Part of Midnight Movies
“Hack the planet!”
In 1988, Dade “Zero Cool” Murphy (age 11) is arrested and charged with crashing 1,507 systems in one day and causing a single-day 7-point drop in the New York Stock Exchange. Upon conviction, he is banned from owning or operating computers or touch-tone telephones until his 18th birthday.
On his 18th birthday, Dade’s finally able to get behind the monitor again — and immediately picks up where he left off. At school, he falls in with a group of fellow hackers led by rival hacker Kate “Acid Burn” Libby (Angelina Jolie) who introduces him to New York’s underground world of young computer whizzes. Along the way, one of their members unknowingly taps into a high-tech embezzling scheme masked by a computer virus with the potential to destroy the world’s ecosystem.
With Secret Service agent Dick Gill (Wendell Pierce) hot on their tails and framed for crimes they didn’t commit, fledgling hacktivists Zero Cool, Acid Burn, Cereal Killer (Matthew Lillard in one of his most iconically zany roles), Nikon (Laurence Mason), Phantom Phreak (Renoly Santiago) and pirate TV hosts Razor and Blade must join forces to stop the renegade cybercriminal The Plague (Succession’s Fisher Stevens) from bringing about ecological disaster and sending them to the clink indefinitely.
Filled to the brim with delightfully dated graphics, an outstanding electronic soundtrack of club classix and alternative electro, capital F Fashion choices and hip anti-authoritarianism swagger, this nostalgic slab of ‘90s countercultural cool has aged like fine wine.
“HACKERS wasn't even in theaters before attacks on it started online. It represents a new genre, ‘hacksploitation,’ Mac expert Andy Ihnatko grumbled on CompuServe… The movie is smart and entertaining, then, as long as you don't take the computer stuff very seriously. I didn't. I took it approximately as seriously as the archaeology in INDIANA JONES.” —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times (Sep 15, 1995) “This engaging and lively exploitation fantasy-thriller about computer hackers, anarchistic in spirit, succeeds in representing computer operations with some visual flair.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader