Who doesn’t like to watch a great movie after a long week of work? I’m sure we all do. Even busy web developers like us want to take a break from seeing all that code on our computers all day long!
So if you’re looking for something refreshing to watch as you recharge over the weekend, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of 10 movies we love here at Lform Design, and think our fellow web developers will love too! You can binge on them to inspire you, make you think, or just entertain you. They’ll help remind you exactly why you love your job.
The Social Dilemma
If you’re looking for a movie that poses all the hard questions, try Netflix’s The Social Dilemma. This Jeff Malinowski documentary warns about the hidden cost of our digital lives. That may not be news to tech workers like you, but Malinowski’s film-making style makes the documentary stand out among similar flicks. Alongside interviews with tech experts and former employees of Silicon Valley giants, Malinowski’s fictional characters emphasize the harmful potential effects of social media even further.
Although The Social Dilemma tends to use simplistic metaphors and sensationalism, it is a must-watch for web developers who want to understand privacy issues and social media addiction on a deeper level.
If, like many others who watched the film, you come out feeling a bit angst and stressed, you might want to check out things that only developers will find funny just to take the bitter aftertaste away. It’s a great watch, but it’s challenging at times!
The Social Network
If you love a true story and characters based on real people, The Social Network might just be the movie for you. This Oscar-winning movie about Mark Zuckerberg recounts how he started
the Facebook empire. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin decided to tell the story through multiple perspectives and takes certain liberties with the truth, which makes for great storytelling.
Rather than merely telling a typical “rags-to-riches” story featuring one of the world’s youngest billionaires, the movie explores complex concepts such as power, ambition, and responsibility. It is a painful morality tale of betrayal and revenge that shows the effects of ambition on people’s personal lives and ethical compasses.
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine is a fantastic biopic that examines the personal life of Steve Jobs, a man who changed countless lives both on a professional and personal level.
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine is more than just an account of Apple Inc.’s origins in 1976 and its transformation into today’s multi-billion-dollar tech giant. Unlike many documentary filmmakers, director Alex Gibney centers the work more around themes than a sequence of events. Gibney tells the story from his point of view, resulting in a very reflective film that speaks directly about Apple’s impact on him and other creative workers.
Who knows? The movie might inspire you to do even greater things in web development. It sure inspired our team!
Exciting new web design trends aren’t the only things you need to look out for as a web developer. Typography is one of the building blocks of communication, and at least a working knowledge of it will help you tremendously. Think typography is dull? Think again!
Gary Hustwit’s Helvetica offers us a glimpse into typographers’ inspirations and motivations. The feature-length independent film contains interviews with some of the foremost names in the world of design and typography, such as Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli, and Wim Crouwel. It explains the rift between the modernists and the post-modernists and encourages viewers to see this ubiquitous font in a new light.
After watching this movie, trust me, you won’t ever see Helvetica – or any of its sans serif cousins – the same way again.
Among all the movies on this list, Objectified has the least to do with web development directly. The film is a must-see for web developers, though, because it makes you think about the things people build and how these objects affect people.
Just like what he did with Helvetica, Gary Hustwit did an outstanding job of demonstrating the creative processes behind many of the manufactured objects we see every day and their impact on our lives. Objectified is a tribute to designers and other creatives, who, like you, take a step back, examine the world around them, and create objects that change the way people live.
Released in 1983, WarGames is one of the first films that featured hacking, artificial intelligence, and their unintended consequences. This distinction alone makes it a must-watch for web developers who have to deal with web security issues every day.
While much of what you see in the movie doesn’t reflect current realities, director Stuart Gillard still deserves credit for the ingenuity and innovation that made even then-President Ronald Reagan an avid fan of WarGames. Even today’s security experts can appreciate the stroke of genius in the movie. Besides, the film is just endlessly watchable and so entertaining!
Art & Copy
Art & Copy may be about the US advertising industry, but web developers can also learn a thing or two from it. Like advertisers, web developers need to understand how best to communicate with their audience. If they don’t, they can’t expect to build websites that convert.
