via dpg (472) · I've launched several products. I've worked in Venture Capital. I'm passionate about helping others build successfully. 1868 views · 0 comments

This is my list of movies that I think everyone should have seen just once. Sometimes they inspire me to keep hacking, sometimes they just weird me out.

10. Lawnmower Man

I don't know if this has stood up to the test of time. Its premise is in virtual reality and trying to make people smarter through it. Things hit the fan when you make someone too smart apparently.

9. Ghost in the Shell

Disembodied consciousnesses, mind-hackers, autonomous robotics, kick ass women, secret government agencies -- this is pretty much my dream world.

8. Johnny Mnemonic

This was based on a short story by William Gibson. Surrounded by a plague, Keanu Reeves plays a data courier with a hard drive embedded in his brain. People want that hard drive.

7. Swordfish

There is a single hacking scene in this movie. It's more about the thrill of the chase and getting away with a good crime.

6. Antitrust

This was actually what I felt like working at microsoft might be like.

5. First 20 Million is Always the Hardest

This movie is a broad caricature of what tech entrepreneurs do in the valley - complete with weirdo geniuses, fat guy recluses, and obnoxious valley investors. Hm. I guess they were spot on.


This movie is great until everything goes terrible for this poor company. How any of them were hired again is beyond me.

3. Pirates of Silicon Valley

This is a pretty great representation (outside of iSteve) of the time before and during the reign of both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. It focuses in on their general characters without excluding any of the faults. These are great actors that really seem to embody their roles.

2. Wargames

Duh. This movie basically started the genre.

1. Hackers

This is the most accurate movie with respect to hacking and phreaking in the 90s I could find -- you just have to ignore the glass-computer-fly-throughs and the fractal-math-inspired-graphics code. ALSO IT HAS ANGELINA JOLIE IN HER HEYDAY.

Honorable Mentions:

1. The Lone Gunmen

This X-Files spinoff flopped after a while. It was basically about a trio of hardware and software hackers solving things. They even visited DefCon - the annual hacker convention.

2. The Matrix

This movie is here because of the heavy use of philosophical questions posed by progressing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and energy consumption. Also that one scene where trinity uses nmap.

3. Tron Legacy

This movie is listed mainly because of soundtrack. What a great soundtrack to code to.

4. Tron - The original movie

I didn't think this was that fun, but others enjoyed it so I'll toss it up here.

Movies we had to mention:

1. Jobs (2013)

Dear god this movie was terrible. Literally awful. What the fuck.

2. Social Network

The soundtrack was great, the movie was OK, if not a bit unrealistic at times, but when I walked out of the theater, all I heard was "I'm going to start my own social network." -- that phrase irked me a bit.


And there you have it! Am I missing anything awesome? Next up will be Awesome Hacker Documentaries! :)

[Author Edit]

I just don't like TRON. It's a good movie, but beyond a really superficial imagining of what happens inside electronics, it's just too dated for me. I'll toss it up under honorable mentions.

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