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Top 10 Movie Hackers

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Matt Wende. Don’t let their appearance fool you: put any of these men or women in front of a computer, and they become the most dangerous people on the planet. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 movie hackers. For this list, we’re looking at big screen characters that use their advanced technical skills and intellects to gain access to computers and systems that may or may not belong to them. Let the downloading begin. Special thanks to our users TheBaconTerminator, Lewis Ebert-Moran, sloo7_711, Andrew A. Dennison, perryhigh, Michael Trout, aldqbigsquare, BigChris2777 and PhilipGerard for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Matt Wende.

Top 10 Movie Hackers


Don’t let their appearance fool you: put any of these men or women in front of a computer, and they become the most dangerous people on the planet. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie hackers.

For this list, we’re looking at big screen characters that use their advanced technical skills and intellects to gain access to computers and systems that may or may not belong to them. Let the downloading begin.

#10: Dade ‘Zero Cool’ Murphy
“Hackers” (1995)

At a time when grunge was in and sticking it to the man was paramount, this techno-filled cyberpunk thriller told the story of teenage hackers who went toe-to-toe with a major corporation. Their legendary leader, working under the alias “Zero Cool,” made a name for himself by crashing the computer systems of Wall Street’s most famous landmark, The New York Stock Exchange, when he was just 11. Alongside beautiful imagery, a young Angelina Jolie, Orwellian themes, and all the ‘90s culture you can handle, Zero Cool kicks off our list with style.

#9: Lyle [aka ‘Napster’]
“The Italian Job” (2003)
Shawn Fanning developed Napster, right? Not according to Seth Green in this 2003 remake of the 1969 British heist film. The self-proclaimed “Napster” is the computer guy on this team of thieves. Going after a former ally, Lyle uses his skills to hack into the city grid, rerouting traffic and blocking trains in order to make sure the team gets the gold, and gets away. Aside from his skills, Lyle’s palpable wit and charisma are most certainly standout qualities about this hacker.

#8: Matthew ‘Matt’ Farrell
“Live Free or Die Hard” (2007)

Coming in eighth on our list is the quirky and comedic Yin to Bruce Willis’ stoic and macho Yang from the fourth “Die Hard” installment. In “Live Free or Die Hard,” Justin Long’s Matt helps to develop a code to break into the National Security Agency’s computer mainframe and shut down its infrastructure. In order to protect the algorithm, the film’s villain targets Farrell for assassination. As a result, the human iMac finds himself along for McClane’s ride, dropping punchlines on his way to saving the day.

#7: Kevin Flynn
“Tron” (1982)

In this classic Disney sci-fi flick, ex-videogame maker Kevin Flynn is transported inside a computer program while trying to hack into his ex-employer’s computer. Once inside, he must find a way to stop a self-aware program, or A.I., from invading other computers in Washington and the Kremlin, but he also must fight for his life. Sporting cutting-edge computer imagery for the decade, “Tron” was the first film to let us see what it’d look like were a hacker to physically transport his own consciousness inside a computer system, and the results were visually delighting, memorable and cult status-worthy.

#6: Stanley Jobson
“Swordfish” (2001)

Shortly after Hugh Jackman established himself as the hyper-manly Wolverine, he was the underdog in this 2001 techno-thriller. A burnout divorcee with a criminal record thanks to his hacking days, Stanley Jobson begins working for a criminal mastermind. With an estranged daughter and an affinity for red wine, he also quickly finds himself in way over his head. The X-man doesn’t only leave his mark in every scene he’s in – after all, who can forget his ability to hack a government system in a minute despite all those – ahem – distractions? All that, and he also keeps us holding on for the ride throughout “Swordfish.”

#5: Cosmo
“Sneakers” (1992)

Jaded from spending years in jail for his politically motivated hacking, “Sneakers”’ Cosmo builds a machine that can decrypt any code, break any firewall, and access any computer system. Robert Redford and his lovable team of professional misfits must make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, be it those of his friend-turned-nemesis, or their own government. One of only two villains on this list, Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of the misguided genius stays with us after the credits roll.

#4: Raoul Silva
“Skyfall” (2012)

One of the best Bond villains in years, M’s former protégé comes back to settle a vendetta and bring MI6 to its knees in “Skyfall.” Breaking into the British intelligence agency’s computer mainframe both from without, and fiendishly from within, this terrifying hacker pushes 007 to his absolute limit. We love him not only for his technological malice, but also for the panache that Oscar winning actor Javier Bardem brings to the role.

#3: Luther Stickell
“Mission: Impossible” franchise (1996-)

A disavowed IMF agent with a rep, this legendary hacker is recruited in the first installment of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise to help Ethan Hunt clear his name; he also winds up clearing his own in the process. Ving Rhames is not only known for being Hunt’s technical backup on missions, but also for his brotherly support.

#2: David Lightman
“WarGames” (1983)

Before he was driving classic Ferraris and popping up in parades, the would-be Ferris Bueller used his computer to falsify his grades in this Cold War sci-fi movie. While attempting to gain early access to an advanced videogame, David unknowingly hacks into a supercomputer and accidently runs a simulation that makes the U.S. military believe there’s going to be a nuclear strike against the country. Racing against time to prevent World War III, David learns an important lesson about what happens when two countries play a game of Global Thermonuclear War. Just a high school student? We think not.

Before we decipher our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Mark Zuckerberg
“The Social Network” (2010)
- Neo
“The Matrix” franchise (1999-2003)
- Michael Bolton
“Office Space” (1999)
- Gary Winston
“Antitrust” (2001)
- Boris Grishenko
“GoldenEye” (1995)

#1: Lisbeth Salander
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011)

In David Fincher’s haunting mystery thriller based on the bestselling novel, the titular hacker works as a private investigator who uses her investigatory skills to solve a murder as well as steal billions from a corrupt entrepreneur. Rooney Mara’s portrayal of a borderline savant is an enigma in itself; striking and scary, intelligent and unpredictable. This inked-up beauty doesn’t only steals secrets, but also every scene she’s in.

Did you agree with our list? What brilliant movie hackers did we miss? For more Movie Top 10s published every day, hack into your own computer and subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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