You'd think films that revolve around typing away at a keyboard would be dull, but these 25 best hacker films show that's anything but the case.
The Matrix (1999)
Keanu Reeves stars as computer hacker Neo, who discovers that the whole world's a computer programme designed to enslave humanity. Fortunately, he can learn Kung Fu just by loading up a bit of software. If it was that easy, we'd be black belts by now.
The Matrix spawned a generation of would-be cyber anarchists who decided to show their individuality by wearing black leather coats and hiding moody expressions behind mirror shades.
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
This iconic anime based on the manga by Masamune Shirow follows a cyborg policewoman trying to track down the Puppet Master D, a hacker who's able to manipulate people's personalities. Ghost in the Shell not only looks staggering, but being one of the first films to combine cell animation with CGI, it also raises interesting questions about the nature of identity.
More after the break...
The Italian Job (1969)
The cheeky 1960s crime caper, a hacking film? Yup – The Italian Job's iconic traffic jam in Turin is created when Charlie Croker's gang loads a new programme onto the city's traffic control computer – with tape! Nowadays, pretty much every heist film involves hacking into a computer somewhere, albeit without the assistance of Benny Hill.
David Cronenberg's 1999 sci-fi flick takes a characteristically messy, organic approach to hacking. eXistenZ is set in a computer game where people connect to using biological computers. Cue the usual Croenebergian sprays of body fluid and squelchy bits plus some cool innovations, like a gun (made out of biological components) that shoots teeth.
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Keanu Reeves plays "the ultimate hard drive" – a courier who uses his brain to store corporate data packages. Only trouble is, he's taken on more than he can handle on his latest job, and risks psychological damage, or even death.
Based on a short story by William Gibson, founding father of cyberpunk, how could this sci-fi actioner fail? Well, when the studio heavily recut it just before release, it doomed the film to mediocre reviews and a cult following. Losing the heroin-addicted dolphin was a mistake, it turns out.