Genius comes in many shapes and sizes. Some people are geniuses in mathematics, others in painting, or even in programming. They each have colorful stories. Here are 15 best movies about genius minds to inspire students like you.
Gifted is a film about a 7-year-old child prodigy Mary Adler. Adler has been living with her uncle, Frank, after her mother died when she was an infant. The film revolves around her uncle and her grandmother’s fight over how to manage Mary’s life.
Stars Mckenna Grace, Chris Evans, and Jenny Slate.
Inspired by Daniel Lightwing, this film follows math prodigy Nathaniel Ellis as he tries to navigate society, loss, and intimacy. He has to choose between his math career and the person he loves.
Stars Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall, and Jo Yang.
3. The Man Who Knew Infinity
This film features mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan’s journey in Cambridge to become a theoretical mathematician. There, he faced racism and health problems that hindered him from publishing his manuscripts. This is one of the rare intellectual movies that give insight to the struggles of foreign students.
Stars Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, and Devika Bhise.
4. Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures is a biographical drama film that features the racism and sexism faced by 3 great black women as mathematicians and engineers for NASA in the 60s. Truly inspiring; this film is one of the best movies of all time.
Stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monaé.
5. Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting is another inspiring movie for underdogs. In this drama film, Matt Damon stars as Will Hunting, a janitor who also happens to be a genius at math. Dr. Maguire and Professor Lambeau help Will achieve his full potential as a genius and as a person.
Stars Matt Damon, Stellan Skarsgård, and Robin Williams.
6. 3 Idiots
3 Idiots recounts the adventures of three Engineering students while two of them look for their long-lost friend. The comedy film depicts a story of friendship and passion that surely puts it in the list of best movies for students.
Stars Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and R. Madhavan.
7. Bad Genius
This Thai heist thriller tells the story of two brilliant high school students who start a cheating business. Lynn and Bank, top students in their schools, plan to help their classmates cheat the STIC in exchange for money. These two are so awesome, even I would want them to help write my college essays.
Stars Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Chanon Santinatornkul, and Teeradon Supapunpinyo
8. The Theory of Everything
This film is based on the memoir by Jane Hawking. The Theory of Everything shows both the work of Stephen Hawking and his relationship with Jane. This is one of the best genius movies precisely because it illustrates true greatness cannot be hindered by any obstacle no matter how big it seems.
Stars Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, and Charlie Cox
9. A Beautiful Mind
John Nash is a Nobel Laureate in Economics. A Beautiful Mind depicts the genius that is Nash, but it also shows his struggles with paranoid schizophrenia. The film isn’t accurate, but it is one of the most intriguing movies on geniuses.
Stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Christopher Plummer
This 2002 biopic goes through Frida Kahlo’s life and her dysfunctional relationship with fellow artist Diego Rivera. The film also shows the many tragedies Kahlo went through that she overcame with art. This is one of the best movies to inspire students to keep fighting despite problems.
Stars Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, and Ashley Judd
11. At Eternity’s Gate
No one would argue that Vincent Van Gogh is a genius. The film follows Van Gogh’s recovery in Arles after being released from the mental hospital for cutting his ear. Students will understand a little of Van Gogh’s life, as well as appreciate his genius in his paintings.
Stars Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, and Oscar Isaac.
This drama film is based on the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team. The team of engineering students masters card counting and proceeds to win at the game of Blackjack at casinos.
Stars Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, and Kevin Spacey
13. The Social Network
Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake.
14. The Imitation Game
The Imitation Game is a film about Alan Turing. He is the genius mathematician who deciphered the Enigma code of the Germans. More than his genius, the film also portrays his complex life as a gay man in the 50s. This is one of the movies on mathematics that depict the complexity of life.
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Kneightly, and Matthew Goode.
15. The Big Short
This film about the 2008 financial crisis does not involve geniuses but men were smart enough to see something was wrong with the market. Knowing it will soon crash, they try to make money out of it. This film is all about being smart in the real world.
Stars Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, and Steve Carell.
These are 15 best movies about geniuses to inspire students—they show that even geniuses have to overcome adversity to achieve greatness. Their stories will surely inspire students to face their own physical and mental struggles.