internet movies

The 10 Best Movies About the Internet

Updated: March 7, 2023 by Lisha Pace

internet movies

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Key Points:

What would the world be like without social media and the internet ? The film industry is taking the lead in exploring internet dangers through sci-fi, internet thrillers, and 90s movies, from feature films to documentaries and short films.

Finding the best internet movies can be a difficult task to accomplish because there are over a thousand movies to select from. The internet is a new phenomenon, and the film industry is still trying to figure out how to incorporate a pervasive communication system into movies in a certain way.

Below are some obvious choices, but they all explore the world’s connection with social media and the internet .

10. Cyberbully (2015)

The television thriller drama stars Maisie Williams, who plays the main and only character, and the film is produced in her bedroom, with some parts of computer-camera footage. For a duration of sixty minutes, her privacy gets hacked and she is put in danger by an anonymous user who just accuses her of crimes like a bully and she is forced to admit to such allegations.

With a very amazing performance, the story has an emotional grip from the start to the end, with dark secrets being revealed and suspenseful and disturbing peaks. This is a realistic and true cyber-cruelty exposé with a striking and strong lesson on the dangers of the internet and the paths where social media can take us. It doesn’t only reveal the results of cyberbullying but explains how vulnerable our privacy can be.

9. Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)

It is an American romantic comedy film directed and written by Miranda July. She also plays a part in the movie as she stars in it. This was the first major studio film production for July, who was recognized for some of her short films and also through performance art.

The film plays a very crucial supporting role where two strangers meet online and plan to meet. The shocking fact is that neither one is what the other one is expected to be, which is just almost beside the point. But the fun part is how they get to hold their fateful meeting.

8. Hackers (1995)

This is among the most interesting 90s movies. During its initial release, it was widely panned as goofy and cheesy. But subsequently, it emerged as a classic cult in the web community. The movie presents the improbable, now-rote, and stylized but does some sort of heavy visualization of cyberspace.

The Hackers film also manages a few realism hints. The Hackers crew gives Jonny Lee Miller’s Dade a chance to enter their group, but they first challenge him to select a series of technical manuals that are believed to be essential reading for real hackers during the early 1980s.

7. The Social Network (2010)

Jesse Eisenberg the social network


This film is based on a 2009 book written by Ben Mezrich, known as The Accidental Billionaires. It tells a story about the founding of Facebook as a social media network and the lawsuits that resulted from it. This film stars Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg, along with Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker and Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin.

Although this film may not be an exact depiction of the founding of Facebook, it uses Zuckerberg’s life as a communication metaphor as well as alienation in the modern age. Since it was released, this film has taken part in start-up involvement and social media.

6. You’ve Got Mail (1998)

This is an American romantic film that stars Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks and is directed by Nora Ephron. This film was greatly inspired by the Hungarian play from 1937, Parfumerie, by Miklos Laszlo. It was co-written by Delia and Nora Ephron and told the love story of two individuals in an online romance who had no idea they were business rivals.

Being a 90s movie, it makes the film a quaint trip with its tech nostalgia. It received a “rotten tomato” rating of 69%.

5. AntiTrust (2001)

AntiTrust is an internet thriller that is directed by Peter Howitt and written by Howard Franklin. This film stars Ryan Philippe, who plays a young coder who is recruited to work for a vast computer conglomerate known as NURV. He is assigned to perform a task that amounts to a version of a satellite on the internet. This system will link all the communication devices on earth together (this includes PDAs and pagers, which were popular during that time.

Later, NURV turns out to be evil, and the boss, who is a fascist monopolist, is revealed to be a serial killer who doesn’t take time before preying on any open-source developers. The film received positive comments with a Rotten Tomato rating of just 24%.

4. The Matrix (1999)



The Matrix is a sci-fi movie, but it explains where technology might take us in the future. The matrix plays on the internet’s danger from its evolution into a global simulation of only life and how the human unconscious is distracted and used to power the grid.

Most people think that this film isn’t just a fantasy, but a prediction about the future. Second Life impresario Philip Rosedale was inspired by this film to come up with his own popular virtual world. It got a Rotten Tomatoes score of 88%.

3. Her (2013)

This movie took place in the modern days when men had already introduced the wearing of high waist pants. This movie tells an amazing story of a man who falls in deep love with his advanced operating system on his computer. At once, this movie is unbelievable and eerily believable. Though it might be extremely difficult to think of a computer with a personality, it is easy to think of someone just being dependent on their devices emotionally.

Her beautifully depicts how technology will continue to evolve in the future. But the important part is that it portrays how the human race may uncomfortably evolve. The movie received positive reviews and a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

2. Disconnect (2012)

Disconnect is an American psychological drama film written by Andrew Stem and directed by Henry Alex Rubin. By following three interconnected stories, this film explores how different people experience internet dangers through modern communication technology.

The film opened with a limitation on its release back on April 12, 2013, in 15 different theaters and made $124,000, with each theater-making an average of $8,267, and was also ranked number 31 at the box office. Disconnect received many positive reviews after it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

1. Catfish (2010)

This film started in 2007 as filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman felt a new story was in progress when they were shooting the life of Ariel’s brother, Nev. These two filmmakers had no idea that the filming months would be the most uncomfortable and toughest in their lives. 

It premiered in early 2010 at the Sundance Film Festival. This led to a new MTV reality TV show series, “ Catfish ,” that premiered in 2012.

Nev, being the protagonist of the film, played a new role of being an investigator in the relationships in Catfish. The film got many positive reviews, with an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The catfish has become a part of the lexicon of cultures.

Bottom Line: Best Internet Movies

There have been many great internet movies released in various genres such as internet thrillers, creepiest, sci-fi, and social media. From 90s movies to recent releases, the majority of these films depict internet dangers and how the world has evolved since the invention of the internet.

The 10 Best Movies About the Internet FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the top-selling movie about the internet?

Among the best movies about the internet, Disconnect is the leading and top-selling movie.

What internet movies are based on true stories?

The Social Network is one of the movies about the internet based on a true story but a recent true story. Catfish is also a true story movie about the experience the writer had. 

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1. The Batman (2022)

PG-13 | 176 min | Action, Crime, Drama

When a sadistic serial killer begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city's hidden corruption and question his family's involvement.

