A lot of the stuff about the movie Hackers looks really dated now, especially some of the fashions and the way it depicts hacking. But the user interface still looks pretty good, compared to a lot of other stuff from the era. Paul Franklin, the Academy Award-winning special effects designer who's worked on all Christopher Nolan's recent movies, also worked on Hackers and holds it up as an example of a weird choice that panned out:
The best directors are those who are collaborative and will actually invite you to bring your own ideas along. That's the great thing about working with Chris, for example: he is extremely collaborative and solicits our ideas. An intelligent filmmaker will always listen to what the visual effects people are actually saying because we are filmmakers too and want to make the best film we possibly can. At the same time, sometimes they say, "I want this," and you just go off and do it. And sometimes afterwards you say, "That didn't work," but I can think of lots of films I've worked on where there has been a questionable decision which turned out to be exactly the right call....
I remember a movie I worked on a long time ago called Hackers, which was one of Angelina Jolie's first films and was about hacking and the early Internet. The director [Iain Softley] was insistent that he didn't want to base any of the computer graphics we were creating for the film on existing computer technology. He didn't want it to look like any interface at the time. We thought, "This is just dumb, it doesn't look like a real computer". But I saw the film recently, and it hasn't aged as a result, the ideas behind it still work as they did nearly 20 years ago. Had we used Netscape 1995 as our computer interface, I think it would be showing its age terribly.
[via GQ UK]