Best Hacker Movies : From Algorithm to Zero Days

The Best Hacker Movies to Watch

Some movies are great because they have a unique plot, terrific acting, and solid directing (like The Matrix or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Others are great because they have a nonsensical plot, actors that chew the scenery and every opportunity, and have complete disinterest in logic or cohesion (like Hackers or Ghost in the Machine).

Regardless of whether it's a truly great movie or a terrible-great movie, so long as it’s fun and full of hacking, you can bet we’re going to watch it.

So grab some popcorn and take a seat on the couch with us. Here is our long list of absolute favorite movies for hackers to watch.

Are we missing any?

Add your comments below and tell us your thoughts.



“21” is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.


When the orphaned Karl Koch and his friend David start breaking into government and military computers, an acquaintance senses that there is money in computer cracking – and travels to east Berlin to try to contact the KGB.


A freelance computer hacker discovers a mysterious government computer program. He breaks into the program and is thrust into a revolution.


With the help of his new friends Alex Danyliuk turns to a life of crime and identity theft.


A computer programmer’s dream job at a hot Portland-based firm turns nightmarish when he discovers his boss has a secret and ruthless means of dispatching anti-trust problems.


A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.

BrazilDrama/Science Fiction19857.9/10

A bureaucrat in a dystopic society becomes an enemy of the state as he pursues the woman of his dreams.

Enemy of the StateThriller/Drama19987.3/10

A lawyer becomes targeted by a corrupt politician and his N.S.A. goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a politically motivated crime.

Hacker’s GameThriller/Drama20153.8/10

A love story between two hackers, Soyan and Loise. Like many other hackers, Soyan works for a company he previously hacked.


Hackers are blamed for making a virus that will capsize five oil tankers.


A millionaire has his life turned upside down after firing his I.T. consultant.


A team of genius-but-broke grad students invent mind-reading technology that destroys their lives and threatens the future of free will itself.

Live Free or Die HardThriller/Action20077.2/10

John McClane and a young hacker join forces to take down master cyber-terrorist Thomas Gabriel in Washington D.C.

Office SpaceComedy/ Romance19997.8/10

Three company workers who hate their jobs decide to rebel against their greedy boss.


A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.


Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there’s something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they’ve built, wrestle over their new invention.


A young female hacker awakens from a traumatic event that she scarcely remembers, and an iPhone glued to her hand. On the phone, a countdown is ticking away to zero. What happens at zero?


The NSA’s illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency’s employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press.

SwordfishThriller/Caper Story20016.5/10

A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell led by Gabriel Shear wants the money to help finance their war against international terrorism, but it’s all locked away. Gabriel brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson to help him.


This film is based on the story of the capture of computer hacker Kevin Mitnick.

The CircleThriller/Drama20175.3/10

A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover an agenda that will affect the lives of all of humanity.

The Fifth EstateThriller/Drama20136.2/10

A dramatic thriller based on real events that reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization.

The Girl with the Dragon TattooThriller/Drama20117.8/10

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

The Imitation GameThriller/Drama20148.2/10

During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

The Net 2.0Thriller/Drama20064.7/10

The life of a young computer systems analyst is thrown into turmoil when, after arriving in Istanbul to start a new job, she finds her credit cards useless, her bank account empty, and her identity stolen.

The NetThriller/Drama19955.8/10

A computer programmer stumbles upon a conspiracy, putting her life and the lives of those around her in great danger.

The SignalThriller20146.1/10

On a road trip, Nic and two friends are drawn to an isolated area by a computer genius. When everything suddenly goes dark, Nic regains consciousness – only to find himself in a waking nightmare.

The Social NetworkDrama/History20107.7/10

As Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, he is sued by the twins who claimed he stole their idea, and by the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

The Thirteenth FloorThriller/Mystery19997.0/10

A computer scientist running a virtual reality simulation of 1937 becomes the primary suspect when his colleague and mentor is murdered.

Underground: The Julian Assange StoryDrama/Biography20126.8/10

A look at the early career of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.


FBI agent Jennifer Marsh is tasked with hunting down a seemingly untraceable serial killer who posts live videos of his victims on the Internet. As time runs out, the cat and mouse chase becomes more personal.


A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

WarGames: The Dead CodeThriller/Drama20084.5/10

The United State’s Department of Homeland Security is led to believe an American teen hacker playing a terrorist-attack simulator game online is a real terrorist out to destroy the U.S.