Director: Matt Reeves | Stars: Robert Pattinson , Zoë Kravitz , Jeffrey Wright , Colin Farrell

Votes: 683,646 | Gross: $369.35M

2. Scream 2 (1997)

R | 120 min | Horror, Mystery

Two years after the first series of murders, as Sidney acclimates to college life, someone donning the Ghostface costume begins a new string of killings.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Neve Campbell , Courteney Cox , David Arquette , Jada Pinkett Smith

Votes: 192,065 | Gross: $101.36M

3. Galaxy Quest (1999)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.

Director: Dean Parisot | Stars: Tim Allen , Sigourney Weaver , Alan Rickman , Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 167,359 | Gross: $71.58M

4. American Pie (1999)

R | 95 min | Comedy

Four teenage boys enter a pact to lose their virginity by prom night.

Directors: Paul Weitz , Chris Weitz | Stars: Jason Biggs , Chris Klein , Thomas Ian Nicholas , Jennifer Coolidge

Votes: 414,229 | Gross: $102.56M

5. Don't Look Up (2021)

R | 138 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

Two low-level astronomers must go on a giant media tour to warn humankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth.

Director: Adam McKay | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio , Jennifer Lawrence , Meryl Streep , Cate Blanchett

Votes: 549,778

6. Easy A (2010)

PG-13 | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A clean-cut high school student relies on the school's rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

Director: Will Gluck | Stars: Emma Stone , Amanda Bynes , Penn Badgley , Dan Byrd

Votes: 398,107 | Gross: $58.40M

7. Free Guy (2021)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A bank teller discovers that he's actually an NPC inside a brutal, open world video game.

Director: Shawn Levy | Stars: Ryan Reynolds , Jodie Comer , Taika Waititi , Lil Rel Howery

Votes: 381,765 | Gross: $121.63M

8. Searching (III) (2018)

PG-13 | 102 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

After his teenage daughter goes missing, a desperate father tries to find clues on her laptop.

Director: Aneesh Chaganty | Stars: John Cho , Debra Messing , Joseph Lee , Michelle La

Votes: 168,704 | Gross: $26.02M

9. Bridesmaids (I) (2011)

R | 125 min | Comedy, Romance

Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride's best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef.

Director: Paul Feig | Stars: Kristen Wiig , Maya Rudolph , Rose Byrne , Terry Crews

Votes: 296,925 | Gross: $169.11M

10. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama

A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Michael Keaton , Zach Galifianakis , Edward Norton , Andrea Riseborough

Votes: 640,698 | Gross: $42.34M

11. The Social Network (2010)

PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama

As Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, he is sued by the twins who claimed he stole their idea and by the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg , Andrew Garfield , Justin Timberlake , Rooney Mara

Votes: 715,958 | Gross: $96.96M

12. Kick-Ass (2010)

R | 117 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a superhero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so.

Director: Matthew Vaughn | Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson , Nicolas Cage , Chloë Grace Moretz , Garrett M. Brown

Votes: 571,031 | Gross: $48.07M

13. Vanilla Sky (2001)

R | 136 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Tom Cruise , Penélope Cruz , Cameron Diaz , Kurt Russell

Votes: 273,413 | Gross: $100.61M

14. Ex Machina (2014)

R | 108 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a highly advanced humanoid A.I.

Director: Alex Garland | Stars: Alicia Vikander , Domhnall Gleeson , Oscar Isaac , Sonoya Mizuno

Votes: 555,529 | Gross: $25.44M

15. Closer (I) (2004)

R | 104 min | Drama, Romance

The relationships of two couples become complicated and deceitful when the man from one couple meets the woman of the other.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Natalie Portman , Jude Law , Clive Owen , Julia Roberts

Votes: 225,134 | Gross: $33.99M

16. TRON: Legacy (2010)

PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father's corrupted creation and a unique ally who was born inside the digital world.

Director: Joseph Kosinski | Stars: Jeff Bridges , Garrett Hedlund , Olivia Wilde , Bruce Boxleitner

Votes: 343,067 | Gross: $172.06M

17. The Square (2017)

R | 151 min | Comedy, Drama

A prestigious Stockholm museum's chief art curator finds himself in times of both professional and personal crisis as he attempts to set up a controversial new exhibit.

Director: Ruben Östlund | Stars: Claes Bang , Elisabeth Moss , Dominic West , Terry Notary

Votes: 70,699 | Gross: $1.50M

18. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it's up to Earth's mightiest heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plan.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans , Mark Ruffalo , Chris Hemsworth

Votes: 876,631 | Gross: $459.01M

19. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

PG | 96 min | Comedy

A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.

Director: Jared Hess | Stars: Jon Heder , Efren Ramirez , Jon Gries , Aaron Ruell

Votes: 225,496 | Gross: $44.54M

20. Sinister (I) (2012)

R | 110 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A controversial true crime writer finds a box of super 8 home movies in his new home, revealing that the murder case he is currently researching could be the work of an unknown serial killer whose legacy dates back to the 1960s.

Director: Scott Derrickson | Stars: Ethan Hawke , Juliet Rylance , James Ransone , Fred Thompson

Votes: 259,977 | Gross: $48.09M

21. Fresh (2022)

R | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

FRESH follows Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), who meets the alluring Steve (Sebastian Stan) at a grocery store and - given her frustration with dating apps - takes a chance and gives him her number.

Director: Mimi Cave | Stars: Daisy Edgar-Jones , Sebastian Stan , Jojo T. Gibbs , Andrea Bang

Votes: 60,548

22. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

When a kingpin threatens New York City, a group of mutated turtle warriors must emerge from the shadows to protect their home.

Director: Jonathan Liebesman | Stars: Megan Fox , Will Arnett , William Fichtner , Noel Fisher

Votes: 213,609 | Gross: $191.20M

23. Mission: Impossible (1996)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Tom Cruise , Jon Voight , Emmanuelle Béart , Henry Czerny

Votes: 434,701 | Gross: $180.98M

24. Mamma Mia! (2008)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA .

Director: Phyllida Lloyd | Stars: Meryl Streep , Pierce Brosnan , Amanda Seyfried , Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 253,142 | Gross: $144.13M

25. Room in Rome (2010)

Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Romance

A hotel room in the center of Rome serves as the setting for two young and recently acquainted women to have a physical adventure that touches their very souls.

