Entertainment

The Best Movies About Geniuses  

Ranker Film
4.4k votes 936 voters 61.1k views 46 items

List Rules Movies about geniuses, smart people, inventors, scientists, prodigies, and musicians.

What makes a genius? The theory of relativity, the musical madness of Mozart, the struggles of a person with autism and the miracle of how amazing their minds work, the possibility of time travel, the stroke of genius in an artist able to capture a never before seen image. Numerous films have been made about the work and minds of geniuses from all sorts of backgrounds and different fields.

The movies on this list all detail the life of a genius in one way or another – whether it’s taking more of a historical approach to the life of Albert Einstein in Young Einstein or a biographical approach to the struggles of a man who was a genius, but also had a mental illness like in A Beautiful Mind.

This list discusses the best movies about the life of a genius including: Good Will Hunting, Rain Man, The Time Machine, October Sky, August Rush, Finding Forrester, Phenomenon, Enigma, Bobby Fisher Against the World, and Little Man Tate.

Vote up the film you think is the most genius of all, vote down those you thought were just plain dumb, or add one you love that isn't on the list.
list ordered by
1
A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva ...more
2
Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Matt Damon
Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and ...more
3
Ranker Video
Anjelica Pappin added Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong
The Imitation Game is a 2014 historical thriller film directed by Morten Tyldum, with a screenplay by Graham Moore loosely based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. It ...more
4
Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino
Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who ...more
5
The Man Who Knew Infinity is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Svetlana Pavlovic added Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel, Stephen Fry
6
The Theory of Everything is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
carlybobarly added Jeff Rector, Laird Macintosh, Victor Lundin
The Theory of Everything is a 2006 drama film.
7
Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Tom Islava added Rachel McAdams, Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law
Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 British–American action mystery film based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie. In the film, ...more
8
Limitless is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Lee
Limitless is a 2011 American thriller film directed by Neil Burger and starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. It is based on the novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn.
9
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the novel by Andy Weir. An astronaut (Matt Damon) becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him gone, and must ...more
10
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole
Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.
11
Searching for Bobby Fischer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Ben Kingsley, William H. Macy, Laurence Fishburne
Searching for Bobby Fischer, released in the United Kingdom as Innocent Moves, is a 1993 American drama film written and directed by Steven Zaillian. The film was his directorial debut, and ...more
12
August Rush is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Robin Williams, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
August Rush is a 2007 drama film directed by Kirsten Sheridan and written by Nick Castle, James V. Hart, and Paul Castro, and produced by Richard Barton Lewis. Deciding to run away to New York ...more
13
The Social Network is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones, Rooney Mara
The Social Network is a 2010 American drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of ...more
14
October Sky is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper
October Sky is a 1999 American biographical film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's ...more
15
21 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne
21 is a 2008 American drama film directed by Robert Luketic and stars Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Bosworth, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts, and Aaron Yoo. The film is inspired ...more
16
Phenomenon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kyra Sedgwick
Phenomenon is a 1996 American romantic fantasy drama film directed by Jon Turteltaub, written by Gerald Di Pego, and starring John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, Robert Duvall, and ...more
17
Little Man Tate is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Jodie Foster, Harry Connick, Jr.
Little Man Tate is a 1991 drama film directed by and starring Jodie Foster. The film marked her directorial debut. It tells the story of a seven-year-old child prodigy, Fred Tate, who struggles ...more
18
Pawn Sacrifice is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Liev Schreiber, Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard
Pawn Sacrifice is an American biographical film directed by Edward Zwick and written by Steven Knight. The film stars Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer, Liev Schreiber as Boris Spassky, and Lily ...more
19
Finding Forrester is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Sean Connery
Finding Forrester is a 2000 American drama film written by Mike Rich and directed by Gus Van Sant. An African-American teenager, Jamal Wallace, is invited to attend a prestigious private high ...more
20
Powder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Jeff Goldblum, Mary Steenburgen, Lance Henriksen
Powder is a 1995 American fantasy drama film written and directed by Victor Salva and starring Sean Patrick Flanery in the titular role, with Jeff Goldblum, Mary Steenburgen, Bradford Tatum and ...more
21
Pi is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell
Pi, also titled π, is a 1998 American surrealist psychological thriller film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky in his directorial debut. The film earned Aronofsky the Directing Award at ...more
22
Temple Grandin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
yuliankundarto added Claire Danes, Julia Ormond, Catherine O'Hara
Temple Grandin is a 2010 biopic directed by Mick Jackson and starring Claire Danes as Temple Grandin, a woman with autism who revolutionized practices for the humane handling of livestock on ...more
23
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Jeremy Irons, Guy Pearce, Sienna Guillory
The Time Machine is a 2002 American science fiction film loosely adapted from the 1895 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells and the 1960 film screenplay by David Duncan. It was ...more
24
Mercury Rising is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Kim Dickens
Mercury Rising is a 1998 American action thriller film starring Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin. Directed by Harold Becker, the movie is based on Ryne Douglas Pearson's 1996 novel originally ...more
25
Shine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
Geoffrey Rush, John Gielgud, Lynn Redgrave
Shine is a 1996 Australian biographical drama film based on the life of pianist David Helfgott, who suffered a mental breakdown and spent years in institutions. It stars Geoffrey Rush, Lynn ...more