the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Division who is trying to track down a hacker who is brutally killing people while the world watches via live streaming. And to make matters worse, the more people who view his site, the faster his victims die.

  1. Blackhat (2015)

In Blackhat, when a nuclear power plant in Hong Kong and the Mercantile Trade Exchange in Chicago are hacked, the FBI and Chinese government team up to track down the cybercriminals responsible for the cyber attacks. They bring in a convicted hacker (played by Chris Hemsworth) to help with the investigation. This hacker movie was lauded much acclaim within the cyber security and hacker communities because of its accuracy in some aspects of the film — for example, (SPOILER ALERT) the way that a bank network hack occurs from a compromised USB drive. It’s a must-see and guaranteed title for this list of hacker movies.

  1. Inception (2010)

This mind-bender of a movie follows a professional thief, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who uses a form of information-extracting technology to steal corporate secrets from the subconsciousness of victims. However, he’s also a fugitive father who misses his kids. So, when he’s offered a chance to make his criminal history go away in exchange for “hacking” a CEO by implanting a false idea in their head, he initially agrees but soon realizes that things are not what they seem and gets second thoughts.

  1. I.T. (2016)

In I.T., a corporate executive and millionaire, played by Pierce Brosnan, finds his life turned upside-down when he works with an I.T. consultant and finds him getting too close to him and his family. When he fires him, things go wrong very quickly.

  1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)

This is definitely one of my favorite hacker movies. Ghost Protocol, the fourth movie in the popular Mission Impossible series, involves a decent enough helping of hacking, password cracking, cryptography, and network hijacking action for any thriller and tech fan. His government disavows when Ethan Hunt (a role reprised by Tom Cruise) is blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, both he and his employer agency IMF. He’s forced to go off the grid and teams up with other fugitive IMF operatives to prove their innocence.

  1. Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall, the 23rd movie in the James Bond movie franchise, brings Bond (played by Daniel Craig) back to memories of his own childhood and tests his loyalty to M (played by Judy Dench) when her own past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 becomes compromised, Bond is the only ally M can trust to face down a mysterious hacker genius. This movie includes some big hacking scenes, although I’ll leave evaluating the accuracy of the actual hacking to the experts.

  1. Snowden (2016)

Snowden is a biopic of the real-life former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who became one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers. He uncovered and shared with the world about the virtual mountain of data that was being collected on ally foreign governments and American citizens alike. It’s a must-have for any list of must-see hacker movies.

  1. The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game is about a time during World War II when British intelligence agency MI6 hired Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) to crack Germany’s top-secret Enigma code.

  1. The Social Network (2010)

While Facebook now always seems to be making headlines for one reason or another — often not positive ones — there was once a time when no one had heard of it. Largely, because it didn’t yet exist. This movie The Social Network is based on the story of Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg), the Harvard computer genius-turned-creator of the social networking site that was once known as “The Facebook.” Whether you love or hate Facebook, regardless, you can’t deny the popularity of the platform which is used by 2.4 billion users as of Q3 2019. So, on the list of hacker movies it goes!

  1. Who Am I (2014)

Who Am I is a German techno-thriller hacker movie about a subversive hacker group in Berlin that’s intent on gaining global fame.

  1. Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Ghost in the Shell is a popular science fiction manga created by Masamune Shirow that has been adapted for television, video games and cinema but always in animation format. On March 31, the adaptation of Ghost in the shell with flesh and blood actors and actresses arrives in Spanish cinemas. Scarlett Johansson has been in charge of bringing to life the futuristic cyborg secret police (cybernetic organism), Major Motoko Kusanagi, which fights against technological crimes.

  1. Sneakers (1992)

One of the best hacking movies for cybersecurity on our list is Sneakers released in 1992. Robert Redford stars in Sneakers as a computer genius Martin Bishop. Martin leads a group of I.T. experts who are in charge of the security systems of large companies. All of them are involved in a situation that forces them to work for a secret agency for which they will have to steal a black box capable of deciphering codes.

  1. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

The origin of Microsoft and Apple is the central plot of Pirates of Silicon Valley. Based on the book by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine, Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer. It explains the rivalry that existed between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates in the development of the personal computer. Several Steve Jobs films have been directed, such as Jobs (2013) with Ashton Kutcher and Steve Jobs (2015) with Michael Fassbender, directed by Danny Boyle.

  1. Takedown (2000)

Also known as Hackers 2 and Track Down in the U.S. This take-down best hacking movie is a film based on real events. The story is based on the book of the same name (Takedown) written by journalist John Markoff and by Tsutomu Shimomura, a computer security expert who tells in the book his personal experiences. Takedown deals with how Tsutomu Shimomura helped the FBI capture Kevin Mitnick, a famous hacker who, even while on probation, tried to hack Shimomura’s computer security system. In short, an epic pursuit in cyberspace.

