10 Most Accurate Movies About the Internet

people sitting in a movie theater facing screen

While it certainly doesn’t happen very often, every now and then Hollywood gets it right in their depictions of life in the Internet Age. Most films that use it as a plot point either stumble right out of the gate or stray so far from reality as to defy credibility. For whatever reason, few attempts manage to capture the marriage between modern society and high tech in any meaningful way. The following is a list of exceptions to the rule. Here are the 10 most accurate movies about the internet:

  1. Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) – A fairly spot-on illustration of contemporary culture online. How we meet, who and when we meet, and our interactions in the meantime as well as afterward are all addressed smartly and creatively here.
  2. The Social Network (2010) – A mostly accurate portrayal of the real-life creators and creation of the social networking site Facebook. It deals with the legal wrangling’s and personal struggles of the protagonist in unblinking detail.
  3. Hackers (1995) – Given that the movie was released during the infancy of what we now know as the internet, this film does a decent job in depicting the world of computer hackers. The overarching plot is pretty much crap, but as far as its use of the internet itself as a device and character, the movie isn’t all that far off the mark, all things considered.
  4. Middle Men (2009) – From the perspective of e-commerce businessmen, this film is really not a half-bad example of behind-the-scenes revelation. The notion of creating a pay pornographic website doesn’t exactly seem over-the-top from today’s perspective, but watching the idea unfold in the ‘net’s early days along with all of the personal snares it entailed for its creators was quite an eye-opener.
  5. Catfish (2010) – Here we find a serviceable example of the gulf between expectations and reality in a largely anonymous medium. The fact that the movie begins at least as a documentary adds to the sense of discovery and awareness that we sense later in the film.
  6. Adoration (2008) – Insofar as its ability is concerned to color people’s perceptions and convey an image of authority where there may be none at all, the internet is played with disturbingly accurate aplomb in Adoration.
  7. We Live in Public (2009) – Josh Harris, an early pioneer and visionary of the web’s dot-com revolution, is a documentary subject spanning a 15-year period. In it, Harris lives with others under the constant eye of the web-cam, every moment being shared online. Its ultimate effect on Harris, and the potential realities it forces the viewer to see regarding our future with technology, is discomfiting to say the least.
  8. You’ve Got Mail (1998) – I’ll probably take some flak for this because most of my techie contemporaries take a dim view of this movie in general. However, it is not in general of which I write, but the way in which the internet is used within the plot. Given its time period and the dominance of AOL at that time, the movie is really pretty accurate. Two individuals who know each other online in one way and entirely differently in real life is not exactly a stretch of the imagination.
  9. The Matrix (1999) – It may not accurately portray the internet as it is today, but the allegory that the virtual reality we turn to the internet to enjoy now will become the very genuine reality in the not-so-distant future that assimilates us all isn’t so far-fetched.
  10. Start-up.com (2001) – A very realistic look at the roller coaster ride that was the dot.com boom and bust of the late 90’s. This insider’s view into how the meteoric rise and crashing fall of this internet phenomenon took place is right on the money.