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8 Movies Every Geek Should Watch (And Love) [Stuff to Watch]

Tim Brookes 16-04-2012

Without meaning to sound rude, you should probably have watched Star Wars The Plinkett Reviews: Probably The Funniest Star Wars & Star Trek Video Reviews On The Web Lumping Star Wars and Star Trek fans together in the same sentence (let alone article) is a risky tactic. When the uniting factor just so happens to be critical comedy however, I think it's safe... Read More by now. I’d hasten to add the Alien quadrilogy, Predator and 2001: A Space Odyssey to that list as well – but those are the obvious ones.


Today’s Stuff to Watch will focus on the geekiest of geeky films. These are films that your average tech lovin’ computer whizz should love – and they’re not all dystopian sci-fi movies either (though there is some dystopian sci-fi – how could there not be?).

If you love films and tech then get down to your local cinema and demand they show these classics again!

Office Space (1999)

One of the funniest films of the decade, Office Space is a must-see if you spend much of your day in a cubicle (work, not toilets) filing away reports and fighting the office photocopier. This film is for anyone who has ever worked a soulless office job, reluctantly given up weekends to a boss they hate or those with a fondness for staplers.

Everything from the plot to the humour to the hip hop soundtrack 10 Websites for TV Show & Movie Soundtracks Read More is perfect. It was funny in 1999 and it will still be very funny (and probably more relevant than ever) in 2029.



Cube (1997)

I’m currently waiting till I forget enough of Cube to watch and really enjoy it again. Cube is one of those movies that takes the viewer on quite a journey without actually changing location all that much. The film kicks off with seven complete strangers meeting for the first time inside a giant cube.

The cube is a labyrinth containing thousands of rooms, some seemingly harmless and others full of deadly traps. And so begins a roller coaster ride of a movie that maintains the perfect balance of hope and dejection all the way to the bitter end.


WarGames (1983)

In 1983, home computing 7 Great Cross-Platform Emulators For 5 Classic Computer Platforms In the same vein as the recent flurry of console emulation articles, today we're focusing on classic computer platforms of decades gone by. Whilst there were quite a few, we've chosen 5 of the most... Read More had really started to take off and at the same time computer-related films and television shows started to enjoy mainstream success. Arguably one of the finest “hacker” films to date, WarGames is a must-watch for any geek.

When David, a lowly hacker, gains access to a government computer he is asked a question – “do you want to play a game?”. What David doesn’t realise is that the answer he provides has the power to shape history and destroy the planet – 80s style. I found the full version of this movie floating around on YouTube, which is the second video below (with the first being the trailer).



Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner is easily one of the most celebrated sci-fi films 6 New (ish) Science Fiction Movies Better Than Star Wars Is Star Wars really the pinnacle of science fiction movies set in space? Haven't several films already surpassed the Star Wars series? Here are six we consider to be better... Read More of all time, and there’s a very good reason for that. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring (a young-ish) Harrison Ford, our protagonist – a blade runner – must hunt down and kill 4 replicants who have returned to earth after attacking a ship in space.

Blade Runner isn’t just a special film for the plot and direction but also the beautiful cyberpunk setting and the fact that there is so much happening over the two-hour runtime that you’ll probably want to watch it a dozen times to get all you can from it.

THX 1138 (1971)

Quite possibly George Lucas’ best film (yeah I went there), THX 1138 is a dystopian tale of love in an authoritarian world run by robots and CCTV. I really must add that if you can, try to find the original 1979 cut rather than the one that Lucas released a few years ago.


The reason? Well the latest DVD release has been defaced with thoroughly unnecessary CGI which really detracts from the gritty atmosphere generated in the original. Why oh why must Lucas continue to ruin his own films and franchises I will never know, but you have been warned!


Dark City (1998)

In a city that never sees sunlight, one man starts to question his past, his memories and his very existence. As citizens go about their daily lives, unbeknownst to them a sinister event is taking place each night.

The city is controlled, shaped and designed by mysterious beings with incredible telekinetic abilities. But when something goes wrong behind the scenes, John Murdoch can suddenly see the world for what it is – but can he convince others?

Moon (2009)

Moon is a beautifully constructed piece of cinema with gorgeous cinematography and the perfect soundtrack to boot. More importantly, it’s a film that is not over-reliant on CGI or convoluted back story and it features Kevin Spacey playing the role of a computerized robotic arm.

In the not-so-distant future man’s energy demands Does Saving Energy With Your PC Really Help Your Wallet? Computers, like all electronics, consume a fair amount of electricity. And while the efficiency of the modern computer hardware has improved relative to older parts, there’s still a lot of energy wasted. Finding ways to... Read More have been satiated thanks to Lunar Industries and their operations on the moon. Earth is now completely reliant on helium-3, a clean energy source that must be harvested on the moon. The film tells the tale of Sam, the only human stationed on the base, as he approaches the end of his three-year contract.

