Back to articles list Articles
9 minutes read

Movies That Will Inspire You to Learn Python

Are you learning programming? Have you started your adventure with writing Python code or are you just going to get down to work? In this article, I am going to suggest a few movies that can motivate you (and are fun to watch). Here is a list of my favorite films that will make you want to code!

It is said that every journey begins with a first step. However, you can immediately add that after taking a few steps, you’ll need to rest to get to your goal. The same goes for programming.

Are you learning to code? Maybe  you’ve just started the Python Basics track. Or maybe you’re an advanced user but have lost the motivation to continue working on your skills. In both cases, it's time to relax and get a small push forward.

I really like a good movie. I have been a fan of them since I was a child, and I often find additional energy to act or ideas on making myself better and happier after a good movie. Some of them are huge doses of motivation. For example, every time I watch Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, I just need to go to the gym or go for a run. I cannot sit still. The same goes for the other sports classics. Do you remember Any Given Sunday with Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx? Oh my! What a show!

Because I love science fiction, I've watched many good movies where computers and programming play a very important role. Some are so good that remembering them made it easier for me to learn complicated Python concepts. By “movies”, I don’t mean lectures or tutorials. I mean big blockbusters and Hollywood productions that give you a kick.

To help you get this extra motivation, I’ve decided to share my favorite programming movies with you. Here they are.

My Personal Coding Box Office

My list is very subjective. Don't take it too seriously; these movies are fictional and usually have little to do with real programming. Rather, they are fantasies and concepts that have influenced my motivation and gave me food for thought.

Hollywood has never bowed to the real work of IT. Usually, these types of people are presented as nerds tapping away on a keyboard. I am one of those people and I am far from the typical movie hacker who punches random numbers to break the security of the Pentagon database.

Let's go back to movies about coding and computers. Here’s my box office:

1.   WarGames

The first on my list is a real gem – old but good! WarGames is a movie from 1983, which makes it exactly the same age as me! Moreover, I must say immodestly, it ages just as well!

It is the story of a talented boy named David who spends most of his days playing computer games (reminds me of something). The first time I saw this movie was when I was a teenager, and I couldn't tear my eyes away. The boy (played by Matthew Broderick) had fun using the Internet. We are talking about the time when hardly anyone had a modem at home, there were no websites, and you had to use a landline phone to connect to the network. Yes, kids, that's what we used to do!

In the film, David finds a back door into a military central computer. Thinking that he is playing a game, he unleashes World War III and causes the nuclear annihilation of the whole world.

This is a movie for teenagers. Yet, it does not lack a large dose of philosophy, reflection on the nature of man and civilization, and an anti-war message. The boy and his charming friend (Ally Sheedy) are drawn into the world of a genius programmer, Professor Falken. Even today, as I write this article, I still have the creeps. This film kind of shaped me, and made me interested in technology and computers. I highly recommend it!

WarGames was a great success. The film grossed over $125 million worldwide and was nominated for the three Academy Awards.


Directed by John Badham

Written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes

2.   The Lawnmower Man

Here's another blast from the past. This time it will be a little scarier – the thrill of early-90's entertainment at its best. And all with virtual reality in the background!

The Lawnmower Man tells the story of an intellectually disabled gardener (Jeff Fahey) who is the laughingstock of the local community. One day he meets a bit of a mad scientist played by Pierce Brosnan (yes, he's the guy who also played James Bond). He convinces the main character to take part in an unusual experiment that will make him a bit smarter. As you can guess, something goes wrong and the experiment gets out of control.

The film is amazing, which shouldn't be surprising; it was inspired by a 1975 story written by Stephen King.

What gets The Lawnmower Man its spot on this list is that the experiment involved shifting the characters into virtual reality. The scientist was able to create virtual reality and control it with the mind. He built a special machine for this and used a supercomputer. In 1992, it was pure fantasy. Imagine how such an idea influenced my then-teenaged mind.

In 1996, the second part was released. Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace wasn't that groundbreaking, but it was still impressive!

The Lawnmower Man

Directed by Brett Leonard

Written by Brett Leonard and Gimel Everett

3.   The Matrix

It's hard to believe that the premiere of The Matrix took place over 20 years ago. In 1999, fans around the world saw the story of Neo (Keanu Reeves), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) for the first time. It was one of those films that changed the face of modern cinema.

