Sneakers (film)

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Sneakers is a 1992 film that is a complex but lighthearted thriller about computers and cryptography, government and espionage, secrets and deception and betrayal.

Directed by Phil Alden Robinson. Written by Phil Alden Robinson, Lawrence Lasker, and Walter F. Parkes.
We could tell you what it's about. But then, of course, we'd have to kill you. taglines


  • In prison I learned that everything in this world, including money, operates not on reality - but the perception of reality.
  • What's wrong with this country, Marty? Money. You taught me that. Evil defense contractors had it, noble causes did not. Politicians are bought and sold like so much chattel. Our problems multiply. Pollution, crime, drugs, poverty, disease, hunger, despair; we throw gobs of money at them! The problems always get worse. Why is that? Because money's most powerful ability is to allow bad people to continue doing bad things at the expense of those who don't have it.
  • There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!


[Buddy Wallace and Dick Gordon reveals charges about Martin Bishop's gang. Wallace brings up Bishop himself.]
Buddy Wallace: And then, there's Martin Bishop...[looks at a folder while Martin has a blank stare. Wallace turns the folder to show it has no papers] He doesn't seem to have a past.
Bishop: [Walks away] I'm sorry, but I don't work for the government.
Dick Gordon: We do. [Shows a card] National Security Agency.
Bishop: Ah. You're the guys I hear breathing on the other end of my phone.
Dick Gordon: No, that's the FBI. We're not chartered for domestic surveillance.
Bishop: Oh, I see. You just overthrow governments. Set up friendly dictators.
Dick Gordon: No, that's the CIA. We protect our government's communications, we try to break the other fella's codes. We're the good guys, Marty.
Bishop: Gee, I can't tell you what a relief that is...Dick.
Dick Gordon: Change your mind, call us at this number... [gives Bishop a folded piece of paper] Mr. Brice.

Bishop: The probable level of security is very low. But if you guys don't want to take that chance just to keep me out of jail, fine, I understand, I'll do it.
Whistler: Well, Bish, I can't speak for the other guys, but I'm in it for the money, I don't care if you go to jail.
Carl: Me neither. I'm in.
Mother: Uh... could we maybe just go back to the "they might kill us" part?
Bishop: Mother, if I thought that was likely to happen, I wouldn't bring this to you. But there is a risk.
Whistler: And it pays $175,000!
Mother: I'm in.
Crease: You guys will be chalk outlines without me. All right, what do we need?

[asking each team member what they'll do with their share of the money]
Bishop: Carl?
Carl: [breathing from helium] I'd like to have a deep relationship with a beautiful woman who melts from the very first time our eyes meet.
Bishop: We're not getting paid that much, Carl.
Carl: Well, you know, someone like Liz.
Bishop: We're definitely not getting paid that much.

Cosmo: Posit: people think a bank might be financially shaky.
Bishop: Consequence: people start to withdraw their money.
Cosmo: Result: pretty soon it is financially shaky.
Bishop: Conclusion: you can make banks fail.
Cosmo: Bzzt. I've already done that. Maybe you've heard about a few? Think bigger.
Bishop: Stock market?
Cosmo: Yes.
Bishop: Currency market?
Cosmo: Yes.
Bishop: Commodities market?
Cosmo: Yes.
Bishop: Small countries?
Cosmo: With luck, I might even be able to crash the whole damned system. Destroy all records of ownership. Think of it, Marty. No more rich people, no more poor people, everybody's the same, isn't that what we said we always wanted?

Cosmo: You could have had the power.
Bishop: I don't want it.
Cosmo: Don't you know the places we can go with this?
Bishop: Yeah, I do. There's nobody there.
Cosmo: Exactly! The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money, it's run by little ones and zeroes, little bits of data. It's all just electrons.
Bishop: I don't care.

Bishop: Carl?
Carl: The, uh, young lady with the Uzi, is she single?
Bishop: Uh, you know, Carl. [sets Carl aside] Carl, this is the brass ring. Now you've got to think bigger thoughts.
Carl: I just want her telephone number, that's all. Please?
Bishop: Hey Abby, how about a lunch? You can chaperon.
Bernard Abbot: No, I will not do this. [Male NSA agents smirk]
Bishop: Hey, Abby, Abby, come on, now the F.B.I.'d give him twins-
Bernard Abbot: NO!
NSA Agent Mary: Wait a second. You can have anything you want, and you're asking for my phone number?
Carl: Yes.
NSA Agent Mary: 273-9164. Area code 415.
Carl: Thanks. I'm Carl.
NSA Agent Mary: [smiles while shaking Carl's hand] I'm Mary.
Bernard Abbott: I'm going to be sick.

Bernard Abbott: Are we done here?
Bishop: Not yet. Whistler?
Whistler: I want peace on earth and good will toward man.
Bernard Abbott: Oh, this is ridiculous.
Bishop: He's serious.
Whistler: I want peace on earth and goodwill toward men.
Bernard Abbott: We're the United States Government! We don't do that sort of thing.
Bishop: You're just gonna have to try.
Bernard Abbott: All right, I'll see what I can do.
Whistler: Thank you very much. That's all I ask.


  • We could tell you what it's about. But then, of course, we'd have to kill you.
  • To trust can be murder.
  • A burglar, a spy, a fugitive, a delinquent, a hacker, and a piano teacher... and these are the good guys.


External links[edit]

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