This film is based on the story of the capture of computer hacker "Kevin Mitnick".



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Mitnick
Tsutomu Shimomura
Alex Lowe
Mitch Gibson (as Chris McDonald)
McCoy Rollins
Lance 'Icebreaker' Petersen
Dan Bradley
Committee Chairman
Jake Cronin
Tom Fiori


Kevin Mitnick is quite possibly the best hacker in the world. Hunting for more and more information, seeking more and more cybertrophies every day, he constantly looks for bigger challenges. When he breaks into the computer of a security expert and an ex-hacker, he finds one - and much more than that... Written by Jaromir Król

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The world has a right to know.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 March 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hackers 2: Takedown  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Editors of 2600 magazine (a hacker publication) learned of this film early in its development and were at the time campaigning for Kevin Mitnick's release from prison. They filmed the documentary "Freedom Downtime" as they tried to correct many glaring errors and personal attacks on Mitnick's character in the film, protesting outside Miramax offices in New York amongst other things. See more »


Alex Lowe states that 56 bit encryption allows for roughly 72 trillion combinations. He is off by 3 orders of magnitude. 56 bit encryption allows for roughly 72 quadrillion combinations. See more »


Kevin Mitnick: Why am I here and you are not?
See more »


References Hackers (1995) See more »


Performed by Grindverk
Written by Sigtryggur Baldursson
Published by Copyright Control (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Fat Cat Records
See more »

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User Reviews

surprisingly good
3 March 2003 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Stumbled upon TAKEDOWN's listing here on and had to check it out: I'd read Markoff and Shimomura's book back in grad school and thought it was okay (digression: there's a lot of debate in the hacker community about which book covers the Mitnick case best, and many say Markoff and Shimomura's book is extremely one-sided; Mitnick is guilty of nothing more than breaking into several large corporation's servers and poking around, trying out their code, they say. Whether this is a real crime, I leave that up to you dear reader).

As for TAKEDOWN, the movie: most flicks about computers teeter on one end or the other of the Reality Scale: they are either boring -- afterall, it's just a person typing at a computer -- or way too fantastical for anyone who's used any flavor of Unix to take seriously (e.g., THE MATRIX or the last HACKERS movie). TAKEDOWN straddles the line somewhere in the middle -- and admirably so.

What TAKEDOWN does very well is show the process of social engineering, e.g., talking someone into thinking you're someone you're not to get information. Mitnick mastered this skill. The real crux of TAKEDOWN, though, is the showdown between the two egos of Mitnick and Shimomura (bravo to Russell Wong -- wow, if Shimo really is that much of an arrogant jerk, I can see why he got under Mitnick's skin so much).

Skeet Ulrich is often called the Poor Man's Johnny Depp, but here's a role that was made for him. Joe Chappelle's direction is crisp and keeps the action tense. Minor complaint: The editor should have chilled out a bit though -- man, do we really need all those quick, jarring cuts? I supposed they were trying to make using a computer look interesting, cool and non-boring.

Overall, if you're into hacking, subcultures, law enforcement and computer crime, you should check this one out. It's too bad no one's seen this -- it must have been released direct-to-video; I don't even remember seeing ads in the paper for it.

P.S. keep an eye out for a brief appearance by Amanda Peet in a telling scene that hints at the REAL source of Mitnick's problems: LACK OF SOCIAL SKILLS!

30 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This movie was crap off_target
Why wont non-"crackers" step up to the plate jokerlicious
Hackers 2, I think not... carbocookie
Have the soundtrack list bibosul
Why was this movie banned in the US at release? telzon66
Watch 'Freedom Downtime' instead sonjaaa
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