Programming movies are not just meant for programmers. Let’s set aside that widespread misconception.
Software testing has nowadays been considered as one of the major aspects of development and coding knowledge is indeed a must.
The point here is programming movies can also inspire or amuse the tester in you.
If you have any doubt go through this blog and find out which programming movies they are and watch it ASAP.
1. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield
Director: David Fincher
The programming bit in the whole movie is a bit short but since it is based on a true story, all programming sequences in the movie are on point.
The movie is about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg who finds himself in the midst of legal trouble on the grounds of intellectual property theft.
The whole movie is about how Facebook grew as a business and the various ups and downs it had to face.
There is a scene where Mark’s friend Gordo writes an algorithm to compare students to farm animals.
They used it to start a small game which became really very popular. So much so that the servers had to be shut down at 4 AM.
All the programming bits in the movie are on point which earned it praises from both critics and moviegoers.
Cast: Skeet Ulrich, Russel Wong, Angela Featherstone
Director: Joe Chappelle
This movie is an adaptation of the book by the same name.
Takedown shows how a hacker named Kevin Mitnick uses or misuses his programming skills to elude from an F.B.I pursuit.
The book is written by John Markoff and Tsutomu Shimomura. All the events that took place during the course of the movie were very realistic.
It is a must see movie for all programmers as it forces you to challenge what you already know about programming.
3. PIRATES OF SILICON VALLEY
Cast: Noah Wyle Anthony, Anthony Micheal Hall
Director: Martin Burke
PIRATES OF SILICON VALLEY is one of the top-notch movie among these programming movies lists.
This drama flick programming mo was directed by Martyn Burke and was released in the year 1999.
This movie is highly recommended for programming enthusiasts.
It basically tells the story of how the personal computer was designed by giants like Microsoft and Apple.
The movie is set throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.
It shows the methodologies Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple used to develop their top of the line personal computers.
They had a great tussle before finally announcing their alliance in 1997.
Those who want to know personal computers were developed, this is a must watch movie for them.
4. THE IMITATION GAME
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley
Director: Morten Tyldum
This movie was launched in 2014 and portrays the invention of world’s the first computer.
Programmers will find this movie extremely engaging. In the end, Alan Turing, the protagonist of the movie along with his team was able to find a way to decode the German Enigma Code.
This scene may especially be of inspiration for the programmers.
It is believed that the German Enigma Code and invention of computers played a pivotal role in shortening the war and saving lives.
This masterpiece was directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Graham Moore.
5. THE FIFTH ESTATE
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch
Director: Bill Condon
Who doesn’t know about Wikileaks? Julian Assange is the founder of Wikileaks which lead to the disclosure of secret documents concerning the world’s governments and militaries.
Wikileaks was founded by Julian Assange in 2006 as a journalistic platform for whistleblowers to share evidence of illegal or corrupt activities.
They were able to leak classified information to the press without having anonymous whistleblowers accidentally identified.
The Fifth Estate shows incidents that led to the inception of Wikileaks and how it became such a big thing.
Director Bill Condon had to read several books on Wikileaks to set the plot and get all the portrayals in the movie corrects.
Cast:Ashton Kutcher, Dermot mulroney
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Jobs is an accurate representation of the life of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.
The movie sheds light on his personal and college life.
A large majority of the movie revolves around how Apple became the business enterprise that it is today.
The programming bit is fairly limited but programmers and people, in general, may find the movie very inspirational and high quality.
The recreation of the iPod launch scene will give you goosebumps and the way Ashton Kutcher played Steve Jobs is phenomenal.
This is a highly recommended flick for programmers and Apple enthusiasts.
Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie
Director: Iain Softley
This movie was released at a time when the internet was not popular as it is today.
It was released in 1995 and showed a bunch of high school students using their programming skills for corporate extortion.
The number of programmers was fairly low at that time and hence the movie went over the heads of people.
But today, this crime film is highly recommended for testers and programmers as they will understand it completely.
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Cindy Morgan
Director: Steven Lisberger
The way this movie portrays a programmer is amazingly good.
The movie was released back in 1982 and revolved around a programmer that got sucked in the world of computers.
The special effects used in the movie are amazing considering the movie was launched in 1982.
The protagonist uses some amazing programming skills to find his way back into the world.
This movie is highly recommended for programmers and testers.
9. THE MATRIX
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fish burne
Director: The Wachowskis
The Matrix stars Keanu Reeves and is one of the best movies of all time.
It was indeed the very first movie that shed light on hackers.
A large number of teens became interested in the world of programming just because of this movie.
Most of you must have seen this movie many times.
The concept of loop and recursion depicted in this movie comes pretty handy for programmers.
Wachowski Brothers have done an excellent job with the film.
