The 10 Best Cyberpunk Films to Watch Online

best-cyberpunk-movies

Cyberpunk is a profound and unsettling sub-genre of science fiction, reflecting some of the bleakest predictions of a technologically advanced future. The worlds these movies inhabit may seem beyond repair, but many of the films offer hope. The protagonists fight for freedom and a world where humans and technology peacefully co-exist. To guide your journey into this often bleak vision of the future, we’ve rounded up the best cyberpunk films to watch online. 1. The Matrix (1999) The Matrix is considered one of the most influential actions movies of all time, and for a good reason. Starring Keanu Reeves as…

Read the full article: The 10 Best Cyberpunk Films to Watch Online

best-cyberpunk-movies

Cyberpunk is a profound and unsettling sub-genre of science fiction, reflecting some of the bleakest predictions of a technologically advanced future.

The worlds these movies inhabit may seem beyond repair, but many of the films offer hope. The protagonists fight for freedom and a world where humans and technology peacefully co-exist.

To guide your journey into this often bleak vision of the future, we’ve rounded up the best cyberpunk films to watch online.

1. The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix is considered one of the most influential actions movies of all time, and for a good reason. Starring Keanu Reeves as the hacker Neo, and directed by the Wachowskis, the original film spawned two sequels and gave us the eye-popping visual effect known as bullet time.

The movie takes place in a dystopian future where machines rule the world and humans exist in pods, connected to a simulation known at the Matrix. When Neo learns the truth, he joins the rebellion against the machines.

Watch Now: Google Play | iTunes

2. RoboCop (1987)

In a near-future, crime-ridden Detroit, hard-working cop Alex Murphy is tortured by a gang of criminals and pronounced dead at the scene. While this would generally spell the end for most mortals, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) has been working on a prototype cyborg for crime prevention known as RoboCop. OCP implants Murphy’s brain into the machine, and RoboCop heads out onto the streets.

Watch Now: Amazon Video | Google Play | iTunes

3. Total Recall (1990)

Douglas Quaid, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, has a recurring dream about a trip to Mars, so he heads to Rekall Inc. to buy a virtual holiday to the Red Planet. Rekall sells implanted memories, which Quaid gratefully accepts. However, the memory implant goes awry, and he has memories of being a secret agent fighting the Mars administration.

Watch Now: Amazon Video | iTunes

4. Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner is based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? and features Harrison Ford as cop Rick Deckard. Replicants, which are synthetic humans created by the Tyrell Corporation, are used for off-world work. But when a rogue group of replicants escapes to Earth, it’s up to Deckard to hunt them down. Blade Runner 2049, a sequel released 35 years after the original movie, was also praised for advancing the genre.

Watch Now: Google Play | iTunes

5. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange predates much of the cyberpunk movement, but certainly sowed the seeds for the genre. The film is set in a dystopian future and based on the novel of the same name by Anthony Burgess. It follows the delinquent Alex and his gang of thugs as they commit crimes and acts of ultra-violence.

However, they are eventually apprehended. The authorities attempt to rehabilitate Alex through psychological conditioning known as the Ludovico Technique.

Watch Now: Amazon Video | Google Play | iTunes

6. The Terminator (1984)

Most people agree that T2: Judgement Day, the sequel to 1984’s The Terminator, is a superior film. This may be true, but The Terminator was the prototype for many of the cyberpunk movies that followed

The Terminator, a cyborg assassin played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is sent back from the future to kill Sarah Connor. The film also gave us Arnie’s now legendary catchphrase, “I’ll be back.”

Watch Now: Amazon Video | Google Play | iTunes

7. I, Robot (2004)

In the year 2035, humanoid robots serve humanity, but when leading roboticist Dr. Alfred Lanning dies by apparent suicide, homicide detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) steps in to investigate. The technophobic Spooner soon uncovers the hidden agendas and secrets of the U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men (USR).

I, Robot is an original screenplay based on the work of Isaac Asimov, who created some of the best science fiction books for geeks.

