How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: What’s Your Favorite Geek Movie?

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Whether it’s campy geeky or cutting edge Sci-Fi geeky, this week we’re interested in hearing about your favorite geeky movie. What’s your top pick for the best geek flick of all time?

Big budget or small, critical acclaim or scorn, if it’s your favorite film with a geeky streak running through it, it’s fair game. Sound off in the comments with your nominations, including what makes your favorite film worthy of the Best Geek Film title, and then check back on Friday for the What You Said roundup with a list of nominations.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/18/12

Comments (148)

  1. james

    I guess I’ll get the ball rolling with WarGames

  2. infmom

    TRON. The original.

  3. Lou


  4. Walker N. Picker

    “Train Man”

  5. bobbo86


  6. dodger2654

    I’ll jump on the War Games bandwagon, I think it is the first movie about hackers I’d ever seen, had the biggest crush on Ally Sheedy too.

  7. Irish_IT

    Real Genius for the win!!! :D

  8. Trent Bentley

    The Lake House. Just kidding, I may go with The Matrix just because of the cinemetography innovation we hadn’t really seen in any other movie.

  9. r

    “Deep Throat”

  10. Big Silk


  11. TinMan

    TRON Classic, though TRON Legacy is pretty sweet as well.

  12. Braxx

    ALL star trek movies old and new!

  13. Andrew

    Weird Science

    In No particular order

  14. LadyFitzgerald

    Both Trons and most of the Star Wars and Star Trek movies.

  15. Galbot

    Second Sneakers and add Silent Running.

  16. Marcelo

    The Lord of the Rings

  17. libs

    Revenge of the Nerds!

    Revenge of the Nerds II!

    Revenge of the Nerds III!

    Revenge of the Nerds IV!

  18. Tech Checkers

    Great Question HTG : )


    Every frame crafted, great tight script, some of the greatest fight scenes if any movie


    Lord of the Rings – The first movies that we realised that the only limits to FX are our imaginations
    King of Kong – [If you’re saying what’s that? then this is the best gaming doco so far : )]
    Sneakers Just Fun !
    Titan AE

  19. Aurora900

    Wow… people named a lot of my favorite geeky movies… but I’m going to have to go with something different. While I love the matrix more than most things, my all time favorite geeky movie has to be Back To The Future.

  20. Superevil

    Revenge of the Nerds & Weird Science

  21. UltimatePSV

    Can Comic Book Geek films count?

    My favorites were the Spider-Man Original Trilogy, and the TRON movies.

  22. Kynan

    Throwing a new one into the ring – Short Circuit!

    Love sneakers – I’d forgotten about that movie!

  23. FeelTheFlo

    WarGames and Password: Swordfish=

  24. RED

    Three Days of the Condor

  25. bobbo86

    I said Hackers ealrierbut would also like to Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

  26. TVDJeda

    Star Trek (all except the last)
    Back to the Future
    Short Circuit
    Batteries not included
    War Games
    Weird Science
    Revenge of the Nerds
    Tron (original)

    Its impossible to choose just one.

  27. Red

    If I only had to pick one…

    Mechanical Principles (1930)

    Others (but I would call them Nerd Movies):
    and Scott Prilgrim Vs The world

  28. RED

    The Conversation

  29. Duane

    Although it doesn’t show up much in such lists, I like to speak up for Apollo 13. There are at least 3 scenes in that movie where every hacker/geek will be right there with them, because they’ve lived it:

    * Gary Sinise in the simulator, knowing that his job is not done until he gets the power consumption level down to X (or whatever his particular challenge is, it’s been awhile). No value greater than X is acceptable.

    * The scene where the engineers lock themselves in a room with nothing but a box of miscellaneous parts equal to what the astronauts have with them, and do not leave the room until they have and air scrubber built (or whatever it was that they were building).

    * Ed Harris’s “Failure is not an option / This will be our finest hour” quotes. If you haven’t personally lived through your own version of such moments, you’re not taking enough risk in your life.

