“Would you like to join me for a game?”
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“WarGames” is one of the first movies that springs to mind when I think about my favorite hacking films. It brings back memories of huddling in front of the TV with my mother, sisters, and myself as a kid. As a teenage Matthew Broderick hacks his way into nearly starting a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, we’d enthusiastically watch (and re-watch) it.
WarGames is a terrific hacker movie, but it isn’t the only one that have been on the big screen in the last half-century or so. There have also been a number of cyber security-related films that have had an impact. We thought it would be fun to compile a list of some of our favorite hacker movies because we know our readership is diverse and diverse in their interests. Movies about cybercrime and cyber security will also be included.
Since so many fantastic hacker movies have been released by Hollywood, it’s difficult to choose which one is the “greatest.” As a result, I decided to organize this list alphabetically by decade, followed by a brief description of each film. In addition, I sought out the advice of IT specialists to find out what they consider to be the best live-action hacker and cyber movies. In this list of cyber security films, I’ve omitted documentary films since I believe they’d be better suited to a different list of films. Note that not all hacker movies portray hacking or the cyber security business in an entirely accurate light.
I’ve chosen to solicit the help of industry insiders — people like you — in order to make this a truly entertaining subject. These hacker flicks are peppered with their thoughts and opinions.
As an alternative, you can browse The Complete List of Hacker And Cybersecurity Movies, Version 2.0 for a more comprehensive list of the best hacker and cybersecurity movies ever made.
Here is a list of the best cyber security and hacker movies, so get your popcorn ready!
Cyber and Hacker Movies of the 2010s
1. Blackhat (2015)
In Blackhat, the FBI and the Chinese government work together to catch the cybercriminals responsible for hacking a nuclear power plant in Hong Kong and the Mercantile Trade Exchange in Chicago. Chris Hemsworth plays a convicted hacker who joins the team to assist in the investigation. The cyber security and hacker communities hailed this hacker movie for its authenticity in various areas of the plot, such as (SPOILER ALERT) the way a bank network is hacked from a compromised USB drive. This hacker movie was well-received. Our hacker film is a must-see and a lock for inclusion on this list.
2. Inception (2010)
Leonardo DiCaprio plays a professional thief who steals corporate secrets from the subconsciousness of his victims using an information-extracting technique. That doesn’t take away from his role as an exiled father who misses his two young children, though. Then, when given the opportunity to erase his criminal record in exchange for planting a false concept in the mind of a CEO, he first accepts, but soon comes to regret it.
3. I.T. (2016)
When Pierce Brosnan’s character, a corporate executive and multimillionaire, works with an I.T. consultant and discovers that he’s becoming too close to him and his family, his world is flipped upside down. In the immediate aftermath of his dismissal, everything goes sour.
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
One of my favorite hacker movies is this one. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment in the blockbuster series, includes enough hacking, password cracking, encryption, and network hijacking action to satisfy any thriller or technology buff. When a terrorist attack on the Kremlin is blamed on Ethan Hunt (a role reprised by Tom Cruise), his nation disavows both he and the institution where he works, the IMF. He is forced to flee and joins forces with other IMF operatives on the run in order to establish their innocence.
It’s one of my favorite movies about cybersecurity. The fourth Mission: Impossible film features plenty of hacking, hijacking, and other security-related fun for fans of the series. As in the other films in the series, Ghost Protocol is action-packed from the get-go and never lets up. In addition to hacking into a prison’s security system, you’ll see iPhones being used to crack door codes and take over other networks. Fans of action movies will have a blast watching this one. It’s a fun hacker movie to watch because of the distinctly high-tech hacking scenes.”
5. Skyfall (2012)
During the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s Bond (played by Daniel Craig) is brought back to his own childhood memories and tested in his allegiance to M (played by Judy Dench). As soon as MI6 is breached, Bond is the only one who will help M take down a mysterious cyber genius. However, I’ll leave assessing the accuracy of the actual hacking scenes to those who are better qualified.
One of the best James Bond films in years, ‘Skyfall’ (2012), was released in 2012. An interesting scenario occurs when Q inserts a laptop belonging to criminal mastermind Silva into MI6’s network and a “system security breach” banner pops up on the screen. As Q and Bond scramble to shut down the system, the malware that was deployed begins erasing files.
6. Snowden (2016)
NSA contractor Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) went on to become one of the world’s most renowned whistleblowers when he was exposed as a real-life person in the movie Snowden. After discovering the virtual mountain of information being collected about American people and allies, he made it public. In any list of the best hacker movies, it has to be included.
Oliver Stone’s gripping fictionalization of Edward Snowden’s transformation from naive CIA IT nerd to disillusioned whistleblower, ‘Snowden,’ came out in 2016. I guarantee you’ll double-check your laptop camera’s cover slide after seeing this film.”
7. The Imitation Game (2014)
The Imitation Game tells the story of MI6’s hiring of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to crack Germany’s top-secret Enigma code during World War II.
8. The Social Network (2010)
Despite the fact that Facebook is constantly generating headlines, there was a time when no one had even heard of it. For the most part, this was due to the fact that it had not yet been created. This film “The Social Network” is based on the life of Harvard computer whiz Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg), who went on to build the social networking site known as “The Facebook.” If you love or loathe Facebook, you can’t dispute that 2.4 billion people utilize the platform as of the third quarter of 2019. That’s why it’s on this list of hacker movies!
9. Who Am I (2014)
“Who am I?” is a German techno-thriller about a Berlin-based hacking gang whose goal is to attain worldwide recognition.