5) Office Space
This is probably one of the best movies that recognized the… lack of recognition computer programmers got in the 90s. If Hawaiian shirt fridays make you want to hack your company’s software to compute a rounding error to the tune of $300k, this one is for you. We all now know you’re really only doing about 15 minutes of real work every week.
4) The Matrix
You gotta love a movie that makes sure anyone who doesn’t know a thing about how code works will only believe the wildest things about black DOS prompts with green scrolling text. And not only that, but visual translation of scrolling text that can somehow be understood as images. A great example of a futuristic world that uses currently outdated computers. Talk about a lack of foresight!
This movie actually did a great job of displaying code, discussions about efficiency in loops, and relatively realistic discussions about what computers were capable of doing in the early 00s. The best aspects of this movie though were the underlying themes of open source versus propitiatory software. This was very clearly a giant stab at Microsoft in the late 90s and their monopolistic swallowing of anything representing competition.
“It’s got a 28.8k modem!” — Tech movies have quickly found ways to date themselves. This one did it better than the rest. However, it also showed hacking at it’s finest in movies. With virtual flying through databases, turning on school sprinklers, changing the shows on TV channels and a legendary hacking of “The Gibson.” There is no reason this movie could ever not be number one on a list such as this.
Side Note: Matthew Lillard has one character. His recent AMA on Reddit was about as annoyingly self promotional as they come.