Top 10 Coolest Movies for Geeks


Congratulations to our Kathy Wood, 3rd place winner in our Top 10 List Writing Contest.

No matter what clique you identify with, from the jocks to the Goths, everybody is a little geeky on the inside.  To help us embrace our inner geek here is a list of the top 10 coolest movies for Geeks.

10: The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969)

Dexter Riley is an underachieving student until he gets electrocuted by a computer and ends up with the computer’s knowledge in his head.  Unfortunately, this included information on an illegal gambling ring, operated by business man, A.J. Arno.  When word of the data transfer gets out Dexter’s life is in danger as Arno hires men to kill him to prevent his gambling ring from becoming exposed.
Why we like this movie: That slight sense of smug superiority as you watch a crew of men set up a single computer that fills a classroom while typing away on that laptop that fits into an envelope.
Extra bonus: Getting to watch an 18 year old Kurt Russell star in this Disney released film.
Why we don’t: We have the answers to some of the world’s most complicated questions available to us too.  We call it the internet.  Get over yourself.

9: Swordfish (2001)

Stan (Hugh Jackman) is a convicted hacker who only wants to see his daughter but can’t afford to fight it in court.  This need for funds leads him to accept the offer of $10 million in exchange for creating a worm that would steal money from a secret government fund.
Why we like this movie: The topless scene with Halle Berry.  Did we mention topless Halle Berry scene?
Why we don’t: A helicopter carries a bus through the city.  That was really something someone came up with, and then decided it was a good idea.

8: Die Hard: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

When the FBI is hacked into, all suspects are rounded up including Matthew Farrell (Justin Long).  Before McClane gets back with Farrell however, the terrorist group strikes again, taking control of all the nation’s networks.  Now McClane and Farrell have to work together to prevent the terrorist group from forcing the United States back to the dark ages.
Why we like this movie: The affable Justin Long is intelligent, quick thinking, and willing to step up when really needed.  Add in his approachability and charm and he is both someone we can identify with and an easy hero to get behind.
Why we don’t: McClane saved Holly’s life twice.  He jumped off buildings and had fist fights on moving planes, all for her and the ungrateful woman still divorces him?

7: Hackers (1995)

A group of hackers who mostly harmless havoc on the general community, accidentally downloads some illicit files, Eugene “The Plague” Belford, who would be indicted for stealing by the stolen files sets up a dangerous virus and frames the hackers in order to cover his tracks.  Our heroes now have to stop the virus and clear their names while avoiding the authorities.
Why we like this movie: The sense of camaraderie when the world’s hackers unite in support of a member of their chosen community can’t help but make you wish that you had such illicit skills so that you could join in.
Why we don’t: The group of people that you’re currently rooting for are the same ones that can steal our identities and wreak the kind of chaos that generally cause us law abiding citizens to have a bad day.

6: The Last Starfighter (1984)

Alex Rogan spends his time mastering an arcade game Starfighter.  When he beats the game he is approached by the man who created the game to find someone to aid his people in a war against the Ko-Dan Empire.  When the empire destroys all Starfighters and starts to come after him, Alex must fight in order to survive.
Why we like this movie: Who hasn’t dreamed that the countless hours spent playing video games would somehow become an investment rather than a giant waste of time?  The most we can usually aspire to is a programmer, but saving a planet from an evil empire is pretty cool too.
Why we don’t: All this guy was doing was playing video games in an attempt to briefly escape reality.  How does this obligate him to join in a war to support a people he never knew existed against an enemy he’s never heard of?

5: The Net (1995)

Brief Summary:  Loner Angela Bennett comes into possession of a program that allows entry into government computers.  The creators of the illegal program will stop at nothing to get it back, including murder and now she has to expose their plans and get her identity back.
Why we like this movie: In a world that allows us to do everything from ordering a pizza to buying a car all seeing another person, the problem facing Sandra Bullock’s character of being completely unrecognizable by anybody is even more relevant today.
Why we don’t: The best the bad guys could come up with to put Angela Bennett on the run is prostitution and some drug charges?  How high on the list of an overworked law office’s priorities do they think she’s going to go?

