Hackers (1995) Poster

(1995)

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8/10
Caution: movie may be better than it appears...
kergillian25 May 2001
Hackers is a non-stop cheeze-fest. It's also one of my favourite films of all time. Which is not to say it's a perfect ten, it isn't. But it's a great combination of good cheeze and pure fun. Suspend all disbelief, it's not about realism. And try not to nitpick (we all know graphics would not have been possible using Unix, we all know that those archaic modems couldn't run that fast, etc. etc. etc.)

That aside, this film is really funny. It also laughs at itself on a regular basis...I mean just look at dade's wardrobe, and then remind yourself that you know half a dozen people who dressed like that in 94. I know a people who mirror just about every character in this film, which makes it even more enjoyable.

The dialogue is often over the top, and some of the acting is overdone, but tis the nature of the beast. Jonny Lee Miller (who never ceases to amaze me) pulls off the American accent quite well (though he tends to slip on occasion) and Dade is certainly no Sickboy. But that's just an example of range (he did it again in Dracula 2000...and almost saved it). Matthew Lillard, though occasionally OVERLY annoying, is perfect as Cereal Killer; his best role ever, though Scream comes close. Renoly Santiago is a funny and loud Phantom Phreak, a role only second to his role in Con Air, and his lines are always great; and Laurence Mason as the ultra-cool Lord Nikon a very close tie with Tin-Tin in The Crow for coolness (and he's done some *cool* spots...Floyd D in True Romance (not to be confused with Brad Pitt's character 'Floyd';) and Roach in an awesome ep. of Law & Order...) his character is by far the coolest of the Elite. Lorraine Bracco in a *very* early role...and speaking of *early* - Early Edition's Fishe Stevens is amusing as the arrogant swine Eugene 'The Plague' Belford. And how can one not like a film with Penn Jillette in it???

But all that aside, Angelina Jolie stole the show (as she often does). Looking like a cyber-elf straight out of ShadowRun, she's sultry and sexy in a way most actresses these days can't manage. I can't think of any films I haven't liked her in...even if I didn't like the films themselves. She's simply awesome here, she even takes bad dialogue and turns it into fun, good lines. And *her* outfits are really nice, save for that horrid dress she was stuck in at the end. And she has a Massive Attack startup on her puter!! (with a 28.8 bps modem!! ;p~~~)

Overall: sure it's unrealistic. Sure half of it's impossible. Sure it's overacted and the dialogue needs work. But the cast are all under-rated, and most of them went on to better roles, some to much fame. And the soundtracks are absolutely AMAZING!! I own them and listen regularly... This should probably rate a four or five, but I can't help but ignore all critics and pronounce myself as one of the large cult following of adorers of this film. For fun value, let alone the fact that it's entertaining as hell: 8/10.
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Fun and Entertaining
knicksfan12_20003 June 2004
First off I would just like to say that anyone who reads into this movie too much(ie try to take the validity of each and every aspect of the movie) will hate the film. Coming from a programmer and a computer enthusiast, the movie was great despite all the false statements, fake guis and totally bs methods of cracking. Quite frankly if you are one of my fellow computer geeks don't expect anything close to the real deal, it would never make a good movie for the public. I think that the true movie here is behind the whole "hacking" front. It is the development of characters the build up of a plot and an exciting climax and satisfying denouement. In closing, don't expect a command line prompt or a true UNIX client on any of the systems because it just doesn't happen in movies. Instead watch the movie because its exciting, fun and a great throwback to the early 90's.
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8/10
A lot of fun to watch
Tom Di28 October 2008
I'm working in IT for over 10 years now, and let's be clear: Hackers is a movie, .. there's nothing real about the "hacking" going on in the movie.

There's a few scenes that are horribly done (for today's standards) but all in all I loved the movie. The acting is OK, the soundtrack is great and it changes for the everlasting "chliché" of the IT Nerd.

It's a movie that could surprise you, especially with the amount of bad movies being released nowadays. It's funny to see Johnny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie at the beginning of their careers as well.