10. WAR GAMES
Cast: Mathew Broderick, Ally Sheedy.
Director: John Badham
Released in 1983, this movie revolves around a kid hacker who accidentally got his hands on War Operation Plan Response (WOPR). The kid thought that it was some sort of game and started playing it. This resulted in some unexpected events in the world. The hidden message was to the parents that they must keep an eye on what their children are up to as it would avoid misuse of programming.
11. SOURCE CODE
Cast: Jake Gylenhall, Michelle Monaghan
Director: Duncan Jones
The name itself gives programming vibes. Jake Gyllenhaal is the leading actor in the movie.
The plot shows a suicide bomber in a Chicago train.
The hero enters the body of another person using his programming capabilities.
The movie was critically acclaimed and Duncan Jones and Ben Ripley were praised for doing justice to such a complicated storyline.
Cast: Ryan Philips, Tim Robbins
Director: Peter Howitt
Antitrust takes place in a large company which is considered a heaven for programmers.
A young programmer got a job in this company and found out that something wasn’t right.
The programmer uses his programming capabilities to bring those issues in limelight.
The movie was released in 2001 and still remains one of the best programming movies of all time. Programmers should watch this flick at any cost.
Cast: Shane Carruth
Director: Shane Carruth
Primer shows the story of 2 hardware engineers that unintentionally made time travel a reality.
This movie is a masterpiece for engineers more than programmers.
The movie only goes on to show how programming possibilities may one day make time travel a reality. Released in 2004, Primer is a cult movie for programmers and testers.
14. OFFICE SPACE
Cast: Ron Livingstone, Jennifer Anniston
Director: Mike Judge
This is the story of a software company.
The life of programmers in this movie was pretty accurately portrayed.
The film was not as successful as the director wanted it to be but it won hearts of programmers especially in software companies.
15. EX MACHINA
Cast: Domhhall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander
Director: Alex Garland
It was released in 2015 and is a psychological thriller.
The movie revolves around artificial intelligence and how it can be used to make the world a better place to live.
The cinematography in this movie is truly amazing and deserves a round of applause.
The way developers create software is beautifully depicted in this movie. It also warns us against the harmful effects of not using it correctly.
Cast: Micheal Douglas, Demi Moore
Director: Barry Levinson
This movie shows a perfect blend of computer hacking and corporate espionage.
However, you will more of the latter but the hacking bit is very gripping.
This is a good movie and highly recommended for testers and programmers.
Cast: Diane Lane, Colin Hanks
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Launched in 2008, this movie is about a crazy computer geek that tortures people to death.
The torture is telecasted live on the internet and more the number of people watching the live feed, the quicker the person dies.
He posts live videos of the torture but the F.B.I. is unable to trace him. He is basically untraceable.
What he does to become untraceable is pretty interesting to watch. Programmers will definitely like this one.
Cast:Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
This is an action movie that involves a lot of hacking and humor.
The plot is simple; the hackers have to steal a black box while dealing with a bunch of NSA agents, murder accusations, and a whole lot of perplexity.
The hacking scenes in the movie are pretty amazing and very close to what happens in real life.
It was released in 1992 but today also, hackers and programmers can learn a trick or two from this flick.
19. We are Legion
Director: Brian Knappenberger
Released in 2012, We Are Legion is a movie about hacktivists their complex culture and history.
The movie mainly focuses on the early hacktivist groups such as Dead Cow, Electronic Disturbance Theater and the infamous website 4chan.
You will get to see interviews of people who are in prison, who are about to face trial for various cyber-crimes, readers academic, etc. and through these interviews, footages.
20. TPB AFK – The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard (2013)
Cast: Gottfrid Svartholm, Fredrik Neij
Director: Simon Klose
A documentary based on the story of 3 people who lead a cyber-war against the media industry. The movie is exciting and as gripping as it can get.
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Director: Oliver Stone
Released in 2016, Snowden is real life story inspired movie in which they showcased the life of Edward Snowden a former NSA employee who leaked out documents to the public which shed light to the unethical way of monitoring people.
These were some of the top programming movies that every programmer must watch. The Matrix series is by far the most successful franchise that shows hacking. Aside from it, The Social Network and Jobs come pretty close to showing reality.
Here are a few honorable mentions; The Net, Betas, The Thirteenth Floor, Gamer, Reboot, Eagle Eye, Swordfish, 23, The Call Up, Beta Test, Snowden, and Debug.
There are a lot of documentaries on programming like Code 2600, The Realm of Hackers, The Secret History of Hacking, Something Ventured, Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy, and Revolution OS.
The list doesn’t end here.. Here are some other programming movies which we think are good choices to satisfy the programmer in you
All these programming movies are fun to watch but at the same time are informative as well. Hope you find it useful.