Director: Julio Medem | Stars: Elena Anaya , Natasha Yarovenko , Enrico Lo Verso , Najwa Nimri

Votes: 24,918

26. Knocked Up (2007)

R | 129 min | Comedy, Romance

For fun-loving party animal Ben Stone, the last thing he ever expected was for his one-night stand to show up on his doorstep eight weeks later to tell him she's pregnant with his child.

Director: Judd Apatow | Stars: Seth Rogen , Katherine Heigl , Paul Rudd , Leslie Mann

Votes: 374,422 | Gross: $148.73M

27. Wild Things (1998)

R | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A police detective uncovers a conspiracy behind a case involving a high-school guidance counselor when accusations of rape are made against him by two female students.

Director: John McNaughton | Stars: Kevin Bacon , Neve Campbell , Matt Dillon , Denise Richards

Votes: 123,791 | Gross: $29.75M

28. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains newfound, spider-like powers and ventures out to save the city from the machinations of a mysterious reptilian foe.

Director: Marc Webb | Stars: Andrew Garfield , Emma Stone , Rhys Ifans , Irrfan Khan

Votes: 666,231 | Gross: $262.03M

29. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.

Directors: Anthony Russo , Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans , Samuel L. Jackson , Scarlett Johansson , Robert Redford

Votes: 858,321 | Gross: $259.77M

30. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

When both he and a colleague are about to lose their job, Walter takes action by embarking on an adventure more extraordinary than anything he ever imagined.

Director: Ben Stiller | Stars: Ben Stiller , Kristen Wiig , Jon Daly , Kathryn Hahn

Votes: 323,909 | Gross: $58.24M

31. The Dictator (2012)

R | 83 min | Comedy

The heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.

Director: Larry Charles | Stars: Sacha Baron Cohen , Anna Faris , John C. Reilly , Ben Kingsley

Votes: 315,339 | Gross: $59.65M

32. The Circle (I) (2017)

PG-13 | 110 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover an agenda that will affect the lives of all of humanity.

Director: James Ponsoldt | Stars: Emma Watson , Tom Hanks , John Boyega , Ellar Coltrane

Votes: 95,057 | Gross: $20.50M

33. Molly's Game (2017)

R | 140 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.

Director: Aaron Sorkin | Stars: Jessica Chastain , Idris Elba , Kevin Costner , Michael Cera

Votes: 177,353 | Gross: $28.78M

34. Movie 43 (2013)

R | 94 min | Comedy

A series of interconnected short films follows a washed-up producer as he pitches insane story lines featuring some of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

Directors: Elizabeth Banks , Steven Brill , Steve Carr , Rusty Cundieff , James Duffy , Griffin Dunne , Peter Farrelly , Patrik Forsberg , Will Graham , James Gunn , Brett Ratner , Jonathan van Tulleken , Bob Odenkirk | Stars: Emma Stone , Stephen Merchant , Richard Gere , Liev Schreiber

Votes: 107,745 | Gross: $8.83M

35. Glass (2019)

PG-13 | 129 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: James McAvoy , Bruce Willis , Samuel L. Jackson , Anya Taylor-Joy

Votes: 250,341 | Gross: $111.05M

36. Contagion (2011)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a pandemic as the CDC works to find a cure.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Matt Damon , Kate Winslet , Jude Law , Gwyneth Paltrow

Votes: 307,436 | Gross: $75.66M

37. Enemy (2013)

R | 91 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal , Mélanie Laurent , Sarah Gadon , Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 199,542 | Gross: $1.01M

38. The Ring (2002)

PG-13 | 115 min | Horror, Mystery

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Naomi Watts , Martin Henderson , Brian Cox , David Dorfman

Votes: 356,837 | Gross: $129.13M

39. The Take (2016)

R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A young pickpocket and an unruly CIA agent team up on an anti-terrorist mission in France.

Director: James Watkins | Stars: Idris Elba , Richard Madden , Charlotte Le Bon , Kelly Reilly

Votes: 46,269 | Gross: $0.04M

40. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

PG-13 | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Bruce Banner, a scientist on the run from the U.S. Government, must find a cure for the monster he turns into whenever he loses his temper.

Director: Louis Leterrier | Stars: Edward Norton , Liv Tyler , Tim Roth , William Hurt

Votes: 500,812 | Gross: $134.52M

41. Lion (2016)

PG-13 | 118 min | Biography, Drama

A five-year-old Indian boy is adopted by an Australian couple after getting lost hundreds of kilometers from home. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

Director: Garth Davis | Stars: Dev Patel , Nicole Kidman , Rooney Mara , Sunny Pawar

Votes: 240,807 | Gross: $51.74M

42. Sex Tape (2014)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

A married couple wake up to discover that the sex tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts.

Director: Jake Kasdan | Stars: Jason Segel , Cameron Diaz , Rob Corddry , Ellie Kemper

Votes: 114,465 | Gross: $38.54M

43. Source Code (2011)

PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train within 8 minutes.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal , Michelle Monaghan , Vera Farmiga , Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 527,818 | Gross: $54.71M

44. Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

R | 103 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Following Kick-Ass' heroics, other citizens are inspired to become masked crusaders. But Red Mist leads his own group of evil supervillains to get revenge, kill Kick-Ass and destroy everything he stands for.

Director: Jeff Wadlow | Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson , Chloë Grace Moretz , Christopher Mintz-Plasse , Jim Carrey

Votes: 277,582 | Gross: $28.80M

45. Perfect Blue (1997)

R | 81 min | Animation, Crime, Drama

A pop singer gives up her career to become an actress, but she slowly goes insane when she starts being stalked by an obsessed fan and what seems to be a ghost of her past.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Junko Iwao , Rica Matsumoto , Shinpachi Tsuji , Masaaki Ôkura

Votes: 81,284 | Gross: $0.78M

46. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Horror

Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are struggling with the mundane aspects of modern life, like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

Directors: Jemaine Clement , Taika Waititi | Stars: Jemaine Clement , Taika Waititi , Cori Gonzalez-Macuer , Jonny Brugh

Votes: 188,399 | Gross: $3.33M

47. Mission: Impossible II (2000)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

IMF agent Ethan Hunt is sent to Sydney to find and destroy a genetically modified disease called "Chimera".