If you're looking for light entertainment for one evening, ...
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Spandex is a privilege, not a right.
morgandorfer6110 July 2000
I happen to like this movie because it is just fun to watch. If I'm bored, I can easily become unbored by watching this movie. The soundtrack is awesome and it introduced me to electronic music. I never liked it until I saw "Hackers". I love the clothes and the visuals. I knew it wasn't accurate from the minute I saw it, but then again, it's not like it was posing itself as some movie that depicted the real life of cyberpunks. It's just fun little movie. Though some of the dialogue is a bit cheesed up, it is quotable.

I especially enjoyed the performance by Matthew Lillard. It made me look forward to seeing him in "Scream" later on. He is so funny. I enjoyed Angelina Jolie, though this is hardly one of her best performances.

The only person who really didn't belong in this movie was Lorraine Bracco. She just looked strange in her role. Other than that, this movie was a good movie and it shouldn't be bashed because it depicts people, technology, and life inaccurately. What movie ever does? I'm from Iowa and do you think movies depict Iowan's lives exactly the way they are? No. But I'm not out to fertilize the lawn with "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?".
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Out-of-Date, Tech Mistakes, but WHAT A CAST!
Ben Burgraff (cariart)18 November 2003
The problem with any movie that focuses on technology, particularly computers, is that it will become dated nearly immediately. This isn't a new problem for filmmakers; great films of the past, from DESK SET to COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT, from DEMON SEED to TRON and THE LAST STARFIGHTER have all featured 'cutting-edge' technology that seems quaint, by today's standards. Even 'Hal', from the timeless classic 2001:A SPACE ODYSSEY, is a huge monstrosity that could be miniaturized to a fraction of it's size, today. So when a film's whole theme involves computers, like THE NET, or HACKERS, you can't take the technology end too seriously, even if much of it is bogus, as is the case of Iain Softley's paean to teen-aged computer freaks. Hackers are, of course, not romantic, adventurous daredevils who are trying to right wrongs by attacking evil conglomerates via an expertise in computer programming; they are generally over-educated anarchists who create worms and viruses for the simple joy of seeing the disruption and destruction of EVERYONE'S computers, just to know that they can do it.

Having said this, let me say that the true joy of HACKERS is seeing a group of young 'Stars in the Making', early in their careers. Of course the most recognizable and famous of these is Angelina Jolie, who looks butch and adorable with short hair, and 'an attitude', but the film also offers a dazzling performance by Matthew Lillard (Shaggy in the live-action SCOOBY-DOO), who has become one of the finest young comic actors around; gifted British actor Jonny Lee Miller, playing an American, here, who would go on to TRAINSPOTTING, DRACULA 2000, and the title role in the TV production of BYRON; Jesse Bradford, star of last year's CLOCKSTOPPERS; Laurence Mason (BEHIND ENEMY LINES, A.I.); and Renoly Santiago (CON AIR). Quite an impressive resume for a cast of 'unknowns' in 1995!

Of course, the established actors of the film haven't done badly, either...While Fisher Stevens never became a 'major' star, after the build-up television and the SHORT CIRCUIT films gave him, he still remains active; and of course, Lorraine Bracco went on to THE SOPRANOS, as the Mafia's favorite 'shrink' (with the possible exception of Billy Crystal).

So, if you skip over the dated attempt to be 'cutting edge', and just sit back and enjoy the performances, HACKERS is a fun movie that can be appreciated as a 'Preview of Coming Attractions' from a remarkable cast...
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Fun, Fun movie...
TheSecondQuest8 August 2000
This flick came out during my freshman year of high school, pretty much everyone who saw it that I knew had a blast watching it, and in fact saw it several times in the theater (one fellow saw it about 6 times i think). While the computer screens depicted aren't realistic so to speak (I'll get to that in a moment) it was exciting, and made computers exciting again, it also didn't hurt the fact that everyone I knew used Macs just like the Hackers in the movie, so as you can imagine, it inspired many of us to see if we had the potential to do similar things but ultimately gave up (popping in a few CD-ROM games was much more entertaining;;) ). Anyways, now I own the film on DVD and I believe I've come to a revelation regarding the computer screens shown in the film...what we see is not what is actually happening on the screen, what they're showing us is what the hackers are doing, as visualized in their mind, they picture the data on the screen in a way in their head where it comes together, and what we see is that picture in their head, if maybe only an enhanced picture...anyways, thought I'd share that.

