Social media has inspired comedies, dystopian thrillers, documentaries, and horror movies.
Here is a list of the best movies related to social media, in no particular order.
1. The Social Dilemma, 2020
A popular movie that can’t be recommended enough.
Even if you’re in the business there are parts of this movie that will still startle.
Featuring interviews with people who invented a variety of the algorithms.
This movie balances the shock factor of what’s going on behind the scenes of social media with insights into how social media can be improved.
2. Love, Guaranteed, 2020
Stars Rachael Leigh Cook, Damon Wayans Jr., Heather Graham, Kandyse McClure (Dualla on Battlestar Galactica).
Social media is defined as a social network, and what kind of network is more social than a dating app?
This romantic comedy follows an attorney and her client who claims that a dating site guarantees love is offering a false promise.
As evidence, he offers himself, who has engaged in a thousand dates and failed to find love.
3. The Hater, 2020
This is a great movie that you might never have heard of but should definitely check out.
It’s a fast-paced thriller and drama about using social media to settle personal scores.
The hero of the movie is both likable and worthy of loathing.
Don’t be put off by the fact that this is a Polish movie and you might have to read subtitles.
This movie tells a story of harnessing the power of social media like a weapon against those who may or may not deserve it.
It’s highly relevant in today’s world of disinformation amplification yet it’s not really about social media in the same way that a movie like Taxi Driver is not about guns.
Both movies, Taxi Driver and The Hater, share a theme of the misfit trying to fit in and not really able to find a way in until circumstances create an opportunity.
4. Emily in Paris, 2020
This isn’t a movie.
But so many who have an interest in social media marketing and movies will find this so interesting that I had to fit it in.
The central character – Emily (duh!), is a social media marketer from Chicago who is sent to a Paris office where she’s met with skepticism.
She changes her Instagram handle to @emilyinparis and starts posting photos, her account goes viral.
The series is from the mind of Darren Star, the writer behind such hits as Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, and Sex and the City.
If any of those are your favorites then it’s likely you’ll enjoy Emily in Paris as well.
There’s a bit of suspension of disbelief necessary regarding the social media, but Emily in Paris is fundamentally a fantasy not a documentary.
A little fantasy helps to get through these dark and pandemic times.
5. Die Influencers Die, 2020
This is a B-Movie slasher exploitation flick about a group of easy-to-hate influencers meeting dreadful ends.
What’s not to like right?
Millions of social media followers are dangled in front of a small group of social media influencers in exchange for spending the night at a reportedly haunted studio in Las Vegas.
For those who enjoy heavy metal, are annoyed by social media influencers to no end, and harbor a fondness for killer clowns…this movie is for you.
6. Spree, 2020
Social media satire/Horror
A spree is defined as a sustained period of time during which an unrestrained activity is indulged.
That’s pretty much what this movie is about, a rideshare driver going to the ultimate extreme to achieve Internet fame.
Starring Joe Keery (“Steve” in Stranger Things), Spree is a dark and violent comedy that’s not necessarily for everyone.
7. #realityhigh, 2017
This is a teen dramedy about a girl going through the social media popularity rabbit hole and becoming another person to please others.
8. Hard Candy, 2005
Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube
This is an under-the-radar movie that might make some uncomfortable.
It stars Ellen Page (Juno, Umbrella Academy), Patrick Wilson (Conjuring, Watchmen, Aquaman), and Sandra Oh (Killing Eve, Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways, Princess Diaries).
The movie won several awards including three at the 2005 Sitges Film Festival (Best Motion Picture, Best Screenplay, and an Audience Award for Best Motion Picture) and four awards at the 2006 Spanish Malaga Film Festival (Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Cinematographer).
Ellen Page won Best Actress at the 2006 Austin Film Critics Association Awards.
This is an intelligent suspense and thriller.
But it’s not for the squeamish.
It can get grueling for some.
Ellen Page stars as a 17-year-old teenager who entraps an older man via a chat room.
Expecting illicit activities the teenager turns the table on him.
Again, I must warn that this movie is not for those with delicate sensibilities.
9. Searching, 2018
Amazon, Vudu, YouTube
A movie starring John Cho (Harold & Kumar, Star Trek) in the missing person genre.