  30. Perndar

    The Lawnmower man
    The last Starfighter

    in that order

  31. chrisXcrash

    All the listed movies are all great. I havent seen a few yet and I’ve got toget around to it.

    My favorites are
    Star Wars (the original trilogy mostly)
    Lord of the Rings (all three)
    And The Matrix (all three of them although the first is the best)

  32. Jetsom

    My vote would have been for The Last Starfighter

  33. obrickokc

    lawnmower man
    blade runner
    LOTR all of them + (the hobbit)
    anything marvel comic`s related
    I could go on & on & on, but this will do for now …
    p.s. list is in no particular order.

  34. Mike H.

    1. Real Genius
    2. The New Star Wars Movie
    3. All the other Star Wars Movies

  35. Anon
  36. Mike H.

    Meant to say Star Trek

  37. akbozo

    the postman

  38. Sr. Wences

    You guys are too young… 2001: A Space Odyssey
    Then WarGames
    Then The Terminator (first one)

  39. Daniel

    Does Space Balls count?

  40. vtzete0

    The King of Kong!

  41. Troy Leonard

    You guys have no knowledge of true cult classics. I have 4 words for you “Soylent Green is PEOPLE”! BEST FILM OF ALL TIME! Soylent green is a true Sci-Fi classic which as all great films do forces us to inward and examine our own souls. That and Heston truly makes the film. Check it out

  42. max

    Another vote for 1992’s Sneakers.

  43. dizzy tunez

    Bladerunner and Dune.

  44. Nexus4

    Blade Runner (dir. cut)

  45. Fozzieb

    War Games

    Both Tron’s

    Pirates of Silicon Valley

  46. Crazy

    I, Robot. I don’t know why…

  47. Big Dom

    There’s a war out there, a world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information!

    My vote Sneakers 1992.

  48. bluelord

    i would say poseidon, Dr Strangelove, 2001: A space Odyssey… obviously the LOTR range, STAR WARS range, STAR TREK series (original) have their own charm and excellence.. but the tackiness of the 70s movies like “close encounters of the third kind” are the movies that set the “GEEK” trend..

    I would nominate ET and WALL-E as well.

  49. Patman

    Office Space
    Napoleon Dynamite

  50. JuergenK

    – The Net
    – Sneakers
    – Jumping Jack Flash ;-)

  51. Jon


  52. Daver

    Dark Star (Very old, still funny (2 me!))
    2001, elegant, ground breaking, thought provocking.
    Flesh Gordon.oh so politically incorrect!
    Blade Runner, so many layers, visually awsome & stimulating.
    Dr Strangelove

  53. Syntax

    Star-Trek movies & TV series
    Firewall: with Harrison Ford (not super-geeky, but still great)

  54. G-Muny

    The matrix!!!
    Just for the flawless storyline!!! Even without the special effects it has to be the geekiest story ever! I can’t imagine sitting down and writing that, it’s pure geeky genius!

  55. LifeIsArt

    Blade Runner

  56. Big Dom

    O.K prepared to be out geeked…. You’ve probably never heard of this film.
    LIFEFORCE (1985)
    It’s about naked vampires from space. (and no it’s not a porno).
    From the director of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Salem’s Lot and Poltergeist – Tobe Hooper.
    From the writer of Total Recall, Dark Star, Alien franchise and AvP franchise – Dan O’Bannon.
    Stars Mathilda May and Patrick Stewart.
    You can watch the whole movie on YouTube.

  57. Eirik

    The Navigator!

  58. Steve

    “Broadway Danny Rose” or the lesser known “danny white roses”.

  59. croger1998

    The Tron movies followed by Weird Science. There is just something appealing about making the perfect woman.

  60. Elliot Tulane

    Matrix! Just the first one.

  61. Casey Underwood

    Gamers 2 is my all time favorite. If D&D isn’t geeky then what is. Star Trek Next Generation movies is my very close second

  62. hopsingracer

    Old School – “War Games” Would you like to play a game?

