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August 21, 2013updated 22 Sep 2016 10:57am

Top 10 hacker films

The best films portraying people breaking through firewalls.

By Claire Vanner

While watching these films may not be the best way to pick up tips on hacking, they are certainly entertaining. From 1982’s classic TRON, exploring a alternate fictional universe to this year’s The Fifth Element which is based on the true story of Wikileaks, films about hackers aren’t just for computer nerds, they are full of fun and thrills.

10. Hackers

1995. Directed by Iain Softley. Stars Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie
This cult classic sees a young boy banned from using computers at age 11 after he crashes 1,507 systems in one day. Then when he joins a new high school, he and his new hacker friends discover a corporate extortion conspiracy. They try to use their computer skills to find evidence while being pursued by the secret service and the people behind the virus.

9. Antitrust

2001. Directed by Peter Howitt. Stars Ryan Philippe and Tim Robbins
Computer programming graduate Milo joins NURV to help create a global communications system. But Milo discovers his new boss, a character who’s characteristics are based on Bill Gates, is dispatching anti-trust virus software.

8. The Net

the net
1995. Directed by Irwin Winklet. Stars Sandra Bullock and Jeremny Northam
Software analysis Angela Bennett is dealing with a virus in one of her company’s new games when she finds out that a hack programme has erased her records from existence and replaced with a criminal record.

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7. Reboot

2012. Directed by Joe Kawasaki. Stars Emily Somers and Travis Aaron Wade
This short but powerful film sees a young hacker waking up with a phone glued to her hand with no memory of what just happened to her. The phone displays a countdown, but she doesn’t know what will happen when it reaches zero.

6. Die Hard 4.0

Die Hard
2007. Directed by Len Wiseman. Stars Bruce Willis, Justin Long and Timothy Olyphant
John McClane returns and this time he goes digital. Joining forces with a young hacker, the pair aims to take down a cyber criminal after he hacks the FBI’s Cyber Crime Division.

5. The Fifth Estate

fifth estate
2013. Directed by Bill Condon. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Capaldi and Stanley Tucci
Based on the true story of Wikileaks founds Julian Assange who created a platform to allow whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data to expose the government’s secrets and corporate crimes.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

dragon tattoo
2011. Directed by David Fincher. Stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara
Based on the best-selling Swedish book, journalist Mikael Blomkvist teams up with a young, socially awkward computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to solve the mystery of a girl who when missing forty years ago, but uncover more than they expected to find.


1982. Directed by Steven Lisberger. Stars Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan
The classic computer-age film, Kevin Flynn, a hacker and arcade owner is abducted into a computer world where computer programmes are the alter-egos of their creators and he is forced to participate in gladiatorial games by the Master Control programme. Tron, a security programme, and Flynn try to destroy the MCP to right the computer world and return to the real world.

2. Swordfish

2001. Directed by Dominic Sena. Stars John Travolta, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry
Convicted computer hacker Stanley Jobson is hired by Black Cell boss Gabriel Shear to break into an encrypted FBI computer system containing billions of dollars. The money will help the anti-terrorist group to carry out retaliatory attacks against terrorists who have attacked Americans.

1. The Matrix

1999. Directed by The Wachowski Brothers. Stars Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne
The film that made everyone question what was real: Computer hacker, Neo, finds out that he is living in an alternate reality, known as The Matrix, as the world is now a wasteland that has been captured by machines. Neo teams up with a rebel group lead by Morpheus to face the agent computer programmes who are trying to wipe out human resistance.



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