The Hacker Movies We Love

1
The Best Hacker Movies of All Time

Yes, these movies depict outlandish and distorted views of computer hacking. These are preposterous fictions designed for entertainment, not technical accuracy.

Yet despite their fantastical storytelling, each of these next films is indeed memorable in some way, and could potentially make for a fun weekend of Netflix or Hulu viewing.

Most of these movies revolve around robbery capers or virtual reality enemies. Some are visually-stunning imaginings of possible alternate worlds. A few of these movies, like The Conversation, and Mr. Robot are powerful social commentaries with valuable messages.

You won't learn secret root command lines or packet sniffing techniques by renting these films. But if you want some entertaining movie rentals involving computers and crime, here are the Best Hacker Movies...

To submit a movie suggestion for inclusion in this list, message us at our Facebook page...

2
Mr. Robot (2015)

Mr. Robot (2015)
Mr. Robot (2015) hacker television series. Universal Cable Productions

Mr. Robot (2015) 
Buy on Amazon.com

While Mr. Robot is a television series, it headlines this movie list because it's that good!  This story shines for several reasons. It is very atmospheric, for one. Mr. Robot employs some tremendous cinematography, music scores, and stylish camera work. People will love it for the edgy visual style alone.

Computer users will appreciate that Mr. Robot is also a very technically accurate mythology; you'll see direct references to smartphone technology, Linux, Raspberry Pi, fiat currency volatility, rootkit intrusions, DDOS attacks, social engineering, Instagram, and network infrastructure.

Even more compelling is the story itself:  protagonist Elliot is a misanthrope computer engineer who performs vigilante retribution against cruel people and pedophiles.  He is recruited into an elaborate anarchist campaign to reallocate money back to the poor. Elliot suffers from social anxiety disorder, drug addiction, and an inability to reciprocate the affection of his friends. He is brilliantly played by actor Rami Malek.

The storytelling is the perhaps the best part of this television series:  writer Sam Esmail employs some of the most incisive and mesmerizing dialogs of modern film.  With narrative voiceovers that have the philosophical bite of Fight Club, you'll want to rewind scenes just to listen to the writing a second time.

The story is slower-paced, yet still absolutely gripping.  Do yourself a favor and go see this award-winning television series immediately! 

More>>

3
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009). Music Box Films

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
Buy on Amazon.com

She's a Swedish hacker who types on a Mac and lives with Asperger's Syndrome.  She teams up with a journalist to solve a murder-mystery. And she has a dragon tattoo.  Based on the Stieg Larsson novels, this film has earned international acclaim and has been remade in English with Daniel Craig.  Warning: this movie does have graphic sexual content. 

More »

4
Untraceable (2008)

Untraceable (2008)
Untraceable (2008). Sony Pictures

Untraceable (2008)
Buy on Amazon.com

Untraceable is quite a good suspenseful B-grade thriller with some truly creepy moments.  FBI Agent Marsh needs to stop a serial killer from slaughtering more victims, brutal acts which he broadcasts live on the Internet. Be warned: graphical violence.  

You'll want to watch a happy Disney movie after this disturbing cat-and-mouse thriller.  

More » 

5
The Matrix (1999)

Matrix (1999)
Matrix (1999). Warner Bros. Pictures

The Matrix (1999)
Buy on Amazon.com

The Matrix was was such a groundbreaking adventure in reality and existentialism! No, you will not learn how to break into a Linux server by watching Trinity port-scanning with "nmap". But this movie is definitely cool, nonetheless.  

More »

6
The Score (2001)

The Score (2001)
The Score (2001). Paramount Pictures

The Score (2001)
Buy on Amazon.com

Edward Norton and Robert De Niro are terrific in this heist flick! In a clever plot to rob a Montreal customs house of some royal artifacts, Norton and De Niro must break into the security systems with the help of a socially-awkward hacker who lives in his mother's basement. 10 minutes of hacking, and 100 minutes of phenomenal robbery storytelling! 

More » 

7
The Italian Job (2003)

The Italian Job (2003)
The Italian Job (2003). Paramount Pictures

The Italian Job (2003)
Buy on Amazon.com

Modern heist movies always involve some sort of hacking. This particular heist movie is extremely entertaining, especially when the supposed true inventor of "Napster" is the main hacker. At least 20 minutes of hacking footage in this actioner. Definitely worth renting if you haven't seen it. 

More » 

8
Sneakers (1992)

Sneakers (1992)
Sneakers (1992). Universal Pictures

Sneakers (1992)
Buy on Amazon.com

While now dated, this movie was groundbreaking at the time and is still charming to this day. The story revolves around two college buddies who take different paths in life. One becomes an ethical hacker, and the other...well, he is not quite so noble. Some great plot twists and comic scenes make this a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon at home.

More » 

9
MI4: Ghost Protocol (2011)

MI4: Ghost Protocol (2011)
MI4: Ghost Protocol (2011). Paramount Pictures

MI4: Ghost Protocol (2011)
Buy on Amazon.com

The fourth Mission Impossible movie with Tom Cruise is a real surprise. Most sequels tend to go downhill in flavor, but this installment has been a crowd pleaser for its splendid live-action stunts and high-tech thrills. In this modern actioner, you will see iPhones that crack door codes, iPads that spy on security guards, wireless intrusion vectors that are delivered by balloon, hijacked security networks, and a little bit of hacker fun involving Dean Martin music. This show definitely has many entertaining hacker moments and a good 2 hours of high-octane excitement. 

10
One Point O (2004)

One Point O (2004)
One Point O (2004). THINKFilm

One Point O (2004)
Buy on Amazon.com

Also known as 'Paranoia: 1.0', this film requires you to bring your brain. One Point O is a magnificent art film, and very different from Hollywood movies.  An isolated young computer programmer receives mysterious packages, which leads him into a strange world of corporate conspiracy, mind control, and the bizarre lives of his neighbors.  Not for impatient viewers, this film is slow, haunting, visually mesmerizing, and intensely meditative... every scene is staged to have its own special flavor.  Many viewers recommend watching this film twice to catch all the clever details.  If you're in that rare mood for something thought-provoking and deliberate, then definitely rent One Point O. 

More » 

11
GoldenEye (1995)

GoldenEye (1995)
GoldenEye (1995). United Artists

GoldenEye (1995)
Buy on Amazon.com

Pierce Brosnan's 007 entry here revolves around stopping a 'Goldeneye' hacker program and weaponized satellite.  Complete with beautiful female computer scientists and expensive stunt scenes, 007 takes on the digital threat using his Walther pistol and slick style. 

More » 

12
The Core (2003)

The Core (2003)
The Core (2003). Paramount Pictures

The Core (2003)
Buy on Amazon.com

Disaster movies are not for everyone, but this B-grade movie is surprisingly entertaining.  There are some noteworthy dramatic scenes and compelling themes of self-sacrifice and friendship.  The "hack-the-world" segments are only about 10 minutes of the entire movie, but they are comedic segments and should make geek-lovers smile. 

More »

13
Blackhat (2015)

Blackhat (2015)
Blackhat (2015). Universal Pictures

Blackhat (2015)
Buy on Amazon.com

This is the most recent high-profile hacker movie on the big screen. Michael Mann has made some very powerful films in his time ('Heat' and 'Last of the Mohicans' come to mind). Alas, this Michael Mann film is certainly not one of his best.  This particular hacker story is diluted by distracting side plots and poorly-designed characters. If you can overlook the host of flaws in this film, and as with all of these films: have no expectations of learning actual hacking techniques, then you will find entertainment value in 'Blackhat'.

More » 

14
Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park (1993)
Jurassic Park (1993). Universal Pictures

Jurassic Park (1993)
Buy on Amazon.com

This is such an entertaining movie! Even years later, the reptiles can make people jump out of their seats.  And Wayne Knight portrays the loathsome hacker who steals the DNA secrets of the Jurassic project... and gets paid for his deceit in blood. Definitely rent this movie for the 5 minutes of hacker scenes, and the 110 minutes of action-adventure fun! 

More » 

15
Revolution OS (2001)

Revolution OS (2001)
Revolution OS (2001). Wonderview Productions

Revolution OS (2001)
Buy on Amazon.com

This documentary tells the story about the Linux operating system, and how it forwarded the philosophy of "open source" and free intellectual property. Not an action movie, but definitely interesting for people who want to learn more about why computer culture is the way it is. If you can find a copy of this, definitely rent it. 