Oh, and isn't it funny to see computer geeks drooling over a laptop with a 28.8 modem?::)
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So what if it is unrealistic... It's still fun to watch.
morrigan-817 September 2000
Ok, I've read lots of the reviews here. I'm a computer person by trade, and I'll agree that the effects, and even some of the terminology is WAY off. But that's not the point of this movie. It never claims to be a documentary, just a fun movie about good vs. bad, and good wining. It just happens to take place over the internet. I think that this movie has just gotten a bump rap, it's the perfect B movie for lazy Saturday nights...
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The people who made this film, should consider buying a computer
ArneNo110 January 1999
First of all: The movie does not rate "Hackers" as bad guys, but then again, neither does the good, old "Wargames" feat M. Broderick. One positive comment.

The movie depicts a computer environment far from what is reality, and what makes is even worse is the *frantic* use of technical computer terms. Like RAM or Pentium i.e.

As to my knowledge the crew made a decent background survey on the "Hacker community", prior to writing the script. What is unbelievable to me, is how much they failed. Even "The Net", feat. Sandra Bullock, has a better grasp on reality. This movie just has to become a "Cult" movie for all those who doesn't know a computer from a Toaster.
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8/10
How to be overjoyed with a 28.8 BPS modem
athame18 July 2001
It doesn't take a very good movie critic to see that the movie doesn't really have a really interesting plot with interesting characters. A group of teenagers doing things they really shouldn't, getting into trouble and saving themselves again. And in the mean time a sub-plot which involves a girl and a guy that hate each other in the beginning and fall in love with each other throughout the movie. Nonetheless, i still rated this movie very high. Why? because in my opinion it's still a great cult classic. It gives a very good image about how people thought about computers a few years ago when not everybody had one yet. The handlenames are mysterious ("acid burn" "the plaque") but would be ridiculous in this age. People are overjoyed when they get to see a 28.8 BPS modem (who needs T3 anyway? ;) PLUS they pretend as if you can see a program running like it's some sort of great graphic animation. Angelina Jolie and Jonny lee Miller (from trainspotting) are really great in this movie although you can see they're still pretty young and unexperienced. 9/10
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10/10
I can't help it. I loved it.
version227 February 1999
Although not very accurate, it is an excellent film. On the other hand, I am a sucker for Angelina Jolie so that might be the reason why I loved it. I recommend catching this one when it is on or renting it. Well worth it.
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7/10
Light hacker fantasy
michaeljhuman25 April 2012
Obviously this movie is not an academy award winner. So it's going to score or not score points solely based on entertainment value.

Here's why I rate it a 7...

* The music - a great soundtrack, if you enjoy the era and genre ( Prodigy being one of the coolest bands featured) * The characters - They are all fun - especially Cereal Killer and the phone phreak guy * A pretty hot Angelina Jolie * The dialog - Some of it is pretty amusing, if you don't take the movie seriously * The overall presentation - I enjoy the signs of the time; grunge music posters, early virtual reality, etc; I enjoy the attempts at portraying what goes on inside of a computer even though it's totally wrong * I enjoy the attempt of the movie to be technical. Especially amusing is the discussion of Kate's laptop..."It has a killer refresh rate", lol; You kind of have to laugh at such things; They get some things right though. Like calling the compiler design book the Dragon book...it was named that when I was in college

Obviously weak is the portrayal of computers and hacking. As a computer professional, I can still live with it. Movies rarely get any of this stuff right, so you just put up with these things.

The plot is quite weak. But what do you expect? It suffices as a vehicle for the situations, dialog and music.
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7/10
Brilliant Movie
Scouserboy22 July 2003
I watched this movie by accident but i am glad i did. it is not a well known movie but i think it is great. the plot is stupid and unbelieveable but it is really enjoyable. i am not a big fan of Johnny Lee Miller but even in this he is good. it also is the first time i saw Angelina Jolie who in this is good. in all good performances all round and good movie
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2/10
Bad, Worse, Hackers
poljanfinegan29 October 2005
Hackers is a horror flick for everybody, that knows at least a little bit about computers. Young people, bursting with sex appeal are living almost underground and preaching rebel computer philosophy... They are hacking with gigabit connection, so that the nice animations of a broken fire walls and virtual rooms with databases and folders can load on their screens for the sake of the public. They use a laptops to hack from the top of the buildings, from the roofs, from the subways - because the laptop is such a powerful tool (in movies hackers almost always use laptops) - this device is meant to display "ACCESS GRANTED"! And the fight between the automated machines that change movies in the TV station office? Give me a freaking break! I rate this movie 2 for some shocking stupidity and frightening inadequacy.

P.S. If you don't know anything about the way internet and computers work - it's a nice teen crime/comedy - 4.5/10
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1/10
Trash
claimaster28 April 2002
This film is not only lacking realism. It doesn't come up with either storyline or acceptable dialogues and is an insult to everyone who has a bare understanding of computer fundamentals.

Luckily, over the last years, Hollywood has made the right decision to bring a little more realism into computer-related movies. However, this film is not worth seeing, I would recommend everyone to spend the runtime with anything else - perhaps cooking.

1/10
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1/10
Uh, what?
David18 February 2005
Granted, I'm tainted, but as someone who works in IT they could not have come up with more HOKEY computer lingo/scenarios/special effects if they tried. Oh, wait.....they did use the word "Unix" once or twice, and I think I actually heard "kernel," and didn't "Crash Overdrive" say something about "/usr/bin" once? To that, I say, "/dev/null," the real take away from this tragic insult to real live uber-geeks.

And the stooopid banter between Bracco and everyone else? You've GOT to be kidding me.

I guess realism wasn't an objective; instead, it was to showcase 20 year old (pre-surgery) Jolie-booty.

What a waste of 107 minutes...
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The best movie EVER!
vestan_p30 March 2001
Well, here it is folks, I think it's been long enough since hackers came out (6 years+), so I am going to offer what I think will be the definitive commentary on the film "Hackers." Simply put, Hackers is the finest movie ever. The music, the costumes, the dialog... if you could put FUN in a box (not to mention Johnny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie) the box would say "Hackers" on it. If this movie were a president, it would Hackraham Lincoln. If it were a gum, it would be Hackalicious... you get the picture.

Anyhow, the really important thing I have to say is this:

A.) Hackers is NOT a "B-movie"; the budget was large and the actors have major talent; it's a slick production, and it shows.

B.) Contrary to the belief of some cyber-dorks out there (who mainly get their jollies by pretending they know more than other people about computers) it doesn't matter if the computer interface is somewhat unrealistic. Obviously, there are some classic "movie" style computer screens (a la 1995's other horrible computer flick "The Net (of crap)"), but lest I seem like a broken record, I will repeat for the entertainmentally challenged THIS IS A MOVIE!

C.) Are you kidding me? This stuff is great! I can watch this movie forever (and believe me, I have) and NEVER EVER get tired of it. C'mon, this stuff is just classic, listen here to some dialogue:

(spoken with much gusto:) "Yeah, it's got a killer refresh rate."

"Risc is good."

"Never fear, I is here."

IT'S SO CLASSIC IT HURTS!

Bottom line, if you wanna be a nerd, go program something. If you want to be entertained, get this movie, NOW!
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10/10
Wonderful movie
erik_davidsson_200010 April 2004
As the title of the movie says, it is about hackers. But its not "bad" hackers, its about a few young kids that use their computer knowledge to survive, a way of their lifestyle. All is well until they get framed and blamed. Then they get back at the people who framed them. This is not your average movie about people who's framed and then they plan a revenge. No this is a different movie, a different feeling all along through the movie. Its kind of hard to explain...... This is one of the best movies i have ever seen....anyway. All through the movie there's this cool feeling, a feeling of happiness and great pleasure. You feel like you want to be a part of the movie, a part of the colorful characters. Who it indeed has. And then there's the music, great music just right for the movie. If you have not seen it.....DO IT. P.S. forgive my bad English :-)
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5/10
High on attitude, not on story
Mr-Fusion17 December 2015
I'm pretty sure I was the target age for this movie back in '95, but "Hackers" seemed to come and go with little fanfare. And then, for no discernible reason, it didn't reappear on my radar for another 20 years. And at 34, it's not really my cup of tea; partly because it's got undiluted '90s in its DNA and hackers-as-MTV-youth-culture, but mostly because it takes forever to get cooking. It's a movie that has to make up a lot of its cyber-speak because the future wasn't so clear back then (it's understandable; a lot of TV shows were doing the same thing), and it almost compensates with an aggressive pop style . . . but until our main ensemble discovers the virus, it's kind of a slog.

Hollywood's done much better in the cyberspace department, and "Hackers" is maybe a step or two above "Disclosure" fare.

Count me out.

5/10
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2/10
Something to laugh at while you're high
Greg28 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie reminds us all of how incredibly RIDICULOUS the fashion sense of the 90s was. strange amount of profanity, no l337 speak..., and since when did oil tankers have access to the internet for their basic controls? In all honest; never rent this movie but instead watch it on TV, or use the magical powers of the internet and download it cause God knows this movie makes 0 profit. +side is you get to see Jolie's tits again in this flick even though its short. the fact that they use floppy's is extremely laughable, if one were to remake this mess it would be all USB drives and UBUNTU Linux running machines up the ass. apparently in those days when one hacked a supercomputer's files their menus and command lines ran an OS so advanced that they could compete with today's software.these kids could be spotted from miles away because of their sheer cheesiness and what is with the protagonist wearing the stupid headgear when their in the phone booths? oh and when screw around with a telephone wire you'll get instant INTERNET connection. so yeah don't pay for this movie EVER, just watch it if it should be on TV or on some random site
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7/10
A right old Jolie
Alex Brown30 December 2001
More like a very young Angelina Jolie stars in hackers, a tale of a bunch of kids who hack into systems and networks for fun.

It does drag on a bit, but there's some good performances, a perfectly respectable script and some good directing. Unlike other computer films, this isn't full of too much BS and some of the technical stuff is believable -- nice change!
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1/10
The First Time I Have Fallen Asleep In A Movie. Ever.
trix_n_min25 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is, without doubt, the worst film I have ever seen. It is terribly atrociously boring, and honestly the first time in my entire life I have fallen asleep while watching a movie. The acting was terrible, in particular the completely over-acted part of Angelina Jolie, who tried to be the distant, cool chick but was just a rude, conceited pain the the ass. Matthew Lillard was his usual self, yet I couldn't even chuckle at him since the film was so bad. Possibly I am not technology-and-gadget-minded enough, and this film is very obviously intended for computer geeks, because I did not know what the point of any of it was. Absurdly unrealistic and completely drawn out and eventless, not to mention predictable as all hell. (Just for the record, I fell asleep approximately 3/4 through but I guarantee without watching that Jolie showed her "nice" side and hit it off with the irritating lead actor and cyber-enemy). Just a hunch. Computer geeks and teenage boys might like this film, or people that might associate it with childhood nostalgia. Anyone else... I can't express enough how not to watch it.
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1/10
Awful. Where's the thrill? More of a comedy joke!
pinokiyo18 December 2003
Well I just saw this movie for the first time even though it came out in 1995. I sure didn't miss much except knowing that it's one of the most poorly made movies ever made.

Okay, since when did hacking involve all these 3D computer graphical game-like images? I would of been more awake looking at the actors type on a black dos screen instead...

The actors were really bad even Angelina Jolie. They did a really good job of looking like WANNABE hackers though. Oh wait, they were really suppose to be hackers? I think Sandra Bullock (in the movie "The Net") did a better job "pretending" to know a lot about computers then these actors. I don't know if the director intended to give more of a comedy like feeling but that just made everyone sound stupid... "I hacked into the FBI!" "I hacked the bank!" "We're elite hackers o'kay!"... Then there's also the bad guy riding a skateboard and these "hackers" on roller skates? You got to be kidding me... This movie was very corny and the feeling was much like a TV movie.

"The Net" with Sandra Bullock which also happened to be released in 1995 was a lot better and actually had thrilling moments unlike this movie.

I would of probably skipped the movie K-PAX if I saw Hackers back in 1995 knowing Iain Softley directed them both. Yes, K-PAX was bad also. I'm definitely gonna skip his next directing movie.

The only good thing about this movie is the soundtrack. Other then that skip it. (Orbital - Halcyon & On & On is a nice song.)

1/10
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10/10
Underrated and magnificently done! Angelina shines.
PessimisticGrace27 August 2001
When I went in to watch Hackers, I was worried because some of

the reviews here.

I don't think we saw the same movie. From scene one, I was

surprised the characters were teenagers. I knew Angelina was

only 19 or 20 when she did this movie, but I hadn't realized that

until I saw it.

The romance and interaction between Angelina's character and

Jonny's is classic. Really. It's great. When they're arguing or

fighting or dreaming about each other spitefully, it's fun to watch

their little denying their attraction and criticizing one another. Before

Angelina Jolie, I did not have a favorite actress. I knew actresses I

liked several films of, but hated others.

Angelina Jolie is different. She's my favorite actress now. It's not

because she's pretty, although she is. It's because she has a

magnetism, charisma and draw that I've never before seen in an

actress of the 90's. This shows through in her portrayal of Kate

"Acid Burn" Libby. She's cocky and difficult, with a rebel charm

we've seen in many of this star's movies. If you love Angelina Jolie

for reasons OTHER than how large her chest is or nudity, please

see this. The performance may not have been academy award

winning, but it's a great performance. Very fun to see where she

started out.

The rest of the performances are also very good. Jonny's Dade

has a puppy dog charm, in that you feel sorry for him and can't help

but laugh when things don't go his way. He is in no way Mr. Deep,

but he's smart with a funny exterior.

Matthew Lillard never fails to make me laugh, and he's prominent

with his pigtailed braids and goofing off.

I must give kudos to the villain. Sure, nothing unpredictable or new.

But he's positively funny. "Never fear, I is here." And arrogant and

quirky.

I loved the special effects. I loved the plot. I loved the premise. I

loved the romantic relationship between Kate and Dade.

This is not an academy award winning movie. It's not extremely

dramatic or epic. But it sure is a GOOD movie. It's fun, it's a

comedy, it's a drama, and it's just great to watch. I very much

enjoyed the technology used, and the entire movie as a whole

made me smile.

If you are looking for an epic movie of high proportions with big

name actors and a hole-less plot, stay away.

But if you're looking for a movie that will make you smile at the

antics of the multi-dimensional characters and their escapades

and problems, set in a technological world and featuring a cute

teenage romance, go see it.

And if you love Angelina's acting, appeal, charisma and gorgeous

smile, don't see it. BUY IT. I know I will.
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1/10
A dissenting opinion
kbeartxs23 September 2006
I feel compelled to offer my take on this film.

I found it unwatchable - well, I watched about half of it and then turned it off.

All the other reviews give it way too much of a break, IMO.

The sheer number of inaccuracies, stereotypes, and clichés is overwhelming, and cumulatively destroyed my ability to suspend my disbelief.

The acting is OK, and the overall production is not bad.

Maybe it's b/c I'm a middle-aged geek and not a teenager anymore, so that the 'coolness' of the subject did not make up for the substandard screenplay.
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2/10
We have just gotten a wake-up call from the Nintendo Generation.
Andy (film-critic)6 August 2005
I remember watching Hackers on television and possibly on video when I was younger and being somewhat impressed. Not from the actual film itself, but from the fact that Hollywood would take the sidekicks of every other "action" film and give them their own film. It was refreshing, even if the overall feature did not settle well. It showed that Hollywood was willing to take a step forward in the world of creativity, and for a few films it brooded well. Now in 2005, I watch this film again, and am completely devastated by the results. Now, when I watch this film, I see clichéd characters, an uninvolved plot, complete disregard for the law, and extremely cheap computer graphics, which heavily stamped a date on this feature. Is this what hacking is all about? Is hacking about fighting evil hackers with virus', about growing out-dated over time, and about finding that one Goth girl that has a boyfriend and making her your own? That is what Hackers demonstrated to me, so why shouldn't I believe it?

Director Ian Softley really went outside of his tent when creating this film. Going from the feature Backbeat, about music's cultural icons, to this just doesn't … well … compute. He had this great opportunity to bring an unknown culture into a mainstream light, but instead he teeny-bopped it out of reality. He transforms these unsociable, outcast geniuses into superheroes, armed with nothing more than keyboards, high libidos, teen music, and an overabundance of clichés. If I were a member of the hacker community I would be outraged about this film. It is like making a movie about Superman wearing a Batman costume, two different cultures were intertwining incorrectly and nobody was there to stop it. We needed The Matrix, but all we got was American Pie. To help remedy this situation, we needed three distinct changes. We needed stronger actors to accompany their characters, a tighter story that dove deeper into the hacker culture, and we needed stronger CGI, which wouldn't date this early 90s film.

Jonny Lee Miller was decent, Angelina carried her own, Jesse Bradford was wasted, but overall the most hurtful part of these characters was that they never quite "gelled" together. I never quite saw these main characters working together after this. I never saw them remaining friends or pursuing their computer degrees further. We opened with only enough information for us to feel sympathy for Miller and literally left with no care in the world what would happen to these characters after the credit sequence. This is not strong film-making. I like to end films with a sensation that life outside the camera will continue in a linear course, but with Hackers that sensation never erupted. I think some of this has to do with Matthew Lillard who just floundered his performance (almost to the clichéd "T") and decayed nearly every scene he was involved with. The only attribute he was able to succeed with was annoying, and I don't think that is what Softley was shooting for. These characters were painful to watch and thankfully were able to rebound after this film, sans Matthew Lillard.

The story. Without detailing too much, the story was unoriginal. It felt as if we took a general action film, erased the main heroes, and instead substituted this band of hipster hackers as our heroines. Which means, a very clichéd story equipped with our very own over-acting villain, "The Plague". What was his role in this film outside of telling Penn Jillette what to do, and sleeping with Lorraine Bracco? His spoken words were hideous and painful to the ear, coupled with his one-dimensional character really left us with a villain that never quite covered the "evil" ground. Neither him nor Bracco felt "evil". Instead, from the moment we met them we knew what would be their fate. There was nothing that Softley could have done to avoid this … outside of making better casting decisions, a stronger story, and a decent climax.

Finally, I would like to say that this film felt like the mid-90s. No matter how you look at it, the choice for graphics in this film completely dates the picture. If you think you are going to gather up your computer friends for a rousing night of micro-brews and this feature, you will find yourself definitely alone by the end of the evening. Softley's use of random letters, images, and computer-enhanced something-or-others, didn't even feel like computers. I remember playing computer games back in the 80s that made more sense than this. I felt cheapened after seeing these terminally poor graphics and wondered if this film was used to push computer companies into a better era. Either way, Softley's CGI use in this film was hysterically bad, causing a ripple of cheapness to cascade through this film.

Overall, I wasn't happy with my future viewing of this film. Perhaps I should have left this film go in the 90s, but watching it today I felt cheap and robbed. Softley's inaccurate portrayal of this hacker culture only brewed a deeper dislike of Hollywood and their ability to capitalize on this unknown world. The cast was atrocious (Matthew Lillard), the story can be seen in dozens of other action-genre films, and the central focus of this film, the computer graphics, were apparently designed by Wal-Mart. Hackers is a disgraceful mess of a film that should be locked in the film vault never to be released again.

Grade: * out of *****
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