Who Am IDrama/Crime20147.6/10

Benjamin, a young German computer whiz, is invited to join a subversive hacker group that wants to be noticed on the world’s stage.

Science Fiction / Fantasy

2001: A Space OdysseyScience Fiction/Fantasy19688.3/10

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

AnonScience Fiction/Thriller20186.0/10

In a world without anonymity or crime, a detective meets a woman who threatens their security.

AvalonScience Fiction/Fantasy20016.6/10

In a dystopian world, a woman spends her time playing an illegal and dangerous game, hoping to find meaning in her world.

Blade RunnerScience Fiction/Thriller19828.2/10

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Blade Runner 2049Science Fiction/Drama20178.3/10

Young Blade Runner K’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former Blade Runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years.

Colossus: The Forbin ProjectScience Fiction/Thriller19707.1/10

Thinking this will prevent war, the US government gives an impenetrable supercomputer total control over launching nuclear missiles. But what the computer does with the power is unimaginable to its creators.

Ex MachinaFantasy/Mystery20157.7/10

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a highly advanced humanoid A.I.

eXistenZScience Fiction/Thriller19996.8/10

A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

Ghost in the MachineHorror/Sci-Fi/Thriller19934.6/10

An electric surge causes a serial killer’s soul to end up in a computer system.

Ghost in the ShellFantasy/Animation19958.0/10

A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

Ghost in the ShellScience Fiction/Action20176.9/10

In the near future, Major Mira Killian is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.

HerScience Fiction/Romance20138.0/10

In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.

InceptionScience Fiction/Action20108.8/10

A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a C.E.O.

Johnny MnemonicScience Fiction/Action19955.6/10

A data courier, literally carrying a data package inside his head, must deliver it before he dies from the burden or is killed by the Yakuza.

MorganScience Fiction/Thriller20165.8/10

A corporate risk-management consultant must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.

One Point OScience Fiction/Mystery20046.2/10

After receiving mysterious empty packages inside his apartment, a young computer-programmer begins a personal investigation into their origins.

Open WindowsFantasy/Crime20145.2/10

A jilted fan soon finds himself pulled into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse after he accepts the opportunity to spy on his favorite actress via his laptop.

The Lawnmower ManFantasy/Action19925.4/10

A simple man is turned into a genius through the application of computer science.

The MatrixFantasy/Action19998.7/10

When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth–the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.

The Matrix ReloadedScience Fiction/Action20037.2/10

Neo and his allies race against time before the machines discover the city of Zion and destroy it. While seeking the truth about the Matrix, Neo must save Trinity from a dark fate within his dreams.

TranscendenceScience Fiction/Drama20146.3/10

A scientist’s drive for artificial intelligence takes on dangerous implications when his own consciousness is uploaded into one such program.

World on a WireScience Fiction/Thriller19737.9/10

Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality, when suddenly project leader Henry Vollmer dies.


Eagle EyeAction/Thriller20086.6/10

Jerry and Rachel are two strangers thrown together by a mysterious phone call from a woman they have never met. Threatening their lives and family, she pushes Jerry and Rachel into a series of increasingly dangerous situations, using the technology of everyday life to track and control their every move.

Echelon ConspiracyAction/Thriller20095.8/10

At first, the strange phone messages promised great wealth. Soon, though, government agents pursue the young engineer receiving them around the world.


A security specialist is forced into robbing the bank that he’s protecting, as a bid to pay off his family’s ransom.


In a future mind-controlling game, death row convicts are forced to battle in a ‘Doom’-type environment. Convict Kable, controlled by Simon, a skilled teenage gamer, must survive thirty sessions in order to be set free.

Kill ChainAction/Thriller20195.0/10

Three strangers’ lives are inevitably entangled in a conflict none of them are prepared for.

Kill SwitchAction/Science Fiction/Thriller20174.8/10

A pilot battles to save his family and the planet after an experiment for unlimited energy goes wrong.

Kung FuryAction/Comedy20154.1/10

In 1985, Kung Fury, the toughest martial artist cop in Miami, goes back in time to kill the worst criminal of all time – Kung Führer, a.k.a. Adolf Hitler.

SneakersScience Fiction/Thriller19927.1/10

A security pro finds his past coming back to haunt him, when he and his unique team are tasked with retrieving a particularly important item.

