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Sneakers (1992)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 39,861 users  
Reviews: 107 user | 59 critic

Complex but lighthearted thriller about computers and cryptography, government and espionage, secrets and deception and betrayal.

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Title: Sneakers (1992)

Sneakers (1992) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jo Marr ...
College-Aged Cosmo (as Jojo Marr)
...
...
...
...
...
...
Carl Arbogast
...
Centurion S&L Night Guard
...
Bank Teller
Hanyee ...
Bank Secretary
...
Dick Gordon
...
Buddy Wallace
...
Homeless Man
...
Liz
Jun Asai ...
Piano Prodigy
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Storyline

Martin Bishop is the head of a group of experts who specialise in testing security systems. When he is blackmailed by Government agents into stealing a top secret black box, the team find themselves embroiled in a game of danger and intrigue. After they recover the box, they discover that it has the capability to decode all existing encryption systems around the world, and that the agents who hired them didn't work for the Government after all... Written by Graeme Roy <gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We could tell you what it's about. But then, of course, we'd have to kill you. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

11 September 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Héroes por azar  »

Box Office

Gross:

$51,433,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While picking through Dr. Brandes' trash, Mother holds up a folded box of "Cap'n Crunch". In the 1970s, "Cap'n Crunch" came with a small whistle in the box. A "phone phreaker" called "Captain Crunch" (John Draper) discovered that this whistle could be used to get free phone calls (one of many components in the practice of "phone phreaking", which digital phone switching-systems has made almost totally obsolete). There is another reference to Draper during the Scrabble game (the word "CRUNCH" is visible upside down before it gets turned into SCRUNCHY). Also, Cosmo tells Martin that, while in prison, he helped some Mafia men to make some "free telephone calls." Whistler is patterned after Joe Engressia, a blind telephone expert born with perfect pitch who was one of the original phone phreakers. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene set in 1969, the display terminal is clearly showing IBM VGA 40-column text. The IBM VGA standard was not developed until 1987. See more »

Quotes

[Carl wants to date the young N.S.A. agent]
Martin Bishop: How about a lunch? You can chaperone.
Bernard Abbot: No, I will not do this.
Martin Bishop: Hey, Abby, Abby, come on, now the F.B.I.'d give him twins!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the theatrical trailer, the case members' names were first presented as anagrams, then rearranged to spell correctly. They were: fort red border - Robert Redford a york dandy - Dan Aykroyd kneel by sing - Ben Kingsely carney mend moll - Mary McDonnell rionveih irnep - River Phoenix I edit spin yore - Sidney Poitier ad variant thirds - David Strathairn See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hackers (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin Concerto in E
BWV 1042
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Courtesy of Laser Light Digital
By Arrangement with Sounds of Film
See more »

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User Reviews

A hacker classic.
22 October 2003 | by (Bay Area, California) – See all my reviews

Sneakers is still fun to watch after 12 years and it was a great look at the time in which it was made. 12 years ago, the Cold War just ended and nobody was really sure how things were going to shape up geopolitically. Sneakers captured that mood perfectly and kept things tense with the soundtrack, locations and set work.

It's got the best balance of technical accuracy verses ease of viewing that I've ever seen on film. Not too many cartoon-like computer interfaces but no staring for minutes at a time at command line interfaces. Sneakers also gets points for being in the Bay Area and traveling among places that I visit every day (Hills Brother Coffee Building for the 'box drop' and the Dumbarton Bridge - for starters). Actors have fun with their roles although it's obvious that Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, Ben Kingsley and James Earl Jones are not delivering their A-Game. It doesn't matter, it doesn't make it any less fun to watch. I like Phil Alden Robinson's camera movements; don't forget to look for the long, low slide across the Scrabble pieces right in a pivotal moment of the plot.

The movie still retains some relevance today. Ben Kingsley offers that gem " world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!" gains some credibility especially in the face of the post-9/11 news reporting on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Trash-diving is still a viable option to gain information on your opponent and social engineering will always work to help you gain some information.

Sneakers is still one of the best mainstream treatments on the subject of hacking. Watch, learn, enjoy.


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