Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this high-tech thriller, Dade Murphy (Jonny Lee Miller) has been fascinated with computers all his life; at the age of 11, he was able to break into the computer network of several top Wall Street investment and banking firms, and he nearly caused a major stock market crash in the process. As punishment, Dade was forbidden to use a computer until his 18th birthday, but now that he's of age, he's diving back into his PC head first. Dade meets up with a group of fellow hackers: tough-talking cyber gamer Kate, aka Acid Burn (Angelina Jolie), junior hacker Jesse Bradford, born prankster Cereal Killer (Matthew Lillard), Nikon (Lawrence Mason), named for his photographic memory, and telephone expert Phantom Phreak (Renoly Santiago). Dade and his pals aren't out to destroy systems or do cybercrime for profit; they simply want to know more about the systems they encounter, and they like raising some good-natured havoc. But in their travels through cyberspace, they discover The Plague (Fisher Stevens), a former hacker turned computer security expert with a huge multinational corporation. The Plague has not only done the unthinkable and gone into anti-hacker enforcement, he's secretly allied himself with a group of criminals and is using his expertise to drain funds from corporate bank accounts and transfer them to himself and his mistress, Margo (Lorraine Bracco). The Plague is also smart enough to leave clues that would lead investigators to someone else -- in this case, Dade and his friends -- and has a secret weapon at his disposal, a computer virus that could wipe out the entire world wide web in a matter of minutes. Several sequences for Hackers were shot at New York City's Stuyvesant High School, where coincidentally several months after filming, several students were arrested by F.B.I. agents for their involvement in computer hacking.
hacker, computer-networks, computer-programmer, computer-whiz, criminal, frame-up