  63. JonK

    The Andromeda Strain
    Colossus, The Forbin Project
    and, who can forget 2001, A Space Oddessy right, Dave?

  64. Kayge

    has to be HACKERS for me…

    A nod to Babbage, quotations from Ginsberg the line “yeah, RISC is good” and of course the reading of +++The Mentor+++ and his “Hackers Manifesto”

    something for geeks of varying experience..

  65. bogal14


  66. Grant

    There is no geek movie more quotable than “Real Genius”. That said, “Sneakers” and “TRON” are also awesome.

  67. cummins

    Die Hard ?

  68. trasz

    Forbidden Planet
    Robbie the Robot ftw.
    Also young Leslie Nielsen.

  69. randompersonfromthisuniverse

    The Social Network

  70. Rocha


  71. Roshnal

    The best is The Big Bang Theory (all the seasons, all the episodes)… Its simply the best.

    Except that,
    – Lord of the Rings (all of them)
    – Spider-man (again, all of them)
    – Any movie set in an alternate reality, with a sword-swinging guy, going through obstacles, to save a princess, from a strange species of inhabitants or an evil warlord, and finally gets to the girl and then marry (guy/girl giving up on returning home).

    And did I mention The Big Bang Theory?

  72. donebb

    Enemy of the State. Even though I didn’t believe all of the technology they used, it was still scary to think about…and look what we do now.

  73. Guardsix

    “The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)” with Michael Rennie as “Klaatu” and Patricia Neal (worst actress ever, IMHO) as “Hellen Benson”.

  74. afuhnk

    Aliens (all of them – even the 4th).
    Tron (Original and Legacy).
    The Goonies.
    Transformers (the first one – made me feel like a kid again).
    The Matrix (all of them – yes I enjoyed #2 and #3 as much as I loved the 1st one).
    Indiana Jones (all of them – again, I don’t care what people said.. Aliens are just as imaginary [or not] as Christianity or any other religion)
    Jason Bourne (not THAT geeky but isn’t it based on the comic book XIII – to me that counts).

  75. EbenezerGrinch

    Shaun of the Dead

  76. edmenje

    If the geek is the subject of the film, “This Island Earth”
    Cal Meacham builds an Interociter from a set of schematics and alien components.
    Anyone who’s built their own rig will identify with that.

  77. smoaky

    Showing my age here
    Silent Running
    Soylent Green

  78. mharrsch

    The Thirteenth Floor although Weird Science is still a favorite too.

  79. Joe Carr

    3 O’Clock High (1987)
    Jerry Mitchell beats up Buddy Revel….classic nerd gets jock!

  80. predicant

    20000 Leagues Under the Sea
    Journey to the Center of the Earth
    The First Men in the Moon
    The Mouse that Roared

    and, because of its historical significance … Apogee of Fear

  81. David

    The Silent Earth strange movie but all built on man’s inability to control the sciene he created.

  82. Michael

    Real Genius
    My Science Project
    Fire and Ice
    Heavy Metal
    Monty Python’s The Life of Brian

    These are specifically geek films that were great viewing. Not necessarily the greatest science fiction/fantasy/whatever films.

  83. Melting Sun

    Lot’s of great movies.
    Count me in with “Nirvana”

  84. Tracie

    Sneakers (1992) Robert Redford, Dan Ackroyd, Ben Kingsley, River Phoenix, Mary McDonnel, Sidney Poitier

    Loved it!

  85. Car

    The Pirates of Silicon Valley! :D

  86. smoss

    War Games
    Time Bandits
    Cloak and Dagger – Awesome when you are a kid!!!
    Ice Pirates
    The Terminator
    Spies Like Us
    They Live
    Demolition Man
    Real Genius
    3 O’Clock High (1987) – Oh My God, I have to get this one – on DVD ;-)

  87. smoss

    Maximum Overdrive

  88. Pat

    Short Circuit – They did an amazing job of putting together the scenario in an almost believable way, down to the last detail.