The IslandAction/Adventure20056.9/10

A man living in a futuristic sterile colony begins to question his circumscribed existence when his friend is chosen to go to the Island, the last uncontaminated place on earth.

The Italian JobAction/Thriller20037.0/10

After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Charlie Croker and his team plan an elaborate gold heist against their former ally.


A computer hacker is abducted into the digital world and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program.

Tron: LegacyAction/Adventure20106.8/10

The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father’s corrupted creation and a unique ally who was born inside the digital world.


After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.


When a virtual reality simulation created using the personalities of multiple serial killers manages to escape into the real world, an ex-cop is tasked with stopping its reign of terror.


A Good AmericanDocumentary/Biography/History20157.3/10

How a group of NSA code-breakers had a chance of preventing 9/11.

BBS: The DocumentaryDocumentary20058.7/10

Through eight episodes, director Jason Scott covers the 25 year history of the Dial-Up Bulletin Board System, a modem-connected computer system that let others connect to a computer over a phone line and leave messages and trade files.

Black CodeDocumentary/Action/Crime20166.0/10

A look at the global impact the internet has on free speech, privacy and activism.


A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.

Code 2600Documentary20127.4/10

CODE 2600 documents the Info-Tech Age, told by the events and people who helped build and manipulate it. It explores the impact this new connectivity has on our ability to remain human while maintaining our personal privacy and security.

Deep WebDocumentary20157.1/10

A feature documentary that explores the rise of a new Internet; decentralized, encrypted, dangerous and beyond the law; with particular focus on the FBI capture of the Tor hidden service Silk Road, and the judicial aftermath.

DEFCON: The DocumentaryDocumentary20135.7/10

DEFCON is the world's largest hacking conference, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2012 it was held for the 20th time. The conference has strict no-filming policies, but for DEFCON 20, a documentary crew was allowed full access to the event. The film follows the four days of the conference, the events and people (attendees and staff), and covers history and philosophy behind DEFCON's success and unique experience.


An exploration into how smart phones, social media, and the Internet are profoundly changing the way we interact and experience each other – for the good and for the bad.


A documentary that explores the downloading revolution; the kids that created it, the bands and the businesses that were affected by it, and its impact on the world at large.

Freedom DowntimeDocumentary20017.6/10

A feature length documentary about the Free Kevin movement and the hacker world.

Good Copy Bad CopyDocumentary20077.2/10

This insightful work explores the topics of hip-hop sampling, remix culture, file-sharing, movie piracy, and the current state of the music business. It also touches upon Russia’s rampant DVD black market, Brazil’s vibrant Tecno Brega remix scene, and the booming independent film industry in Lagos, Nigeria.

Hackers Are People TooDocumentary/Short Film20086.1/10

Hackers do laundry. Hackers like movies. Hackers are people and could be your neighbors, your brother, your friends. Presenting a portrait of the hacking community, created by the community…

Hackers for FreedomDocumentary20196.4/10

A fascinating investigation to meet activists and industrials who struggle to defend the free code, not only in the computer business, but every industry such as automobiles or agriculture….

Hacking DemocracyDocumentary20067.9/10

The film the voting machine corporations don’t want you to see. HACKING DEMOCRACY follows investigator/grandmother, Bev Harris, and her citizen-activists as they set out to uncover how …

Hackers WantedDocumentary/Indie Film20096.5/10

This film both follows the hacking adventures of famous hacker Adrian Lamo, and uses them as a microcosm for the macrocosm of struggles faced by emerging trends of thought – from the criminal to the philosophical.

In the Realm of the HackersDocumentary20037.4/10

In the late 1980s two Melbourne teenage computer hackers known as Electron and Phoenix stole a restricted computer security list called ‘Zardoz’ and used it to break into some of the …

Indie Game: The MovieDocumentary20127.7/10

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web 2017Documentary/Biography/Thriller20177.0/10

The story of the most wanted man online.

Pirates of Silicon ValleyDocumentary/Biography/Thriller19997.3/10

History of Apple and Microsoft.