4: War Games (1983)

David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) is a bored teenager who, while hacking into networks unwittingly begins a program that will start WWIII.  He now has to use his intelligence to stop the computer database from starting a nuclear war.
Why we like this movie: Who of us haven’t been frustrated by games of tic tac toe, where there is a draw more often than not and whose rules make if fully plausible that you will lose to your annoying younger cousin.  At least here these frustrations are put to admirable use, such as preventing nuclear war.
Why we don’t: Our nation’s highest ranking military put in absolutely no safeguards to prevent a nuclear holocaust being started by a single computer.  Hardly exemplary planning.

3: Cloak & Dagger (1984)

Davey Osborne, a lonely 11 year old kid, with a recently widowed father spends most of his time escaping reality into an exciting spy world filled with action.  When he witnesses a murder he comes into possession of a disk containing military secrets he has to evade the killers who are desperately trying to get it back.
Why we like this movie: You have to love a simpler time when an 11 year old can trapeze around a large city like San Antonio without adult supervision and without making us feel that child services should be called and the absent Dad should be imprisoned for criminal neglect.
Why we don’t: This kid had to actually kill his imaginary friend to get him to go away.  I suspect that he has years of expensive therapy ahead of him where they will no doubt talk about his absent father.

2: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Gilbert and Lewis have just started at Adams College.  But instead of it being the best time of their life they are continually taunted by the jocks.  When they are rejected by all the school’s fraternities, they start their own and recruit other social rejects.  They must now find some way to defeat the jocks and end the bullying.
Why we like this movie: It lacks the standard Hollywood answer to dealing with the lovable loser, which is giving him a makeover, which mostly consists of removing their inevitably thick, unfashionable glasses.  I guess they figure that the decision of making sight secondary to looks is something that should be applauded.
Why we don’t: Sure they beat those mean jocks at their own game(s) with the standard brains over brawn approach, which is always fun to watch; but a pill that negates the effects of alcohol?

1: Weird Science (1985)

Unable to fit in with their peers Gary and Wyatt set out to create the perfect woman through science.  Their interactions with the resulting Lisa force them to grow as individuals and set them on a journey of self acceptance.
Why we like this movie: It’s a feel good movie with the admirable message that being yourself is good enough.
Why we don’t: It’s about two boys that have created LIFE, an attribute that previously has only been attributed to God Himself, and their only concern is to get laid.  Then again, perhaps this is an actuate portrayal of teenage boys after all.

Written by Kathy Wood

Note from TopTenz Master: Fun list with great movies. Seeing Kurt Douglas looking 12 years-old was hilarious. My own personal obvious ommission was Real Genius, starring a very young Val Kilmer.

Other Articles you Might Like
Liked it? Take a second to support on Patreon!


  1. Check out 1971’s Paper Man. college hackers steal a credit card, create the titular man and run into trouble when the computer decides they must pay for their crimes.

  2. Watching Hackers right now on some new techno device called a Video Recorder ! It’s one of my all times, but being 45 now I have to include other classics like the following:

    Lawnmower Man
    The Matrix

    I still keep a Video Recorder in my office and I always play super cool movies while working. My brain is fried, but I’m well grounded.

  3. I second 'Sneakers', there's a really cool quote there:

    Cosmo: There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it's all about the information!

    'Hackers' was sort of nice, in its own way, and Angelina Jolie was really cute there. But it doesn't have that much to do with real hackers though.

  4. Okay, by what seems to be a general consensus I have finally watched Real Genius. It was a delightful movie and clearly created a glaring omission in a list of geek movies. In my defense, when I put that list together I hadn’t yet seen it, and I certainly wasn’t going to put a movie on the list if I hadn’t even seen it.

  5. Great list and I totally agree with the choices for the top two positions – all these movies are great…

  6. And no "Sneakers"? Worth it just for Dan Ackroyd's character spouting conspiracy theories — some of which he believes for real.