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Top 10 Hacking Movies of All Time

Just For Fun

Hollywood’s portrayal of computer hackers is rarely accurate, but the concept has led to some of the greatest, action-packed movies of all time. Following are ten of the best hacker-related movies we could find. 

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix is arguably one of the most iconic sci-fi hacker movies of all time. The main character, Neo, is a computer programmer who inadvertently discovers that the entire world, as he knows it, is simply a computer program. Unfortunately for humans, the program’s design enslaves humanity. Neo and a small group of awake and aware humans escape from the Matrix, but they find themselves nearly powerless against the world’s programming. 

Eagle Eye (2008)

Eagle Eye is an action-packed film that follows two strangers who are both following orders from an unknown source. The source appears to have hacked into and gained control over bank accounts, traffic lights, mobile phones and even power lines. As the tale gets deeper, the duo realize that this source is controlling and dictating the actions and behaviors of other individuals as well. The duo is determined to reveal who or what is hacking into the collective networks. 

War Games (1983)

This exciting film follows the story of David Lightman, a computer hacker, who accesses a U.S. military supercomputer called War Operations Plan Response. The computer was originally designed to predict possible outcomes of extreme nuclear catastrophes. The hacker attempts to run a nuke drill simulation when he mistakenly triggers the program to activate. The supercomputer kicks into action and begins activating all systems for WWIII. 

Minority Report (2002)

This movie is set in the near future. In the year 2054, the police force utilizes precrime units that arrest criminals after they form an intent to commit crime but before they’ve had a chance to carry out the action. The main character, a Chief of PreCrime, is accused of a crime he has not yet committed. When faced with arrest, he flees the cops and sets out to determine exactly where the unit’s foreknowledge stems from. 

Snowden (2016)

Edward Snowden is a household name that draws controversy. Many know Snowden as a hero who bravely fought for all U.S. citizen’s rights to privacy, and others recognize Snowden as a traitor who revealed government secrets. This movie details Snowden’s journey with the U.S. Army, the CIA, the NSA in Japan and his time in Hawaii. It highlights the hacker’s disillusionment with learning the true nature and extent of U.S. spying that leads up to his decision to reveal documents to the press. 

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

This action-packed film’s main character is in a fight against some of the world’s smartest cyber terrorists. This group has the ability to hack into both public and government computer systems and start a wide-scale sell off of financial assets. He teams up with an expert ex-NSA hacker to track down the security expert in charge of the scheme. 

Tron (1982)

This iconic movie’s main character is a skilled computer programmer. He mistakenly gets transported into his own software where he can interact with the programs. While the original film was released in 1982, it has since spawned into an entire franchise with comic books, a television series, video games and sequels. 

The Fifth Estate (2013)

This thriller follows the real details about the forming of WikiLeaks, the controversial news site that often publishes confidential files obtained from various sources. The computer hacker Julian Assange, the founder of the site, is the film’s main character. The group was extremely influential in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The movie goes through the group’s story of publishing secrets regarding Sarah Pain’s email account, Scientology and the leaks from Chelsea Manning. The WikiLeaks team cuts off Assange’s access to the site after finding him untrustworthy, but he either gets back into the system or rebuilds it. 

23 (1998)

This story is about Karl Koch, a young hacker, who begins seeing the number ‘23’ everywhere. He begins researching further, and he stumbles upon a worldwide conspiracy. The hacker enlists the help of a student to hack into the global data network in search of more information. After getting involved with drugs and hacking into Chernobyl, Karl becomes delusional. 

Underground: The Julian Assange Story (2012)

Julian Assange is arguably the world’s most famous computer hacker. While this film was made entirely independently of any input from the Assange family or Wikileaks, Julian Assange does view the film in a positive light. The movie highlights Assange’s early hacking days and the Australian Police force’s attempts at catching the elusive hacking genius. 

These incredibly popular movies are ten of the best hacking movies of all time. While not all of the movies listed here are based off of realistic hacking methods, or even plausible technology, they are sure to entertain!