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Sneakers
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Sneakers More at IMDbPro »

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110 out of 129 people found the following review useful:

The last good hacking movie

10/10
Author: (tek-9)
11 July 2003

I was saddened that this movie had such a low rating. I've watched it many, many times over the years, and it continues to entertain. It is, perhaps, the last good "hacker" film (well, 23 (1998) also comes to mind, but that isn't widely available in English).

The math is believable (Janek's lecture makes sense), as is the technology (except for the Hollywood-ish decryption displays -- but that's forgivable). The characters are among the most realistic in any of these movies (with the exception of Joey the lamer in Hackers (1995) -- most accurate character in a hacking movie I've seen yet). They're each composites of well-known people from the 80s security scene. The techniques they use are the techniques of the business, especially in that era.

Now that computers have become such a big thing, I don't think it would be possible for Hollywood to produce another movie like this. Anything made now would have to be far more glamorous and unrealistic.

What's this movie got, if you don't care about any of that stuff? It's tremendously funny, cleverly written (every scene works overtime to say and do more than one thing), and beautifully shot and scored. (The opening scene and transition is wonderful) The acting is priceless. I've never met someone who didn't love this film. See it.

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95 out of 115 people found the following review useful:

An endlessly watchable movie. 10/10

10/10
Author: Timothy Gomersall from London, England
3 August 1999

This film is the one film of the nineties which I can watch again and again without getting bored. That's not to say it's the best, no no no, but there's something about this movie which I just can't get enough of. It's easily the most frequently used tape in my limited video library.

Mainly it's the cast; quality names down the length of the list, and each one, from Robert Redford heading the motley crew of good guys (Dan Ackroyd and Sidney Poitier especially good) to Ben Kingsley as a deliciously cool but insecure villain. They're all clearly having such a good time as they're making the movie that you can't help but join them; it's infectious.

It's also surprisingly timeless. Seven years have passed since this movie came out, which is a long time in the gadget world in which this film is based, but none of their equipment or techniques (except a brief glimpse of a now outdated version of Windows but that's REALLY nitpicking) seem out of date; it could still be today.

And then there's the moments. This is a film based on a whole load of brilliantly memorable moments. When they find out what the mysterious black box actually does, it's truly chilling. All the little tricks of their trade on display are each a delight, from setting off fire alarms to being on the other end of the phone when the fire service is subsequently called. And the ending, in my opinion, is one of the most satisfying, and hilarious, conclusions ever captured on film.

In case you hadn't noticed, I love this movie. A great score, a great cast, and a whole lot of fun. Whether you got to these comments because you want to know if this film was worth seeing, or whether a training shoe web-search somehow ended you up here against your will, you really should see this film. It's a hugely entertaining piece of the nineties. And Robert Redford has done nothing better since.

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60 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

A hacker classic.

Author: t_woolery from Bay Area, California
22 October 2003

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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45 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Interesting hacker movie for its time

8/10
Author: Mike-DD from Singapore
24 August 2000

Given that this came out in 1992, the level of technology in it is amazing. I watched this twice, the latest in 1999, and still am amazed at some of the things they can do with computers. Of course, some hacking techniques are commonplace and outdated now, but it is still engrossing to see these acts in action.

Watching it a second time gives you a sense of perspective though. Back then, to think that a chip that can control the world was preposterous, but now, with almost everything microchip-controlled, and the ubiquity of the Internet, that thought is not too farfetched.

Talking in movie terms, this ranks as one of the better ones that center around computers. There is some solid acting, and though there are sub-plots within the main plot, they do not grow so much so as to overwhelm the main storyline, which is basically a group of men hired to find the chip-that-controls-everything.

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43 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

How do I join?

10/10
Author: Dylan from United States
9 March 2001

I resent another IMDB user's assumption that anyone who likes this movie has got to have an IQ of 2. What exactly does that mean? I am an intelligent moviegoer and I loved Sneakers. And I know others who are much more intelligent than me and some who I would even guess are certifiable geniuses who also loved this movie.

This movie is captivating. As other people have written, Sneakers can be watched over and over again. Its a suspense thriller that doesn't try to blind you with so many special effects that you lose sight of the fact that less than five minutes was used to create and edit the script (ie. Mission Impossible 2).

This is a fun movie for anybody who is a team player. Its very entertaining to see how each member of Redford's team brings an essential element to the task at hand. There are a couple of scenes where some things are far fetched, but nothing outside the rhelm of possibility. There is nothing that makes you groan in disgust, as if say you were watching any scene in a John Woo film. For a movie like this to work it has to be believable, and this is believable.

