What's the Best Tech Movie of All Time?


I wondered aloud on Twitter earlier today, "Best tech movie of all time? (Feel free to construe tech broadly)" -- and the Internet exploded with responses. I collected them on Twitter, but realized that this post would be more useful for those playing along at home.

Here are the suggestions you all gave me. I floated up movies with commentary to the top, just for fun. Will add new ones as they come in (and link to all these movies on IMDB).

(@erinbiba, @shoebox, @michellelegro, @waterslicer)
Comments: "I read passages of the novelization of Hackers before my last talk at DEF CON. It's silly, but I can't not vote for it." -- @shoebox
"But that's not good b/c of the tech so much as the use of Angelina Jolie and Massive Attack." -- @waterslicer

(@vtri, @jenniferkutz, @erikmal)
Comments: "Prescient, awe-inspiring, and forward-thinking, yet tongue-in-cheek and damn funny (at times)." -- @erikmal

"Please. It's obviously 2001. From apes to space, with malfunctioning, hyper-intelligent, craft-controlling AI."

(@mps2003, @quinnnorton)
"Give me the box, Marty."

Minority Report
"Who did Spielberg ask about next tech?"

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
(@joemfbrown, @ruthseeley)
"(Gene Wilder edition). Hands down. That or Ghost." -- @joemfbrown

War Games
(@loudandskittish, @craigmatsumoto),
"Older tech but (AFAIK) accurate hacking techniques, including a password hack" -- @craigmatsumoto

Rocky IV
"All that sweet space age training equipment Drago uses = forefront of 80s fitness tech."

Jurassic Park
"Can't say this enough. Techno-pessimism at it's finest. Also, Jeff Goldblum."

Back to the Future
"Every plot pt driven by tech, tech breakdowns/unintended consequences, actually."

Master & Commander
"For how it shows the interplay between humans, culture & tech"

The Man in the White Suit
"1950 movie that perfectly captures the disruptive geek sensibility"

"Strict definitions be damned."

"The scenes with 19th century early adopters of the telephone and fountain pen are priceless."

(@nicholsong, @alexismadrigal),


The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

(@phillydesign, @debcha)

Eagle Eye



Ghost in the Shell



The Lawnmower Man

They Live

The God's Must Be Crazy


Man With a Movie Camera


Starship Troopers

Blade Runner

Quest for Fire


(@publichistorian, @ElPocho),

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

(@ashleybotse, @kio_pio)

The Matrix



Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead


Mon Oncle








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Presented by

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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