This work by the Wachowski siblings is in my top 5 films of all time. What's not to like here? A cyberpunk world of machines and rebels, kung fu fighting, brilliant music, special effects, and a romance worthy of Shakespeare. Today, The Matrix is a classic of pop culture and is analyzed at universities.

From the point of view of a future programmer, there is also something to think about. Machines created a virtual world to enslave humanity and draw energy from people. The people responded with resistance.

By the way, did you know that the iconic "code" of the Matrix, i.e. the green characters falling on a black background, are actually Japanese letters that are recipes for sushi?

Fans are still arguing about which programming language machines could write the Matrix source code in. Some of them think it is C, Haskell, or even Python. In my opinion, they would create their own language based on machine language. The people in the movie, however, knew how to write their own additions to the Matrix, so they would have to have access to the documentation ... a mystery that probably will never be solved.

Neo is a programmer for a large corporation and does hacking after hours. To enter the "Matrix", members of the Morpheus crew must use the terminals they code on. This is a feast for a fan of Hollywood programming.

The original Matrix trilogy has three consecutive parts. The latest one is The Matrix Resurrections, which is still surprising and brilliant. The first Matrix film won 4 Oscars and grossed over half a billion dollars.

The Matrix

Directed and written by The Wachowskis (Lana and Lilly Wachowski)

4.   The Social Network

This is the story of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, the beginnings of his empire, and the accompanying controversy. If you're into programming, this is something you need to watch.

Young Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is studying at Harvard and comes up with the idea of creating the first real social media. What started out as a student prank quickly gains popularity and turns into a world-changing global phenomenon.

A lot of stars appear in the movie, including Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin and Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker (does anyone remember Napster?).

A well-told story is accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack created by Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. He was awarded an Oscar for Best Original Score and a Golden Globe for his work. I must admit that I often listen to these pieces while writing code. They have a unique atmosphere.

The Social Network is based on the book "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich. The world premiere took place in September 2010. The movie received three Oscars and a Golden Globe for Best Drama. Worldwide, its creators earned over $ 250 million.

The Social Network

Directed by  David Fincher

Written by Aaron Sorkin

5.   Ex Machina

Last on my list is a brilliant movie called Ex Machina by British director Alex Garland. It's science fiction with a great deal of philosophy and deliberation on what makes us human.

Young programmer Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a company competition and is rewarded with the opportunity to spend a week in eccentric boss Nathan’s (Oscar Isaac of Star Wars fame) luxurious mansion.

The company president is a genius engineer who works to create artificial intelligence. It turns out that he needs Caleb to carry out a Turing test to check if his project is successful.

Artificial intelligence is placed in the humanoid robot Ava (Alicia Vikander), who deceptively resembles a real human. An unusual bond develops between Caleb and Ava, and Caleb discovers that his boss did not tell him the full truth about the experiment. Interested? Good, because there is a lot to watch!

Conversations with the robot lead the young programmer to unusual conclusions. I don't want to spoil the plot, but here nothing is as it seems. Considering that soon humanity may create this type of artificial intelligence, it is worth pondering what this could mean for all of us.

If you are just starting your adventure with IT, this movie will make you look at computers and code from a completely different perspective.

Ex Machina won an Oscar for special effects and was nominated in the "Best Original Screenplay" category. It has grossed $40 million so far, which is pretty good for a movie of this type.

Ex Machina

Directed and written by Alex Garland

After Watching the Movies, Start Learning Python!

Now you know my 5 recommendations. Of course, as a cinema fan, I could write a lot more, so maybe there will be another list in the future. What movie inspired you to program and learn?

If you're just starting out in computer programming, Python is a good idea. It is the most popular programming language in the world. I recommend our Learn Programming with Python track to many beginners; it is a set of five interactive Python courses. If you're interested in data science, then I’d suggest the Python for Data Science track. Both Python courses are interactive and browser-based. You will be writing real code and getting instant feedback. You do not need to install anything; all you need is your favorite browser and Internet access.

Get to know Python basics and learn to think like a programmer. Perhaps someday there will be a movie telling your story!