And surprisingly – thankfully – the list doesn’t include Hackers.
Hollywood gets hacking wrong; nobody is surprised at it anymore. The movie industry figured out quickly that realistic depictions of computer hacking, like any hard science, is boring to watch, so they spiced it up. Now we have Matrix-style green Unicode rain scrolling down the screen and CSI techs babbling about making a GUI interface with Visual Basic to track the killer’s IP address. Doubtless from a “Sam’s Teach Yourself…” guide.
When it came to trying to find realistic hacking in movies, we had to give up. It’s not that we don’t have any writers who understand technology; it’s that audiences just won’t sit still watching anything more involving than a flash of copy-pasted code on a screen to say “computer things are happening here.”
So this list is instead the top five movies which capture the spirit of hacking, in the truest possible Jargon-file definition.
As you’ll see, the movies that do this best sometimes don’t even touch a computer.