Plug and PrayDocumentary/Biography/Thriller20107.2/10

Will man go beyond biology? It’s an age-old dream to create intelligent machines that equal their human creators. Computer experts around the world, like Raymond Kurzweil and Hiroshi …

Revolution OSDocumentary/Indie Film20017.3/10

While Microsoft may be the biggest software company in the world, not every computer user is a fan of their products, or their way of doing business. While Microsoft’s Windows became the …

Silk Road: Drugs, Death and the Dark WebDocumentary20177.4/10

The Silk Road, described as the Amazon of illegal drugs, appeared on the Dark Web in 2011. The brainchild of a mysterious, libertarian intellectual who evaded all attempts to track him down until a young IRS inspector cracked the case.

Softwaring HardDocumentary20148.2/10

A documentary about the world of software and the software makers. How do people from outside the industry see it and what do people from inside the industry think about regular computer users?

Steal This FilmDocumentary/Short Film20067.1/10

Steal This Film is part one of a series, documenting the movement against intellectual property produced by The League of Noble Peers and released via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol.

TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away from KeyboardDocumentary20137.6/10

An intellectual freedoms documentary based around the interpersonal triumphs, and defeats of the three main characters against the largest industry in the known universe. The media industry.

Terms and Conditions May ApplyDocumentary20137.4/10

A documentary that exposes what corporations and governments learn about people through Internet and cell phone usage, and what can be done about it … if anything.

The CodeDocumentary20017.5/10

Finnish-made documentary about GNU/Linux, featuring some of the most influential people of the free software (FOSS) movement.

The Great HackDocumentary20197.0/10

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is examined through the roles of several affected persons.

The Hacker WarsDocumentary20146.6/10

Ripped from international headlines, The Hacker Wars takes you to the front lines of the high-stakes battle over the fate of the Internet, freedom and privacy.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron SwartzDocumentary20148.1/10

The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26.

The KGB, the Computer and MeDocumentary19908.3/10

In 1986, astronomer turned computer scientist Clifford Stoll had just started working on a computer system at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory when he noticed a 75-cent discrepancy between …

The Secret History Of HackingDocumentary20017.6/10

A history of hacking focusing on Captain Crunch, Steve Wozniak and Kevin Mitnick.

The SingularityDocumentary20127.3/10

Within the coming decades we will be able to create computers with greater than human intelligence, bio-engineer our species, and redesign matter through nanotechnology. How will these technologies change what it means to be human?

The Social DilemmaDocumentary20207.7/10

Explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations.

War for the WebDocumentary20157.4/10

A documentary that exposes what corporations and governments learn about people through Internet and cell phone usage, and what can be done about it … if anything.

We Are Legion: The Story of the HacktivistsDocumentary20127.3/10

A documentary on the workings and beliefs of the self-described “hacktivist” collective, Anonymous.

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaksDocumentary20136.9/10

A documentary that details the creation of Julian Assange‘s controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history.

Zero DaysDocumentary20167.8/10

A documentary focused on Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target.

TV Shows

Black MirrorDrama/Science Fiction20118.9/10

An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech multiverse where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.

CSI: CyberDrama/Crime/Mystery20155.4/10

Special agent Avery Ryan works to solve crimes as a CyberPsychologist for the FBI.


Tapping into the geopolitics of hacking and surveillance, Ben Makuch travels the world to meet with hackers, government officials, and dissidents to investigate the ecosystem of cyberwarfare.

Dark NetDocumentary/Series20167.3/10

Explores the furthest reaches of the internet and the people who frequently use it, providing a revealing and cautionary look inside a vast cyber netherworld.


A computer engineer investigates the secretive development division in her company, which she believes is behind the disappearance of her boyfriend.

Halt and Catch FireDrama20148.3/10

Follows some players in the 80s technological revolution that lead to information society.

Mr. RobotThriller/Drama20158.7/10

Elliot, a brilliant but highly unstable young cyber-security engineer and vigilante hacker, becomes a key figure in a complex game of global dominance when he and his shadowy allies try to take down the corrupt corporation he works for.

Person of InterestAction/Crime/Drama20118.5/10

An ex-CIA agent and a wealthy programmer save lives via a surveillance AI that sends them the identities of civilians involved in impending crimes. However, the details of the crimes–including the civilians’ roles–are left a mystery.


An eccentric genius forms an international network of super-geniuses to act as the last line of defense against the complicated threats of the modern world.

Serial Experiments LainCyberpunk/Animation19988.2/10

Strange events begin to occur as a withdrawn girl named Lain becomes obsessed with interconnected virtual realm of “The Wired”.