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tom Cruise , Dougray Scott , Thandiwe Newton , Ving Rhames

Votes: 349,487 | Gross: $215.41M

48. GoldenEye (1995)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

Years after a friend and fellow 00 agent is killed on a joint mission, a Russian crime syndicate steals a secret space-based weapons program known as "GoldenEye" and James Bond has to stop them from using it.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Pierce Brosnan , Sean Bean , Izabella Scorupco , Famke Janssen

Votes: 261,340 | Gross: $106.60M

49. Megan Is Missing (2011)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

Two teenage girls encounter an Internet child predator.

Director: Michael Goi | Stars: Amber Perkins , Rachel Quinn , Dean Waite , Jael Elizabeth Steinmeyer

Votes: 13,427

50. Chef (2014)

R | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Jon Favreau , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Dustin Hoffman

Votes: 220,606 | Gross: $30.64M

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internet movies

internet movies

24 Best and Worst Movies About the Internet

internet movies

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, Friend Request 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!

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The 10 best movies about the internet age

The 10 best movies about the internet age

The dawn of the internet and the creation of social media has forever altered the fabric of modern life, changing the way we communicate, entertain ourselves, worry, debate and much more.

Only now, almost 40 years since the invention of the internet do organisations and governments have a mere grasp of the impact of such technological advancement, and even then we’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg.

For a whole generation of young millennials, this invention is nothing new, in fact, it’s all they’ve known, with the digital spaces of TikTok, Facebook and Youtube playing host to a flurry of fervent emotion, whether this is expressed in the positivity of a viral dance or the anxiety of an unwatched vlog. 

Creating an entirely new platform of life where anyone and everyone can interact under an unknown pseudonym, the internet largely runs by its own rules, operating as a version of real-life injected with a large dose of sensationalism and melodrama.

With many finding it hard to express the anxieties, fears and joys of living through such a perplexing time, the following ten films have made an effort to define this period, highlighting the flaws and success of the internet age.

The 10 best movies about the internet age 

10. steve jobs (danny boyle, 2015).

There are few icons as influential to the makeup of the 21st century as the Apple founder Steve Jobs. Brought to life by Michael Fassbender in this rousing biopic of the inventor’s life that explores the digital revolution at the dawn of the new millennium, director Danny Boyle does an excellent job in underlining the efforts of Jobs in sculpting what we now recognise as the home computer. 

Joined by an equally impressive supporting cast that includes Seth Rogen , Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterston and Sarah Snook, Boyle’s 2015 film captures the life of an icon with extraordinary scope. 

Steve Jobs - Official Trailer (HD)

9. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)

If the shape of the genre in the 21st century has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t need spaceships, aliens and ray guns to tell a science fiction story, sometimes all you need is a great story about people and relationships with modern technology suffused within. Representative of a burgeoning science fiction genre that focuses on the nuanced changes of everyday living, much like Netflix’s Black Mirror has done for years, Her by Spike Jonze is a pertinent cultural fable. 

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara and Scarlett Johansson , the film is a painful 21st-century tale following a man who falls in love with a charming AI, showing just how far technology has brought us whilst demonstrating just how much it’s holding us back. 

Her - Official Trailer 2 [HD]

8. Team Hurricane (Annika Berg, 2017)

If you want a truly authentic representation of life as a young teenager living through such confusing times in real life and in the digital space, look no further than Annika Berg’s 2017 gem, Team Hurricane . A vibrant, highly-stylised collage of a group of young girls who met entirely on social media, Berg’s film uses non-actors to tell a story that melds documentary and fiction, perfectly reflecting the confusion of life online. 

Lovingly made, not only is Team Hurricane an essential insight into life for young people living in the age of the internet, but it is also an enjoyable representation of how friendship can bloom in the most unlikely spaces.

Team Hurricane Trailer

7. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (Jane Schoenbrun, 2022)

Part horror film, part insightful drama, Jane Schoenbrun’s magnificent enigma We’re All Going to the World’s Fair speaks of a dark truth to the reality of life online. Alone in her attic bedroom, the film follows Casey, a young teenager who becomes immersed in the world of a horror role-playing horror game that begins to manipulate her perception of reality making it impossible to discern between reality and fiction. 

Touching on several insightful notes, Schoenbrun’s film is an exploration of how the human mind has become contorted due to the influence of social media, becoming isolated, confused and anxious.

We're All Going to the World's Fair | Official Trailer | Utopia

6. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

The invention of social media is one of the most culturally significant moments in all of modern history, and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is one of the leading voices in this field, responsible for much of the madness we see on similar platforms. David Fincher’s fictional retelling of Zuckerberg’s life details the education of the Harvard student, creating the social media site on a whim one day as a result of his own social dissatisfaction.

Sacrificing friends, family and close relationships for the sheer pursuit of narcissistic economic gain, the rise of Mark Zuckerberg, both in reality and in David Fincher’s film is one of the greatest or the most tragic illustrations of the American dream. It depends on how you perceive the concept.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK - Official Trailer [2010] (HD)

5. Catfish (Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost, 2010)

This monumental documentary from filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost became such a pertinent commentary on modern life that its name has been adopted into the vocabulary of modern life. To ‘catfish’ someone is to pretend that you are someone else online, with the 2010 film being the first to coin this phrase in an entertaining exploration of identity and paranoia in the modern age of the internet. 

In the film, brothers Nev and Ariel Shulman take up their camcorders to document their colleague’s budding online friendship with a young woman, only to uncover a peculiar truth. 

Catfish - Trailer

4. Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham, 2018)

Having owned a YouTube account throughout his childhood, few people truly understand the construct of social media better than Bo Burnham, an individual who has long thrived under its wing. Whilst he dabbles in stand-up comedy and performance art outside of filmmaking, his 2018 movie remains one of the finest coming-of-age films of the 21st century, telling the story of Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher), a young girl struggling to grow up with the overbearing demands of social media.

With its finger on the pulse of online life, Eighth Grade captures the heartache and elation of young life as well as the puzzling shadow of social media to which children are inextricably tied to.

