Top 10 most influential security-related movies

Update: Due to the overwhelming support for the movie Hackers, and although it is against my better judgment, I have decided to eliminate the movie “Tron” and replace it with “Hackers”

In the spirit of silly lists I give you the Top 10 list of most influential hacking, computer, cyber-punk-related movies of all time…and by influential I mean one of these movies made you want to get into the biz.

10. 23
9. Enemy of the State
8. Pirates of Silicon Valley
7. Tron Hackers
6. Office Space
5. Blade Runner
4. Wargames
3. The Matrix
2. Sneakers
1. The Conversation

Hackers, The net, firewall, and swordfish didn’t make the cut, nor did takedown or anti-trust! Any I am missing?


17 thoughts on “Top 10 most influential security-related movies

  1. Amrit – this list is a joke, you don’t have any movies listed here that don’t either have a blog or are in the security movie network. I could of course come up with my own list which would be much better. 😉

  2. hackers didn’t make the cut? you mean the allure of female hackers that look like angelina jolie isn’t enough to motivate people to get into security?

    there’s something wrong with a male dominated industry when the actress most straight *women* would be ok sleeping with isn’t enough to motivate them…

  3. Amen to The Conversation and it’s sequel Enemy of the State.

    But, I’m with Alan — no mention of Hackers. And Tron??? Are you serious?? Tron doesn’t know the first thing about security. Cool bikes though.

  4. I know of a very well known hacker type who first got in to the NYTimes within a week of seeing “Hackers,” because it inspired him to go investigate something.

    He’s done lots since, and so, influential security movies should include Hackers.

  5. I hate to sound juvenile, but I loved the movie Hackers. It hits a lot of great notes about the state of hacking and computer culture in 1996 when it came out (I first saw it only years later). Did it make me wants to get into the biz? No, but I completely embrace the movie for the fun impact that it had. Cheesy 3D graphics and some misrepresentation on the glory and excitement of hacking, yes. But it really hit a lot of great notes (besides, it has an awesome soundtrack and is great to just pop in as an “in the background” movie).

    Honestly, how many movies were really influential anyway? Pirates of Silicon Valley is not itself influential, but the persons in it are. A similar approach could be made about Takedown. Granted, I wouldn’t put Takedown on my own list, but lots of people were tuned into security/insecurity by the story of Kevin Mitnick.

  6. the conversation is my favourite movie of all time. might actually explain my paranoia. it didn’t get me into security, but it did get me into surveillance.

    but yes, amrit, removing tron was against your better judgement. tron rules.

  7. I don’t get it. You took Tron off a list of security movies, but left 23 and Enemy of the State?

    Put Tron back on right now.

    Don’t you people understand metaphor?

    Cheers for putting Hackers back on. I was a bystander at Summercon in 1995 as ErikB lectured us about how hard it was to make an “authentic” hacking movie without making it boring (a plight you see in Annaliza Savage’s work), and how we should cut the director of “Backbeat” some slack.

    Consider “Jurassic Park”, too.

  8. Mixed on Tron vs. Hackers. While I’m too old for Hackers to have done it for me, the number of “zero cool”‘s that showed up on the same mailings lists as me testifies to its influence.

    I think my friend Kevin might vote for “Three Days of the Condor.”

    My other friend Kevin would probably put Wargames up towards the top, he cared enough to stalk Ally Sheedy.

    Wargames was the one for myself.

    One you forgot in your list of things to leave off was “Takedown”.

  9. i don’t understand why 23 is on this list…
    someone please explain to me what in the world that movie has to do with security.
    don’t get me wrong, i thoroughly enjoyed it, but i don’t see the connection to security or the like… paranoia, sure… but security?
    or is there another completely different movie with the same title?

  10. You’re thinking of the movie “The Number 23” with Jim Carrey. I was referring to the 1998 German film 23 about a group of young computer hackers from Hannover, Germany

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