8 movies tech geeks will love

Movies tech

It is difficult to say if it is movies that inspire technological advances or whether art is simply imitating life itself. Whatever the case may be, technology will certainly continue to inspire and progress as the years go by.

We’ve gathered some of the best tech-related movies, from as far back as the 1980s to the current day, for you to enjoy.

WarGames (1983)
Starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy

A young would-be hacker accidentally accesses a top secret, military supercomputer that enables its users to predict the possible outcomes of nuclear war. David Lightman, the hacker in question, gets the supercomputer to run a nuclear war simulation, not knowing its real-life connection. These actions create a nuclear missile scare and almost initiates World War III.

Hackers (1995)
Starring Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie

Following the exploits of a group of gifted high school hackers and their involvement in a corporate extortion conspiracy, Hackers is a cult film straight from the stereotypical 1990s. It provides insight into how everyday people viewed the underground world of hacking and its cyberpunk subculture, back when the Internet was still in its infancy.

Many people have said that the film doesn’t accurately depict hackers, a critique that the movie’s director Iain Softley agrees with. However, it is a fun introduction into a world that not a lot of people are privy to.

Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Starring Keanu Reeves and Dolph Lundgren

Johnny Mnemonic is a futuristic courier with a brain implant designed to store and transport information that is too sensitive to transmit over the Internet. Unfortunately this implant has erased his childhood memories. In order to get his memories back, he undertakes a mission to transport secret information that could potentially kill him in order to have the implant removed.

It may not be the best or most successful film on the list but it’s worth a watch nonetheless.

The Matrix trilogy (1999, 2003)
Starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne

This action-packed franchise is cyberpunk-inspired just like the previously mentioned movie Hackers (1995). According to the Wachowski brothers, the writers and directors of The Matrix trilogy, a dystopian future awaits us where all humans live in a simulated reality created by machines. We later learn that these sentient machines use the body heat and electrical activity of humans as an energy source. When Neo, a computer programmer, learns the truth from an underground rebel group he leads the charge to free humans from the so-called “dream world”.

The Wachowski brothers turned The Matrix trilogy into a popular franchise which includes the three films (The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions), an animated short film series called The Animatrix, comic books and also video games.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Starring Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law

In this futuristic science fiction adventure, rising oceans have caused humans to retreat from coastal cities. Despite this threat from nature, humans are becoming more technologically advanced. They have created artificially intelligent robots whose only purpose is to serve human beings.

The story follows a robot boy who is on a mission to win back his human family’s love after he is thrown away when their real son returns and the robot boy is no longer needed.

Minority Report (2002)
Starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell

This science fiction thriller, directed by Steven Spielberg, is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick of the same name. Set in the year 2054 when a specialized police department called PreCrime is in full swing. The PreCrime system apprehends criminals based on the foreboding of three psychics called “preCogs”. Essentially, these preCognitives can see if a person is going to commit a crime even before they do it.

Despite PreCrime seeming like a fantastical concept, this film was intended to only contain things that had some grounding in reality. You will recognize everything from retina scanners (in the form of miniature robotic spiders) and multi-screen interfaces, to personalized advertising as you walk past billboards and 3D touchscreens in this acclaimed film. A television series based on the film will be released on 21 September 2015.

The Social Network (2010)
Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield

Based on Ben Mezrich’s book “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal”, this movie was nominated for eight Oscars. It is essentially the story of Facebook’s origin. What was the catalyst behind the creation of Facebook? What prompted its meteoric rise online? What controversies were faced along the way?

Even though Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook staff were not involved in the making of this film, it still provides a good insight into the beginnings of this worldwide social phenomena and why it works so well. It has, however, been criticized for overdramatizing the early power struggles between the founders and investors of Facebook and its portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg as a ruthless villain.

Her (2013)
Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson

An introspective writer in the final stages of divorce purchases an operating system, advertised as the first artificially intelligent program of its kind, to help him with everyday tasks. As the writer starts working with the OS (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), it develops a consciousness of its own and eventually they develop a complex romantic relationship.

The movie raises a lot of important questions about how our relationships with other people are changing in the face of an increasingly digital world. It also seeks answers as to how we can incorporate our need for technology into our daily lives whilst still maintaining meaningful real-life connections.

Honourable mentions

Other movies in this genre worth a look are:

  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • Total Recall (1990, remake 2012)
  • The Fifth Element (1997)
  • Pi (1998)
  • I, Robot (2004)
  • Moon (2009)
  • Ender’s Game (2013)