52 Movies Every Tech Geek Must See
Think you know everything about tech? What about movies? If so, then you probably already know about most of these 52 movies every tech geek should see. However, a re-watch with a tech frame of mind of the old, along with a healthy dose of the new, can take both your imagination and knowledge of tech to the next level.
Movies Every Tech Geek Must See
Start off with some of the best technology movies Hollywood has to offer with the below.
1. The Matrix
In most tech movies, technology is the evil entity coming to destroy us all. In a twist, the technological bad guys actually use tech against humans, who fall for it. In addition, there are philosophical points, a couple of twists, and unbelievable special effects, which are still amazing by today’s standards. Plus, the blue pill/red pill debate will have you thinking long after the movie is over.
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Written in 1968 by legendary director Stanly Kubrick, this tech movie still holds up. Nominated for four Academy awards, many themes are touched on including the past, present, and future of both humanity and technology. The soundtrack and lack of dialogue are also noteworthy. In addition, seeing the world of 2001 from the eyes of someone in the 60’s is fascinating.
3. Minority Report
If you can get over the fact that Tom Cruise can repeatedly break into a top security facility that he was ceremoniously booted out of using the same “key” as always, this movie is a must see for tech geeks. It follows his adventures in the department of pre-crime, which can actually arrest suspects before they commit a crime. The film asks serious questions of what can and should be done with technology. There are also bonus points for touching on heavy subjects such as free will versus pre-destination.
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
In this movie, technology can be used to erase memories. In this case, Jim Carrey uses it to forget the love he had and lost with Kate Winslet. After undergoing the process, he struggles to fight it. A must see for tech geeks in showing that technology cannot undo what was meant to be.
A huge box office hit, Avatar focuses on the story of a disabled marine who finds a way to walk again with the help of a new piece of technology. This tech enables him to link with an “avatar” hybrid of an alien race. Upon meeting them, he is conflicted with helping his adopted world and his own world where a wheelchair awaits him.
In the future, genetic engineering is used to birth everyone. However, Ethan Hawke is conceived and born without this technology, exposing him to extreme prejudices. After a scheme to become an astronaut and several close calls, the main character proves that technology isn’t everything.
7. Apollo 13
This true story should be at the top of any tech geek’s list that includes space travel. Set on one of the earlier missions to the moon, three astronauts are trapped in space after a malfunction in their craft. The only way to get back home is to work together with their counterparts on Earth, a few supplies, and knowledge of technology.
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
A movie that begins with warnings from dolphins may not seem like it is a must-see, but it turns out that way. Nominated for several Academy awards, it follows the main character as he is saved from the Earth’s destruction. More adventures follow, but the question of the price of tech is examined in both a humorous and serious manner.
9. Children of Men
Lack of technology is the centerpiece of this movie. The world is one where children have not been conceived in years. The main characters are tasked with birthing the first child born in this world and seeing to its survival. An excellent lesson that technology cannot solve everything.
10. The Truman Show
Reality television has reached epic heights in this film set in the not too distant future. Truman is unwillingly the subject of a show in which he is the only “real” character. After several warning signs, Truman sets out to discover the world. A must see for tech geeks in showing that the world outside of technology can be scary, yet Truman is willing to give up everything to get there.
Horror Movies Every Tech Geek Must See
Check out these horror movies with a technological twist.
11. The Ring
In an age of DVD’s, who knew a VHS tape could be so dangerous? In the film, anyone who watches this specific tape is subject to dying a horrible, mysterious death. In a twist, the main character’s son, not herself, ends up watching the tape. In a desperate attempt to save him, she digs for the truth behind the tape, along with a haunting decision at the end that will have you asking: “Would I do the same?”
The Jigsaw killer in this movie uses only cameras, a tape recorder, and video monitoring system as his technological weapons of choice, but manages to scare millions of people. With themes on the gift of life and what some will to do keep it, it is no wonder it spawned a franchise. Bonus points for the double meaning of the title.
