6 highly-rated programming movies from the Codecademy community

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After a long day of coding, sometimes you just want to kick back and relax — and what better way than with a movie? We reached out to our community in a forum post and asked our learners about their favorite coding-related films. Here’s what they shared.

WarGames

WarGames was the most highly recommended film among our community of learners. Starring Matthew Broderick, the movie follows a young high school student who inadvertently incites international conflict by triggering a military supercomputer while searching for a local game company.

WarGames is a great choice if you’re a fan of thought-provoking movies, as it raises questions about the use of AI in warfare. It also exemplifies the severity of nuclear war and the role of probability in machine learning.

The Social Network

Released in 2010, The Social Network was the second most highly-rated movie among our learners. The biographical film depicts the problematic origins behind Facebook, the world’s most popular social networking site.

After receiving a wave of buzz for its subject matter and A-list cast, including stars like Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake, the film went on to win Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing, along with several Golden Globes.

The Social Network sheds light on the development of Facebook, chronicling everything from Mark Zuckerberg’s first foray into web development to the lawsuits he faced from his co-founders and former business associates.

The Imitation Game

Tying for second place in our learners’ list of favorite movies, The Imitation Game portrays the life of Alan Turing, famous cryptanalyst and founder of the Turing Test. The film depicts Turing’s groundbreaking innovation during World War II as he struggles against foreign cryptography and the influence of homophobia, gender roles, and misogyny.

The Imitation Game stars celebrities like Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. After its release, it won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and the People’s Choice Award.

This movie is a must-see for anyone interested in machine learning, as the Turing Test has played a vital role in the conceptualization and development of artificial intelligence. Plus, Turing’s work contributed to the development of computer science and data manipulation, so it’s also an excellent movie for technology and history buffs.

The Matrix

No list of coding-related movies would be complete without The Matrix — a classic film set predominantly in a world entirely built of code. The Matrix follows Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, who finds himself pulled into (or made aware of) a post-apocalyptic dystopia in which AI rules the world.

The Matrix has long been considered one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re definitely missing out — but you can get up to speed by streaming the movie on HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, or YouTube.

To protect the world from hyper-advanced robots, we’ll need quality developers overseeing the creation of AI. Contribute to the Matrix-prevention efforts by learning the basics of machine learning.

Ex Machina

Fourth on the list of our learners’ favorite coding movies is Ex Machina. The film is set in modern times and follows a young software developer who wins the opportunity to perform the Turing Test on an android named Ava. All goes well as he travels to her holding facility, and he quickly finds himself fascinated with her — but things take a turn once he starts to question her creator’s motives.

Ex Machina is a personal favorite, as it raises some pertinent questions as we edge closer and closer to fully autonomous AI. Should such technology be considered sentient? If it is, how should this influence its utility?

Sneakers

Our last film is sure to appeal to coding enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists alike. Sneakers is a heist movie in which Martin, a young hacker and fugitive-in-hiding, is contacted by the NSA and tasked with recovering a device capable of decrypting any computer network or system.

Written by the screenwriters behind WarGames, the film is filled with suspense and betrayal as Martin and his team try to outmaneuver federal and foreign agents. It also illustrates the steadily rising importance of cybersecurity in our national defense. Wanna help keep your country safe from cyber threats? Start with our introduction to cybersecurity.

Each of the movies listed above is bound to keep you on the edge of your seat. Think we’re missing something from the list? Leave it in a comment below — or join the discussion on our forums.