The IT world moves FAST. Stuff that is futuristic today is retro tomorrow. But sometimes we all just need to dial it down, call a time out, and chill on our couch while watching a great flick. And since we’re all IT pros and geeks, our preferences naturally lean towards stuff involving computers, hackers, gadgets, and so on. So with this in mind, here’s a list of some of my favorite IT-themed movies.

The Matrix

Seriously – if you’ve never seen The Matrix, I really don’t know what you’re waiting for. As you surely know, it’s about Neo, a programmer who discovers that everyone is living in a simulated reality – including him! This cyberpunk, sci-fi classic is about what Neo decides to do once he makes this shocking revelation.

Sneakers

Sneakers is an old flick, but it holds up surprisingly well. No, it’s not about shoes. It’s about a security pro and his team (a.k.a. “sneakers”) who must steal a mysterious black box for the government. Once they have the box, however, they discover something very unique about it. They also figure out that the NSA agents who hired them aren’t exactly as advertised.

The Social Network 

What could a movie blandly called The Social Network be about? Maybe the most important social media platform ever created? Well, yes and no. It’s less about the technology, and more about the drama behind it. It’s an eye-opening look at what really happened behind the scenes during the founding of Facebook. And yes, there’s that cool cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” at the end. What’s not to like?

Who Am I?

The awesome German movie Who Am I? is the story of a young Berlin-based hacker named Benjamin, who, along with a group of friends, dreams of being famous. But after a conflict, Benjamin decides to pull a Kylo Ren and head over to the dark side by handing over some data to some pretty evil hackers. That’s when the fun/trouble really begins…

Blackhat

At first, I didn’t know that Thor was also a hacker … well, in Blackhat, he is! Blackhat is about a hacker who causes an explosion inside a Hong Kong power plant. The FBI reaches out to an imprisoned hacker (Chris Hemsworth) in order to help them nail the fugitive and save the day.

Office Space

OK, if you haven’t seen Office Space at least 20 times, then please stop what you’re doing (I mean, after you finish reading this), and go check it out. You’ll fall out of your chair laughing, and you’ll probably cry as well. There are a bunch of eerily familiar scenes. Wait till you see what the IT guys do to the evil printer! And who can forget the “jump to conclusions map”?

Pirates of Silicon Valley

Pirates of Silicon Valley is a 1999 flick that tracks the journeys of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates from 1971 to 1997. Both want to reach the top of the PC industry mountain.

Gamer

Gamer is a bit different than the movies I’ve recommended above. It’s an action film that has a cool IT theme. The concept is simple: an organization takes prisoners and makes them fight to the death to gain their freedom. The catch is that the prisoners are controlled by gamers from their computers!

The IT Crowd

I’m putting this one last, but not because it’s my least favorite. It’s actually because it’s not a movie, but it’s SO GOOD that I need to recommend it. The IT Crowd follows the day-to-day life of an IT support team working for a big company. Much like Office Space, you’ll laugh, cry and cheer … all the while muttering to yourself: “Yep, I know what that’s like”. You’re going to love these geeks!

What do you think of my list?

Have you seen any or perhaps all of the above? Let me know what you think of my recommendations. Please also share your favorite IT-centric movies, shows, books – and anything else. We all need a break from the fast-paced IT world now and then.