Movies about nerds have evolved over time as the perception of nerds have changed. Nerds used to be frowned upon until they became the heroes of the Y2K and Internet age. Now it's cool to be a nerd and watch nerd-inspired movies, but it's not as cool to make movies about them. To keep your coolness meter up, check out the following films, most of which are quite retro which give you even more coolness points.
"Revenge of the Nerds" Did you really think this 1984 nerd classic from director Jeff Kanew wouldn't make this list? A group of outcasted college nerds fights back against the bullies of the Alpha Beta fraternity and win. The nerds form their own fraternity called Lambda Lambda Lambda and outsmart the likes of a dimwit named Ogre and other jocks using technology and pranks. "Revenge of the Nerds" is a hilarious overview of 1980s campus politics in the days when nerds were so uncool.
"Real Genius" Gabriel Jarret plays Mitch, a nerdy college freshman who enters a genius program at his school only to find out that he's a pawn in a government military game. Mitch and his fellow genii develop a giant, high-powered laser, which the professor secretly plans to hand over to the military. When Mitch and his friends discover the plot, they employ an endless series of pranks to foil his plans. This 1985 film is full of nonstop high tech antics, which literally explode into popcorn filled climax.
"Weird Science" Movies about nerds were a big hit in 1985 when this tale of two nerdy mad scientists ran in theaters simultaneously with "Real Genius." Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith played two high school outcasts who create a beautiful woman with a computer. With bras on their heads, the two of them manifest Lisa, a supernatural superwoman who challenge them to become more confident and social. Lisa, played by Kelly LeBrock, at least talked them into hopping in the shower with her, but they insisted on keeping their pants on.
"War Games" Matthew Broderick plays a computer nerd who unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer in control of Uncle Sam's entire arsenal of nukes. David is just a hardcore gamer who does not know that his simulated nuclear war between the USA and Russia was the real thing. Luckily, he fixes the problem at the last minute with the help of government officials. "War Games" was released in 1983 during the height of both the Cold War and a strange social phenomenon called Pacmania.
"The Social Network" It is downright difficult to find movies about nerds after the Internet made them more popular with the ladies, but voila. This film is based on the true story of the origins of Facebook. Jesse Eisenberg plays Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his early crew of college technogeeks. This social networking story is a messy, filled with lawsuits and uncertainty about who betrayed whom on Zuckerberg's path to becoming the world's youngest billionaire.