The Reason Real-Life Hackers Love The '90s Film Hackers

The 1995 movie Hackers is beloved for introducing much of the world to Angelina Jolie, but it also reached cult status for its visuals, nineties slang, and surprisingly bomb soundtrack ... though the technology it features has not aged well. Nonetheless, Hackers is still enjoyed by the very same group of people it portrays — hackers.

The movie follows Jonny Lee Miller's Dade Murphy, better known under the alias "Crash Override," and his hacker friends as they try to outwit another hacker who is attempting to bring down a corporation. It came out at a time when filmmakers were speculating about the power of the internet, the AV Club writes. The web had finally become mainstream, the dot-com bubble was blooming, and other movies, like Sandra Bullock's The Net, played off the same themes. But Hackers was different. Vice reports how real-life hackers have a special affection for the film, because for many, it was the movie that opened up a world they didn't know existed. For hackers, the film fostered a sense of community, and made them look cool doing it. It helps when people in the hacker community can quote the film, and yell these one-liners out like they're in a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening.

White hats and black hats

The movie, real-life hackers say, captured the essence of why they hack into systems in the first place. As the AV Club explains, it did this by profiling a new generation of rebels: "That combination of prankishness, resentment of authority, and moral relativity are all still present, as is the idealist impulse to break whatever shackles are holding us back and change the world—or, if that doesn't work, just blow it to smithereens and start again, like the ending of Fight Club."

Of course, hacking and technology have come a long way since 1995. At this point, some hackers can even tap into satellites and make them weapons, while others work for corporations, as security experts. They can be a force for good, or bad, but you can't deny hackers have had a major impact in the world, considering that they are the backbone of entities like Julian Assange's Wikileaks

Hackers have also become a huge part of pop culture. Years before hit TV shows like Mr. Robot, though, 1995's Hackers gave people a look into a culture they didn't know, and showed everyone that hackers weren't just kids staring at a computer — but rather, smart people with a manifesto and ideals.