More » 

16
Gamer (2009)

Gamer (2009)
Gamer (2009). Lionsgate

Gamer (2009)
Buy on Amazon.com

This violent movie is a cult favorite of video gamers:  it depicts a dystopic future where the minds of state prisoners are computer-linked to the consoles of rich game players.  The action is brutally violent, and the concept is over the top.  But the computer graphics and special effects will slake the bloodthirst of action fans.  The final 10 minutes is an eerie blend of hacking and megalomania: Michael C. Hall lipsynchs Sammy Davis Jr. while mind controlling his zombie soldiers...that scene alone is worth the price of the rental. 

More » 

17
Deja Vu (2006)

Deja Vu (2006)
Deja Vu (2006). Buena Vista Pictures

Deja Vu (2006)
Buy on Amazon.com

While not exactly a 'hacking' movie, Deja Vu involves sophisticated computer intervention in time travel.  Val Kilmer's team of FBI computer geeks adds technical believability to this fantastical story, the terrorist plot is harrowing, and Denzel Washington is always exciting to watch as he rushes to save the explosion victims and the pretty girls.   More » 

18
Swordfish (2001)

Swordfish (2001)
Swordfish (2001). Warner Bros

Swordfish (2001)
Buy on Amazon.com

Over-the-top violence, preposterous situations, sexy women, and outstanding special effects make this a great popcorn rental. No, don't bring your brain to watch this, but if you like techno-thrillers, definitely rent this. John Travolta is the slimy villain, Hugh Jackman is the studly hero hacker, and Halle Berry is the mysterious damsel. 

More »

19
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
The Thirteenth Floor (1999). Columbia Pictures

The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
Buy on Amazon.com

A very extreme version of "The Sims", this movie is about scientists who create a virtual world where participants plug in and take over a computer character's life. The characters are unaware of their puppet existence, but then a real life murder shakes the foundation of the game. 

More » 

20
Hackers (1995)

Hackers (1995)
Hackers (1995). MGM / United Artists

Hackers (1995)
Buy on Amazon.com

Don't bring your brain to watch this. The story is weak, and the hacking scenes are nowhere near reality. But you have to watch this just to say you did. You'll learn where the iconic names of "Zero Cool" and "Lord Nikon" come from. You'll hear some breakthrough techno music in the soundtrack. Plus: Angelina Jolie is reason enough for most men to rent this cult classic. 

More » 

21
Antitrust (2001)

Antitrust (2001)
Antitrust (2001). MGM Distribution

Antitrust (2001)
Buy on Amazon.com

This movie has some strong points that make it a good Saturday afternoon escape. Two idealistic computer whiz kids graduate from Stanford, and one of them enters the world of private sector programming. Sure enough, these two programmers find themselves in the middle of cybercrime scandals. Definitely worth renting for three bucks. 

More » 

22
Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard (2007). 20th Century Fox

Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Buy on Amazon.com

Leave it to Bruce Willis to save the world from uber hackers.  Macintosh advertising personality, Justin Long, plays the reluctant programmer caught up in a digital terrorism scheme. Like Swordfish, this movie has over-the-top violence and outrageous action sequences, but if you liked the Die Hard series, definitely see this. 

23
Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999). Turner Home Entertainment

Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
Buy on Amazon.com

This is the flawed storytelling of how Apple and Microsoft came to be. While this movie got mixed reviews, many people have commented they loved it. Three dollars at your video store, and you can decide for yourself if this was a good film. 

More »

24
The Conversation (1974)

The Conversation (1974)
The Conversation (1974). Paramount Pictures

The Conversation (1974)
Buy on Amazon.com

While you won't see computers in this classic film, the theme of surveillance and the violation of people's privacy is so masterfully explored here.

**Related movie: The Conversation was re-imagined as Will Smith's Enemy of the State in 2001. The 2001 treatment of the story was designed as a modern techno-thriller and has some tremendous special effects and satellite surveillance sequences. Having Gene Hackman star with Will Smith makes it worth the price of a DVD rental. 

More »

25
Takedown (2000)

Takedown (2000)
Takedown (2000). Dimension Home Video

Takedown (2000)
Buy on Amazon.com

Also known as 'Track Down', this is the sensationalized story of famous phone phreaker, Kevin Mitnick. This is a definitely a B-grade movie, even a C- grade movie in many people's minds.  But this flawed film is also a cult classic amongst hackers. 

