11 Best Hacking Movies and TV Shows

In the digital age, activities that compromise the cybersecurity of organizations or individuals are becoming more common, as is their depiction in movies. Such acts are called “hacking”, and the people who participate in them are called hackers.

There are three main types of hackers:

White hats: These are also called ethical hackers. They hack to improve system security and often work with the government and military.

Black hats: These are the people that come to mind when you think of a hacker. A skinny, hat-wearing geek, wreaking havoc in his seedy basement. Black hats hack to steal money and information, or blackmail other people.

Gray Hats: They hack into systems without permission but have no malicious intent. Instead, they follow unethical practices to report flaws in unassuming systems and then demand a reward.

Like piracy, movies based on piracy have also become popular these days, thanks to the advent of computers and the easy availability of high-speed internet. While hacking movies may sound boring, that’s far from the truth. Hacking movies and TV shows can also be quite intriguing and informative. They can also instill a passion for computers in people. On that note, we bring you the list of top 11 hacking movies and TV shows.

1. Who am I

Release year: 2014

Cast: Tom Schilling, Elyas M’Barek, Wotan Wilke, Hannah Herzsrpung, Stephan Kampwirth

Who Am I is a German techno-thriller film about international hacker groups. Who Am I centers on a socially awkward programmer, Benjamin, who joins a notorious hacker group and soon finds himself at the top of Europe’s most wanted terrorist list.

What follows is an intense chase as Benjamin tries to evade the authorities and a dangerous group of hackers at the same time. Who am I? is directed by Baran Bo Odar and features many twists. It’s a must-watch for anyone looking for a great hack movie.

2. The Matrix

The Matrix (1999)

Release year: 1999

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano

The Matrix asks the question, “What if our world wasn’t real and we lived in a computer simulation? Written and directed by the Wachowski sisters, The Matrix follows a computer hacker Neo, who is chosen by a fringe group to help them in their war against “machines” and AI harvesting humans in the future for energy.

There are plenty of sci-fi and hacking scenes in The Matrix, as well as jaw-dropping action sequences. The Matrix is ​​an essential watch for anyone even remotely interested in hacking or science fiction.

3. Mister Robot

Mister Robot

Release year: 2015 – 2019

Cast: Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday

Mr. Robot is an acclaimed TV show that won praise for its near-accurate depiction of hacking. Mr. Robot does not give in to drama and features long, inexplicable hacking scenes that make no sense. Instead, the show takes a realistic approach to hacking and appeals to viewers’ curiosity.

Mr. Robot is created by Sam Esmail and follows a reclusive programmer Elliot as he is recruited by an anarchist named Mr. Robot to join his underground hacker group.

4. Sneakers

Sneakers (1992)

Release year: 1992

Cast: Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, River Phoenix, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell

Sneakers is an American thriller centered on the concept of cybersecurity. The film is directed by Phil Alden Robinson and written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter Parkes. Sneakers follows the leader of a hacking group that specializes in security testing various San Francisco businesses.

But things get complicated when NSA agents ask him to steal a top-secret black box before it falls into the wrong hands. Sneakers is a suspenseful and very entertaining watch. It received positive reviews upon release and was also a financial success.

5. War Games

War Games (1983)

Release year: 1983

Cast: Matthew Broderick, John Wood, Ally Sheedy, Dabney Coleman

WarGames is a techno sci-fi thriller that was way ahead of its time when it was released. WarGames follows a high school student named David Lightman, who unpretentiously hacks into the US military’s supercomputer designed to simulate, predict, and execute nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

WarGames was directed by John Badham from an original screenplay by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes. The film was a big hit at the box office and is considered one of the best science fiction films of all time.



Release year: 2016

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Olyphant, Nicolas Cage

Snowden is based on Edward Snowden, the American intelligence consultant who leaked the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance plans. Snowden follows the titular whistleblower as he becomes disillusioned with the NSA’s spying on ordinary citizens and decides to leak the secrets to the press.

Snowden is subsequently branded a traitor by some, a hero by others, and hunted down by the authorities. He currently resides in Russia.

7. Live Free or Die Hard

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Release year: 2007

Cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Live Free or Die Hard is an action movie where the bad guys aren’t Russian, Arab or linked to drug cartels. Instead, the film features a former defense analyst turned cyber-terrorist as a villain who wants to weaken America’s digital infrastructure.

Veteran cop John McClane is tasked with bringing in a hacker who has the key to stopping antagonist Thomas Gabriel’s nefarious plans. Die Hard 4 is a must-have watch for any hacking or action enthusiast.

8. The girl with the dragon tattoo

The girl with the dragon tattoo

Release year: 2011

Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgard

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is based on Stieg Larsson’s bestseller of the same name. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows a journalist and an anti-social hacker who team up to solve the 40-year-old mystery of a missing woman.

However, keep in mind that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not for the faint-hearted. The film features brutal violence, gruesome plot twists, and graphic assault scenes. In fact, the Indian censorship board demanded so many cuts from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that director David Fincher decided to scrap the theatrical release of the film in India.

9. Mission: Impossible Series

Mission: Impossible Series

Release year: 1996 – Present

Cast: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Henry Cavill, Jeremy Renner

Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible series has become synonymous with gripping action sequences and iconic face reveal moments. But each film in the series also features a hacking scene.

Ving Rhames played hacker Luther Stickell in all six films and delivered some great one-liners.

10. A Wednesday!

A Wednesday !  (2008)

Release year: 2008

Cast: Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Jimmy Sheirgill, Deepal Shaw

A Wednesday ! isn’t primarily about piracy, but has earned a spot on this list. The film was way ahead of its time in its portrayal of police work, terrorism, and politics. A Wednesday ! revolves around a mysterious caller who threatens the Mumbai police with a bomb attack unless they release four terrorists. Eventually, the police enlist the help of a hacker to locate the caller.

11. Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Release year: 1995

Cast: Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Otsuka, Iemasa Kayumi

Ghost in the Shell is a cyberpunk animated thriller based on the popular Japanese manga series of the same name. Although animated, Ghost in the Shell is aimed primarily at adults and consists of deeply philosophical and existential themes.

Ghost in the Shell follows a cyborg public safety officer who tracks down a mysterious hacker who hacks into the minds of cyborg-human hybrids.


Hacking has many types and purposes. We’ve featured the 11 best movies and TV shows about hacking, ranging from action movies and thrillers to anime. I hope you liked the list and learned something new about hacking. We will continue to bring you more insightful content related to film and education. In the meantime, take another look at the best hacking movies and TV shows. And check out related articles below.

  • Who am I
  • The matrix
  • Mister Robot
  • Sneakers
  • War games
  • Snowden
  • Live free or die hard
  • The girl with the dragon tattoo
  • Mission: impossible series
  • A Wednesday
  • ghost in the shell

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