Watch Now: Amazon Video | Google Play | iTunes

8. Minority Report (2002)

In the year 2054, the specialized Police department PreCrime uses three psychics known as precogs to predict crimes before they even take place. The PreCrime officers then apprehend the criminals before any crime has been committed. Starring Tom Cruise, this Steven Spielberg film examines free will and determination.

Minority Report is loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s short story The Minority Report, further cementing his contributions to the cyberpunk movement. Worryingly, we may not be as far from this privacy-invading future as you may think.

Watch Now: Amazon Video |Google Play | iTunes

9. Judge Dredd (1995)

In the year 2080, Judge Dredd is a street judge in the dystopian metropolis of Mega-City One. Dredd and the other street judges have the power to arrest, sentence, convict, and execute criminals to keep crime under control.

Judge Dredd’s roots stretch back to 1977 when the character first appeared in the comic book 2000 AD. However, it wasn’t until 1995, when Sylvester Stallone donned the Dredd outfit, that he made his bigscreen debut. Although it is considered one of Stallone’s worst films, it was widely praised for its cyberpunk stylings and action scenes.

Watch Now: Amazon Video | Google Play | iTunes

10. ABE (2013)

One of humanity’s greatest fears is that robots will one day learn to think and feel as humans do. Abe, a robot programmed to experience love and with a desire to be loved in return, believes he has found his true love. But when his love isn’t returned, the programmed robot can’t deal with the rejection. This excellent short film from Rob McLellan is available for free, in its entirety, on YouTube.

Watch Now: YouTube

A Fitting Introduction to Cyberpunk

If these films have piqued your interest, and you want to know more about this genre, then take a look at our introduction to cyberpunk.

However, if you prefer TV shows to movies, then you may want to check out Black Mirror. The anthology series, set in the near future, explores our relationship with technology and how it’s already changing our lives.

The latest installment, titled Bandersnatch—everything you need to know about Black Mirror: Bandersnatch—is a choose-your-own-adventure feature-length film well worth watching.

Read the full article: The 10 Best Cyberpunk Films to Watch Online

Scooter startup Bird tried to silence a journalist. It did not go well.

Cory Doctorow doesn’t like censorship. He especially doesn’t like his own work being censored. Anyone who knows Doctorow knows his popular tech and culture blog, Boing Boing, and anyone who reads Boing Boing knows Doctorow and his cohort of bloggers. The part-blogger, part special advisor at the online rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation has written […]

Cory Doctorow doesn’t like censorship. He especially doesn’t like his own work being censored.

Anyone who knows Doctorow knows his popular tech and culture blog, Boing Boing, and anyone who reads Boing Boing knows Doctorow and his cohort of bloggers. The part-blogger, part special advisor at the online rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation has written for years on topics of technology, hacking, security research, online digital rights and censorship and its intersection with free speech and expression.

Yet, this week it looked like his own free speech and expression could have been under threat.

Doctorow revealed in a blog post on Friday that scooter startup Bird sent him a legal threat, accusing him of copyright infringement and that his blog post encourages “illegal conduct.”

In its letter to Doctorow, Bird demanded that he “immediately take[s] down this offensive blog.”

Doctorow declined, published the legal threat and fired back with a rebuttal letter from the EFF accusing the scooter startup of making “baseless legal threats” in an attempt to “suppress coverage that it dislikes.”

The whole debacle started after Doctorow wrote about how Bird’s many abandoned scooters can be easily converted into a “personal scooter” by swapping out its innards with a plug-and-play converter kit. Citing an initial write-up by Hackaday, these scooters can have “all recovery and payment components permanently disabled” using the converter kit, available for purchase from China on eBay for about $30.

In fact, Doctorow’s blog post was only two paragraphs long and, though didn’t link to the eBay listing directly, did cite the hacker who wrote about it in the first place — bringing interesting things to the masses in bite-size form in true Boing Boing fashion.

