Movie Review – “Hackers”

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Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Jonny Lee Miller as Crash Override

Angelina Jolie as Acid Burn

Fisher Stevens as Plague

Matthew Lillard as Cereal Killer

Lorraine Bracco as Margo

Written by Rafael Moreu

Directed by Iain Softley

Complete information is available from the

DVD release

includes english and french as spoken languages, and
english, french,
and spanish subtitles.

Past movie reviews can be found here.


A group of hackers are framed for the creation of a
virus that will
capsize several tankers.

High Point

The contest.

Low Point

The operating system on the other end. I understand
the need to find
a representation of things that Joe Public viewer can
follow, but
leave it as a metaphor instead of putting it on the
actual computer
screens! You know there are people involved who know
what they’re
doing. (Just check out the screens when they study
the contents of
the incomplete file; that’s an actual hex editor,
which is perfect for
that scene.)

The Scores

We’ve seen the innocent parties framed in dozens of
films before this,
but in this case, the “innocent” parties are still
guilty of
(non-malicious) crimes anyway. It’s an interesting
spin on the word
“innocent.” There’s a pretty unique on-screen style,
too. I give the
originality 4 out of 6.

The effects were nicely done. Granted,
there wasn’t much to
them, and they weren’t meant to be a convincing part
of reality, but
they suited their purpose quite well. I give it 5
out of 6.

The story has some technical holes, but the
only real plot
hole is the fact that the characters walked away from
charges, in spite of breaking several dozen laws. I
don’t see that
prosecutor being that kind to them. I give it 4 out
of 6.

The acting from Stevens, Miller, Jolie, and
Lillard is very
convincing for those characters. Lorraine Bracco,
Renoly Santiago
(Phantom Phreak), and Jesse Bradford did some very
unconvincing work,
though. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is good in terms of
the story, but
it’s undermined by the groaning that most of the
computer science
produces. As I said above, there were definitely
people involved who
knew what was going on, but other moments were just
horrid. Scenes
like the traffic race and the contest were a lot of
fun in spite of
this. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production was uneven. Some scenes (the
flashback, contest, TV duel, phone booths, and video
game in
particular) were very well crafted with a unique and
style, obviously the product of a lot of work and
planning. Other
scenes, like the board room scene (with a speaker
whose head is out of
frame, but who still manages to keep his beverage of
choice in the
centre of the screen) and the proper introduction of
Crash and Burn
(with a medium shot that crops out Cereal’s head as
he sets up an
important joke, followed by quick close ups and a
long shot on
Cereal’s meaningless rambling that should have been
the same angle as
his previous line) seemed to be slapped together with
little attention
or effort. In fact, the product placement in this is
so blatant that
it almost became the Low Point. The first 30 minutes
look like a
commercial! I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s an amusing time killer, but if
you’re touchy
about your computer science, you might want to avoid
it. I give it 4
out of 6.

In total, Hackers receives 29 out of 42.

10 replies on “Movie Review – “Hackers””

  1. Ok….
    I remember watching this movie for the first time about 2 years ago. My thought at the time: “This is one of the stupidest movies I ever saw”. The acting is piss poor, the production design is way too over the top, the story was boring, the dialog was stupid and cliched, the effects where pointless in the sense that the people making the movie where saying “see, look what we can, isn’t that cool!” Several friends and I have labeled this the worse movie about computers ever. Probably up there on the most overrated movie ever list.

    • Re: Ok….

      Several friends and I have labeled this the worse movie
      about computers ever.

      Rent Lawnmower Man II and you’ll change your

      • Re: Ok….

        Several friends and I have labeled this the worse movie
        about computers ever.

        Rent Lawnmower Man II and you’ll change your

        Then see Fear Dot Com and realize how good both LM2 and Hackers are.
        I still can’t believe I paid money to see it.

        • Re: Ok….
          One word “Rotor”. Don’ take my word for it. Punch “rotor movie” into any search engine.

          • Re: Ok….

            One word “Rotor”. Don’ take my word for it. Punch “rotor movie” into any search engine.

            I found a blow-by-blow critique of the movie here:


            It’s probably longer than the movie. :)

            -Joe G.

  2. You think the science is bad in Hackers…
    Rent Swordfish and tell me that the CS in Hackers is the worst out there. That one was positively horrible. The scene where the main character is building the virus as a graphic representation made me cringe. Plus, they kept throwing references out there that were just inappropriate (a PDP-10 holding his virus?) Just plain stupid. It seems to me that Hollywood keeps trying to make computer programming interesting, when it just isn’t that exciting (sorry folks, I’m a programmer, it’s true. I don’t know one programmer that gets excited about writing a program). However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this movie’s only saving grace: Halle Berry’s nude sunbathing scene. Better than her other nude scene simply because there’s no Billy Bob in it.

  3. Second Most Painful
    I rate “Hackers” the second most painful movie/show I’ve seen. Hackers was so stupid I just couldn’t believe they actually hired a consultant. The prize right now goes to an episode of “Threat Matrix” they played last month where a couple of terrorists infiltrate a nuclear power plant. Horribly bad to the point of slandering an entire industry. My wife walked out after a minute of me ranting at the screen.

    But since we’re talking about movies like this, let’s not forget to mention “The Net”. Nice piece of ass aside, the computer work was pretty lame. “Jake 2.0” was pretty annoying too(both in terms of portraying the NSA and computer hacking)(though I loved the show otherwise).

    Portrayals I kind of liked include “Wargames” and the 24 series. In other apsects “Threat Matrix” ain’t too bad.

  4. I spoke with one of the paid consultants of this movie …
    … after the movie’s release. He tried unsuccessfully to have his name removed from the credits. He told me that basically whenever the director/writer came to him with a question they would listen to his answer and then over-rule it as “not exciting enough” and go ahead with their own ideas anyways.

    He took the money, but he felt embarrassed by the film’s huge creative license in regards to computer technology.

    I sat through it once. Never, ever again. :)

    -Joe G.

  5. It has a good soundtrack.
    If you like the techno/dance stuff. That is the main thing I remember from seeing it in the theater, and the music was impressive on the theater’s sound system (I hate to admit I paid that much to see it now.) Of course you must turn your brain off for all the technical goofs and dated computer specs (What was it they were going ga-ga over, a 28.8 bps modem connection on a laptop?)

    The only other reason to watch is if you like to see “early in his/her career” type of movies; Lillard, Miller and Jolie all went on to bigger and better movies of course.

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