5 Hacker Movies You Should Watch

best hackers movie list

best hackers movie list

Many computer engineers, researchers, IT professionals, and enthusiasts have asked us which movies they should watch. And the answer we always give them is “watch hacker movies”. The main reason is that it fits their career.

Nobody else will be more interested in watching those movies aside from us, IT professionals. It also gives us ideas to deal with different situations, like we are about to watch in those movies. Also, these hacker movies can be beneficial to us in different ways.

Without further discussions, these are our top 5 hacker movies that you should watch during your spare time. We will also be adding some movies you can watch if you are done watching our top picks.

The Great Hack

The Great Hack” concerns itself with the United States Presidential election of 2016 and, to a lesser extent, the Brexit vote and other international political campaigns. The common factor in all these events is a now-defunct firm called Cambridge Analytica, represented throughout the film by several former employees. At the height of its powers, the company held up to 5,000 data points about each of the people contained in its databases.

This information was used for a variety of purposes meant to manipulate a certain cross-section of people. The master manipulators didn’t go after people whose minds had been made up; they went after on-the-fence folks referred to as “the persuadables.” Using the collected data, Cambridge Analytica set out to create fear and/or apathy to achieve the results of the political parties that hired them. Carroll’s lawsuit is an attempt to retrieve the data collected on him.

The Fifth Estate

The man who has dared to post millions of classified documents online—ones that could potentially compromise both national security and individuals’ well-being—certainly must be more than a self-aggrandizing troublemaker. (Although the 42-year-old Australian does continue to issue insistent missives from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which has protected him for over a year now.)

The Fifth Estate” seems more interested in contributing to a cult of personality, rather than cultivating a serious debate.

best hackers movie list


Snowden” actually opens with a scene that will be very familiar to viewers of the Oscar-winning “Citizenfour”—that film’s director, Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo), and journalist Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) are going to meet Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who then recounts the last few years of his life under extreme cover (cell phones go in the microwave, for example).

The structure of Kieran Fitzgerald and Stone’s script essentially alternates between three stories—the story of Snowden’s discovery of his government’s highly intrusive and global surveillance; the story of Snowden’s romance with Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley) and how it was impacted by his top-secret jobs; and the story of the release of what Snowden knew, as documented in “Citizenfour.” All three arcs have that “JFK”-esque tendency to have even the smallest roles filled by recognizable faces: Rhys Ifans, Tom Wilkinson, Nicolas Cage, Timothy Olyphant, Joely Richardson, Logan Marshall-Green, Keith Stanfield, Ben Chaplin and more pop up throughout the complex story.

The Social Network

It’s very tempting to make The Social Network, a movie about the creation of Facebook, into a movie that defines some sort of “Facebook generation” — despite the fact that some research suggests that 61 percent of Facebook users are 35 or older. Some of its many positive reviews credit it for exploring “the changing face of social interaction,” or saying that it’s “about the nation of narcissists we’ve become, reshaping who we are on Facebook.”

The film follows Harvard University sophomore and co-founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg), as he struggles with college heartbreak, friendly scandals, and handling lawsuits regarding his social networking site, Facebook.

After being approached by fellow Harvard students, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (Hammer), for his tremendous efforts when hacking into the university’s database creating a campus website where students were able to rate female students’ attractiveness, Zuckerberg was offered to work with them and fellow business partner, Divya Narendra, to create a social networking platform strictly for Harvard students titled The Harvard Connection.

Not only did Zuckerberg accept their offer, but he ultimately transformed their idea into something more extravagant; something that would reach even more people.

“The Social Network” is rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and foul language. It has scored a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and won three Oscars at the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing. This film is available for viewing on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube, and Vudu.


Blackhat” is far from a perfect movie, mind you. Its rock-solid confidence in technical details isn’t matched by a similarly exacting attention to plot mechanics. Key roles are miscast or underwritten. Hemsworth’s character, Nicholas Hathaway—a keyboard wizard furloughed from prison to help catch cyber terrorists who are stealing fortunes and wrecking nuclear plants—is implausibility Exhibit “A.”

“Blackhat” contrives a biography to justify this genius autodidact who reads Michel Foucault after lights-out, delivers mirrored epigrams in a Noo Yawk accent (“I did the time; time isn’t doing me”), has Thor’s chest and abs (push-ups, baby!), and can fight and shoot like John Wick and navigate irradiated nuclear plants in a hazmat suit. Despite Hemsworth’s magnetism, Hathaway remains more a checklist of awesome than a credible person. The same is true, to a lesser extent, of his partner’s injustice, a racially and internationally diverse bunch. Their ranks include the sensitive/fearsome brother-sister duo of Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang) and Lien Chen (Wei Tang) and FBI agents Henry Pollack (John Ortiz), Mark Jessup (Holt McCallany) and Carol Barrett (Viola Davis). More so than in most Mann pictures—and this is saying a lot—these characters are more often lit and posed than explored.

best hackers movie list


Part of the thrill in watching Niccol’s movies is in seeing him thoroughly curate dreams of our future that play off like logical possibilities. And as Niccol uses grounded themes and noir-ish imagery, there’s often a wrench in the status quo. That’s the case with Amanda Seyfried’s shadowy title character Anon, who is off the grid in a world where you can learn all of someone’s information just by looking at them. She’s being pursued in Niccol’s very gray version of NYC by a police officer named Sal (played by Clive Owen), who accesses people’s memories to solve crimes. When he finds out that someone has been able to murder off the record by skewing with the victim’s POV, there’s a relief, if not an amusement in his voice: “We actually got ourselves a whodunit,” he remarks to a colleague, as if it were the first fun thing to happen on the planet in years. 


The first hacking scene takes place at the beginning of the movie. The main character breaks into a phone company’s server building to replace code running on the servers to get unlimited services. He inserts a USB flash drive into one of the servers and removes it a moment later. This part is hard to believe because server operating systems usually don’t just automatically run everything they find on random USB flash drives. We also see a laptop in the middle of the server racks. This is probably what the actual server administrators use to access and maintain the servers.

Although this movie advertises itself as a “hacker movie”, the hacking scenes contain multiple mistakes and misconceptions each. It might still be fun to watch, but it won’t teach you much about hacking or cybersecurity.

Disclaimer: Movie reviews come from RogerEbert website.

best hackers movie list

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