Bird didn’t like this much, and senior counsel Linda Kwak sent the letter — which the EFF published today — claiming that Doctorow’s blog post was “promoting the sale/use of an illegal product that is solely designed to circumvent the copyright protections of Bird’s proprietary technology, as described in greater detail below, as well as promoting illegal activity in general by encouraging the vandalism and misappropriation of Bird property.” The letter also falsely stated that Doctorow’s blog post “provides links to a website where such Infringing Product may be purchased,” given that the post at no point links to the purchasable eBay converter kit.

EFF senior attorney Kit Walsh fired back. “Our client has no obligation to, and will not, comply with your request to remove the article,” she wrote. “Bird may not be pleased that the technology exists to modify the scooters that it deploys, but it should not make baseless legal threats to silence reporting on that technology.”

The three-page rebuttal says Bird used incorrectly cited legal statutes to substantiate its demands for Boing Boing to pull down the blog post. The letter added that unplugging and discarding a motherboard containing unwanted code within the scooter isn’t an act of circumventing as it doesn’t bypass or modify Bird’s code — which copyright law says is illegal.

As Doctorow himself put it in his blog post Friday: “If motherboard swaps were circumvention, then selling someone a screwdriver could be an offense punishable by a five year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine.”

In an email to TechCrunch, Doctorow said that legal threats “are no fun.”

AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 10: Journalist Cory Doctorow speaks onstage at “Snowden 2.0: A Field Report from the NSA Archives” during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 10, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW)

“We’re a small, shoestring operation, and even though this particular threat is one that we have very deep expertise on, it’s still chilling when a company with millions in the bank sends a threat — even a bogus one like this — to you,” he said.

The EFF’s response also said that Doctorow’s freedom of speech “does not in fact impinge on any of Bird’s rights,” adding that Bird should not send takedown notices to journalists using “meritless legal claims,” the letter said.

“So, in a sense, it doesn’t matter whether Bird is right or wrong when it claims that it’s illegal to convert a Bird scooter to a personal scooter,” said Walsh in a separate blog post. “Either way, Boing Boing was free to report on it,” she added.

What’s bizarre is why Bird targeted Doctorow and, apparently, nobody else — so far.

TechCrunch reached out to several people who wrote about and were involved with blog posts and write-ups about the Bird converter kit. Of those who responded, all said they had not received a legal demand from Bird.

We asked Bird why it sent the letter, and if this was a one-off letter or if Bird had sent similar legal demands to others. When reached, a Bird spokesperson did not comment on the record.

All too often, companies send legal threats and demands to try to silence work or findings that they find critical, often using misinterpreted, incorrect or vague legal statutes to get things pulled from the internet. Some companies have been more successful than others, despite an increase in awareness and bug bounties, and a general willingness to fix security issues before they inevitably become public.

Now Bird becomes the latest in a long list of companies that have threatened reporters or security researchers, alongside companies like drone maker DJI, which in 2017 threatened a security researcher trying to report a bug in good faith, and spam operator River City, which sued a security researcher who found the spammer’s exposed servers and a reporter who wrote about it. Most recently, password manager maker Keeper sued a security reporter claiming allegedly defamatory remarks over a security flaw in one of its products. The case was eventually dropped, but not before more than 50 experts, advocates and journalist (including this reporter) signed onto a letter calling for companies to stop using legal threats to stifle and silence security researchers.

That effort resulted in several companies — notably Dropbox and Tesla — to double down on their protection of security researchers by changing their vulnerability disclosure rules to promise that the companies will not seek to prosecute hackers acting in good-faith.

But some companies have bucked that trend and have taken a more hostile, aggressive — and regressive — approach to security researchers and reporters.

“Bird Scooters and other dockless transport are hugely controversial right now, thanks in large part to a ‘move-fast, break-things’ approach to regulation, and it’s not surprising that they would want to control the debate,” said Doctorow.

“But to my mind, this kind of bullying speaks volumes about the overall character of the company,” he said.