Almost every business in operation today needs some type of data storage. For example, many local medical practices have opted for electronic medical records in lieu of shelves or filing cabinets full of patient folders. And of course big-box chain stores and restaurants must securely process costumer data, such as credit card numbers and order histories.

Whatever your business is, you rely on computers, servers, and data storage solutions. Without those technological advances, your business couldn’t operate as efficiently as it does—a reality you know only too well when those systems go down. Consequently, you invest in IT services and updated computer hardware.

But when was the last time you considered how computer and data storage technology became what it is today? Surprisingly, Hollywood movies contain an interesting record of that evolution. Although movies take some creative license, the nine films below reflect the technologies of the eras they portray. And, taken together, they show how computers and data storage have changed through the decades.

1. “The Imitation Game”

This film came out in 2014, but it depicts computer science during World War II. Mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing, along with his colleagues, labored to create a computer that could decrypt encoded German messages quickly and accurately.

Unlike today’s computers, Turing’s decoding machine was huge and could only perform one task. Still, it was a major leap forward. Because of Turing’s significant contributions, many consider him the father of computer science.

2. “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes”

A young Kurt Russell plays college student Dexter Reilly in this family-friendly Walt Disney Pictures film. On a stormy night, Dexter accidentally absorbs all the knowledge from a computer database into his brain. Although he was a poor student before, Dexter suddenly has the fast information recall and knowledge retention of a computer.

Set in the late ’60s, this film also features a huge computer that takes up an entire room. A made-for-TV remake from 1995 features a different Dexter Reilly whose brain absorbs all the information from the Internet.

3. “WarGames”

Before he took a day off as Ferris Bueller, Matthew Broderick played a high student with a gift for hacking in this 1983 film. Using a now-primitive personal computer, Broderick’s character unintentionally hacks into a military mainframe and gains access to the US’s ICBMs.

Luckily, nuclear weapons have better layers of computer protection surrounding them. Still, this movie remains fun to watch if you keep your eyes open for outdated computer tech. It also offers a compelling reminder to use hard-to-guess passwords to keep sensitive data safe.

4. “Sneakers”

In this movie, Robert Redford joins with Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, David Strathairn, and River Phoenix to form a team of authorized hackers. Other businesses pay them to hack into their computer systems and reveal the security weaknesses.

Redford and his team use technology that still looks outdated to today’s audience, but you can catch glimpses of technology to come. In one scene, they lay a phone handset on a modem, and Redford’s character has a car phone.

5. “Jurassic Park”

Computers play a supporting role in this summer blockbuster from 1993. In order to steal dinosaur embryos, the computer programmer on Isla Nublar activates a bug he inserted into the park’s computer systems. The bug turns off all the park’s major systems, including the electric fences around the dinosaurs.

The island’s visitors scramble to restart the systems. Luckily, one of the children visiting the island considers herself a hacker. As she sits in front of a computer in the control room, she remarks, “This is a UNIX system.” And the graphics shown in front of her are a UNIX system from the era.

6. “The Net”

Sandra Bullock discovers the dark side of a still-new Internet in this 1995 movie. Bullock plays Angela Bennett, a computer expert whose identity gets stolen after she looks at a glitch on a weird software program.

Like other ’90s films with computers as a central element, “The Net” shows technology and computer programs that are now obsolete. Bullock’s character plays Wolfenstein 3D and uses floppy disks. But the film also raises questions about whether we should share our personal data online and how to keep it safe once it’s on the net.

7 and 8. “Ocean’s 11” and “Ocean’s 13”

The Las Vegas casino heists in each of these films could not happen without tech guru Livingston Dell. In “Ocean’s 11,” Dell hacks into the surveillance systems at the Bellagio. And in “Ocean’s 13,” Dell helps the team beat a high-tech player tracking system that has artificial intelligence.


These movies show that computer technology has evolved a lot—and it evolves quickly. Even on a limited budget, your business can take advantage of advanced computing and data storage solutions Contact a technology company that offers data storage solutions and service to keep your systems up to date and your business running.