The daughter goes missing and police lack leads, so the father takes to the Internet to trace the daughter’s virtual steps to find her.
10. Ingrid Goes West, 2017
Stars Elizabeth Olsen and Aubrey Plaza.
Aubrey Plaza is a great actress who consistently surprises with the quirky nuance she brings to her roles and that’s also the case here.
This film is in the stalker genre but it’s also a satire of the influencer world.
11. The Social Ones, 2020
Amazon Prime, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube
This is a mockumentary and parody of the influencer culture, taking swipes at Instagram stars and fashion bloggers.
12. A Simple Favor, 2018
Amazon, Hulu, Sling TV, Vudu, YouTube
This is a Paul Feig movie about a video blogger who gets in over her head after she befriends a woman who causes her viewership to soar.
It’s like a noir because it has a femme fatale.
The mystery and thriller quality of the story kept me watching.
13. Smosh: The Movie, 2015
Amazon, iTunes, Vudu
Satire of YouTube stars starring two actual YouTube stars.
Directed by Alex Winter, star of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
14. Friend Request, 2016
Social media mystery/Horror
Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, YouTube
A woman accepts a friend request whose mysterious death sets off a series of deaths of those who are friends with the woman.
15. Unfriended, 2015
Social media horror
Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, Vudu
Instead of a group of young people at a camp getting murdered, it’s people on a group chat that are meeting their demise one by one.
16. The Assistant, 2019
Short film 13 Minutes, available on Amazon Prime.
Comedy/satire of being an assistant to a social media influencer.
17. The Circle, 2017
Amazon, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes
Starring Emma Watson, John Boyega, Bill Paxton, and Tom Hanks.
This is a cautionary tale of living life on social media based on Dave Egger’s novel.
18. Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, 2016
A documentary that explores how the Internet affects society today and may affect it tomorrow.
It asks probing questions like “will our great, great-grandchildren grow up in a world where they have no need for human companionship?”
Werner Herzog is a consistently thought-provoking filmmaker.
19. The Great Hack, 2019
A chilling documentary about not just about Cambridge Analytica but about the surveillance Internet.
20. The Social Network, 2010
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, this movie is based on the story of how Mark Zuckerburg came to found Facebook.
Highly acclaimed and a must-watch movie.
21. American Meme, 2018
Featuring Paris Hilton and DJ Khaled, it’s a behind the scenes look at what it means to be a social media star and the conflicts between the reality and what’s presented.
22. Disconnect, 2012
Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube
Starring Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Alexander Skarsgård, Frank Grillo.
Three stories interweaved around human interaction via social media.
Lives are changed, conflicts arise, some characters face a reckoning.
All of the actors are top shelf, including a strong performance by Frank Grillo – a character actor who’s been in dozens of popular films including Mambo Kings, Minority Report, Zero Dark Thirty, and several of the recent Marvel superhero movies.
23. Catfish, 2010
Documentary and indie film of two brothers who strike up a relationship with a woman over Facebook, with both sides misrepresenting who they are and their motives.
The movie is the origin of the term Catfishing, which is the practice of pretending to be someone you are not – like pretending to be an associate of a famous person over the Internet in order to woo someone.
24. Chef, 2014
Amazon (free), iTunes, Pluto (free), Vudu, YouTube
Starring Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Sofía Vergara, Robert Downey Jr.
This is a feel-good dramedy.
A chef gets a bad review over Twitter and he responds in kind.
The Twitter argument goes viral and results in unanticipated events in his personal and business life.
It’s partially about the transformative effect that social media can have on a life.
25. You, 2018
Netflix TV Series
This is not a movie.
Again, I cheated.
Yet it deserves to be included in a list of things to watch and chill.
The show is absolutely binge-bait, it grabs you from the beginning and you hang on tight as the story takes unexpected twists and turns.
Without spoiling anything, the series is about a smart likable guy who meets a cute college student who is between relationships.
What seems like a romantic comedy turns into something else entirely.
An enjoyable series, well worth a try.
- Get More from Social Media: Why You Must Think Like a TV Network
- How to Dominate Social Media Marketing: A Complete Strategy Guide
- 10 Lessons from the Micro-Stage of Social Media for the Main Stage of Life
Featured image by the author