13. Phone Booth
Self centered Colin Farrell is a publicist who is about to have a bad day. A killer has targeted him for being such a jerk and the only way to survive is to become a better person, even if it is at gun point. The tech part? In a world of cell phones and internet, the setting of the film is done in a phone booth that is scheduled to be destroyed.
Actually written by the same guy as the above film, Cellular is a movie that does the same thing, with a twist. When Kim Basinger is kidnapped her only source of hope is a cellphone and the random guy she reaches with it. His cellphone becomes the vehicle in which his indifference becomes determination to save someone else.
One of the most amazing aspects of technology is its ability to capture moments that would otherwise never be shared. An attack on New York city by an unknown alien happens to be the center of this one. Highlights of the film are not the huge scenes and special effects, but the quiet moments that this handheld camera are able to capture, not withstanding its unbelievably long battery life.
16. The Blair Witch Project
Similar to the above, this horror movie would have never been believable save that it was all captured by technology and based on a true story. The simple camera captures moments of true horror and sorrow making it the most important piece of tech in the film, despite the fact that a working cellphone could also have solved all the character’s problems.
When a college student’s boyfriend commits suicide, she is left wondering why. The answer of what he was working on and where he ended up made technology a truly horrifying thing. Although it didn’t score well with critics, the subject matter and an amazing performance by Kristen Bell are worth a look.
Science Fiction Movies Every Tech Geek Must See
Because no tech geek is complete without a healthy dose of sci-fi, have a look at these movies.
18. Star Wars
For changing the way we see franchises, science fiction, and for shaping a generation of tech geeks, this movie gets top spots. Tech highlights include the variety of spaceships, weapons, and musical instruments that show the power of what a tech geek with some imagination can do. Lowlights include an advanced space station that can be destroyed with one small missile.
19. Blade Runner
In the future, technology has allowed scientists to create artificial human beings called replicants. Harrison Ford is hired to track down and eliminate four rogue replicants and complications ensue. Nominated for several awards, it will have tech geeks thinking about the pro’s and con’s of technology.
Also nominated for several awards, a hacker is kidnapped and forced to take part in realistic video games. He must then realize his own talents to battle and ultimately escape the world. A true standout for teaching tech geeks that their smarts are their strength.
Although an underperformer at the box office, tech geeks will enjoy this realistic look at the future. Instead of a bright gleaming humanity where aliens are the only threat or a post apocalyptic nightmare, humans are their own worst enemy, much like the present. A ragtag crew of misfits on the fringe of acceptable society are forced to uncover the disturbing truth about what the mainstream world attempted to create and what went horribly wrong. Joss Whedon’s masterpiece will have you second guessing whether or not tech should be used to make people better.
Mutants are the next stage of evolution. Finding themselves in a world that doesn’t want them, the X-men secretly protect humans against mutants who seek to rule the world. One of the evil mutants has developed a piece of technology that can turn humans into mutants, ending the struggle once and for all. Also good for the quiet moments where the X-men turn to each other and work together to defeat the enemy.
23. Star Trek
Although the first films made history, the most recent is a stand out for J.J. Abrams’ original take on a classic. Even though none of the serious pieces of tech in Star Trek have come to pass, save for video conferencing and such, who’s to say they never will? A must see movie for every tech geek, at the very least so he or she will be able to participate in many movie and television related discussions.
24. The Running Man
Has technology left you disconnected from the real world? Taking that idea up a notch is the basis for this 80’s movie. In the future, human life is so expendable, a game show is created where contestants live and mostly die by playing.
25. Total Recall
Yes, another Schwarzenegger film. In the future, Mars is colonized, air is regulated, and vacations are just a download away. After Schwarzenegger’s character receives a botched vacation, he reveals that he is actually an undercover agent seeking to expose the evil of Mars’s underworld. Bonus points at the end for the twist of whether the movie was real or not.
26. A Clockwork Orange
Another movie set in the future, brain washing is used in place of the usual correctional facilities. Malcolm McDowell and his buddies wreak havoc until ultimately caught. He is then subject to the correctional process. A must see for sci-fi tech geeks who want to further explore how technology can make someone better and worse at the same time.