  1. Hackers 3

Also known as Hackers 3, Antitrust criticizes monopolistic practices in the 1990s. Milo Hoffman (Ryan Phillippe), a computer genius, is invited to work for one of the world’s largest technology companies. After the death of his best friend, Milo begins to suspect if his new job had anything to do with it. The fictitious company Milo starts working for was linked to Microsoft and its fictitious owner Gary Winston to Bill Gates.

  1. The Hacker Wars (2014)

Though crime may seem disingenuous due to it being behind screens, there is a lot at stake regarding our right to privacy, politics, and even more—this film takes a closer look at what exactly hackers are fighting for and why.

  1. The Imitation Game (2014)

An early example of a notorious hacker, Alan Turing must crack the code of the German Enigma to help bring an end to the atrocities of World War II.

  1. Algorithm (2014)

After a freelance computer hacker stumbles upon a hidden government computer program, he must come to terms with a revolution that is bursting at the seams with innovation and danger.

  1. DSKNECTD (2013)

Smartphones and social media have undoubtedly connected humans in many ways previously unknown while seemingly disconnecting us in others—this film looks at how society has changed following these technological revolutions, looking at both the pros and cons of constant connection to the Internet.

  1. DEFCON: The Documentary (2013)

This movie is an extensive look into the world’s largest hacking conference with a one-time allowance for a film crew to bypass the notorious “no cameras” rule to document the event, the people attending, and what it means to take part in the hacking community worldwide.

  1. Hacking Democracy (2006)

American activists search for the root of a potential miscount in the 2004 presidential election, revealing flaws about the current system of voting digitally.

  1. Firewall (2006)

A man mostly familiar with security must save his family by dismantling and robbing the bank he works at to have the money to pay their ransom.

  1. Reboot (2012)

When a hacker awakens from a deep sleep after a traumatic event, she discovers an iPhone glued to her hand and a mysterious timer that is ticking away.

  1. We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)

This documentary investigates the origins of WikiLeaks, the website created by Julian Assange that presented stolen information from the US government to bring justice to corruption. The film explains how this ended up being a big part of the most significant security violation in US history and examines the effects it had on democracy and cybersecurity.

  1. Takedown (2000)

Hacker Kevin Mitnick rose to prominence with his controversial arrest in 1995—this movie is a re-telling of the events leading up to this arrest, going deep into his hacking origins and interest in social programming.

  1. Antitrust (2001)

After landing his dream programming job at a Portland-based company, one man is shocked to discover the dark side of the process, being forced to confront unethical and ruthless tactics used by his boss.

  1. Revolution OS (2001)

Though Microsoft ruled the computer market of the early 2000s, this film goes into the fanbase of users who were disillusioned by the company and preferred more open-source methods, leading to the development and cultivation of Linux and other OS methods.

  1. Hackers Are People Too (2008)

This humanizing look at hackers dismantles common tropes and stereotypes about hackers, creating a portrait of a community that was constructed by the community it speaks about.

  1. Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

After the U.S. government sets up a computer system to handle its nuclear missile defenses, it develops a mind of its own.

  1. The Net (1995)

After stumbling upon a conspiracy, a programmer’s life is changed immediately as she is given a new identity as a result of her exposure to the classified information. As she figures out what is going on, the society begins to be anguished by peril.

  1. We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (2012)

This documentary describes the creation and sustainability of the self-described “hacktivist” group Anonymous, what they stand for, and how they run their organization on the internet.

  1. The Fifth Estate (2013)

Based on a real story, an internet start-up filled with controversy is dissected by those within it to understand how it functions and if it can continue efficiently and ethically.

  1. Eagle Eye (2008)

Two strangers are unified by a phone call that subsequently threatens not only their lives but also their families. Through the use of technology, they are tracked and coerced into dangerous situations against their own will, leaving them to find a way out.

  1. The KGB, the Computer and Me (1990)

A thrilling but true story, after finding a discrepancy while working at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1986, Clifford Stoll must figure out precisely what is going on as he races to find out who is hacking the system. This search takes him all the way to Hannover, Germany and reveals the perpetrator to be Markus Hess, disclosing ties to the KGB in the midst of a curious operation.

  1. Virtuosity (1995)

An ex-cop is tasked with stopping a computer simulation created from the personality profiles of serial killers after it creates a human body and begins replicating infamous murders in real life, seeking to improve on the originals

  1. Foolproof (2003)

Leading a group that focuses on pulling off heists, Kevin, Sam, and Rob find themselves forced to pull off the most extensive heist yet after being blackmailed by a gangster. They soon realize this is a dangerous mission, opening up a struggle to complete the task and stay alive in the process.

