When it comes to the movies, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a topic that’s addressed more often than information technology. However, while some films do a fantastic job of portraying real or imagined tech on the big screen, there are an awful lot of fails out there as well.
The following are our picks for some of the absolute worst portrayals of information tech in film. Did any of these give you the kind of secondhand embarrassment they gave us?
This 1995 film about a group of teenaged hackers made our list
because of its ridiculous portrayal of what stored data looks like on-screen. Granted this was made during the early days of the internet, but the crazy colors and inexplicable storage of information in virtual, skyscraper-like buildings is pure comedy.
The Italian Job
This remake of a classic 1969 film tells the story of a band of thieves and their performance of one last heist. To begin with, it makes a reference to the now-defunct Napster that just seems silly today. Plus, we don’t quite get the plausibility of Seth Green’s character’s mini-cooper tracking wireframe program.
Sure, this film is kind of a classic… but it gets a straight-up F when it comes to its portrayal of IT. Computers actually talk after they’ve been hacked in this film. Yes, it was the early 80’s… but come on.
This 2001 flick starring Tim Robbins and Ryan Phillippe made our list for the way it shows a security team actually managing to snag code from grainy security camera footage of a computer screen. If this was something that could happen, we’d all be in a lot of trouble.
This didn’t just make the list because it’s hard for us to picture the guy that played Wolverine hacking into any sort of computer system. It’s because of the way it depicts computer viruses as looking like actual microorganisms. Yes, the computer viruses really do kind of resemble germs.
Yes, we absolutely love James Bond every bit as much as you do and Goldeneye is an excellent movie in other respects. However, its odd and decidedly unrealistic portrayal of hacker, Boris has us raising our eyebrows, not to mention chuckling a bit. We’re certainly having trouble buying him as the world’s most evil hacker!
We just don’t see where the team in charge of the way tech was portrayed here was really trying all that hard. Granted, the focus is supposed to be on action, but still – the way the police look up necessary info and somehow beam it straight to Frank Martin’s car is just… silly.
Yes, we went there. And yes, we love the storyline and the dinosaurs every bit as much as you do… but we just can’t forgive how unlikely it is that an 11-year-old girl would somehow actually know her way around UNIX.
While this is otherwise a pretty good movie, it fails in the tech portrayal department because of how inexplicable Ethan Hunt’s use of email is. To begin with, none of the emails are actually formatted properly. Also, we’re still not sure how he would use online newsgroups to find the information he did.
This film actually shows Harrison Ford using his daughter’s pink iPod as a hook-up for a scanner. Somehow, this is supposed to allow him to capture images of confidential bank records. Of course, the bank’s computer system magically recognizes the iPod and the iPod apparently doesn’t know the difference between songs and bank records. OK.