If you’re a tech geek looking for laughs, check out this film. In an Orwellian future, the main character is deemed an enemy of the state after numerous bureaucratic mistakes. The film shows how technology has made life simultaneously easier and more difficult. There is also a stand out performance from Robert De Niro.
Robot Movies Every Tech Geek Should See
They can be our best buddies or worst nightmare. Tech geeks who love either will enjoy the below.
After humans abandon the Earth, the only one left to clean up the mess is an adorable robot. It is thrown out of its routine upon finding a plant, which starts a chain of events. A standout for its lesson that tech can only do so much before humans become reliant and irrelevant.
29. The Terminator
The original is still the best. It invokes terror at the thought of a futuristic robot coming to kill someone whose crimes against robots have yet to be committed. James Cameron used only a treatment and limited special effects to shoot this tech masterpiece in which time travel and tech collide with the human spirit to create the very thing they were trying to avoid.
30. I, Robot
The age old question of “can robots be self aware?” is asked in this film. Impressive effects and a top notch performance from Wil Smith stand out. However, his journey in the film out shadows that of the robot, asking the question of what it means to be human.
In the future, children are sparse setting up a nice scenario for technology to step in. David is a robot programmed to love whomever activates it. After being programmed and abandoned by his mother, David sets out on a quest to discover the meaning of family. He also encounters other robots, showing how tech comes and goes but love never does.
32. Short Circuit
When robots become self aware, it is usually a destructive process that ends with an attempted destruction of mankind. In this movie, a robot meant for war becomes peaceful after an accidental electrocution. After escaping and befriending a young woman, the robot defines what it truly means to be alive.
33. Ghost in the Shell
This movie was based on a popular comic and anime series of the same name. A few decades from now, the world is tied together by a vast computer network. In Japan, two cops investigate crimes committed by runaway robots. In a traditional twist, it is found out that the very criminal they are after is a product of their own technological doing.
Also set in the future, this film asks the question “what if people were more like robots?” All members of this futuristic world are forced to take a pill in order to keep their emotions, both good and bad, in check. A wonderful performance by Christian Bale is also a must see.
35. THX 1138
In one of George Lucas’s earlier films, humans are reduced to asexual beings, while patrolled by sadistic robot cops. However, when a man and woman’s meds are decreased, they begin to see the world in a new light. The only movie produced by Coppola’s now Zoetroppe films and Lucas, it is essential viewing for tech geeks.
Documentary Movies Every Tech Geek Must See
36. The True Story of the Internet
Part of the Discovery Channel series, this movie explores the beginnings of one of the most world-changing pieces of tech. A must see for every tech geek who thinks Al Gore did it single handedly. Best of all it’s available to view with a click and there are many other science and technology related movies.
37. Who Killed The Electric Car?
This 2006 tech filmed focused on the rise and fall of the electric car. It follows the story of the General Motors EV1. A good piece for tech geeks to ask if politics can stop technology, or is some tech never meant to be?
38. Welcome to Macintosh
This documentary mixes history, criticism, and a revelry of all things Apple into the movie. From the earliest days of the Apple-I to the tablet, the film discusses everything. You can also join the network to get more behind the scenes looks.
39. The Guild
More of a web series than a film, it follows the adventures of a video gaming tech geek who steps out into the real world when her imaginary one is threatened. Winner of several awards, its creator, Felicia Day, is also an admitted geek and shows what a little tech and a lot of talent can accomplish. Already in Season Three, this is a must see.
40. Top Documentary
This website allows you to view documentaries at no charge. With over 20 on technology, tech geeks can find the subject of their choice from astronomy to automotive. There are also films on biographies, media, environment, and science.
Worst Movies Every Tech Geek Mustn’t See
For getting tech so wrong, along with other offenses, these movies are or are not a must see depending on your sense of humor and suspension of belief.