  1. Real Genius (1985)

While these teenage geniuses are developing a laser for a university project, they begin sabotaging the project after discovering that their professor intends to use the weapon for military-grade action.

  1. The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires (1996)

Beginning in the 1970s, this movie looks at the modest beginnings of the computer industry up until the Dot-com boom of the 1990s, focusing on its creators and how they were able to change the world from their parents’ garages.

  1. War for the Web (2015)

This documentary sheds light on how the Internet works, unmasking its physical infrastructure and raising questions about ownership and precautions against monopolies in the modern marketplace.

  1. GoldenEye (1995)

James Bond must save the world from a nuclear disaster by someone whom he thought was dead, teaming up with a survivor from a Russian research center to solve the mystery.

  1. Hackers: Wizards of the Electronic Age (1984)

Providing an old look at hacking, this documentary from the 1980s consists of interviews taken from a 1984 hacker conference in California, shedding light on the hacker community of the time.

  1. One Point O (2004)

A young computer-programmer can’t figure out how to complete a code he is working on and doesn’t know why. When unknown packages show up at his door one day, he must figure out their origins through a daring investigation.

  1. In the Realm of the Hackers (2003)

Having just completed one of the most comprehensive hacks of its time (the 1980s), mysterious hackers Electron and Phoenix had nearly gotten away with stealing a security list to break into one of the world’s most classified systems before one of them outed themselves to the New York Times. This documentary focuses on their arrests ten years after it happened, using that as a gateway to discuss the ethics and risk of underground hacking.

  1. Cyberbully (2015)

A teenager is blackmailed through the internet by a criminal as a result of her cyberbullying others and is forced to follow the hacker’s commands to avoid having lewd photos of her posted online.

  1. Code 2600 (2011)

Our society has already changed incredible amounts in the past 20 years, the era that is commonly referred to as the Info-Tech Age. This film explores the pros and cons of how our improved connectivity has affected our lives.

  1. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Neo must continue to understand his place within a limbo world as an isolated number of humans begin to understand their position trapped in a virtual reality dream against their will.

  1. The Accountant (2016)

An accountant begins working for a new client and quickly realizes it is a more dangerous job than he expected, bringing in technological advancements and threats.

  1. Silicon Cowboys (2016)

The developers of the Compaq portable computer faced a difficult fight against IBM in the 1980s as the personal computer became accepted in the mainstream—this documentary highlights their hardships and tribulations.

  1. Hacker (2016)

The young, Ukrainian hacker Alex Danyliuk turns to a life of criminal hacking after his mother loses her job, targeting banks along the way.

  1. Risk (2016)

Focusing on the life of Julian Assange, this documentary details his philosophy and upbringing, including the controversies he endured as the founder of WikiLeaks.

  1. Hackers Wanted (2009)

An exploration of the ethics behind hacking, Hackers Wanted uses the work of Adrian Lamo to speak about the reasons why people begin hacking and the included repercussions.

  1. Julian Assange: A Modern Day Hero? Inside the World of WikiLeaks (2011)

This documentary focuses on the impact and history of WikiLeaks, taking an unbiased approach to describe its infamous founder, Julian Assange.

  1. Secret History of Hacking (2001)

This documentary provides an extensive look at hacking, looking at the phone phreak phenomenon of the late 20th century and hackers such as John Draper (Captain Crunch), Steve Wozniak, and Kevin Mitnick.

  1. Disconnect (2012)

The digital age can connect us, sure, but it can also be very isolating—this film explores what it means to feel lonely in a world where everybody is connected.

  1. We Live in Public (2009)

The life of Josh Harris is a complicated one. This documentary investigates that life, following the entrepreneur’s career as the founder of JupiterResearch and, the Dot-com bubble, an art project he did to project Orwellian ideas, and discussing what it means to broadcast our lives in the 21st century.

  1. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

Indie developers don’t have it easy—this movie explores what precisely this means, focusing on the personal, financial, and creative endeavors that must be troubleshooted to create a successful indie game.

  1. Algorithm (2014)

After a freelance computer hacker stumbles upon a hidden government computer program, he must come to terms with a revolution that is bursting at the seams with innovation and danger.

  1. (2001)

Any company beginning their journey as a startup on the internet is sure to face many complications along the way—this film explores the tribulations thrust upon the website, documenting its rise and eventual fall.

  1. The Imitation Game (2014)

An early example of a notorious hacker, Alan Turing must crack the code of the German Enigma to help bring an end to the atrocities of World War II.

  1. Talhotblond: (2009)

Exploring the nuances of online dating and how “everybody lies online”, this movie looks into the murder of 22-year-old Brian Barrett, who was the subject of a psychological game played by a middle-aged woman.