Eighth Grade | Official Trailer HD | A24

3. Life in a Day (Kevin Macdonald, Loressa Clisby, Tegan Bukowski, 2011)

As one of the very first social media platforms, YouTube is, and always has been, a sharing site in which users create content for others all across the world. In a remarkable act of self-awareness, they released the noble film Life in a Day in 2011, a film that seems to exist in another universe altogether as it crafts a mosaic of modern life from across the world, with a remarkable lack of negativity, hatred and bitterness. 

Serving as a time capsule of the date July 24th 2010, Life in a Day proves to be a valuable document just over a decade later, with life under the shadow of the internet changing dramatically. 

Life in a Day Trailer | National Geographic

2. Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (Werner Herzog, 2016)

Having long been concerned with the fabric of human existentialism and much more, Werner Herzog extended his documentary filmmaking to the subject of the internet in 2016 with his film, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World . Explored with the same philosophical musings as the likes of Encounters at the End of the World and Cave of Forgotten Dreams , Herzog’s breakdown of life in the 21st century is truly fascinating. 

In a human and sociological study, Herzog talks to the likes of Elon Musk and Lawrence Krauss in his pursuit of the truth, with his final film feeling like a profound, worthwhile investigation.

Lo And Behold: Reveries of the Connected World - Official Trailer

1. Inside (Bo Burnham, 2021)

Many video essays and online articles have gushed over the genius of comedian and filmmaker Bo Burnham , but it is his near-omniscient insight into the world of social media and internet culture that makes him such a sagacious figure, and his films such joys to consume. Perfectly toeing the line between tragedy and farce, his 2021 film Inside speaks of a plethora of modern troubles, from the isolation of the Covid pandemic to “that funny feeling” of existential crisis. 

Having grown into his career as a result of his own social media presence, Burnham’s stance on the internet life is truly fascinating, criticising its pitfalls whilst lovingly singing its multiple, unifying praises. Through song, performance and monologue, Burnham has created an essential creative expression that speaks to the universal experience of life under the thumb of the internet.

Bo Burnham: Inside - Coming Soon

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internet movies


The 13 Scariest Movies About the Internet, from ‘Not Okay’ to ‘Searching’

Whether its edge-of-your-seat cyber-suspense or cringeworthy social media comedy, these 13 titles represent some of the best of their kind..

internet movies

Alison Foreman

Aug 13, 2022 5:00 pm

Scary Internet Movies

13 Scary Internet and Social Media Movies.

Hulu/Everett Collection

Board up the haunted houses and keep your creepy woods: In the modern age, there’s simply no place more terrifying than the internet.

Since even before the days of the Sandra Bullock-starring “The Net” from 1995, cyberspace has provided a compelling backdrop to countless horror, thriller, and suspense films. Some are rooted in science fiction, while others employ the supernatural. The eerie expanse of the web provides for it all and is made infinitely more interesting by the spooky implications of an unseen world that millions of users don’t actually understand.

Found footage flicks are among some of the first scary internet movies to come to mind, with cheeky titles like “Unfriended,” “Followers,” and even “#Horror” bringing a knowing goofiness to the conceit of computer screen films. “Searching” and “Host” garnered newfound appreciation for the format, integrating smart authenticity into their design and direction. Meanwhile, movies like “Spree” and “Dashcam” took that show on the road, combining ride share apps and live streams to tremendous effect.

Visible windows, tabs, and cursors aren’t required to make internet scares (or suspense) stick, of course. More traditionally shot films, including recent releases “KIMI” and “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” have successfully molded internet themes to their cinematic stories.

Satirical black comedies stand out as especially fruitful ground for exploring social media themes, with titles from “Tragedy Girls” and “Ingrid Goes West” to the more recent “Not Okay” delivering exasperated sighs — and genuine laughs — in equal measure. Although not strictly comedies, the category’s most feminist entries, including the sex work-centric projects “Zola” and “CAM,” make similar use of light-hearted internet fodder to emphasize their more serious perspectives.

The best internet and social media movies tend to be scary because the technologies they examine tend to be scary. So, while coming-of-age films like “Eighth Grade” involve the internet and can be anxiety-inducing in their own ways, they’ve been excluded from this generally more frightening ranking. Conversely, documentary films, like “We Live in Public” and true crime projects like “The Tinder Swindler,” are inarguably horrific, but have been excluded to keep the focus fictional.

Listed in an order that considers both fear factor and quality, here are 13 of the scariest movies about social media and the internet.

13. “Nerve” (2016)

NERVE, from left: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, 2016. ph: Niko Tavernise / © Summit Entertainment / courtesy Everett Collection

Based on author Jeanne Ryan’s 2012 YA novel of the same name, “Nerve” imagines a sprawling game of truth or dare that invites anyone online to play for cash. Stuck in a wallflower phase, the teenage Vee (Emma Roberts) decides to compete. But as the dares turn from kissing a cute stranger (James Franco) to performing dangerous stunts, the reluctant heroine embarks on a perilous quest for clout that could cost her life.

12. “Not Okay” (2022)

NOT OKAY, from left: Zoey Deutch, Dylan O'Brien, 2022. ph: Nicole Rivelli / © Searchlight Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

Zoey Deutch dazzles as the “unlikable female protagonist” (so unlikable there’s even a jokey content warning about it) in “Not Okay”: writer-director Quinn Shephard’s darkly hysterical satire about social media and cancel culture. When self-obsessed graphics editor Danni decides to photoshop herself into a Parisian vacation to impress a guy, her lie collides with news of a real terror attack. Instead of telling the truth, Danni opts to continue the hoax, inspiring social media attention that turns out to be — you guessed it — not OK.

11. “Cam” (2018)

CAM, Madeline Brewer, 2018. © Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

Your typical doppelgänger-laden psychological thriller gets a menacing social media upgrade for director Daniel Goldhaber’s “CAM.” Inspired partially by screenwriter Isa Mazzei’s real experiences working as a camgirl, the 2018 Netflix horror flick metaphorically examines the lines its ambitious heroine (an electric Madeline Brewer) will and won’t cross for fame, as a mysterious entity begins to consume her digital identity.

10. “Unfriended: Dark Web” (2018)

UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB, Colin Woodell (bottom right), 2018. © Universal /Courtesy Everett Collection

The slightly superior sequel to the oft-maligned “Unfriended,” Stephen Susco’s “Unfriended: Dark Web” includes what some have argued is the most authentic onscreen representation of the internet’s black market to date. When a programmer (Colin Woodell) takes a seemingly normal laptop from a lost and found, he and his friend are terrorized by cybercriminals who hack into one of their group Skype chats.