41. Independence Day
For a movie with such a large budget, fantastic cast, and interesting premise, it gets top spots for falling short of what it could have been. Evil aliens come to Earth bent on killing us all and it looks like that’s exactly what they will do. Until a human – albeit the “smartest” one in the cast – comes up with a computer virus that completely disables the aliens who are centuries ahead of him technologically. Plus, he comes up with the virus within a span of a few minutes. Bonus negative points for the president also conveniently being a fighter pilot.
42. Johnny Mneumonic
Keanu Reeves didn’t always star in good technology movies. In 1995, he plays a data courier who undergoes a problem when he downloads a whopping 80 GB of data into his head. To summarize, the latest iPod can now hold 160GB. There’s also a dolphin in the film.
43. The Net
Much like the number one spot, this movie had the potential to be better but focused on the little things thinking their audience wouldn’t notice. Such as the bad guys having the ability to kill anyone, including well-guarded politicians using technology, but not the main character, a lonely tech geek. Also absurd is the idea that billion dollar companies would trust the bad guys with security without ever taking a peek over their shoulder.
Hugh Jackman is a hacker hired by John Travolta to steal billions from a government account, which is apparently a cake walk if you are a talented enough hacker. Why Hugh? His professionalism in drinking, dancing, and playing cowboy must have made him a standout. In addition, the car chases and action scenes that were tacked on felt like it.
It’s hard to believe that a film starring Al Pacino is on this list, but it is. He plays a producer whose lead has walked off the set and is desperate to find a replacement. So he does the only logical thing: has a digital actress replace her. Any movie going audience knows that whenever a star’s movie comes out, you can’t turn on the television without seeing the actors promote it but no one in this world figures out why. Also on the list for having an actress, not a digitalization, play the digitalization.
Mac users who think Bill Gates is the devil will enjoy this movie. Every other tech geek will not. Ryan Phillip plays a computer genius hired by Tim Robbins/Bill Gates who will stop at nothing to see his tech dream come true. Except shell out a couple bucks for a team who would more than willingly work for him.
Using the internet to promote a movie about the internet was a courageous idea, if only it were a better movie. In it, whoever visits a particular website dies within 48 hours of visiting it. Knowing this full well, the main character does anyway. Horror clichés follow.
48. The Lift
This horror movie used the scariest piece of tech it could imagine in the year of 1983: the elevator. In this Dutch movie, an elevator goes on a killing spree. Despite the body count, character after character bypasses the stairs for the lift. The ultimate culprit? A faulty computer chip in the elevator.
49. Hudson Hawk
Although Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello share some truly comic moments, this film is simply technologically unacceptable. Leonardo Da Vinci had many outstanding breakthroughs in during the Renaissance, but a completely safe device that can instantly turn lead into gold was not one of them, as this movie is based on. In reality, it would take a nuclear reaction to do that, which is far more expensive than any gold it could produce.
50. War Games
A young Matthew Broderick plays a tech geek who loves video games. Sounds promising. However, the film falls apart early on after he accidentally plugs into what should be the world’s most protected computer: the one that controls the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Although the movie did well and it even seemed conceivable if you lived in 1983 and had a vivid imagination, the tech is laughable by today’s standards. The dinosaur of a computer used by Broderick had a microscopic 64KB of memory, which could barely run a Pacman game.
51. Live Free Or Die Hard
Much more an action voice than a technology movie, it still gets several things wrong. Such as a team of modern day hackers that can takeover everything they touch. This includes traffic lights and a webcam at a location they never heard of. They are apparently so good, they can hack into gas lines and make them explode with a simple click.
Although Angelina Jolie showed why she would later go on to win numerous acting awards, she was not enough to salvage this movie. To summarize the plot, evil hacker frames good hackers for his wrong doing. Strange names and inconceivable tech round out the rest. However, it does get points for becoming something of a cult classic.
Because both tech and favorite movies are a sensitive subject, don’t be angry if you don’t see your favorites on the 52 movies every tech geek must see. Also, don’t be angry if you did see them at the end.