Entertainment

The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too 

Ranker Film
Updated October 8, 2019 6.1k votes 808 voters 27.4k views 64 items

List Rules Vote up the best intelligent movies, or those that are smart, clever, etc.

No matter what kind of movies you're into, we can all agree intelligent movies can be a nice change of pace. Regardless of genre, these types of movies give us moviegoers more than simple entertainment—they make us think, opening our eyes to things we may not have previously considered. Simply put, smart and clever movies can evoke emotion within viewers and actually have something to take away once the credits roll. In most other cases, we're simply captivated for a couple hours before turning the TV off or leaving the theater and moving on to something else.

Whether a movie incorporates social commentary or offers perspective different than most of our own, intelligent movies stand the test of time and often go down as the greatest movies of all time. From intelligent sci-fi films to thought-provoking dramas, there's a smart movie out there for everyone, and then some. For instance, consider the mind-bending Inception or the ever-interesting Matrix, not to mention classics like Forrest Gump and Alien. These movies don't just bring sheer entertainment to the silver screen, but they also make us think—maybe even more than we'd like to. Regardless, the intelligent movies to follow cover a broad range of genres and subjects, and ultimately add to the entire experience.

If you're feeling smart and want to test your intelligence, check out some of the popular films below. Of course, also be sure to vote up the best intelligent movies, vote others down, and add your own choices to the list. And if you like these movies, check out our list of great movies about smart people.

list ordered by
1
Inception is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Christopher Nolan (2010), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard
2
Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Christopher Nolan (2014), starring Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon
3
The Shawshank Redemption... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Frank Darabont (1994), starring Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins
4
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (1999), starring Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss
5
Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by David Fincher (1999), starring Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter
6
The Prestige is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Christopher Nolan (2006), starring Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman
7
Memento is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Christopher Nolan (2000), starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
8
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Martin Scorsese (2010), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo
9
Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Gus Van Sant (1997), starring Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Matt Damon
10
The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by M. Night Shyamalan (1999), starring Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment
11
A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Ron Howard (2001), starring Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard
12
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Stanley Kubrick (1968), starring Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop
13
The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Bryan Singer (1994), starring Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne
14
The Imitation Game is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Morten Tyldum (2014), starring Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong
15
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Robert Zemeckis (1994), starring Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field
16
Eternal Sunshine of the ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Michel Gondry (2004), starring Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey
17
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Christopher Nolan (2008), starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger
18
V for Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by James McTeigue (2005), starring Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Hugo Weaving
19
Ex Machina is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Alex Garland (2015), starring Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac
20
Arrival is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Denis Villeneuve, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
21
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Richard Kelly (2001), starring Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal
22
The Truman Show is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Peter Weir (1998), starring Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti, Ed Harris
23
The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Frank Darabont (1999), starring Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell
24
Gone Girl is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by David Fincher (2014), starring Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry
25
The Departed is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too
Dir. by Martin Scorsese (2006), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin