Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -2 1/2

A hacker is someone who illegally taps into the computer system of another person or company, usually to vandalize or steal data. Dade Murphy (Jonny Lee Miller) is a legendary hacker, having caused 1,507 Wall Street computers to crash when he was 11. Now 18, he joins a group of hackers who uncover the embezzlement scheme of a corporate security specialist, known as The Plague (Fisher Stevens). The Plague tries to cover his tracks by framing the teens for supposedly creating a computer virus that will cause a massive oil spill. With the police and The Plague on their trail, these young technophiles must exonerate themselves and expose the real bad guy. During all this, Dade competes with a teenage girl (Angelina Jolie) to see who is the better hacker. This film's great computer graphics, music and directing is marred by its over-simplistic plot and sexual overtones.

HACKERS' teen heroes glamorize the computer-age's equivalent of breaking-and-entering; they think nothing of talking dirty and having sex; they disrespect authority and imply that any behavior is o.k. if you can get away with it. They liken the power associated with outwitting monster computer systems to the power of God: one hacker says he feels like God and an often-used computer password is God. The seductive nature of hacking is mirrored in these teens' lives by sexual innuendo, nasty dreams, many crudities and obscenities, and intense kissing and groping. The police are portrayed as imbeciles, and big corporations as evil. Though family and friends are depicted as important, that hardly makes up for the film's many debauched messages. In this movie, the only thing getting hacked more than computers is morality.

Preview Reviewer: Bob Liparulo
Distributor: MGM/United Artists, 2500 Broadway St., Snata Monica, CA 90404-3061

Crude Language: Many (13) times - Mild 3, Moderate 10
Obscene Language: Many (23) times - S-word 18; f-word 1; other 4
Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular 2 (JC, J), Exclamatory 2
Violence: Several times - Mild and moderate (comical slap on head, police point guns at suspects; boy dragged by police)
Sexual Intercourse: None, but implied several times
Nudity: Several times (male rear nudity twice, brief glimpse of female breasts, revealing clothes)
Homosexual Conduct: None, but one effeminate male, another wears oriental facial paint
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times (explicit sexual dreams; very sensuous kissing; skeletons simulate sexual intercourse on a computer screen; reference to oral sex; joke about sexual positions; girl buys condoms in men's bathroom; unmarried couple in bed; boy talks seductively to computer)
Drug Abuse: Teenage boy chain-smokes; drinking
Other: Police portrayed as fools; son disrespectful to mother; computer crime condoned; policeman harassed by pranksters
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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