  1. Alphaville (1965)

After a U.S. agent is sent to the futuristic city of Alphaville to solve a mystery, he must take on the burden of the town and begin navigating the technological dystopia to find a missing person and eventually stop the ruling dictator.

  1. Smart House (1999)

When a genius teenager and his family win a computer house that has a mind of its own, they begin to become afraid once it starts resembling a controlling mother and making their lives more difficult than they had expected.

  1. NetForce (1999)

Internet becomes the world’s central nervous system. Netforce, FBI, is created as an elite force fighting crime on internet. The owner of the all dominating software company is suspected of trying to gain total access and control.

  1. “Blackhat” (2015)

Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) consults with FBI Special Agent Carol Barrett (Viola Davis) in Legendary’s “Blackhat,” from director/producer Michael Mann. (Legendary Pictures)

  1. The Circle

In recent years, there’s been lots of hype around Big Brother, microchip implantation, and mass surveillance. And this is the movie that shows you how transparency and privacy can be taken to a new level. Released in 2017, the main cast of “The Circle” includes Emma Watson (“Harry Potter”), Tom Hanks (“Sully”), and John Boyega (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”). Mae, played by Watson, gets a job in IT at the world’s largest and most powerful tech and social media company. Convinced by the company’s founder, she agrees to participate in an experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics, and ultimately her personal freedom.

  1. Disconnect

We can all relate to how the internet has an ever-increasing impact on people’s lives. Released in 2013, “Disconnect” brings the audience three different, and yet somehow overlapping, storylines: a victim who suffers from cyberbullying, a lawyer who communicates constantly through his cell phone but can’t find time to connect with his family, and a couple whose secrets are exposed online. An interesting aspect of the movie is that all the conflicts and relationships stem from laptops, iPads, and cell phones. Watch “Disconnect” to discover the gulf between online and real-world interactions.

  1. The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate is a 2013 biographical thriller film directed by Bill Condon about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as its editor-in-chief and founder Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as its former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci, and Laura Linney are featured in supporting roles.

  1. The Great Hack

The movie lays out the nuts and bolts about the Facebook data breach scandal with Cambridge Analytica. Thought-provoking, powerful, and even scary, the documentary will shock you into facing the reality of our online lives and make you think twice before revealing any personal data.

  1. Take down

Takedown is based on the true story of infamous hacker Kevin David Mitnick and his nemesis Tsutomu Shimomura. This hacker movie paints the picture that Mitnick was the blackhat while Shimomura was the whitehat. Mitnick did eventually go to prison, but the real story is probably more nuanced than just black and white. The movie offers a fairly accurate background of the world of hacking and why it’s so alluring for certain impulsive and savant type personalities.

  1. Pi (1998)

After programming his computer to make stock predictions, having it print out one reading, then watching it crash, Max Cohen quickly finds himself with an accurate reading as he realizes that his computer was right. This epiphany sends the number theorist on a chase to find out much more than he bargained for, causing intense distress along the way.

  1. Ghost in a shell

Seems like 1995 was a great year for hacking movies. This beautiful animated Japanese sci-fi movie is based on a cyborg policewoman Major and her partner hunting a cybercriminal called the Puppet Master, who hacks into the brains of cyborgs to get information and use it to commit crimes. Definitely, one to watch for its deep gripping mood and quite a philosophical approach to evolving cyber advancements.

  1. The code

This documentary cybercrime movie will engage you in the history of Linux. You’ll learn more about ideologies that underpin GNU and Open Source. The picture explains why Linux became so popular with users and dwells upon the giFT peer to peer network. Though created for a Finnish audience, the movie has its fans worldwide.

  1. Citizenfour, 2014

A documentary film about Edward Snowden. The original one. Created by Laura Poitras this film includes actual interviews of Snowden in Hong Kong in 2013 and features work by journalist Glenn Greenwald.

  1. Zero Days, 2016

This documentary brings into focus the computer worm named Stuxnet, or “Operation Olympic Games”, that was developed by the US and Israel to damage Iran’s nuclear program. Director Alex Gibney handles the storyline so powerfully that it makes viewers question – is it reality or fiction?

  1. Mr. Robot

Inspired, apparently, by American journalist Barrett Brown — who doesn’t know how to hack and is not in the least technically minded by his own public admission — Mr. Robot made quite a splash in the information security community because the show’s technical advisors went to great pains to get the technical details right.

  1. In Ascolto

Another European favorite, this time in Italian. We struggled to find a trailer for In Ascolto in English, so we’ll have to rely on the IMDB plot summary: “Estranged by the degree of corporate influence within the largest U.S. listening station in the world, an aging NSA officer defects and mounts a clandestine counter-listening station high in the Italian alps.”

February 17, 2021

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