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Angelina Jolie had already appeared in a sci-fi thriller, 1992’s forgotten schlockfest Cyborg 2, but Hackers was the first film where her star quality shone through.

1995 was a banner year for films trying to make sense of the newfangled frontier known as cyberspace. You had Johnny Mnemonic, in which Keanu Reeves plays a data trafficker using his brain as a literal hard drive in the pandemic-ravaged distant future of, erm, 2021. Then there was Sandra Bullock blowing pizza addicts’ minds by ordering her favorite 20” regular crust online — as well as becoming embroiled in a life-erasing conspiracy — in The Net. But last out of the gate was Hackers, a hyperkinetic techno-thriller where rollerblading computer prodigies thwart a megalomaniacal security officer known as The Plague.

Hackers might not have had the star power (at the time, anyway) or the box office appeal (it grossed just $7.5 million domestically during its paltry two-week wide release). But a quarter-century later, its relentless energy, magnetic before-they-were-famous cast, and refusal to take itself too seriously ensures that Hackers remains the far more entertaining watch of the bunch. This is a film where the bad guy famously snatches an invaluable floppy disk on a skateboard while holding onto a limousine, after all… read more >

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