9. “KIMI” (2022)

internet movies

An artificially intelligent device named “KIMI” anchors director Steven Soderbergh’s technology-heavy crime thriller. Akin to a futuristic “Rear Window” — or an even more sci-fi “Blow Out” — this 2022 HBO Max offering starring Zoë Kravitz follows an agoraphobic transcriber as she attempts to unravel the true story behind a disturbing audio clip she hears while assessing recordings for work.

8. “Assassination Nation” (2018)

ASSASSINATION NATION, from left: Abra, Odessa Young, Hari Nef, Suki Waterhouse, 2018. ph: Monica Lek /© Neon /Courtesy Everett Collection

Before Sam Levinson brought “Euphoria” to HBO, the writer-director imparted his keen understanding of teen angst and social media’s insidiousness onto “Assassination Nation.” After an anonymous hacker starts leaking the private data of random civilians, the (aptly named, but fictional) town of Salem hunts for the person responsible. Odessa Young, Hari Nef, Suki Waterhouse, and Abra star as teen girls accused of orchestrating the leak, alongside Joel McHale, Maude Apatow, Bill Skarsgård, and more.

7. “Zola”

ZOLA, (aka @zola), from left: Riley Keough, Taylour Paige, 2020. © A24 / courtesy Everett Collection

Adapted from a viral Twitter thread, Janicza Bravo’s “Zola” tells the sensational, semi-true story of a shrewd stripper (Taylour Paige) who falls in with an unreliable young woman (Riley Keough), her hapless boyfriend (Nichols Braun), and a dangerous man named X (Colman Domingo) traveling from Michigan to Florida. Thanks to some brilliant editing from Joi McMillon, the resultant road trip from hell is laced with online humor — including repeated, pitch-perfect use of the tweeting sound — and effortlessly explores social media and scamming through the lens of modern sex work.

6. “Ingrid Goes West” (2017)

INGRID GOES WEST, Aubrey Plaza, 2017. © NEON / courtesy Everett Collection

Aubrey Plaza leads this cringe-inducing satirical dramedy about a grieving young woman who develops a fixation on a vapid Instagram influencer named Taylor, played by Elizabeth Olsen. Directed by Matt Spicer, from a script co-written with David Branson Smith, the 2017 film follows the titular Ingrid’s move to Los Angeles, where she works to befriend Taylor and her boyfriend (Wyatt Russell). The ruse gives way to a jaw-dropping meditation on the cyclical nature of the attention economy that’s as bleak as it is funny.

5. “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” (2021)

WE'RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD'S FAIR, Anna Cobb, 2021. © Utopia /Courtesy Everett Collection

Anna Cobb makes her sparkling acting debut in writer-director Jane Schoenbrun’s “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair.” A Sundance darling of the pandemic era, this intimate horror film follows Casey, a lonely teenager who decides to take an ominous internet challenge rumored to inexplicably change anyone to try it. Part urban legend, part gripping queer character study, the one-of-a-kind coming-of-age film applies a soft touch to the harsh experiences of ostracization and fear on the internet.

4. “Pulse” (2001)

PULSE, (aka KAIRO), Kumiko Aso, Haruhiko Kato, 2001

Also known as “Kairo,” this profoundly unnerving Japanese cyberthriller from 2001 was remade by Wes Craven with Kristen Bell in 2006. And while that version is strictly speaking fine, fans of unfettered fear should absolutely cue up Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s original first. Kumiko Aso and Haruhiko Kato star in this supernatural story of unexplained disappearances across Tokyo.

3. “Host” (2020)

HOST, top from left: Emma Louise Webb, Caroline Ward, Haley Bishop; bottom: Jemma Moore, Radina Drandova, 2020. © Shudder / Courtesy Everett Collection

Made at the height of the lockdown in 2020, director Rob Savage’s “Host” centers on a group of friends who hold a socially distanced séance. All seems to be going well until participants Jemma (Jemma Moore) and Teddy (Ed ward Linard) disrespect the spirits. Shot almost entirely through the Zoom interface, the seemingly silly supernatural premise captures the very real, very chilling feeling that the internet can bring evil, malicious things into the assumed safety of your home.

2. “Hard Candy” (2005)

HARD CANDY, Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, 2005. (c) Lions Gate/courtesy Everett Collection

17-year-old Elliot Page stars opposite Patrick Wilson in “Hard Candy”: a bone-chilling psychological thriller about a sexual predator who seriously underestimates a kid he’s been grooming online. Directed by David Slade, this terrifying two-hander boasts intensely compelling chemistry between its leads, as well as austere visuals with striking bursts of super-saturated color that help the film’s largely understated action pop on screen.

1. “Searching” (2018)

SEARCHING, John Cho, 2018. ph Sebastian Baron/ © Screen Gems /Courtesy Everett Collection

John Cho grounds Aneesh Chaganty’s ingenious found footage flick, “Searching.” When the widowed David discovers his teenage daughter Margot has gone missing, he attempts to use her online history to help a San Jose detective (Debra Messing) bring her home safely. Cho injects fierce realness into the leading father character, elevating what could have been a cheesy “Law & Order” premise into an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride for the digital age.

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This Article is related to: Film and tagged Host , Internet Movies , Lists , Not Okay , Searching


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Screen Rant

10 great movies that got the internet right, according to reddit.

The internet is something that movies often fail to capture well, but movies like The Social Network and Eighth Grade prove it can be done right.

The internet and its culture play a major part in some summer movies, with dark podcasts forming a major element of B.J. Novak's Vengeance and influencers and social media challenges parodied in another black comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies . With both movies being received well by critics and fans, it suggests that movies are improving when it comes to getting the internet right.

Of course, in the decades when the internet existed, there have been tons of attempts at portraying it, some a lot better than others. With some older portrayals surprisingly prescient and some newer portrayals unnervingly accurate, these were Reddit's suggestions for the best attempts.

Nerve (2016)

Nerve stars Emma Roberts and James Franco as players in an all-new online game of truth-or-dare where the consequences can be all too real. The film doesn't attempt to hide the fact that it's taking on internet culture and the way it can drive people to do things they never would ordinarily.

