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Technology crops up in one form or another in most modern movies, because, quite simply, it’s an essential part of our everyday lives. However, most movies don’t have technology at their core; choosing not to build the whole plot around current gadgets or future innovations. Which, for those of us who live and breathe technology, is a bit of a shame.
Thankfully, there are some movies out there that treat technology with the respect it deserves, though not all are particularly enamored with modern society’s over-reliance on it. Still, even these movies can be entertaining for geeks who will soak up any and all mentions of the technology that shapes our world.
What follows is a list of 8 movies featuring technology which all geeks should watch at least once. Some aren’t exactly critically acclaimed but they still offer an interesting distraction for geeks of all stripes. At least until they return to their spiritual home of the Internet.
Minority Report – 2002
Even those people who can’t stand Tom Cruise — and such people do exist, believe it or not — should be able to appreciate Minority Report. Set in a future in which virtually all crime has been eliminated from society thanks to a trio of gifted humans who can see crimes being committed before they’re actually committed, Minority Report heavily features advanced technology.
Wall-E – 2008
Wall-E is an animated flick that has appeal for adults and children alike. While the core plot is more about how we’re all treating the planet, technology makes its presence felt by way of a) the robots who prove to be the saviors of humanity, and b) the condemnation of our current obsession with sitting staring at digital displays rather than experiencing the real world.
Eagle Eye – 2008
If you can see past Shia LaBeouf’s shockingly bad acting then you should be able to enjoy Eagle Eye as a fast-paced, action-packed thriller. Technology features heavily in this film dealing with issues of surveillance, networks, and supercomputers. Most of it is completely unrealistic, but it’s still an entertaining watch nonetheless.
Untraceable – 2008
Untraceable isn’t the best film in the world, but it is one that all geeks should watch. The main plot point, that some insane computer wunderkind has set up an untraceable website streaming video of people being tortured, is over the top, but seeing the game of cat and mouse unfold between him and the FBI agent in charge of the case is compelling enough.
Iron Man – 2008
Okay, so you’ve probably all seen the original Iron Man by now. It is, after all, one of the most successful comic book movies of all time. But it definitely still deserves a place on this list. Why? Because Tony Stark is an engineer and inventor with extraordinary abilities. And he builds Iron Man out of some scrap metal. In a cave. What more could you want?
The Social Network – 2010
A film based on a book about a social network. It hardly sounds like the most compelling of ideas, and yet The Social Network works on multiple levels. In case you aren’t aware of the movie, it shows one version of the events which led to the formation of Facebook, now a public company with more than a billion users. And it will appeal to geeks everywhere.
Disconnect – 2012
Disconnect is a drama showing how technology affects the lives of real people, with several different stories happening at once and occasionally converging. Themes explored include cyber-bullying and over-sharing on social networks, identity theft, online pornography, and our overdependence on smartphones. This shows the darker side of the technology we all love.
The Internship – 2013
The only comedy on our list will leave geeks either rolling around on the floor laughing or spitting obscenities at the screen. For starters, you have to buy into the notion that two 40-somethings are computer illiterate. Then you have to deal with tech speak that’s almost right but is just slightly off to the point of annoyance. Lastly, the whole thing feels like a commercial for Google. Still, love or hate it, this is a film made purely for geeks.
I know what you’re thinking right about now… “But where is this film and that film? I demand their inclusion on any such list!” That’s fair comment, although you may want to tone it down a little if you want to be listened to in the future. There are, of course, many more movies that could have been added to this list, but these are 8 that we feel have technology at their core, and, therefore, should be essential viewing for all true geeks.
For a broader list of movies considered essential for geeks check out Tim’s Stuff to Watch post discussing just that. And then come back here and tell us your thoughts in the comments section below. Do you agree with this list in its entirety or are there some changes you’d make? Which movies would you remove from the list? Which movies that didn’t make the cut would you add to the list? All comments are read and most receive replies.
Image Credit: Mark Sebastian