  89. prasad

    My favorites would be Takedown and Wargames…love these movies on hackers..

  90. Ushindi

    @ Big Dom: Not only have I “heard” of “LIFEFORCE”, I have it on DVD…that Mathilda May, what an actress!

  91. WanChainKein

    I’m with Aurora900…

    “The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”

  92. D G M

    Forbidden Planet

  93. Bill

    GALAXY QUEST… perfect parody movie, lot of laughs, pretty decent adventure, great thesis for a movie.

  94. Michael

    I am sorely disappointed in my fellow browncoats. No one has mentioned Serenity yet.

    Also, Equilibrium. Awesome movie.

  95. Buford O'Brien

    Has to be original “the Day the Earth Stood Still”. Hackers is good too! (Angelina Jolie…mmmmmm)

  96. Lance

    Lawnmower Man needs a mention.
    Johnny Mnemonic

  97. Upnorth

    Simone, best geek movie ever. She is just perfect, too perfect.

  98. Ahmed Khattab

    Lord of The Rings Triology
    Christopher Nolan’s Batman Triology

  99. Jim A

    Dune (the original: starring Kyle Mcclachlan) …I think that’s how it’s spelled.

    Love the Steampunk-iness of the tech.

  100. Nathan.D

    My favorite sci-fi movie right now is pitch black (first chronicles of riddick movie). Probly because riddick escapes in the beginning by dislocating his shoulders then relocating them :)

    My other favorites are:

    v for vendetta
    district 9
    the punisher

  101. Ken

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

  102. rohertz


  103. Lewis B.

    I will admit to not reading every single comment, but was surprised that Dark City didn’t show up.

  104. MdKnightR

    The Matrix – Groundbreaking special effects, great story, and a healthy dose of surrealism. Great for both a tech geek and an art geek!

  105. rohertz

    Cocoon and Poltergeist as well

  106. Belal

    IRON MAN!!

  107. Poet

    Ice Pirates -Dude they fixed the battle bots on the battle field.
    Heavy Metal- (the original one) All the geek stuff in a time capsule
    The Net- house bound code monkey gets tied into a real life adventure, She even had groceries delivered circa 1999?.

  108. Dark Reality

    All the ones I would have named, have been, so why repeat them?

    I liked “Another Earth”. What looks like a copy of Earth appears on the horizon. Other than that it’s just a character drama. But it was pretty good.

    And I don’t think I saw Cube mentioned. That was a good one. More horror but it dealt with mathematics.

  109. FGcruiser

    Blade Runner (genetically engineered organic robots humans) as if….

    Lord of the Rings


  110. Big Dom

    @Ushindi – Can’t wait for blue ray :)

  111. Blossom

    Final Fantasy

  112. ichido

    Pirates of Silicon Valley,
    The Net,
    War Games.

  113. BobbyPhoenix


  114. Dorothy

    Weird Science, hands down!

  115. Jahkayhla

    Definitely Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

    The entire movie is a video game reference

  116. chathuravita


  117. kevin

    Galaxy Quest. Just like every geek….we are funny, can laug from beginningh at ourselves and entertaining from beginning to end……oh and we love to repeat what the computer says. ;)

  118. kevin

    Let me type this again…Galaxy Quest. Just like every geek….we are funny, can laugh at ourselves and entertaining from beginning to end……oh and we love to repeat what the computer says. ;)

  119. lizbit

    you mentioned them all, so many, scary that i have watched so many. I may have missed it but no one mentioned the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, no doubt the book was better but still a dam good story.

  120. august

    Star Wars
    Back to the Future
    Apollo 13

  121. Ringo

    Star Trek (2009)
    The Matrix
    Enemy Mine (so bad, it’s good).

  122. TyShoes

    Have to say The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension.