Redditor VaguerCrusader felt that it nailed this internet aspect, saying they "really liked Nerve's portrayal of internet culture" and the importance it puts on subscribers, view counts, and trash talk. It's how convincingly the movie captured the dark side of social media that made it stick with some fans.

Men, Women & Children (2014)

Based on a novel of the same name that deals with the issue of online addiction, Men, Women & Children had the potential to explore the effect of the internet in a way that's rarely seen. Unfortunately, despite a star-studded cast that includes Jennifer Garner, Kaitlyn Dever, and Adam Sandler, whose been in a fair few unfunny comedy movies , the movie was panned by critics who felt it played out like a bad spoof.

Redditor Gambit1138 acknowledges its problems, saying it "could use some work," but thinks the movie shouldn't be overlooked as it "does a pretty good job" when it comes to presenting the internet. In particular, the movie's exploration of some of its effects on young people is its strong point.

Catfish (2010)

A documentary may have an automatic advantage when it comes to capturing the internet realistically, but that would be downplaying the achievement of Catfish . Whereas more high-budget projects often end up going overboard, Catfish 's low-cost, indie style, the way it highlights its subject, and Nev's personal connection with the topic make it work.

Whilst the television show it spawned got wild in some episodes , Redditors like hey_sergio appreciate the movie's grounded nature as it documents Nev's relationship with a woman he knows only through Facebook. They point out how the movie is "ahead of its time" in exploring issues of internet anonymity and the fact it even spawned a new term is a testament to that.

Unfriended (2014)

Whilst there are some great found-footage movies , Unfriended puts an internet-age twist on the idea, being the first feature film in which all the action takes place on a computer screen. Critics were mixed on the movie overall, but fans loved its unique concept and simple horror thrills as well as its use of real social media sights rather than parody versions.

Redditor spacednlost was one of the fans who felt the choices in that regard paid off to make it "a good horror movie" despite a "low budget and some really cheesy effects." Its central characters felt like a real group of people interacting online, which is what gave the slasher premise its impact.

Sneakers (1992)

Whilst portrayals of the internet in 1992 might seem quaint from today's standpoint, it's always impressive when a movie from such an early era of the online world manages to get aspects of it right. A crime thriller starring Robert Redford and Ben Kingsley as hackers issued a challenge by the NSA, Sneakers is a surprisingly high-tech caper.

Redditor PopPopPoppy makes the argument for why it should be considered amongst great movies that nail the internet as it "gives a good glimpse into hacking/phreaking and infosec (before it was a real thing)." The movie isn't free of the hacking clichés that are so easy to mock in movies like this, but it thankfully isn't enough to distract from the action.

Ingrid Goes West (2017)

Whilst it never received a full theatrical release, the black comedy Ingrid Goes West does such a compelling job at exploring how the internet plays a part in stoking unhealthy parasocial relationships. Those who have seen it, including some Redditors, believe it deserves to be considered one of the best movies that get the internet right.

One Reddit user describes how it achieves this, explaining that it "pokes fun at the “influencer” lifestyle" and "Instagram addiction and consequences that come with it." Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen are also so perfect as an obsessive stalker and a vain influencer, respectively, that it's impossible to look away.

The Social Network (2010)

Though it's far more interested in the man behind Facebook as a subject, the way it portrays behind the scenes in the early days of the company means The Social Network still manages to be one of the best portrayals of social media. David Fincher is known as a perfectionist , so it's no surprise he makes sure to get the early internet right.

Redditor TheDudeWithNoName_ agrees that the movie "really nailed the mid 00s web interface in the film." In every interaction a character has with the online world, it feels no less real than the movie's real-world locations. Though that's just a small thing, this attention to detail explains why it's so highly rated as a portrayal of the internet.

Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back is remembered as one of Kevin Smith's most hilarious movies by the director's fans, but what's easy to forget about the buddy comedy is that it's also one of the first comedies to feature the internet as a major plot point. In 2001, the internet was already seen as a place where fans could exchange ideas.

That's why, as one Redditor explains, "the whole plot of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is from something they read on the Internet." It's after reading negative reviews online that the pair set out to prevent the release of the Bluntman and Chronic movie and, in a movie not known for its realism, it's perhaps one of the most realistic elements.

Eighth Grade (2018)

As someone who became a star, thanks to his meteoric rise on YouTube, it's no surprise that Bo Burnham was able to capture the internet honestly in Eighth Grade . Starring Elsie Fisher as a teenager struggling with anxiety and a social media obsession, the movie doesn't shy away from showing how the internet impacts mental health especially at a young age.

Redditor HeyzeusGodofThunder goes as far as to say that "Eighth grade does the best job portraying social media so far imo." Along with the decision to cast actual eighth-graders, the movie's portrayal of young people online manages to feel incredibly real and that struck a chord with critics and fans alike who think the movie deserves a sequel .

Searching (2018)

One recommendation came up countless times in Reddit's movie discussions that nailed their portrayal of the internet and that's 2018's Searching . The feature debut of Aneesh Chaganty who also stars, the movie took the all-online concept of Unfriended and ran with it, crafting a tense thriller about a dad searching for his missing daughter.

It received a ton of critical acclaim for a variety of reasons, not least that it's just an extremely well-executed action film. However, Redditor MarioKartFromHell summarized how its use of the internet also played a big part in its success. While most movies avoid showing the internet because of how often interfaces change and become outdated, they think "the evolution of technology plays a part in the plot beautifully" in Searching .

NEXT: Best TV Shows To Watch On HBO Max This Month

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Keri Russell as Sari hiding behind a tree from a bear in a forest in film still from Cocaine Bear

Angela Watercutter

Cocaine Bear and the New Age of Internet Movies

The Monitor is a weekly column devoted to everything happening in the WIRED world of culture, from movies to memes, TV to Twitter.

For a fleeting moment last week, everyone was talking about bears on cocaine. Well, one bear on cocaine. In a movie. Never mind. The point is, for like eight hours on a random Wednesday, as Twitter  spun out of control and the US waited to see if rail workers would  go on strike , a bunch of netizens got distracted by an extremely high ursine apex predator on  a killing spree .  

