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.
- Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves a difficult graduate-level math problem, his talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau ...more
- In 1939, newly created British intelligence agency MI6 recruits Cambridge mathematics alumnus Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to crack Nazi codes, including Enigma -- which cryptanalysts had ...more
- A human drama inspired by events in the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., and in part based on the biography "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar. From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, ...more
- In 1913, brilliant East Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) travels to Trinity College in England to work with professor G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons).
- When car dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) learns that his estranged father has died, he returns home to Cincinnati, where he discovers that he has an autistic older brother named Raymond (Dustin ...more
- In the 1960s, Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) falls in love with fellow collegian Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). At 21, Hawking learns that he has ...more
- Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) - in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are ...more
- Facing unemployment and his girlfriend's rejection, writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is sure that he has no future. That all changes when an old friend gives him a drug that produces enhanced ...more
- The Accountant is a 2016 American action thriller film directed by Gavin O'Connor. A highly-functioning autistic small-town certified public accountant (Ben Affleck) makes his living uncooking the ...more
- A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him to force him to build a devastating weapon. Instead, ...more
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) is a remarkably talented young Viennese composer who unwittingly finds a fierce rival in the disciplined and determined Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham). ...more
- When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn't take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his crime-solving partner, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), to find the ...more
- When Austria's crown prince is found dead, evidence seems to point to suicide. However, detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) deduces that the prince was murdered and that the crime is but a ...more
- Teen misfits Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) design their ideal woman on a computer, and a freak electrical accident brings her to life in the form of the lovely, ...more
- When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must ...more
- When hostile aliens called the Formics attack Earth, only the legendary heroics of Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) manage to attain a victory. To prepare for the next attack, Col. Hyrum Graff (Harrison ...more
- After he beats his dad (Joe Mantegna) in a chess match, Josh Waitzkin (Max Pomeranc), a 7-year-old, gets noticed for his talent. He becomes interested in speed chess at the park and learns the game ...more
- Tesla is a 2020 American biographical drama film directed by Michael Almereyda. A stylistic look at Nikola Tesla's (Ethan Hawke) life and relationship.
- A musically gifted orphan, Evan (Freddie Highmore), runs away from his orphanage and searches New York City for his birth parents. On his journey, he's taken under the wing of the Wizard (Robin ...more
- When a boyfriend tricks Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) into delivering a briefcase to a supposed business contact, the once-carefree student is abducted by thugs who intend to turn her into a drug mule. ...more
- John Hickam (Chris Cooper) is a West Virginia coal miner who loves his job and expects his sons, Jim (Scott Miles) and Homer (Jake Gyllenhaal), to follow in his footsteps. But Jim gets a football ...more
- Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi, based on the non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly. The story of a team of female African-American ...more
- When kids sneak into inventor Wayne Szalinski's (Rick Moranis) upstairs lab to retrieve an errant baseball, his experimental shrink ray miniaturizes them. When Szalinski returns home, he destroys the ...more
- In 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) begins work on a new concept that eventually turns into the global social network known as Facebook. Six years later, ...more
- On his birthday, mechanic George Malley (John Travolta) sees a flash of light and proceeds to exhibit extraordinary mental abilities. He becomes a genius, even showing an ability to move objects with ...more