  123. alvas rawuther

    The Social Network.

  124. Hartt2

    All the Trek and Star wars movies!

  125. Jay

    Weird Science!!!!

  126. LaFleur

    Remember “Forbidden Planet”? While dated and a long time back, The story was excellent, the actors were some of the best and the special effects were excellent for the day. The story also addressed topics that will probably always challenge us. That is the contrast and conflict between our extremely ancient origins and the incredibly foreign “modern” conditions where we find ourselves existing.

  127. Chet

    Real Genius

    Can you hear me Kent?

  128. nedly

    Forbidden Planet (1956). Used to watch it with my dad when I was a kid. I liked Robbie the robot (who became iconic). In the modern geek world I look back and realize that the robot did his thinking with only six bits in the form of six electromechanical relays that would be clacking away inside his head dome. I guess the heroine, Anne Francis, had my old man’s relays clacking away.

  129. quimera2325

    I remember watching batteries not included and thinking this movie rocks!!

  130. Tzunamii

    NERDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)))))

  131. smoss

    May not be in the same category, but….

    DREAMSCAPE – With a YOUNG Dennis Quaid

    Probably sucks now :o(

  132. Michael

    Bladerunner (all time … never been topped)
    Matrix (is definitely up there though)

    wow! yeah – definitely a great one – Enemy Mine too!

    “and stop playing with yourself!”

  133. Michael

    @Big Dom
    oh man! Hell yeah! Lifeforce!
    man has THAT been a long time ago!

  134. Sam

    The Island by Micheal Bay

  135. Evan


  136. Sam

    A few more that were good:
    1) From Dusk Till Dawn with Salma Hayek. She was incredibly hot as a vampire..
    2) Red Dawn
    3) Aeon Flux

  137. Dropzone01

    Although tons of my favorites have been mentioned in the various American franchises one favorite that I didn’t see yet was The Returner.

    I’m pretty sure it is Japanese and the first time I watched it was with subtitles but since then I managed to get a copy in English. Anyone else see this movie?

  138. Dave

    Galaxy Quest because it pokes fun of Bill Shatner!
    Also, this may not qualify, but “You only live twice” – because of all the spacejackings. When the villain’s ship closed on the lifeline of the astronaut…..Wow!

  139. NJO

    Wargames – ‘Shall we play a game?’

  140. Wayne Lloyd


  141. prospero

    I’d vote for Dark Star, Blade Runner (the original) and Aliens.

  142. Lee A.

    Dune with kyle McLauglin

  143. Leonard

    quite a few have been left out.
    one in particular that I was fond of:
    Colossus the Forbin project: super computer takes over the world.
    another would be:
    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: peter sellers and slim pickens were wonderful in that movie.
    Young Frankenstein the electronic gadgets were priceless and had been in storage for decades it was cool to see they still worked.
    after those I would agree with many of the others like
    Forbidden planet but I was more interested in Anne Francis and Robby the robot then any of the other cast I thought the creature was pretty cool.
    then there are the movies I catch super late night that I don’t remember the names of like one where an alien space ship is found in an excavation in the London tubes and the mummified occupants are like these huge grass hoppers I always liked that movie I wish I could remember the name. yes it was one of those old black and white movies but I think it has been colorized since the first time I saw it.
    anyway, I love old films and new one two. I just didn’t have the time to chime in until now.

  144. Leonard

    found the name of the movie I described above it was called Five Million Years To Earth / Quatermass and the Pit; a good solid horror film.
    I would also include Westworld for which Yul Brynner will be sorely missed.

  145. tony

    Rather than the comic book or sci fi geek spirt, I’m going to have to go with something intellectually geeky. “Numb3rs” comes to mind.

  146. James


    Kung Pow Enter the Fist?

    Any crappy 60’s or 70’s sci fi?

  147. Tasaduq



    I was disappointed when BLADE RUNNER didn’t show up on the Sci Fi movie list so I’ll throw it in here.

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