Sneakers

Last Updated: 2005/06/22

I could tell you what this movie is about. But then, of course, I would have to kill you.

Okay, I've decided I will tell you what it's about and just kill you afterwards. Sneakers is an amazing computer/espionage suspense film from 1992 with an all-star cast. It begins in the 1960's, where two college students/activists are hacking into a bank and illegally transferring large funds from the accounts of corrupt organizations to worthy causes. While one student makes a pizza run, the other is caught by the police and put in prison.

The time period then shifts to present day (Or 1992 as the case may be). The student who went out for pizza, has changed his identity to Martin Bishop (Robert Redford), and has formed a company of people who "sneak" into banks, attempt to rob them, and report to the bank how easy it was so banks can upgrade their security. The company is composed of several other very talented people, each with a history of illegal actions. Donald Crease (Sidney Poitier), is an ex-CIA employee. Mother (Dan Aykroyd), is a conspiracy theory nut with breaking and entering under his belt. Carl Arbegast (River Phoenix), was caught hacking into his school's computer to change his grades. Whistler (David Strathairn), a blind man who uses his great sense of hearing to do many illegal things, has had serious problems with the phone company.

Together, they run a decent legitimate business, until one day some government officials from the NSA come and pay Mr. Bishop a visit. They tell him they have a job for him. Bishop denies it, saying he doesn't work for the government, but they inform him that they know who he really is! Thusly, he is forced to take the governmental job to stay out of prison. It seems a cryptography genius, named Dr. Gunter Janek (Donal Logue), has been given a huge grant from Russia to build a black box that can decode American encryption algorithms without needing the normal key.

So the job is setup and Bishop asks his ex-girlfriend Liz (Mary McDonnell) for help. She eventually agrees to help him get information on Janek. Eventually, the job is pulled off and they steal the black box. They then realize that the box has the ability to get into every computer system in the country without needing to know any passwords! The next day when they go to had it off to the NSA guys, they find out that the NSA men, are not at all from the NSA! Escaping with his life, Bishop must leave the black box in their hands. He is eventually captured anyway and brought to an unknown building, where he meets his old college chum Cosmo (Ben Kingsley). Cosmo is still crazed about "changing the world" and he, correctly, believes that he can with the black box. Bishop refuses to join him and is beaten up and tossed from a car, never knowing where he was. With the police looking for him, Bishop must assemble his team to try and get the black box from a place that could be anywhere!

Collector's DVD

Regular DVD

VHS

Alternate VHS

Soundtrack

Poster

Laser Disc

The great thing about Sneakers, is that even though it is funny and enjoyable to watch, unlike most computer movies, it's actually believable! It's great to watch this gifted team work their way around the system and solve problems in ways that most people cannot even imagine. This is one of the few movies involving computers that I don't nitpick about the computers because they are all quite possible (At least they were in 1992!). This is certainly a great movie even if you aren't into computers.

I really love the characters in this movie. They all have their own quirks and talents making them all loveable, but it's still possible to pick a favorite. My personal favorite is Whistler, because even though he's disabled he can still do things that nobody else can. Want to know who you would be if you were a Sneakers character? Take the Sneakers quiz.

Movie Triva: The font used for the title of Sneakers is called: Swiss 911 Extra Compressed BT created by BitStream Inc. Don't you feel special now?

See the Sneakers script.

There isn't much on the web about this movie (Aside from reviews) so, hopefully this page will inspire others to watch this movie because it really is worth watching.

Movie Links
www.themoviegeek.com/moviedetail.htm?ID=788 - The Movie Geek's review.
online.swank.com/publicity/Synopsis/0010204.html - Some headline reviews of the movie.
crazy4cinema.com/Review/FilmsS/sneakers.html - A nice review of the movie.
www.usc.edu/dept/molecular-science/fm-sneakers.htm - The man who made the math seminar in the movie.

Other Links
http://www.ssh.com/tech/crypto - A site all about cryptography.
www.2600.com - Hacker Quarterly On-Line Magazine.
www.phrack.com - Phrack On-Line Magazine.

© Copyright 2002-2005: Dean Tersigni. All rights reserved.