Since the early '80s the modern computer age has been working itself into film culture and from all the films made since then the ones listed below are the 10 Best Movies About the Internet. Whether realistic, wildly stylized or comically hyperbolized these represent the most entertaining adaptations of the web to the screen.
- "Hackers", released in 1995, is an incredibly funny and adrenaline-filled ride following several young hackers in a quest for thrills, notoriety and, in the end, justice. It's a perfect projection of Cyberpunk on the screen and while visions of the Internet as a swirling, multicolored vortex of information fail to impress, our heroes Crash Override, Acid Burn, Lord Nikon, Phantom Phreak and Cereal Killer never fail to entertain.
- The 1983 movie "Wargames" was perhaps the first movie about the Internet. When Mathew Broderick, Prince of the '80s, finds a back door into a military computer and engages in a game which the system thinks is real he brings the world to the bring of total annihilation, and hilarity ensues.
- In 2003, "Something's Gotta Give" accomplished something few movies had ever done, or have done since: featured older adults that know how to use the Internet. Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton star as two greying lovebirds whose relationship sparks and grows via Internet chat. This relationship, typically reserved in film for fifteen year-olds, is earnest, heartwarming, and delightfully devoid of stereotypes.
- "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" isn't about comic books and it isn't about vulgarity. This 2001 comedy is about two guys who got angry at the posts on an Internet message board and decided to do something about it. Anybody who's ever been on a board can identify with the movie's final sequence in which the pair track down everyone they disagree with and… painfully resolve their differences.
- In 1998, during heady days when most people signed onto the Internet through AOL, "You've Got Mail" was one of the most ubiquitous phrases in the world. In the movie of the same name Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan explore the ultimate anonymity of the web as their romance blossoms online despite hating each other in real life.
- If the Internet isn't the star of 2005's "Me You and Everyone We Know" then it's certainly the best supporting character. There really is nothing like a middle-aged gallery owner engaging in sincere erotic chat with a six year-old pretending to be older. The film has since gifted the Internet with one of the highest search results for "Back and Forth".
- 2004's "Closer" is about life, love and relationships. It's also movie about how the Internet can completely screw up life, love and relationships.
- Released in 2001, "Anti-Trust" combines the worst rumors and fears of pre-break up Microsoft and the unbridled reach of the Internet. Tim Robbins plays a convincing Evil Bill Gates while Ryan Phillippe and Rachel Leigh Cook ride their serious '90s teen movie cred into the realm of serious computer geekery. It's the "Can't Hardly Wait" of movies about the Internet.
- In 1995, "The Net" embodied the country's worst fears about digital records and identity in the computer age. The movie confirmed that a person with no family, no friends and basically no human contact can literally be erased from existence. How that's different from the pre-Internet age is hard to determine.
- Due to its PG-13 rating the fourth installment in the "Die Hard" series, 2007's "Live Free or Die Hard", does not feature the full, uncensored trademark catchphrase. It does, however, feature hackers shutting down every level of U.S. infrastructure, Justin Long ironically clocking a lot of time on a PC and Bruce Willis taking down a helicopter in flight by hitting it with a car. Yippie-ki-yay.
Each of these movies expound on different facets of the Internet. Whether its deep and wide-ranging roots to its potential for human connection. From its possibility to connect to its ability to fracture. They use different degrees of realism to varying degrees of success but the one common thread between them is the idea that in the Internet world none of us is really alone anymore.