Cocaine Bear  (why would you call this movie anything else?) is directed by Elizabeth Banks, who, after  Wet Hot American Summer , the  Charlie’s Angels reboot, and the  Pitch Perfect  films, seems to know a thing or two about movies that get memed. Banks’ film is also one of several coming at the start of 2023 that seem to be made for the internet. Not necessarily that you’d want to watch them there—though they all seem primed to stream while you scroll Instagram—but that they’re either born of some piece of internet discourse or designed to be a part of it. 

With  Cocaine Bear the gimmick is obvious: Make a movie so seemingly horrific and hilarious that people won’t be able to stop themselves from transforming it into one-liners and reaction GIFs. It gets bonus points for also  inspiring scientific inquiry into cocaine’s effects on bears and a chin-scratching  Atlantic  piece simply titled “ Cocaine Bear : Why? ” (For those wondering about that scientific question, the 175-pound bear who inspired the film  died of an overdose .) The movie is also a nod to a  popular image macro and feels like the kind of film people will see just to post about it. 

Coming a few weeks before  Cocaine Bear ’s February 24 release is  M3GAN . This column has  already delved into the diabolical doll dance moves that the film’s trailer inspired, and there’s no need to retread that angle here. But watching  M3GAN ’s titular droid bend and snap her way through countless mashups, it was hard not to see the irony of a movie about the horrors of artificial intelligence being promoted with a marketing campaign engineered for peak virality, as if the same algorithms were responsible for both its script and PR blitz.    

Speaking of discourse, the Sundance Film Festival announced its lineup for 2023 this week. Among the most eye-catching entries:  Cat Person . While it’s based on the  New Yorker  short story of the same name, there’s no word yet on whether the film will follow that story’s narrative completely, but if it does it will be interesting to see if it generates the same level of attention and discussion. 

Originally published in 2017, “Cat Person” landed amidst a flurry of conversations around #MeToo and, as a story about a college sophomore’s complicated relationship with an older man, found itself at the center of the zeitgeist. It was credited with sending the internet into a “ meltdown ,” and its virality is mentioned in nearly every reference to it. Five years later, a retelling may have different impacts, but it does seem poised to ride a similar wave. (Side note: The author of “Cat Person,” Kristen Roupenian, wrote the story on which  Bodies Bodies Bodies —another film for the extremely online—was based.) 

Ring indoor camera on a red backdrop

Matt Burgess

Close-up of a secret service agent's face. They're wearing an earpiece and sunglasses with a reflection of the White House in the lenses.

David Nield

digital generated image of abstract multicolored curved ribbons with spheres rolling on them on digital black wavy surface.

Jaime Stathis

My colleague Jason Kehe has  previously written about movies being artificially imbued with moments manufactured to be turned into TikTok trends or other internet ephemera. That’s not entirely what I’m talking about here. Mostly because, well, calling your film  Cocaine Bear is a far more blatant cry for attention than putting a fun dance in  Encanto . Even if none of these movies was designed with internet infamy in mind, they’re at least operating with self-awareness that they’ll be part of the discourse. 

In many ways, these titles are a fresh spin on the definitions of “internet movie”  WIRED laid out back in 2018 . Back then, Brian Raftery wrote, the term denoted “any film with a uniquely nutty prerelease relationship with the web.” He cited  The Meg  and  Slender Man as examples. Movies like the former get embraced online for some quirky bit of  Snakes on a Plane outlandishness. Movies like the latter try to take some piece of internet culture magic and translate it to the screen.  Cocaine Bear  and  M3GAN  feel mostly like the former (but with more winking);  Cat Person falls into the latter camp, but it’s a much different dish than creepypasta.     

Perhaps all of this feels more evident, more prevalent because of the recent hubbub over ChatGPT being used to write  scripts and  film treatments . So far artificial intelligence hasn’t churned out anything Oscar-worthy, but what’s surfaced isn’t garbage, either. If anything, it’s revealing how formulaic blockbusters have become. The beats are known. Perhaps that’s what sets this new generation of internet movies apart: They might be catering to a particular audience, but at least they’re not cliché. No one needs artificial intelligence to write a movie for them when the internet has already done it. 

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  2. 14 Awesome Movies About the Internet and Computers

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  3. Internet Horror Movies: The 10 Eeriest Depictions of Digital Doom

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  1. The 10 Best Movies About the Internet

    The 10 Best Movies About the Internet · 10. Cyberbully (2015) · 9. Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) · 8. Hackers (1995) · 7. The Social

  2. IMDb: Ratings, Reviews, and Where to Watch the Best Movies & TV

    IMDb is the world's most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content. Find ratings and reviews for the newest movie and TV shows.

  3. Most Popular Movies and TV Shows tagged with keyword "internet"

    Sort by Popularity - Most Popular Movies and TV Shows tagged with keyword "internet" · 1. The Batman (2022) · 2. Scream 2 (1997) · 3. Galaxy Quest (1999) · 4.

  4. 24 Best and Worst Movies About the Internet

    The best Internet movie is clearly BLACKHAT with ALGORITHM as number two. The stupidest one was SNEAKERS because it shifted mood from a thriller

  5. Category:Films about the Internet

    Pages in category "Films about the Internet" ; A. Assassination Nation ; B · Bedeviled (2016 film) · Belle (2021 film) · Bo Burnham: Inside ; C · Cam (film) · Cilada

  6. The 10 best movies about the internet age

    The best ever movies to explain the feeling and reality of the internet age, including the films of Werner Herzog, Bo Burnham

  7. 13 Scary Internet Movies & Films About Social Media

    The 13 Scariest Movies About the Internet, from 'Not Okay' to 'Searching' · 13. “Nerve” (2016) · 12. “Not Okay” (2022) · 11. “Cam” (2018) · 10. “

  8. Free Movies : Free Download, Borrow and Streaming

    Watch full-length feature films, classic shorts, world culture documentaries, World War II propaganda, movie trailers, and films created in just ten hours:

  9. 10 Great Movies That Got The Internet Right, According To Reddit

    10 Great Movies That Got The Internet Right, According To Reddit · Nerve (2016) · More videos on YouTube · Men, Women & Children (2014) · More

  10. 'Cocaine Bear' and the New Age of Internet Movies

    Films made for, or inspired by, the extremely online will invade the discourse in early 2023. Get ready for "M3GAN," "Cat Person," and an