The 10 Best Movies for Programmers [2022]

A programmer’s job can be stressful, with long hours of concentrating on detailed lines of code and multiple user stories to take care of. But in order to remain sane, sometimes you need to step away from the keyboard and indulge in your favorite movies!

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 10 best movies for programmers, so you can relax in the company of like-minded individuals while still staying sharp and focused on your career goals. Here are our top picks!

The 10 Best Movies for Programmers

Hackers (1995)

For movie fans, 1995 was a cinematic goldmine. From Toy Story to Pulp Fiction to Die Hard with a Vengeance, there were so many amazing films that came out that year.

Hackers was also released in 1995, and while it didn’t have much of an impact on its release, it has since gained a massive cult following as one of the best movies ever made about programming and technology in general.

(It also doesn’t hurt that Angelina Jolie looks great in black latex). The main character, Dade Zero Cool Murphy, played by Jonny Lee Miller, is clearly meant to represent Phiber Optik or Loyd Blankenship—the handle and real name of some infamous hacker from back in the 1990s.

Office Space (1999)


While it might not be a technical movie in any sense, Office Space is an excellent movie for programmers. It’s a low-budget comedy that has a lot of heart and deals with what seems like impossible problems in an office environment.

It’ll have you dreaming about all of those little things that people do, or should be doing, but don’t get done (like drinking, playing foosball, and listening to music at work).

The movie centers around Peter Gibbons, who really hates his job as a programmer at Initech Corporation; he often dreams of being free from Initech’s control. He doesn’t know how he will ever make that happen until one day when his hated coworker Milton screws up yet another computer command, resulting in mass chaos.

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Her (2013)

In the blink of an eye, what destination would you want to find yourself at? This movie brings to life the belief that time is brief and we should make the most of it.

It tells readers to be sure to make the most of every moment because it can feel like we’re closer to the event that’s to come. While new, updated software such as Siri and Cortana may appear human, there’s still a lot to be desired from a machine before it reaches a true representation of a human.

Her article poses an interesting point of view, even if we disagree. One day, what will happen when technological systems grow as complex as we are now? Are we going to be more considerate of each other than humans have been to one another in the past?

The Imitation Game (2014)


The Imitation Game is a 2014 historical thriller that follows the real-life British cryptanalyst Alan Turing, who managed to crack the Nazi Enigma code.

Among those who also starred are Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, and Mark Strong. Recommended This movie includes lines of code in rapid succession – perfect for people with hearing impairment.


Ex Machina (2015)


A programmer wins a competition to spend a week at an estate owned by his company’s CEO, where he is tasked with evaluating the human qualities of a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence product.

This movie was released in 2015. Since it’s about AI programming it’s perfect for developers. The ending of Ex Machina will forever haunt me as one of my favorite movies to watch on Halloween (or any day, really).

This is also a great movie to introduce you to director Alex Garland if you haven’t seen his other work like 28 Days Later or Sunshine. Also, bonus points if you understand all or most of what they’re saying when they’re programming!

Switched at Birth (2011)


If you’re a programmer who needs to be told what it feels like to be lonely, misunderstood, and considered an outsider, watch this movie. It’s been described as the best network TV drama of 2011, bar none.

Watch it and get a sense of how non-programmers might feel if they had to learn programming languages every few years. It’s also a study in opposites: Two women are separated at birth; one is deaf and lives in poverty; the other is born into wealth but can’t hear or speak. Both grow up without knowing that they have switched places until they meet by chance as adults.

Blackhat (2015)


This Michael Mann movie is a fictional representation of two men who are caught trying to break into a network. It is set in China and is full of hacking scenes that any programmer will enjoy.

Not only does it feature realistic hacking techniques, but it also reveals how nefarious breaking into systems can be, oftentimes with negative consequences. Given these things, Blackhat is one of our top picks for the best movies for programmers. If you like Michael Mann’s films, you might want to watch Heat or Collateral as well.

The Social Network (2010)

A movie about coding may not be a hot topic among cinephiles, but if you can appreciate some of tech’s finest minds and brightest personalities, you’ll love The Social Network. It chronicles how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, and it features cameos from real-life hackers wunderkinder like Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak. Don’t miss out on learning about some of history’s most famous code makers.

The Source Code (2011)

Army pilot Stevens wakes up in the body of an unknown guy, having been recruited for a top-secret mission. Soon, he’s on a strange trail to find the bomber who detonated a bomb on a Chicago commuter train. An engrossing, intellectually fascinating science-fiction thriller with emotional resonance.

Ghost in the Shell (2017)


If you’re looking for an action flick with a deeper meaning, look no further than Ghost in the Shell. The latest incarnation of an anime classic follows Major Motoko Kusanagi as she tries to stop Hanka Robotics from building a new type of weaponized robot called a ghost.

Caught in her investigation is programmer-turned-cyborg Kuze, who has mysterious ties to Major’s past and to Japan’s prime minister. Kusanagi is outfitted with all kinds of cool cybernetic enhancements, making her one badass cyborg that we can get behind.

Conclusion

It’s always fun to take a break from writing code and checking bugs. Don’t get me wrong—programming is hard, but it’s also fun (for most of us).

We do it because we love it. It’s creative work; you know you can write beautiful, bug-free code once your solution is complete. In order to keep going in that direction, though, we need some time off every now and then.

And movies are a great way to do that! Who doesn’t like them? They’re so much better than reading a book or playing games—movies can transport you into different worlds with compelling stories that keep you coming back for more!

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