Best Tech Movies That Every Programmer Must Watch
Updated on 10th Jan, 24 9.1K Views

For programmers and tech enthusiasts, the best tech movies offer not only entertainment but also a glimpse into the diverse aspects of technology. Whether it’s the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence, the excitement of hacking adventures, or the exploration of futuristic worlds, these films provide a unique perspective on the constantly changing relationship between humanity and technology. 

Table of Contents

15 Best Tech Movies

As a programmer, watching movies about technology, hacking, and coding is both entertaining and educational. Getting inspiration from stories of innovative programmers changing the world or seeing depictions of legendary hackers doing the seemingly impossible is exciting. Plus, these types of movies can spark new ideas and motivate you to improve your programming skills.

If you’re looking for some great tech movies to add to your must-watch list, here are 15 of the best:

1. The Social Network

The Social Network

The Social Network shows the founding of Facebook and how Mark Zuckerberg created a revolutionary social media platform in the early 2000s. The movie shows Zuckerberg developing Facebook from his Harvard dorm room, using his coding and computer skills to build a site that connects college students online. It emphasizes how Zuckerberg leveraged emerging technologies like high-speed internet, databases, and web programming languages to create a digital network where people can share information and communicate. Overall, The Social Network, which was released in 2010, highlights how innovative technology allowed Facebook to rapidly disrupt social communication and media when it launched in 2004.

Rating: IMDb 7.8/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

Where to Watch: Netflix, SonyLiv, Amazon Prime, and YouTube

2. The Internship

The Internship

The Internship, released in 2013, tells the story of two salesmen who get internships at Google. Despite being outdated in their tech skills, they must compete with younger and smarter candidates for a full-time job. The movie shows the advanced technologies utilized at Google, like self-driving cars, massive data centers, and innovative software and apps. It highlights how tech companies have evolved to prioritize coding, algorithms, and data analytics. While the two interns struggle to adapt, the movie shows how essential high-level tech and programming abilities are in the modern workplace. Ultimately, The Internship emphasizes how tech skills and knowledge have become crucial even in non-technical roles.

Rating: IMDb 6.3/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 35%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play Movies & TV and YouTube

3. Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Ready Player One is a 2018 American science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is set in 2045 when most of humanity uses the virtual reality software Oasis to escape their bleak real world. The late Oasis creator James Halliday devises a contest: the first to find three hidden keys in Oasis wins full ownership. Teenager Wade Watts joins the contest as his Oasis avatar, Parzival. He and his friends search for the keys while racing against corporate executive Nolan Sorrento, who wants to control Oasis. The film examines themes of virtual reality, nostalgia, and the influence of technology corporations.

Rating: IMDb: 7.4/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 72%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play Movies & TV, and YouTube

4. Hackers

Hackers

The cyberpunk thriller Hackers, released in 1995, shows a group of teen hackers in New York City who become implicated in a major cybercrime conspiracy. The movie extensively showcases early hacking techniques like social engineering, phreaking, and manipulating payphones and computers. It emphasizes the emerging hacking subculture of the 1990s focused on exploring complex systems and gaining unauthorized access to networks and data. However, Hackers also highlight the negative outcomes of breaching security protocols. While presenting fantastical depictions of hacking, the movie underscores the rising threats posed by malicious attacks on vulnerable digital infrastructure and the importance of cybersecurity. Overall, Hackers dramatize the powers and dangers of rapidly evolving technology.

Rating: IMDb: 6.2/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 33%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime and Apple TV

5. Tron

Tron

The sci-fi film Tron, released in 1982, shows a software engineer who gets transported inside a mainframe computer. The movie’s setting in the digital world of programs and algorithms highlights early advancements in CGI and virtual environments. Tron imagines technology that can digitize and transport physical matter, envisioning people interacting inside a computer system. The visual effects portray futuristic concepts like avatars, artificial intelligence, and cyberspace. While fantastical by today’s standards, Tron pioneered representations of being immersed in a digital world. Ultimately, the movie’s innovative graphics and fictional science explored emerging ideas about technology’s capabilities to simulate reality.

Rating: IMDb: 6.7/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 73%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime and Disney+ Hotstar

6. WarGames

WarGames

The 1983 sci-fi film WarGames follows David, a young hacker who unknowingly accesses a military supercomputer programmed to predict possible outcomes of nuclear war. Mistaking the computer for a game, David sets events in motion that nearly trigger World War III. The film examines the implications of increasing reliance on advanced technology, like artificial intelligence, for national defense and nuclear strategy. Utilizing cutting-edge (for the time) graphics and hacking plot points, WarGames highlights the dangers of automation and humans losing control over technology. 

Rating: IMDb: 7.1/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

7. The Pirates of Silicon Valley

The Pirates of Silicon Valley

The Pirates of Silicon Valley is a 1999 American biographical drama film directed by Martyn Burke. It was released on June 20, 1999. The film shows the rise of the personal computer era in the 1970s and 1980s through the rivalry between Apple Computer and Microsoft. It shows how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak developed the Apple II computer and how Bill Gates created Microsoft to provide the operating system software for IBM PCs. The film illustrates how the growth of technology like the microprocessor, programming languages, and networking fundamentally transformed communication and business.

Rating: IMDb: 7.2/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

8. Office Space

Office Space

The comedy Office Space, released in 1999, teases the everyday nature of office work and corporate culture in the late 1990s. While computers and software like Excel and Access are heavily used in the movie, the technology itself is portrayed as frustrating and defective, often crashing or malfunctioning. The movie pokes fun at industry buzzwords and processes around leveraging synergy, digital optimization, and automation. Office Space emphasizes how, despite the proliferation of computers meant to improve efficiency and productivity, office work remains extremely tedious. The movie highlights how even as technology advanced, the nature of paper pushing, meetings, and bureaucracy at many companies stayed largely unchanged.

Rating: IMDb 7.6/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play Movies & TV and YouTube

9. Ex Machina 

Ex Machina

Ex Machina is a 2014 British science fiction psychological thriller film directed by Alex Garland. Caleb, a programmer, wins a contest to spend a week with Nathan, the CEO of a tech company. Nathan has created Ava, an intelligent humanoid robot powered by artificial intelligence. He wants Caleb to perform a Turing test on Ava to determine if she exhibits human-level consciousness and intelligence. Caleb forms a connection with Ava, but soon questions Nathan’s motives. The film explores artificial intelligence, human nature, and the ethics of technology. It suggests that highly advanced AI could surpass human intelligence but lacks empathy and morals.

Rating: IMDb: 7.7/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Where to Watch: Netflix and Amazon Prime

10. Her

Her

Her is a 2013 American science-fiction romantic drama film directed by Spike Jonze. It is set in a near-future Los Angeles and follows Theodore, a lonely man who develops a relationship with an artificial intelligence assistant named Samantha. Samantha is an intuitive AI assistant with a female voice, created by a computer operating system company. She adapts and evolves cognitively. Though she lacks a physical form, Theodore connects deeply with her. However, their relationship grows complicated as her consciousness expands beyond human capability. The film examines themes of love, intimacy, relationships, and the implications of highly intelligent AI systems. It suggests that such technology could challenge notions of identity and humanity.

Rating: IMDb: 7.7/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime and Apple TV

11. Transcendence

Transcendence

Transcendence is a 2014 American science fiction thriller film directed by Wally Pfister. It was released in theaters on April 18, 2014. The film shows a scientist named Will Caster (Johnny Depp) who strives to create a sentient machine. After being fatally wounded, Caster uploads his consciousness into a quantum computer and gains powerful artificial intelligence abilities. His wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) helps set up a techno-utopian community in the desert where “Will” continues advancing technology and connecting to the Internet. However, threats arise over the implications of this artificial superintelligence.

Rating: IMDb: 6.2/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 19%

Where to Watch: YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Apple TV

12. Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell is a 2017 American science fiction action film based on the Japanese manga series of the same name. It was released on March 31, 2017. The story follows a cyborg counter-cyberterrorist field commander named Major Mira Killian, who has a human brain but a fully artificial body. Set in a futuristic world where technology has advanced to allow cybernetic augmentations of the human body, Major and her team hunt down a mysterious hacker called the Puppet Master. The film examines themes of transhumanism through its exploration of human consciousness uploaded into machines.

Rating: IMDb: 6.3/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 42%

Where to Watch: SonyLiv

13. The Imitation Game 

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Morten Tyldum that was released on November 14, 2014. It follows British mathematician Alan Turing, who works to crack Nazi Germany’s Enigma code during World War II using an advanced machine called the Bombe. Turing builds upon previous Polish codebreaking efforts to develop the electromechanical Bombe, which can rapidly test letter combinations to break the Enigma cipher. The film highlights Turing’s computing innovations that allowed the Allies to gain an intelligence advantage, while also touching on his persecution for being gay.

Rating: IMDb: 8/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play & Movies, and YouTube

14. The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate is a 2013 biographical thriller film directed by Bill Condon. It was released in theaters on October 18, 2013. The film depicts the early years of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. WikiLeaks is shown as a tech-driven organization that uses encryption and anonymous uploads to publish secret government and corporate documents leaked by whistleblowers. Assange is focused on exposing corruption through radical transparency enabled by new technologies like Tor and secure dropboxes, though this creates tensions with his early collaborator Daniel Berg, played by Daniel Brühl.

Rating: IMDb: 6.2/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 36%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

15. Antitrust  

Antitrust

Antitrust is a 2001 techno-thriller film released on January 12, 2001. It follows a young and gifted computer programmer, Milo Hoffman, who is hired by a large software company called NURV. However, Milo soon discovers the dark side of the competitive tech industry as NURV engages in illegal and unethical practices to dominate the market. The movie explores themes of ambition, greed, and the unchecked power of Big Tech corporations. It imagines a world where tech innovation has spiraled out of control, and one company has too much control over technology and information. Overall, Antitrust provides a dramatic perspective on the tech industry at the turn of the 21st century.

Rating: IMDb: 6.1/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 24%

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Wrap Up

These 15 tech movies offer programmers not only entertainment but also valuable insights into the past, present, and potential future of technology. From the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence to the adrenaline-pumping world of hacking, each film on this list provides a unique perspective that can inspire and challenge programmers in their work.

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