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The Best Movies About Geniuses

Updated April 6, 2021 5.7k votes 1.2k voters 75.7k views89 items

List RulesMovies 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 or a kid with an amazing imagination. 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.

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    Good Will Hunting

    Ben Affleck, Robin Williams

    Released1997

    Directed byGus Van Sant

    More Good Will Hunting 

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    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe

    Released2001

    Directed byRon Howard

    More A Beautiful Mind 

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    The Imitation Game

    Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch

    Released2014

    Directed byMorten Tyldum

    More The Imitation Game 

    #144 of 376 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#77 of 223 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

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    Rain Man

    Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman

    Released1988

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    More Rain Man 

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    The Theory of Everything

    Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones

    Released2014

    Directed byJames Marsh

    More The Theory of Everything 

    #104 of 122 Great Movies That Place In The '60s#8 of 24 Great Movies About Inventors & Innovators

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    The Man Who Knew Infinity

    Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel

    Released2016

    Directed byMatt Brown

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    Limitless

    Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper

    Released2011

    Directed byNeil Burger

    More Limitless 

    #84 of 232 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#190 of 386 The Best Movies Based On Books

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    Sherlock Holmes

    Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law

    Released2009

    Directed byGuy Ritchie

    More Sherlock Holmes 

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    Amadeus

    Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon

    Released1984

    Directed byMiloš Forman

    More Amadeus 

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    The Martian

    Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain

    Released2015

    Directed byRidley Scott

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    Searching for Bobby Fischer

    Ben Kingsley, William H. Macy

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Zaillian

    More Searching for Bobby Fischer 

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    August Rush

    Robin Williams, Keri Russell

    Released2007

    Directed byKirsten Sheridan

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    The Social Network

    Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones

    Released2010

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    More The Social Network 

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    October Sky

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern

    Released1999

    Directed byJoe Johnston

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    #25 of 47 The Best Historical Movies from the '90s#20 of 83 Great Movies That Take Place In Autumn

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    Phenomenon

    John Travolta, Robert Duvall

    Released1996

    Directed byJon Turteltaub

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    #8 of 59 The Best Movies Released July 4th Weekend#234 of 440 The Best Fantasy Movies

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    Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth

    Released2008

    Directed byRobert Luketic

    More 21 

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    Finding Forrester

    Anna Paquin, Matt Damon

    Released2000

    Directed byGus Van Sant

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    Powder

    Jeff Goldblum, Mary Steenburgen

    Released1995

    Directed byVictor Salva

    More Powder 

    #123 of 197 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time#372 of 502 The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Of All Time

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    Little Man Tate

    Jodie Foster, Harry Connick

    Released1991

    Directed byJodie Foster

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    Gifted

    Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace

    Released2017

    Directed byMarc Webb

    More 

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    Pawn Sacrifice

    Liev Schreiber, Tobey Maguire

    Released2014

    Directed byEdward Zwick

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    Ender's Game

    Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley

    Released2013

    Directed byGavin Hood

    More Ender's Game 

    #78 of 186 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made#138 of 197 The Best Adventure Movies

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    Pi

    Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu

    Released1998

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

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    #267 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s#31 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

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    The Time Machine

    Jeremy Irons, Guy Pearce

    Released2002

    Directed bySimon Wells

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    #82 of 178 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies#93 of 181 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

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    The Accountant

    Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick

    Released2016

    Directed byGavin O'Connor

    More The Accountant 

    #56 of 112 Movies That Need Sequels#42 of 136 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked