Martin Bishop is the head of a group of experts who specialize 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 <email@example.com>
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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