There are some people I've found that defend this movie and consider it one of the best films of the year, despite it being a true January film. I think these people are one of two groups: people that believe Michael Mann can do no wrong and those that know about computer hacking and code that are fed up with Hollywood's version of hacking and how they always get it wrong. I think the second group of people are just so grateful to see hacking done right in a movie that they are blind of the movie's flaws.
Listen, I'm not at all knowledgeable at computer hacking and computer code or how any of that works. I did not major in computer science. So, I can't praise the movie for getting hacking right if I don't know how hacking is done in the first place. What I can see is that at the cost of making hacking realistic in a film, has made the film as a whole boring. I have no other way to put it. The film is boring save for three of the four action scenes that are done extremely well. Everything in between those action scenes aren't suspenseful, aren't interesting, and are extremely slow paced. Plus, all the hacking stuff completely went over my head, making the whole thing confusing and forgettable for me. I'm currently writing this review months after watching the film and seriously having difficulties remembering what even happened in it save for the really bad things and the great action scenes.
Most of the acting was average, at best, and I never believed Chris Hemsworth was playing a computer hacker. No offense to the actor, because I do think he's talented, but this was simply not the role for him. Please trust me when I say I dislike stereotypes and wouldn't have wanted a nerdy looking guy to play our main computer hacker either. In fact, I applaud Oscar Isaac for his role in Ex Machina for not being your stereotypical inventor, but Thor as a computer hacker is too hard to swallow. Because the acting was average at best, it felt like all the characters were bland and I could not get attached to any of them. The romantic subplot was hard to watch and the most unbelievable part of the movie. Chris Hemsworth's character just meets his friend's sister. From the taxi ride in the next scene, we know that eventually they will hook up, but instead, they hook up immediately after the taxi ride. They just frickin' met and they are already in love with each other!
In the end, the only thing interesting and great about the film is four different scenes. The first fight scene was awful. The shoot out was great. The nuclear reactor scene in the hazmat suits was suspenseful. The second shootout was cliched as hell, but effectively done. And the climax was amazing. Everything else in the film was bland, boring, unrealistic (in how the characters acted), and just felt wasted.