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Computer Viruses/Hackers in the Movies

Movie DirectorThis month we celebrate American Independence. What better way to do this than to look at American movies. Movies are a major part of the American culture. Every weekend millions of people flock to theaters around the country to see the latest release. A widely used plot element in cinema is the “computer virus.” This simple plot device has found itself in a number of movies over the years regardless of genre. This month, we look at a few movies that have employed either a computer virus or a computer hacker in their primary plot.

Independence Day - 1996

Roland Emmerich directed this 1996 blockbuster where Aliens invade Earth during the July 4th weekend. When all hope seems lost, Jeff Goldblum’s character devises a plan to infect the mothership with a computer virus that renders the other ships vulnerable to attack.

The Terminator - 1984

James Cameron was the mastermind behind this 1984 hit. In this classic movie, the human race is in a battle with cyborgs in the year 2029. What initiates this battle is a self-aware computer virus called Skynet that infects computer systems and controls cyborgs to hunt down the last of the humans.

Swordfish - 2001

This 2001 American thriller stars Hugh Jackman (before his Wolverine days) as Stanly Jobson, an ex-con computer hacker, who is recruited by John Travolta to rob a bank. Using his skills, Hugh Jackman turns the tables on his employers.

Office Space - 1999

Office workers everywhere can relate to this cult classic. After years of monotonous labor and little appreciation, three office workers decide it’s time to get even with their employers by infecting their company’s accounting system with a computer virus designed to divert fractions of pennies into a bank account they control. Hilarity ensues as they try to cover their tracks.

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