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Top 7 Hacking Movies Exploring Cybercrime And Security

The Cyber Express explores the list of hacking movies and the topics of cybercrimes heavily within the entertainment industry.

by Editorial June 29, 2024

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There are numerous movies that envision futuristic scenarios, often portraying advanced technology within utopian or dystopian settings. While these films captivate audiences with their imaginative takes on the future, they often fall short of accurately depicting the intricate world of cybersecurity. The real-life nuances of hacking and cybercrimes are frequently overlooked or sensationalized.

In this article, we aim to spotlight films that delve deeply into the realm of hacking and cybersecurity. These movies go beyond mere futuristic speculation to explore the complexities of cybercrimes, showcasing the skills, challenges, and ethical dilemmas faced by hackers.

From intense cyber heists to battles against digital espionage, these films provide a more authentic portrayal of the hacking landscape. Join us as we uncover a selection of movies that bring the gritty reality of cybersecurity to the forefront, offering a compelling and realistic glimpse into the digital underworld.

Top 7 Hacking Movies Highlighting Cybersecurity and Cybercrimes

7. Firewall 

FireWall is a 2006 action thriller directed by Richard Loncraine. The film centers on a security expert for a Seattle-based bank named Jack, played by the famous Harrison Ford, whose life takes a perilous turn when he is manipulated into helping a team steal millions from his bank. They threaten Jack’s family to ensure his cooperation and Jack struggles to outwit the thieves while protecting them. 

This is one of those hacking movies that represents cybersecurity threats greatly as the main character is someone who works in the cybersecurity industry. Although filled with action and dramatic tension, this movie is an insight into how hackings can occur and why cybercrime threats are on the rise with how profitable they can be.  

6. Ghost in the Shell 

Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 Japanese animated cyberpunk film directed by Mamoru Oshii, and originally based on the manga. The movie takes place in a futuristic world where cybernetic enhancements are the norm and follows Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg agent of Section 9, a government agency that specializes in cybercrime. She and her team go after the Puppet Master, an infamous hacker capable of infiltrating and manipulating human minds.  

This film is a staple in the cyberpunk genre and has influenced many others after it. It can tackle how the advancement of technology can be something detrimental as we lose the idea of where human beings end and machines begin. We are also given insight into how hacking may become a much more prevalent issue in the future if we lose this divide, and how it may be harmful to people on a different level.  

5. Skyfall 

Skyfall is an action movie part of the James Bond film series and directed by Sam Mendes. The film follows the 6th iteration of James Bond, portrayed by Daniel Craig, who is presumed dead after a failed mission. However, Bond resurfaces when MI6 comes under attack by a cyberterrorist. As Bond returns to duty, he faces both physical and psychological challenges while trying to track down and stop the cyberterrorist.  

Skyfall shows us cybersecurity threats on a national level. With cyberwars occurring more and more in the real world, this movie is a fun and attention-catching depiction of how these hackings may be dealt with by security intelligence agents and agencies. While it may not be accurate as other hacking movies, it gives the public some insight as these national occurrences are usually shielded from the public eye.  

4. Hackers 

Hackers is a 1995 film directed by Iain Softley, also in the cyberpunk genre. The film follows a group of young hackers led by Dade Murphy who goes by the alias “Zero Cool.” After being banned from computers for crashing 1,507 systems at a young age, Dade returns to hacking as a teenager. Alongside his friends, they uncover a conspiracy involving a powerful corporation and a malicious hacker known as “The Plague”. 

This film introduces ideas surrounding hacking culture and internet security, but also the ethics of hacking as it shows the clash between rebellious youth and corporate interests. The film is sure to feature stylized depictions of hacking techniques and virtual reality sequences as the hackers in it are presented as countercultural heroes navigating the digital landscape. 

3. Untraceable 

Untraceable is a 2008 thriller directed by Gregory Hoblit that follows FBI agent Jennifer Marsh who specializes in cybercrime. Marsh and her team investigate a website called “KillWithMe.com,” where victims are tortured and killed live on camera. On this site, the more viewers the site attracts, the faster the victims die. As Marsh races against time to track down the tech-savvy killer. 

The film explores themes of online voyeurism as the killers exploit the public’s morbid curiosity for their profit and gain. Along with this, it tackles the dangers of internet anonymity along with the responsibility of internet platforms in facilitating harmful content. The movie serves as a cautionary tale about the dark side of technology and the lack of cybersecurity not only in the cyber world but also its fallout into the real world because of how hyper-connected everything is. 

2. The Beekeeper 

The Beekeeper (2024), directed by David Ayer, follows Adam Clay, portrayed by Jason Statham, who is a beekeeper in the country who raises and sells honey. He lives next to an older woman who rents his place out to him and takes care of him. However, one day she responds to a phishing scam from a data mining company which then steals everything in not only her bank account but also the account of a non-profit she helped found, causing her to kill herself. Adam then works to get back on thieving tech bros that use the latest technology to take advantage of people online.  

This hacking movie depicts immensely well the detrimental impacts and fallout cybercrime can have. Phishing scams are the most common way for cybercriminals to steal data and money. So, this movie hits even closer to the heart as viewers realize this could happen to any of them. The main character acts as an enforcer of justice as he goes after cybercriminals that are good at hiding their steps and so usually don’t face the consequences for their crimes by law enforcement.  

1. The Imitation Game 

The Imitation Game is a biographical drama directed by Morten Tyldum, based on the life of Alan Turing, a renowned mathematician and cryptanalyst during World War II. The movie follows the real-life events of Turing as he is recruited by the British government to join a team tasked with deciphering the Enigma code used by Nazi Germany. Turing uses unorthodox methods to work tirelessly to break the code, a task vital to Allied victory. 

This movie is different from the other ones on the list due to its mostly “non-fiction” nature. This movie depicts a very real-life issue where coding, a part of hacking, was essential to the survival of millions of people. The Imitation Game highlights Turing’s pivotal role in history while shedding light on the complexities of his life and legacy. At the same time, it documents the impact of the team put together to figure out this essential code against the Nazis.  

Conclusion 

We hope at least some of these hacking movies may have piqued your interest. Whether you’re a fan of older movies from the 90s or a newer one from just this year, whether a fictional storyline or nonfiction one, at least one of these should have piqued your interest. I hope we cybersecurity enthusiasts will have more of these movies coming out around the corner.

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