Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Several years ago when I was in college I took what is probably the coolest math class ever. We learned practical math, or really interesting concepts, like Fibonacci sequences and the math behind secret codes. To illustrate some of the coding math and get us interested, my teacher showed us a clip from the movie "Sneakers" (Robert Redford, Ben Kingsley). I was hooked, but as it was a 1992 film there wasn't an easy way to find a copy to watch.

Fast forwards to last week. A friend and I were scrolling through Netflix looking for something action-adventure-y to watch, and lo and behold what do we find? "Sneakers!"

Although it's from the early 90's, it has aged well, and c'mon, you can't beat Robert Redford! In fact the whole cast is stellar. But wait - you'd probably like a synopsis first, right?

Redford's character, Marty, narrowly escaped government arrest after a hacking joke gone overkill. His partner in crime, however, got hauled in and died in prison. A similar fate awaits Marty if he's ever caught, so he goes into hiding. However he doesn't pursue a life of crime, but rather a life of catching criminals.. Sorta.

Big companies and banks pay Marty and his crew to infiltrate their banks and give them a write up of how good their security is. Just the sort of job for ex-cons to use their shadowy skills in a legal manner. However, the ex-con (or on the run) status makes them prime targets for blackmail, as they find out when two NSA agents appear, wanting them to steal a little black box... which can apparently crack any code, ever.

Suddenly lives are whole countries are on the line, and it'll take a major heist to save the world!

So yeah. It's fun, it's intelligent, and it's decently clean (mild language, brief innuendo, and one scene with a woman in a bra). Definitely worth watching! It's also one of the few films with River Phoenix in it, best known for playing the young Indiana Jones in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" before his tragic early death. Also the fantastic Sidney Poitiers who is worth watching in anything.

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