They Live (1988)

What better way to finish off a geeky list of films with a John Carpenter classic? There’s a wealth of Carpenter films to choose from – The Thing & Escape from New York are two that spring to mind – but I think I enjoyed They Live more than I did the others.

The plot is fairly simple – man finds sunglasses that reveal a terrifying secret about the world he is living in. The rest is your average John Carpenter action-cum-sci-fi flick, with the usual lashings of Carpenter’s self-composed 80s keyboard score Where to Learn Piano Online: The 5 Best Free Piano Learning Sites Check out these free piano learning websites! If you've ever dreamed of playing the piano, start learning with these free resources. Read More . Marvellous.


These are only my personal picks, and you’ve probably got your own favorites. If you think I’m wrong, that I’ve missed an absolute blinder or you’ve got a better list to share then please add your thoughts in the comments section below and help your fellow movie fans out!

Do you love these films? Do you have any other recommendations? Enlighten us all in the comments, below!

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  1. Chuck Fenton
    February 27, 2016 at 9:21 am

    One of my all time favourite SF movies is The Thirteenth Floor.

    Released in 1999, this SF crime thriller/film noir was directed by Josef Rusnak and loosely based upon Simulacron-3 (1964), a novel by Daniel F. Galouye.

    The film stars Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Dennis Haysbert. In 2000, The Thirteenth Floor was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, but lost to The Matrix.

    Despite receiving generally negative reviews upon its release, the film is now considered a cult classic.

    Jo Kerr

  2. Declan Lopez
    September 21, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Cube is good, but it kind of ended weird.

  3. Suman Kc
    September 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Watched only 1 of them MOON :)

  4. Declan Lopez
    September 4, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    i have only seen blade runner out of those eight

  5. Rusty Hicks
    July 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    This gave me titles of a few movies that I have never seen! Thank you MakeUseOf, they really look like they will be very entertaining. Off to see if I can find them to watch them online!

  6. Phúc Ng?c
    July 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Love them all <3 Especially BladeRunner <3

  7. Ben
    June 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I've seen two, Dark City and Blade Runner, that's a start. Right?

    • Tim Brookes
      June 13, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Yep, I'd recommend They Live next if you loved those two!

  8. Vipul Jain
    May 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    You call it a Geek list & you do not include Star Trek or Tron Legacy or even GHOST BUSTERS????

  9. Navin Raj Natarajan
    May 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Have seen the first few will check out the rest. These movies are the essence of our movie culture.

  10. John William Blyth
    April 29, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    What about the Matrix?

    • Tim Brookes
      April 30, 2012 at 1:40 am

      I personally don't see The Matrix as much of a sci-fi, more an action flick set in sci-fi universe. I was trying to keep the list to slightly smaller releases too, when The Matrix came out it was huge. Everywhere. Inescapable!

      Also Keanu Reeves has to be one of the worst actors to get so many big roles. I can just about stand him in Thumbsucker and A Scanner Darkly (both terrific films) but for me The Matrix trilogy was best forgotten.

      Each to their own I guess!

  11. outdoor television
    April 29, 2012 at 10:09 am

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  12. Alice
    April 29, 2012 at 4:38 am

    ZOMG - I'm a geek! This explains a few things.

    I think this is the first "list" I've seen posted on any site where not only have I seen most of the movies (all except Moon), but have watched most of them several times. Not THX-1138 but maybe I saw the remodeled version.

    Another commenter suggest Primer - I agree.

    Two others to consider that sort of fit the category: Silent Running with Bruce Dern, and Dark Star (another John Carpenter film).

    • Alice
      April 29, 2012 at 4:48 am

      geek note: the 3 robots (Huey,Dewey and Lewie) in Silent Running "appear" in episode IV in the Jawa Sandcrawler scene with C3PO and R2D2.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 30, 2012 at 1:37 am

      Thanks for the recommendations, I'll have to check the other two out.

      The remodelled and original versions of THX are quite a bit different. One shows you little of the "outside" world apart from the car scene in the tunnel. The CGI-fest version has all sorts of animated backdrops and swooshes courtesy of Lucas' "whoosh" button which he really can't help using.

      I'm still hunting for the original THX, my friend has it (he bought it on DVD before the Director's Cut was released) and I'm rather jealous.

      I'd say watch Moon, it's a fantastic sci-fi with great visuals and the soundtrack couldn't be more fitting! It will probably be one of those films you end up watching multiple times (I know I have).

  13. Pax
    April 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Wow... surprisingly good list. All favorites of mine for different reasons.

    Although not a film, one series I've been recommending for a few years is Afterworld. It was a motion-comic web-series (each episode about 3 minutes long). Highly recommeneded viewing that fits nicely with this list. It's available on youtube (last time I checked) but I originally downloaded the episodes and watched locally (130 eps). If you enjoyed most of the films on this list, I think this one is going to impress too.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 21, 2012 at 12:52 am

      Great, thanks for the recommendation I will definitely be checking that one out!