More » 

26
Tron: Legacy (2010)

Tron: Legacy (2010)
Tron: Legacy (2010). Walt Disney Pictures

Tron: Legacy (2010)
Buy on Amazon.com

Most hacker movies are about heists or about virtual reality.  In this latter case, Disney revisits the iconic world of "The Grid", where computer programs have become living humanoids in a gladiator-type society.  While the actual hacker elements are minimal, this cult-classic sequel is a magnificently visual art film with an atmospheric sound score. Tron: Legacy is highly recommended for any fans of the original Tron, and for anyone who loves good CG effects. 

27
Foolproof (2003)

Foolproof (2003)
Foolproof (2003). Odeon Films

Foolproof (2003)
Buy on Amazon.com

A lower-budget Canadian movie about hobby bank robbers, this was a delightful surprise to many viewers. Ryan Reynolds and his friends "virtually" rob banks for fun, but are blackmailed into doing a heist for real. This is a good action rental. 

More »

28
eXistenZ (1999)

eXistenZ (1999)
eXistenZ (1999). Alliance Atlantis

eXistenZ (1999)
Buy on Amazon.com

A David Cronenberg film, this is the creepiest entry in the list. A game designer creates an artificial reality game that plugs directly into people's minds. The line between reality and game then blurs in a violent and gruesome way. This is very much a powerful art film, and not for everyone.  Have a Disney movie ready to watch as a chaser after this creepy film!  

More »

29
Virtuosity (1995)

Virtuosity (1995)
Virtuosity (1995). Paramount Pictures

Virtuosity (1995)
Buy on Amazon.com

Virtuosity is an interesting concept movie:  the synthesizing of an artificial intelligence based on the minds of serial killers.  Alas, the program manages to break free and assume physical form.  It's a fantastical premise, yes, but action fans might really enjoy watching Denzel Washington chase down Russel Crowe. More » 

30
The Lawnmower Man (1992)

The Lawnmower Man (1992)
The Lawnmower Man (1992). Turner Home Video

The Lawnmower Man (1992)
Buy on Amazon.com

Computer imagery and hacker technology abound throughout this bizarre movie. No connection to the Stephen King story, this B-movie is an exploration of a hypothetical future where scientists can manipulate people's brains with machines and drugs.  Like similar stories, the experiment breaks free and decides to take revenge on the experimenters.  While the movie production quality and acting are forgettable, the concept and themes here are strangely haunting. 

More » 

31
Disclosure (1994)

Disclosure (1994)
Disclosure (1994). Warner Bros.

Disclosure (1994)
Buy on Amazon.com

Disclosure is an excellent film, both for computer hacking and for the thrill of corporate espionage.  A brilliant computer scientist gets passed over for a promotion, which goes to a love interest from his past.  Michael Douglas and Demi Moore are splendid as this twisted plot of deceit and betrayal keeps audiences riveted for 90 minutes. 

More » 

32
Wargames (1983)

Wargames (1983)
Wargames (1983). MGM / United Artists

Wargames (1983)
Buy on Amazon.com

Yes, this movie is very old, but it is still a pivotal film in many viewers' minds. A young man finds a back door into a military computer that is linked to the nuclear defense grid of the United States. A preposterous plot, but a compelling commentary on nuclear war and the destruction of the human race. You have to see this movie just to say you have seen it. 

More » 

33
Tron (1982)

Tron (1982)
Tron (1982). Walt Disney Pictures

Tron (1982)
Buy on Amazon.com

A classic! A hacker is transported into the digital universe of "The Grid", and must survive combat as a cyber gladiator in order to stop the villainous Master Control. The imagination behind this movie made big ripples in the science fiction world, and today, Tron is a cult classic that every computer user should see at least once.

More » 

34
The Net (1995)

The Net (1995)
The Net (1995). Columbia Pictures

The Net (1995)
Buy on Amazon.com

Sandra Bullock plays a software engineer who loses her identity to digital thieves. Filmed during the fanatic years of the then-novel World Wide Web, this film is now cliched. Nevertheless, fans of Sandra Bullock will still enjoy watching this B movie. 

More »