There are a surprising number of movies about computer programmers, whether it’s a sci-fi film about a simulated reality or a biopic about one of the most influential inventors of all time. Surprisingly, of all the superhero movies, the multiplexes are actually filled with movies related to computer programming.
That’s especially true now, as if once a novelty, audiences now live in the computer-driven world that ’80s and ’90s movies predicted. The difference is that the movies have gone from cyberpunk action movies about hacking to true stories about hacking.
ten The Fifth Estate (2013) – 6.2
The fifth state follows Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a real-life activist and programmer who created WikiLeaks. The film follows him as he creates a platform where any anonymous user can leak government secrets, but his life turns into a thriller in the film.
It’s also probably part of the reason the film isn’t as acclaimed as others on this list, as it relies more on melodrama and less on hard facts, especially since it there is so much story to tell. Cumberbatch clearly has a thing for playing programmers, because not only is he the leader in The fifth state, but he also plays Alan Turing in The imitation game too much.
9 The Internship (2013) – 6.3
Movies about computer programmers tend to be too serious, but The internship, on the other hand, is a comedy about two idiots who somehow land a programming internship at Google. It’s one of the few movies that makes good use of product placement, because the whole movie is about how good Google is.
While there are far better quality comedies out there, any keen programmer would like The internship just because of the way it shows google campuses. Between Google bikes and sleep pods, the movie is a working ad.
8 Swordfish (2001) – 6.5
Swordfish is basically a mix between The matrix and Ocean’s Eleven. And just like The matrix, the 2001 film has a cyberpunk aesthetic with its leather-clad protagonists and hackers, and even the green color scheme is the same.
just like Ocean’s Eleven, the film also follows a team of bank robbers, but to steal $9.5 billion, they need the best computer programmer they can get their hands on. It’s not the most beloved film in the world, but Swordfish is an interesting and unique take on a heist movie, and the late ’90s aesthetic is fun to revisit.
seven Tron (1982) – 6.8
tron is a fascinating film for programmers to watch for many different reasons. First, the film follows Kevin Flynn, a computer programmer and video game developer who ends up transported into the software he was designing.
The mainframe of the software is a whole world full of fascinating effects and action. And especially, tron is one of the very first movies in history to use extensive CGI, paving the way for virtually every Hollywood movie released today.
6 War Games (1983) – 7.1
Although not the most critically acclaimed film upon release, War games was actually way ahead of its time. The film follows a young hacker who gains access to a supercomputer belonging to the US military.
Lately, hackers have become a serious threat because there is so much personal information they can access. And as children get computers as gifts at younger and younger ages, War games and its main character, David (Matthew Broderick) predicted the future. There is also an amusing parallel between War games and another 80s movie starring Broderick, Ferris Bueller’s day off, as Ferris also uses a computer to hack into his school’s registry database.
5 Steve Jobs (2015) – 7.2
Steve Jobs is the first of two films about programmers written by Aaron Sorkin, who the screenwriter also wrote The social network. But the way Sorkin writes about two of the most famous programmers is unique, because he is more interested in them as flawed human beings than in their revolutionary inventions.
Steve Jobs and Works were released at the same time, the latter being another biopic about the founder of Apple. But the movie written by Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle came out on top, and that’s partly because of its structure. The 2015 film has a three-act structure, each focusing on a different product launch.
4 The Social Network (2010) – 7.7
Although it portrays one of the most famous self-made billionaires, Mark Zuckerberg, in an unflattering light, The social network is still one of the most inspiring movies for programmers to watch. The film follows the founder of Facebook as he builds the website, spending most of his days coding. When he’s not partying, of course.
The film follows Facebook as it grows from a small idea of the Winklevoss twins to 500 million users. And since the social media website now has nearly three billion users, fans are still waiting The social network 2.
3 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) – 7.8
just like The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is directed by David Fincher – as if that weren’t obvious because of the film’s brilliant look and equally chilling score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. But they have another similarity, as the two main characters are programmers.
Specifically, Lisbeth Salander is a hacker who helps Mikael uncover a murder. It’s not always easy to watch, but satisfying when Lisbeth takes revenge on her attacker.
2 The Imitation Game (2014) – 8.0
If it weren’t for Alan Turing, there wouldn’t be any programmers, because he was responsible for everything except creating the computer. Some think The imitation game didn’t deserve a Best Picture Oscar nomination, but the onscreen portrayal of the scientist’s real-life role in World War II couldn’t be more compelling.
The imitation game also depicts Turing’s personal life after the events of World War II, when he was chemically castered for being gay in the 1950s. Although he invented the computer and was a genius, it had a heartbreaking ending, just like the movie.
1 The Matrix (1999) – 8.7
The matrix is a perfect example of cyberpunk and he is very stylish with his leather jackets and shades. Before becoming Neo, Mr. Anderson was simply a computer programmer named Thomas, but what follows is a groundbreaking concept about a simulated reality full of explosive action.
The fourth film in the series, The Matrix Resurrections, will be released later in 2021. And in the trailer, Neo has no memory of what The Matrix is, so he might just be a programmer again.
NEXT: The Matrix Resurrections – 10 More Movies Featuring The Cast
Shrek: 10 times fans felt bad for Donkey