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When you watch this movie, watch it with an open mind and visualize
what is going on. Sure hacking is nothing like it looks in this movie,
and it is bashed so much for that. But I can promise you that if you
watch a movie about hacking and the general public watches sometime
types hundreds of lines of code... well, they would fall asleep. So
watch it knowing that to a hacker, this is what it looks like in their
mind, its beautiful and elegant. The actors were on point, and the
special affects were good for its time frame release.
The love, hate, love relationship is great, and I completely recommend it for a watch if you haven't already.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yes, Hackers rests comfortably on a throne of mediocrity. Its time and
place etched into the American cultural psyche: 1995. The Information
Superhighway was making its way into the lexicon, digital graphics were
revolutionizing film-making (specifically compositing, and very soon
outright fabrication would be feasible [3D]), and the media started
talking about how computers would eventually replace TV's.
And riding this wave of media buzzwords, cultural trend, and just plain mythologyyes, some of this film is quite simply falsewas the film Hackers. A veritable "magic carpet ride" into the a cultural mythology that vaguely resembled the reality of the information age. This film was very topical and current; watching this is partially like opening a time capsule from 1995. In fact, if there are any -actual- time capsules from 1995 to be opened in 2045 (or whatever), I hope they include this film. They probably should include a projector too, and an explanation of what celluloid is and how to thread it... but I digress.
But, I have to look at it on its own merit.
So, here are the cons: The characters are one-dimensional and clichéand I mean, bad. It's style hasn't aged particularly welllike I said it was riding a cultural wave that partially imaginary. Its villain is dopey and unhateable. Its plot is strangely slow. You would expect the film to move faster than it doesit really doesn't get started until about 30 minutes in. Most of what it is doing before then is showboating and character development; however as I said the characters are horrifyingly clichéd and watching them develop narratively was uninteresting. Factual errors galore. They've been picked apart down to the letter, no need to rehash. Ubiquitous montage and b- roll sequences to burn screen timeand every last one of them tacky as all hell.
Here are the pros: It captured the imagination of a nation at the time and, to some extent, contributed to the "nerds are cool" attitude. I personally would have been thrilled to grow up when nerds were coolbut I'm happy to take a few arse-kickings for the team. It has a definite spunkiness to it and the young characters represent essentially the new (at the time) techno rebels. The plot is relatively solid, once it gets going. And, it's fun. It may not be great, but it's fun.
The soundtrack is a slightly mixed bag, it has a few atrocities but is mostly solid (UNDERWORLD).
12 years later, this film is definitely showing its age. It certainly is not terrible, and has some good qualities to it. But it certainly is no masterpiece. You can choose to take the bad with the good and enjoy it, or you can choose not to suspend your disbelief and get irritated with it.
A young boy is arrested by the U.S. Secret Service for writing a
computer virus and is banned from using a computer until his 18th
birthday. Years later, he and his new-found friends discover a plot to
unleash a dangerous computer virus, but they must use their computer
skills to find the evidence while being pursued by the Secret Service
and the evil computer genius behind the virus.
I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s and was involved in computer culture. I was never a "hacker" but I understood what "phreaking" and other hacking-related activities were. We knew what "war driving" was. The stuff depicted in this film was unrealistic then and remains unrealistic today (for the most part).
It serves as an interesting nostalgia piece, if anyone can be nostalgic for the 90s. Also, this has to be one of Angelina Jolie's breakout roles. Who knew in 1995 that she would go on to be a celebrated director and something of Hollywood royalty?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I swear, this movie really excites you because you get to learn all the
hacking methods they used to get into computers. Now, I'm pretty sure
the codes and computers back then looked to be completely rubbish but
really, they had a lot of potential. Nowadays, I say hacking is easily
accessible because we use a lot of technology. Don't worry,I'm not a
hacker myself but in the movie, it's just mind-blowing to look at the
equipment to use and how they can instantly hack with no problems! Man,
you probably need to make an effort with your brain in order to do that
Angelina Jolie looks really different with short hair but she hasn't changed a bit. Johnny Lee Miller made me satisfied this time, I'm still not that fond of him in Sherlock. However he would do better in other things then that terrible show.
This film is well done, you better believe it!
"Hackers" is exactly as the name implies. However, much of the film
makes it appear hackers can target credit cards, alter traffic light
systems, and issue arrest warrants at will. Certainly, hackers have
done things on a large scale, such as the recent hacking of Sony
Pictures Studio and Target stores. If hackers really had the ability to
do all the things implied by the film, we wouldn't be able to function
in the mechanized world as it is.
The film begins when Dade Murphy (Jonny Lee Miller), age 11, engaged one of the most successful and damaging computer hacks in the history of internet infiltration, crashing 1500+ systems. He's sentenced to probation, his parents fined $10,000's, and he's forbidden to use a computer until age 18. Fast-forward 7 years. Now he's at a high school in New York where he meets fellow computer hackers Kate Libby, a.k.a. Acid Burn (Angelina Jolie), Ramόn Sánchez (Renoly Santiago), Joey Pardella (Jesse Bradford) and Lord Nikon (Laurence Mason). At first they see hacking as a kind of game, looking to one-up each other.
Dade and Kate then decide to have a competition: who can do the best hacking of one of the poor schmucks from the FBI who has been targeting hackers, Agent William "Dick" Gill. The stakes: if she loses, she has to go on a date with him and wear a dress, or if he loses, he has to become her slave. So they begin the competition, a kind of virtual football match, in true hacking style. They invalidate his credit card, put up a porn ad in his name and give out his business phone number where NY gays and transvestites can call him. They even pull the worst trick: they indicate in his file that he's deceased.
It's all good fun until the youngest of the hackers, Joey, breaks into "The Gibson", an Ellingson Mineral Company supercomputer. He notices there's a strange virus in the system and downloads some of it, putting it on a partially downloaded 3.5" floppy disk (remember those?). The FBI at the behest of their systems security analyst Eugene Belford, a.k.a. The Plague (Fisher Stevens), tracks down Joey and arrests him, but not before he hides the disk. Later, Belford and the FBI storm into Joey's house, and the systems security analyst Belford threatens Dade to give them the information they want, which is hidden on the disk. Dade declines saying he doesn't play well with others, to which Belford takes out his frustration on a piece of music equipment in Dade's bedroom. The hackers then discover a virus, which was not written by the hackers, is going to wreak havoc with the company via large cargo ships at sea. They realize the blame will most likely be put on them.
While this is certainly not the best film of this type, it's a good one. Some of the visuals are stunning, and interestingly, the movie doesn't come off dated even though it was produced a couple of decades before this writing. The characters are rather interesting, depicting Generation X types who hack into computer systems, not for a living, but for fun. And I liked Fisher Stevens as the former hacker turned security analyst who understands hacker culture. This film was made from the point of view of young computer geeks of Generation X. The older generation, Boomers and Silent in other words, come off rather stilted and nondescript, which I agree is a good depiction, being a Generation X'er myself.
While in a technical perspective this isn't the best movie, it has a
charm that attracts me. The story is very simple, it's about hackers
getting framed for something and the CIA and FBI going after them.
While this may seem very generic it has it's unique charm that it adds.
The movie isn't super serious, it has a lot of comedy that keeps the light mood and silly 90s visuals of what hacking looks like. Near the end the main character even puts on this thing that looks like the Google Glass! The light tone makes this movie enjoyable and fun for multiple viewings.
The acting is okay, nothing great or bad. This movie was in the early careers of some of the actors, so you may recognize some faces of today's good actors.
Now, I have to talk about the soundtrack. It is filled with 90s electronic beats that add so much to the atmosphere of the film, making some scenes really intense and fun. If the film would have been made with the generic songs of the era it probably wouldn't be as great.
Hackers is a long time favorite of mine. I saw it as a kid and have loved it since then. It's worth a watch and I bet you'll have a good time watching it.
