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FCW Insider: Seeking the best government IT movies

Given that it is a holiday and most people are off -- not 1105 Media, obviously -- I thought I'd post a nonwork specific question:

What is the best government IT movie?

Giving credit where credit is due, Baseline magazine has a wonderful slideshow on their Web site that seeks to list the "greatest hacker movies of all time." The question was spurred because of the movie "Untraceable," which will be 'in a theater near you' starting this Jan. 25. (Not many reviews of it yet.) The movie is about a serial killer who broadcasts his victims' murders over the Internet. (Baseline also has a review of Untraceable.)

So with that as a backdrop, Baseline magazine came up with the 'greatest hacker movies of all time.' Their list:

1. Breach (2007), which I loved…but I'm not sure it is a hacker movie.
2. Firewall (2006)... Yes, the Harrison Ford movie. This one shocks me!
3. Swordfish (2001)
4. Takedown (2000)
5. The Matrix (1999, 2003)
6. Office Space (1999)... Again, this is a hacker movie?
7. Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)…A made-for-TV movie
8. Enemy of the State (1998)…Still an ultra cool movie nearly a decade later.
9. Independence Day (1996)…This movie came out more then a decade ago? Time flies. And I thought this was one of the more fun selections -- I almost forgot about the hacking part of it.
From Baseline:

Aliens invade and destroy cities with their massive spaceships. The human race is powerless against their superior technology. Not even nukes make a dent against their shields. How do they save the day? A computer virus. Luckily, the aliens were running Windows 95.

10. GoldenEye (1995)
11. Hackers (1995)
12. Strange Days (1995)
13. Sneakers (1992)…This movie is a tad bit cheesy, but I enjoy it. That being said, I generally like movies where a group of people come together as a team, each with their different skills, like The Italian Job…and why didn't that movie make the list?
14. Real Genius (1985)
15. Weird Science (1985)
16. War Games (1983)…Number 16? You've got to be kidding me!
Again, Baseline's write-up:

Before there were such things as Web sites and Hypertext, we had this Matthew Broderick gem, in which he hacks into a supercomputer designed to manage the U.S. nuclear stockpile and simulate attack scenarios. Fortunately, Broderick is able to get it to stop playing when the computer threatens to spark World War III.

17. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
18. Tron (1982)…Yes, Jeff Bridges is in this movie, and it is a Disney movie too. This was one of the very first computer movies.
19. Star Wars (1977, et al)
20. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Bonus: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

The list is fun, but they are missing movies such as the afore mentioned movie, The Italian Job. Not to mention, the most recent Die Hard movie, Live Free or Die Hard (2007), which is all about a former DOD cyber-guy who gets ticked off because people won't pay attention to his cries about the risks of a cyberwar…so he does it himself. 1105 Media's CEO Neal Vitale, who is a movie buff, added Ocean's Eleven, and Twelve, and Thirteen.

So, I'll gladly take suggestions for other IT movies -- especially the best government IT movie. Post your suggests here, or you can send me an e-mail.

Let's come up with the list of the greatest government IT movies of all time.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Jan 21, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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