  14. phil
    April 19, 2012 at 4:03 am

    I'm on board with most of this list aside from Moon. I did not enjoy this movie as much as some others seem to have. I felt the plot was extremely predictable which made an already long movie that much longer. I think a better movie for that slot would be 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    I'm surprised Serenity didn't make it as it seems obligatory at this point, but I think you got it right because it really doesn't have what it takes to canonize it without Firefly, which if you were doing one of these about television shows I'd think would be remiss not to have along with The Middleman.

    Overall though pretty solid list. Going to add They Live to my viewing list.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 21, 2012 at 12:55 am

      I was tempted to include 2001, but I felt it was on the same scale as Star Wars in terms of "films that must be watched" so I thought I'd omit it and focus on a few lesser-celebrated top films instead.

      I really like Moon for the soundtrack and its integration into the beautiful, isolated shots of the moon and the Lunar Industries facility. I also appreciate the fact that Moon could have turned into a CGI slopfest, but didn't it maintained its subtlety and momentum through a couple of characters, and excellent score and an engrossing story.

      I think you'll enjoy They Live, if you do check out some other John Carpenter films from the same era. Escape from New York (not Escape from LA) and The Thing are the other two "must-see" Carpenter films in my opinion.

      Thanks for commenting!

  15. Jackson Chung
    April 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Great list, Tim!

  16. Frank
    April 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I would have added "The Forbidden Planet" to the list, the first big budget scifi movie

    • Tim Brookes
      April 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      Great recommendation. A quick look at IMDB leads me to believe they're creating a remake/sequel to be released next year, however it seems they're keen on keeping the retro style of the original. Fingers crossed they don't mess it up!


  17. Dave Parrack
    April 17, 2012 at 3:15 am

    A great list, and I'm proud to say I've seen them all except They Live. The first Cube is great by the way, very original. The two sequels really aren't worth bothering with.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 17, 2012 at 4:27 am

      I've only seen the original Cube, wasn't sure about the second two but looking at reviews and IMDB I don't think I'm in any rush. They Live is a great film, especially if you love your John Carpenter. His Casio keyboard makes an appearance for the entire soundtrack, as ever.

      • Dave Parrack
        April 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm

        Added to my Amazon wishlist, unless it's on Netflix. I'm a good boy and pay for my movies one way or another!

        • slywlf
          April 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm

          Netflix has it - DVD or streaming - fun film!

        • slywlf
          April 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm

          Cube and Moon were already in my Netflix queue, and although Office Space was of zero interest to me after spending 25 years in a cubicle farm, but maybe I'll try it. All the rest are long favorites - especially War Games and Blade Runner, which I watched until the video self destructed. I'm obviously not a kid, but am trying to keep my geek cred ;-)

    • Drew
      April 20, 2012 at 6:05 am

      I agree, great pics. I'm also proud to say I've seen them all, and introduced half of them to my girlfriend (including They Live; "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kiss ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum." :) ) and she's a convert.

  18. rc
    April 16, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Umm, wasn't office space made in 1999?
    ( yes, I am a nit picker)

    • rc
      April 16, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      And I agree with all on your list...

    • Tim Brookes
      April 17, 2012 at 12:27 am

      Arg, it was! My bad. I'll have that corrected soon ;)


  19. jeff
    April 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm
    • Shawn
      April 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      YES! This movie should never ever be left off of ANY list of movies to watch!

    • Tim Brookes
      April 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation, I don't think I've seen that so I'll definitely be checking it out.

    • phil
      April 19, 2012 at 4:05 am

      Excellent movie, I really enjoyed this one. I think I might have to watch it again. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. Big Don
    April 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I'd have to say you are spot-on with your picks. I'm extra happy you DIDN'T list Hackers (the most over-rated geek film ever).
    ---bring on the Hackers defenders. . . It was so far from attempted reality that it made 'Weird Science' seem possible (and I love that movie because it's funny and it's not making an attempt at reality)

    • Tim Brookes
      April 17, 2012 at 12:33 am

      Yes! Hackers really isn't that good. WarGames is a much better kids 'n' computers flick! Also it stars the "crazy" girl from The Breakfast Club (she also appeared as a less crazy girl in Short Circuit) who hasn't been in any decent films for years.

      Bring on the Hackers defenders indeed ;)

      • Jay
        April 17, 2012 at 8:08 am

        Of course she was excellent in her guest spot on Psych.

        • Tim Brookes
          April 17, 2012 at 8:25 am

          I don't watch Psych but I did notice on her IMDB she's done a few similar roles.

          I fondly remember her from those 80s teen flicks though...

    • phil
      April 19, 2012 at 4:07 am

      There are Hackers defenders? It became what people think hacking really is. Irony of Ironies I'd say is that a tongue in cheek comedy (cereal killer?) became the mantra of what the RIAA/MPAA thinks hackers are.