Incredibly boneheaded techno thriller, but it's so goony it ends up being quite entertaining. A group of teens (among them an incredibly nubile Angelina Jolie with a darling pixie cut) are expert hackers, but they're up against an even more powerful evil hacker (Fisher Stevens) who is trying to frame them for a crime he is going to commit. Jonny Lee Miller is the male lead, a notorious hacker from a young age. Among others, Matthew Lillard also co-stars, and is as annoying as always. But, really, every character here is quite annoying, so he doesn't grate too much. The film gets by mostly on its weird, actually kind of fun aesthetics. Computer visualizations are always stupid, and, in a movie from 1995, they're going to look even more stupid to a modern audience. The costumes are particularly amazing. One might be tempted to say that this movie is incredibly '90s in its style, but, really, no one in the 1990s ever dressed or spoke like this. It's like a film slightly outside of time. I think the director wanted it to seem slightly futuristic. Instead it's just slightly crazy.
Soundtrack: 9 Pulsating, funky mix of post-punk electronica. Just
Costumes: 9 This isn't the way people actually dressed in the 90's, especially hackers, but who cares, the costumes just work.
Characters: 8 Great characters with their own personalities, a lot of energy in the main characters, and even though some characters play on old tropes (stuffy FBI agent, cartoonishly evil villain), at their worst, they still don't feel too clichéd.
Plot: 7 This movie manages to mix a few interesting plots into each other somewhat naturally. The main plot is a bit convoluted, and probably hard to understand to the average person, but actually makes sense, unlike what some critics said, and the competition between Crash and Burn is a great take on the love-hate relationship.
Cinematography and effects: 10 Thankfully relies a lot on practical effects to provide a totally fictional, but totally creative and beautiful, depiction of computers. Projecting the screens onto the actors faces, the super computer as translucent forest of structures, morphing the New York skyline into a circuit board; all amazing and novel.
In summary, not 100% true-to-life, but for the better. They simultaneously try to pay respect to real hacker culture at the time, while extrapolating it into a stylish and exciting universe. Unappreciated in its time, but a cult classic that still holds fans for a good reason.
I saw this three times in the early autumn of '95, and those admissions
likely accounted for about half of its box office. I was dazzled by its
visuals and techno-electronica soundtrack, and mesmerized by one of its
young stars; a Ms. Angelina Jolie.
I knew the instant I saw her that she was going to be a huge star. In fact, many people in the cast--then complete unknowns--would go on to success. Johnny Lee Miller, Matthew Lillard, Jesse Bradford, Marc Anthony, Wendell Pierce. But everything and everyone else ceases to exist when she's on screen.
I talked the movie up to everyone who would listen, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. 20 years later it remains one of my favorite films, and as I understand it, it's developed a cult following. Through adult eyes, its "Hack the planet" lip service is pretty obvious for what it is, but strictly as a piece of pop art, I absolutely love this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What a gem of a 90's movie.
Before I start let me say I have built two datacentres and I am currently a domain admin of another in the telco industry so I will not comment on the IT glitches.
Hackers is a story about liberation and fighting the man and that us hackers have more morals than the governments and people who control the government who trying to stop them. I did get nostalgic when i heard things like 28k bit per second and PCI bus with direct memory access. I wonder if the actors knew that a modem was short for modulator/ demodulater :)
For this story to work it had to have some magic, as someone else highlighted ... "if you really see a real hacker at work it is truly boring stuff" btw computers do zeros and ones at best .... not these mathematical formulas that was blowing past screen but that would be boring. Amazing graphics on these PC screens didn't exist back then which IMHO made it date better than other Computer movies of its day.
I liked how some scary facts about the government holding files on its people which you would be amazed today on what they hold on you. And you would be surprised just how many skimming scams are going on .... these issues hold true today.
It was a more innocent time when only a select few knew how to do things and I even remember doing the tape digital sounds .... oh those where the days :)
Enjoy it for what it was .... oh and you get to see sexy Jolie when she was only 19 .... pretty simple story line and some truism that even today not many people would know.
I loved the early days of computers and we all thought it make the world better, safer, provide us with freedom, make it more transparent. Sadly it has made it for the worse and even our civil liberties are all but gone.
I was in IT in the 90s and i think my pride back then stopped me from watching it but I am glad to see it as it is worth my time and hopefully your time to watch it.
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