Entertainment
8.8k voters

The Best Movies That Are Pretty Smart, Too

Updated May 11, 2021 123.6k votes 8.8k voters 104.3k views107 items

List RulesVote 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 becuase they're movies that make you think. Regardless of genre, these types of movies will 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.  But which one is the best intellectual movie of them all? Vote up your favorite intelligent movies to help them reach the top of the list.

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 if you like these movies, check out our list of great movies about smart people.

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  • 1

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field
    4,756
    1,475

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

  • 2

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth
    5,090
    1,745

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

  • 3

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise
    3,665
    1,261

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

  • 4

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon
    2,743
    1,000

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

  • 5

    Dead Poets Society

    Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke
    455
    181

    Released1989

    Directed byPeter Weir

  • 6

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito
    2,081
    1,034

    Released1975

    Directed byMiloš Forman

  • 7

    Good Will Hunting

    Ben Affleck, Robin Williams
    2,822
    1,453

    Released1997

    Directed byGus Van Sant

  • 8

    The Usual Suspects

    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro
    2,085
    1,076

    Released1994

    Directed byBryan Singer

  • 9

    Catch Me If You Can

    Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio
    475
    204

    Released2002

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

  • 10

    The Sixth Sense

    Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton
    2,480
    1,312

    Released1999

    Directed byM. Night Shyamalan

  • 11
    starwarssuperfan added

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd
    1,399
    756

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

  • 12

    The Matrix

    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving
    2,273
    1,292

    Released1999

    Directed byAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

  • 13

    Fight Club

    Brad Pitt, Jared Leto
    2,297
    1,307

    Released1999

    Directed byDavid Fincher

  • 14

    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe
    1,771
    997

    Released2001

    Directed byRon Howard

  • 15

    The Departed

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson
    1,574
    888

    Released2006

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

  • 16

    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix
    1,672
    965

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

  • 17

    Hidden Figures

    Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer
    290
    138

    Released2016

    Directed byTheodore Melfi

  • 18

    Groundhog Day

    Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell
    1,748
    1,100

    Released1993

    Directed byHarold Ramis

  • 19

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy
    1,869
    1,184

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

  • 20
    phoenixginahunter added

    The Martian

    Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain
    1,442
    915

    Released2015

    Directed byRidley Scott

  • 21

    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine
    1,493
    970

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

  • 22
    starwarssuperfan added

    Toy Story

    Tom Hanks, Tim Allen
    1,041
    670

    Released1995

    Directed byJohn Lasseter

  • 23

    The Imitation Game

    Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch
    1,286
    844

    Released2014

    Directed byMorten Tyldum

  • 24

    Alien

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt
    1,154
    753

    Released1979

    Directed byRidley Scott

  • 25

    The Truman Show

    Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti
    1,408
    952

    Released1998

    Directed byPeter Weir