We meet again. Here, on the internet. What are the odds? You, me, at this junction in this series of tubes, when we could be anywhere else online: Watching a movie, scattering reasonable comments on news, or ordering replacement Encarta 95 discs. All just wonderful stuff.
But were you aware of the internet’s dark side? This Friday,
plays on every parent’s worst online fears: That their daughter will become Snapface friends with a thing that looks like a man but the thing is really the devil!! Welcome to the darkest web, triggering this week’s gallery of 24 best and worst movies about the internet by Tomatometer! Friend Request
(2010, 96%) The Social Network
The story of Facebook…Sorkinized! Scintilating drama, paced as a David Fincher thriller with a loose interpretation of actual events got one big ‘like’ from critics and audiences alike.
(2016, 94%) Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World
Werner Herzog filters our online revolution through his trademark humanist lens, in-between eating shoes and absorbing bullets. Is there anything this man can’t do?
(2014, 93%) The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
The life of the open access and online freedom trailblazer, from childhood to suicide from government prosecution case.
(2009, 81%) We Live In Public
Get lost in the post-privacy world with another Internet pioneer: Josh Harris, who infamously got 100 acquaintences to live in an underground hamlet whose every movements were captured and broadcast online.
(2010, 80%) Catfish
You can give Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman a fish and they’ll eat for a day, but if you give them Catfish, then they’ll have a Hollywood career: After this documentary of meeting strangers IRL, the pair went on to direct two Paranormal Activites and the internet-themed Nerve.
(2011, 80%) Life In A Day
Where were you July 24, 2010? See what everyone else was up in this documentary culled from 4,500 hours of home footage uploaded onto YouTube on that day.
(2011, 78%) Trust
Director David Schwimmer gets some gut-wrenching performances out of the actors in this cautionary tale of a family dealing with the aftermath of an online predator targeting their kid.
(1998, 69%) You’ve Got Mail
A volcano didn’t kill them, and Seattle Freeze couldn’t keep apart Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, America’s pre-2000 sweethearts. Here, they conquer the scourge of dial-up connection.
(2013, 67%) Disconnect
It’s didactic in spots and melodramatic in others, but Disconnect‘s strong cast helps make it a timely, effective exploration of modern society’s technological overload.
(2016, 65%) Nerve
Nerve‘s fast pace and charming leads help overcome a number of fundamental flaws, adding up to a teen-friendly thriller with enough energy to occasionally offset its muddled execution.
(2015, 62%) Unfriended
Unfriended subverts found-footage horror clichés to deliver a surprisingly scary entry in the teen slasher genre with a technological twist.
(2016, 61%) Snowden
Snowden boasts a thrilling fact-based tale and a solid lead performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, even if director Oliver Stone saps the story of some of its impact by playing it safe.
(2010, 40%) Middle Men
Porn wasn’t always on the internet: it took the hard work of good, decent men to will it into existence.
(2013, 37%) The Fifth Estate
Heavy on detail and melodrama but missing the spark from its real-life inspiration, The Fifth Estate mostly serves as a middling showcase for Benedict Cumberbatch performance as WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.
(1995, 36%) The Net
It was the year after Speed and America was clamoring for more Sandy; what we got was this tech-inaccurate thriller where Bullock has her identity stolen and erased online.
(2015, 34%) Blackhat
Michael Mann’s first movie in six years wasn’t exactly cause for celebration; the convoluted plot, techie jargon, and lack of Mannly action caused audiences to steer clear.
(32%) Men, Women, and Children
A film about the deletrious effects of constant connection, though critics were unimpressed with director Jason Reitman’s blunt, overbearing approach.
(1995, 32%) Hackers
Hack the planet! Critics have always found this cheesy and now dated, though audiences have been more forgiving: what was once state-of-the-art tech now has a nostalgic patina.
(2001, 24%) Antitrust
Due to its use of cliched and ludicrous plot devices, this thriller is more predictable than suspenseful. Also, the acting is bad.
(2008, 16%) Untraceable
It’s 2008, the height of torture porn, and even Diane Lane got in on the action: She plays an FBI agent chasing a psycho who tortures and murders his victims live if his website gets enough traffic. Death by Google Analytics!
(2002, 12%) Halloween: Resurrection
Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, and Tyra Banks are trapped in Mikey Myers’ childhood home as he stalks his victims while the proceedings are broadcast live on the internet.
(2006, 10%) Pulse
Cordcutting takes on new urgency for Kirsten Bell when the dead use the internet, phones, and TVs to return and menace the living.
(1998, 6%) Strangeland
Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider stars as Captain Howdy, who lures teenagers in chatrooms over to his place and subjects them to involuntary body art and torture.
(2002, 3%) FeardotCom
The only site more damaging to your health than the early versions of Rotten Tomatoes.