Silicon ValleyComedy20148.5/10

Follows the struggle of Richard Hendricks, a Silicon Valley engineer trying to build his own company called Pied Piper.


A desperate banker, a Haitian-American gang lord and a Cuban-American hacker are forced to work together to unwittingly create their version of the American dream – organized crime 2.0.

The CodeDrama20147.6/10

Two Canberra based brothers become entangled in a cover up that involves a remote outback community and key members of the Australian Government.

The IT CrowdComedy20068.6/10

The comedic misadventures of Roy, Moss and their grifting supervisor Jen, a rag-tag team of IT support workers at a large corporation headed by a hotheaded yuppie.

TravelersScience Fiction20168.0/10

Hundreds of years from now, surviving humans discover how to send consciousness back through time, into people of the 21st century, while attempting to change the path of humanity.

Unit 42Crime/Drama/Thriller20177.0/10

While having to raise his three children on his own, Inspector Sam Leroy joins Brussels’ Cyber Crime Unit. Confronted with new codes, he must collaborate with Billie Vebber, a former hacker who covertly pursues objectives of her own.

Valley of the BoomDocumentary/Drama20196.5/10

Docudrama crosscut with real interviews about the 1990s tech boom in the Silicon Valley.


Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, explore a world in which every human appetite can be indulged without consequence.

You Are WantedThriller/Drama20176.1/10

Lukas Franke (Matthias Schweighöfer) is the victim of a cyber-crime attack. All his personal data, web and social media profiles get hacked and he gets accused of being involved in …

Hopefully, you’ve found a few new flicks to try on your next rainy Sunday afternoon. If you find yourself inspired to learn these skills yourself, take a look at some of our courses below. We can’t teach you kung-fu, but if you want to learn to hack, our Members Section is a great place to start.

Level Up in Cyber Security: Join Our Membership Today!

vip cta image
vip cta details
  • Nathan House

    Nathan House is the founder and CEO of StationX. He has over 25 years of experience in cyber security, where he has advised some of the largest companies in the world. Nathan is the author of the popular "The Complete Cyber Security Course", which has been taken by over half a million students in 195 countries. He is the winner of the AI "Cyber Security Educator of the Year 2020" award and finalist for Influencer of the year 2022.

  • Sobeida says:

    Thanks!!! :)

  • Denis says:

    Thanks for sharing, some movies I did not watch.

    Hope have on NetFlix!!

  • Alishia says:

    Something different to read!

  • Dwaipayan Gupta says:

    A great compilation! Thanks Nathan, will be saving this for sure.

  • Phil says:

    AWESOME List! Check out “The Social Dilemma” for your Documentary list. That documentary definitely peaked interest from my hacker mind!

  • Alvaro says:

    Yeah!, good list, when are you prepared a course about cell phones?

  • Paulo says:

    Thanks Nathan!
    That’s an amazing list for Christmas break :)

  • Nic says:

    Great list! Also add: “Kill Chain”, “Killswitch”, “Cyberwar” series (from Viceland), “Hackers for Freedom”, “Black Code”, “A Good American”. These are some good & interesting documentaries. Enjoy!

  • Dom says:

    Thanks for the list Nathan.Nice Christmas present. As a suggestion; how about the documentary ” A Good American” starring the former technical director of the NSA ?

  • Ben says:

    TV: Unit 42. Movies: Ghost in the Machine, Upgrade.

  • Kevin says:

    Next up, video games for hackers to play ?

    • Trevor says:

      Oh, Orwell is a good one too. More doxxing/privacy type stuff. If I remember correctly you work for the government trying to track down terrorists. As the name implies think of a 1984 type society.

  • 0FawkesGiven says:

    Glad to see that Takedown made the list. Also, and I’m not sure it qualifies, but “Hack the Grid” on Netflix is a short documentary on red teaming.

  • Manuel L says:

    Great list! What about some books you would find interesting for hackers to read, more on a fictional or novel side than resources for learning?

  • Ed says:

    Add to documentaries “Weapons of Mass Surveillance”.

  • J. Matthew Turner says:

    Definitely add: Real Genius (1985). Maybe add: Superman III (1983), Cloak and Dagger (1984), and Desk Set (1957).

  • yash says:

    Please make a similar list for books and novels….

  • >