Sneakers is original in its ideas and the characters are very likable. Even the villian possesses qualities that make you like him. Each character is developed enough so that by the end of the movie you want to be a part of the team. Its just that much fun to watch. 10/10

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38 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Guilty Pleasure

7/10
Author: Rushmore_Elite from Sweden
14 March 2005

There are a bunch of movies which might not be GREAT, but really good, and you can watch them over and over again. Rainy day movies. "Sneakers" is without a doubt such a movie.

It is a lightweight caper which gets into a higher division thanks to the acting: Redford is always good, as is Strathairn, Kingsley and McDonnell. The other actors do a really good job as well, but these four stand out in my opinion.

There are twists and turns in the script, Great San Francisco locations and lots of underplayed humor in this film, all contributing to that the movie can be seen several times.

Take it for what it is, and you'll have a really good time in front of the TV.

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30 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Wonderfully scored, thinking ahead of its time . . .

Author: Jonnyboy from New York, USA
15 November 1998

Despite its relative obscurity, Sneakers is quickly becoming a cult favorite of the internet generation. It's a perfect blend of romance, tech and adventure that highlights the increasing importance of information. The always beautiful Mary McDonnell as Liz doesn't hurt, either. The soundtrack is arguably the best of James Horner's film scores pre-dating Braveheart, with an ethereal jazzy feel that sets the mood from the opening credits.

For an early nineties movie, Sneakers was remarkably forward thinking in its script and plot. Many of its themes have only become more relevant with the flowering of the data network. All in all a great film for those of you who enjoy flicks like Hudson Hawk or Mission Impossible.

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31 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Excellent actors, awesome score, stunning visually

Author: Joshua Bozeman from Evansville, Indiana
11 March 2000

Sneakers is, and has been, one of my favorite movies for years. I saw it on Showtime, and I had to buy it on VHS. Soon after the release of DVD, I bought the DVD version and I watch it ALL the time. This movie is awesome in all aspects. I love the cast, and I love the music. I have the soundtrack on CD, and Branford Marsalis on sax adds so much to the movie and its entire mood. As for the story...funny, exciting, thought- provoking. I made a comment about the visuals, I think they were exciting as well. The camera shots and all, hard to explain, but I love it. I especially love the shots at the start of the movie in the snow, that scene as a whole, camera angles, music, lighting---awesome. What I don't get about the movie is this---how come Redford has to ask his off and on "girlfriend" what encryption is? I thought he was a hacker!? There are a few other times in the movie where he and his "crew" ask questions about computer subjects it seems they should know everything about. I never understood that. Well, that's that....I think the movie is a must see.

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Light-Hearted Caper Film

7/10
Author: treeskier802 from United States
25 June 2007

I was drawn to Sneakers because I heard the story was of my favorite genre, a spy thriller. However, I found this movie to be more along the lines of a caper film.

Robert Redford is the leader of a team of experts who break into security systems so that institutions (such as banks) can see how good their system is. The team is made up of a diverse group: an ex-Cia agent (Portier) and three computer whizzes (Ackroyd, Phoenix, and the blind Stratharn). The group has great chemistry and often this leads to some fun humor.

Redford and his team are hired by the government (so they believe) to retrieve a black box that can decode encrypted computer firewalls. After retrieving the black box, the team finds themselves in dire trouble.

I was hoping the film would be more intense, yet Sneakers incorporates a lot of humor. It is a fun film and is enjoyable to watch, but if you are looking for a true spy film, then you may want to pass.

This film more closely resembles recent movies like Ocean's 11 or The Italian Job, popcorn films that have some laughs, some danger, and some suspense.

Redford is really great in this movie as is Straitarn; Mary McDonnell is also very good. Phoenix holds his own. Although far from their best roles, Poitier, James Earl Jones, Ackroyd, and Ben Kingsley are decent.

Overall an enjoyable film which incorporates computer hacking before it was mainstream. Rating 7 of 10 stars.

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16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

A great caper movie

Author: Matthew Anderson (mascan42@hotmail.com) from Long Island, N.Y.
25 July 2001

One of my favorites. Without repeating any of the other observations that have been made already, I'd just like to point out the movie's penchant for mixing high-tech gloss and low-tech grunge. Bishop's office is filled with computer equipment, but it looks like a frat house. The glass-enclosed conference room sticks out like a sore thumb in the middle of the exposed brick and party favors hanging from the ceiling. The van that looks like it needs a jump every morning is filled with a mix of electronic surveillance equipment, candy wrappers and Playboy magazines in braille. Bishop's car looks like it was once a classic, but now needs a paint job. And, most obvious of all, when Bishop is breaking into Cosmo's office from the ceiling air vent, he lowers a piece of sensing equipment through the vent using, of all things, a Ronco Pocket Fisherman. The incongruous nature of the sets and props gives the film an extra layer of charm.

Also, I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but does Cosmo seem to be a latent homosexual? Among other hints, at the end, he begs with Bishop to stay with him, and seems near tears.

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