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Hacker Culture Movies For The Kids

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At a recent Philly CocoaHeads Side Project Saturday event, which can best be described as a social club where the conversation jumps around in a chaotic nature amongst long-time friends and peers, we got to discussing impactful movies that helped define the computer hacking persona in our culture. Specifically, we were looking for recommendations for the younger members, born in the late 90s or 2000s, who have yet to enjoy these films.

For your amusement, a compiled list of hacker-culture movies to recommend to ’the kids'.

Note: If you want to watch any of these, I suggest looking them up on JustWatch, which can display what services you can use to stream, rent or buy.

Must-Watch Movies

Watch these right now.

  • WarGames - The only winning move is not to play.
  • Her - I need to re-watch, so I remember not to fall in love with my upcoming AI girlfriend.
  • Office Space - PC Load Letter?! What the fuck does that mean?
  • The Matrix - Remember, there is no spoon, and there are no sequels.

Good-Bad Movies

I enjoy bad movies almost more than good movies.

  • Hackers - Must watch for a fun take of hacker culture. HACK THE PLANET!
  • Tron - Wizard of Oz for a virtual world. Impressive effects for the time.
  • Tron: Legacy - The movie is pretty good, but I re-watch for the soundtrack almost exclusively. It is bonkers good.
  • Swordfish Some great camp here. Perfect good-bad movie.
  • Johnny Mnemonic “can carry nearly 80 gigs of data in his head.” LOL.

So-So Movies

These are ok movies but not must-watch.

  • Minority Report - This is pretty good, but not enough for my must-watch list.
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence Beautiful movie by Spielberg in the eyes of Stanley Kubrick. Not for everyone but I enjoyed it.
  • Enemy of the State - This is a so-so movie I’ve watched multiple times on broadcast cable TV. It must be cheap to license.
  • Antitrust - Another popular cable broadcast movie I enjoyed more than I should have.
  • The Net - Only watched this once, but a fair representation of 90s “net” culture.
  • Snowden - I for one, welcome our CIA overlords.
  • Sneakers - Listed by multiple friends, I have yet to watch it.

Bad-Bad Movies

Only watch these if you enjoy pain. Sometimes I do.