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The Best Hacker Movies

Action, Comedy, Espionage, and Computers


May, 2014

While none of these next movies depicts the true motions of computer hacking, most of these stories are memorable in some way. Most of these hacker movies are good escapist fun involving robbery capers or virtual reality conflicts. Some are visually stunning. A few of these movies are even powerful social commentaries. No, you won't learn secret root command lines or packet sniffing techniques by renting these films, folks. But if you want some entertaining movie rentals involving computers and crime, here are the 30 Best Hacker Movies...

Add to this list: submit your own favorite hacker movie here...

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30. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Actress Noomi Rapace attends 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' photocall
Kristian Dowling/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

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.

29. Gamer (2009)

Lionsgate Pictures

This 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.

28. The Matrix (1999)

Warner Bros.

This 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. 

27. The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

Columbia Pictures

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.

26. The Italian Job (2003)

Paramount Pictures

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.

25. Revolution OS (2001)

Wonderview Productions

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.

24. Antitrust (2001)

MGM Pictures

This movie has some strong points about it. 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.

23. MI4: Ghost Protocol (2011)

© Paramount Pictures
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.

22. The Score (2001)

Paramount Pictures

Edward Norton and Robert De Niro are fabulous 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!

21. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

Warner Bros.

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.

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