Directed by Doug Pray, Art & Copy follows the careers of famous advertisers such as George Lois, Lee Clow, and Dan Wieden and looks at their creative inspirations for iconic slogans, such as “Just Do It”, “Where’s the Beef?”, “Got Milk”, and “Think Different.”
Although the movie is an ode to the advertising industry, it will also speak to web developers and all other creative professionals who aspire to rise to the top of their industry.
Pirates of Silicon Valley
Pirates of Silicon Valley is an entertaining, semi-biographical fiction movie that looks at Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and their lives before they started two of the most successful companies in history. The 1999 film is on our must-watch list because it gives us a better understanding of how two of technology’s most prominent figures started their careers and shaped tech as we know it today.
Both Noah Wyle as Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall as Gates are too entertaining to miss. Even if the movie itself is 21 years old, it’s just as watchable today as it was in the late ‘90s. Both lead actors succeed in humanizing their larger-than-life roles. When you’re sitting at your desk coding websites five days a week, watching Pirates of Silicon Valley is more than just a welcome break – it’s also an education.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Jiro Dreams of Sushi follows the 85-year-old master sushi chef Jiro Ono, in his quest to create the perfect sushi. The movie also looks at Jiro’s relationships with his sons Yoshikazu and Takashi, who have to live in the shadow of their perfectionist father. Yoshizaku works with Jiro in his old sushi restaurant, Sukibayashi Jiro, while Takashi runs another branch of Sukibayashi Jiro in the fancy Roppongi Hills development.
Although Jiro Dreams of Sushi has nothing to do with web development, it can teach web developers – and anyone who is serious about their work – a thing or two about being dedicated to a craft. It reminds us of this truth: Be passionate about your job, simplify, and everything else
will follow. More than just being a biographical account, David Gelb’s work is a beautiful meditation on life in general.
I can’t promise you won’t be craving sushi by the time you’re finished watching!
This wouldn’t be a complete movie list if it didn’t include something that could turn your brain off and give you a good laugh at your industry. The Internship is that movie.
This 2013 American comedy, directed by Shawn Levy, stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as a pair of forty-something wristwatch salesmen who lose their jobs and end up landing internships with Google. The movie follows the two as they team up with a bunch of outcasts and hilariously try to outsmart tech-savvy geniuses for a job at the company.
The Internship has been praised for its accurate depiction of Google’s corporate environment, but it’s the underdog story that gets us each time. The “night out” scene is all sorts of hilarious, and the ending is nothing short of uplifting. Then there’s the comedic duo of Vaughn and Wilson – in their second co-lead role, following The Wedding Crashers – and their brilliant performances. The references to web development will make you laugh out loud in recognition. Trust us.
If you’re looking for the best movie to watch from the ten I gave you, frankly, I can’t give you any single favorite. It really depends on the genre you want to see and what you want to feel while
watching a movie. But this list was made for binge-watching, and that means the idea was to persuade you to watch all the movies!
But if you don’t have the time to watch all of them, don’t worry. All ten movies provide great entertainment for web developers like us. You’ll enjoy the references to the industry, and you might even relate to some of the characters, many of whom have a complicated relationship with their profession.
You can even take home a lesson or two from each film. You’ll pick up a newfound appreciation of the things you do in your job, and gain some inspiration for how you could be a better team player, creator, and innovator.
After you binge-watch these movies in one weekend, you’ll be an energized web developer ready to take on Monday. You might even appreciate your job even more!
Ian Loew is a web entrepreneur and inbound marketing expert, and the Owner and Creative Director of Lform Design, a custom web development company. After four years of helping Fortune 500 companies with MGT Design, Ian embarked on his freelance career before establishing Lform Design in 2005. He leads a team of creative professionals to deliver inspired online experiences via modern, responsive websites that reflect his clients’ core values. When not at the helm, Ian can be found mountain biking with friends or spending time with his family.