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The Best Movies About Geniuses

Updated August 28, 2020 5.7k votes 1.1k voters 70.5k views47 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. 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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  • 1
    Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
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    Good Will Hunting

    Ben Affleck, Robin Williams

    Released1997

    Directed byGus Van Sant

    Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 2
    A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    393
    64

    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe

    Released2001

    Directed byRon Howard

    This is also considered one of the best math movies ever made.

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  • 3
    The Imitation Game is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    306
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    The Imitation Game

    Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch

    Released2014

    Directed byMorten Tyldum

    The Imitation Game is a 2014 historical thriller film directed by Morten Tyldum, with a... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 4
    Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
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    Rain Man

    Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman

    Released1988

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 5
    The Man Who Knew Infinity is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
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    33

    The Man Who Knew Infinity

    Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel

    Released2016

    Directed byMatt Brown

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  • 6
    Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
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    Sherlock Holmes

    Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law

    Released2009

    Directed byGuy Ritchie

    Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 period mystery action film directed by Guy Ritchie, based on the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    Limitless is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
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    Limitless

    Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper

    Released2011

    Directed byNeil Burger

    Limitless is a 2011 American thriller film directed by Neil Burger and starring Bradley... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    The Theory of Everything is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
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    The Theory of Everything

    Jeff Rector, Laird Macintosh

    Released2006

    Directed byDavid de Vos

    The Theory of Everything is a 2006 drama film.amazon buy button
  • 9
    Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    130
    56

    Amadeus

    Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon

    Released1984

    Directed byMiloš Forman

    Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 10
    The Martian is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    158
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    The Martian

    Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain

    Released2015

    Directed byRidley Scott

    The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the novel by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 11
    Searching for Bobby Fischer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
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    Searching for Bobby Fischer

    Ben Kingsley, William H. Macy

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Zaillian

    Searching for Bobby Fischer, released in the United Kingdom as Innocent Moves, is a 1993... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 12
    The Social Network is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    109
    79

    The Social Network

    Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones

    Released2010

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    The Social Network is a 2010 American drama film directed by David Fincher and written by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    August Rush is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    74
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    August Rush

    Robin Williams, Keri Russell

    Released2007

    Directed byKirsten Sheridan

    August Rush is a 2007 drama film directed by Kirsten Sheridan and written by Nick Castle,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    October Sky is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    66
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    October Sky

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern

    Released1999

    Directed byJoe Johnston

    October Sky is a 1999 American biographical film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 15
    21 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
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    21

    Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth

    Released2008

    Directed byRobert Luketic

    21 is a 2008 American drama film directed by Robert Luketic and stars Jim Sturgess, Kevin... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    Phenomenon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    60
    48

    Phenomenon

    John Travolta, Robert Duvall

    Released1996

    Directed byJon Turteltaub

    Phenomenon is a 1996 American romantic fantasy drama film directed by Jon Turteltaub, written... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    Little Man Tate is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    54
    43

    Little Man Tate

    Jodie Foster, Harry Connick

    Released1991

    Directed byJodie Foster

    Little Man Tate is a 1991 drama film directed by and starring Jodie Foster. The film marked... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 18
    Powder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    50
    39

    Powder

    Jeff Goldblum, Mary Steenburgen

    Released1995

    Directed byVictor Salva

    Powder is a 1995 American fantasy drama film written and directed by Victor Salva and starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 19
    Finding Forrester is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    53
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    Finding Forrester

    Anna Paquin, Matt Damon

    Released2000

    Directed byGus Van Sant

    Finding Forrester is a 2000 American drama film written by Mike Rich and directed by Gus Van... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 20
    Pawn Sacrifice is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    40
    34

    Pawn Sacrifice

    Liev Schreiber, Tobey Maguire

    Released2014

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    Pawn Sacrifice is an American biographical film directed by Edward Zwick and written by Steven... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    44
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    The Time Machine

    Jeremy Irons, Guy Pearce

    Released2002

    Directed bySimon Wells

    The Time Machine is a 2002 American science fiction film loosely adapted from the 1895 novel... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 22
    Pi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    55
    62

    Pi

    Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu

    Released1998

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

    Pi, also titled π, is a 1998 American surrealist psychological thriller film written and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 23
    Tesla is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    1
    0

    Tesla

    Ethan Hawke, Eve Hewson

    Released2020

    Directed byMichael Almereyda

    Tesla is a 2020 American biographical drama film directed by Michael Almereyda. A stylistic... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 24
    Proof is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    44
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    Proof

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal

    Released2005

    Directed byJohn Madden

    Proof is a 2005 American drama film directed by John Madden and starring Gwyneth Paltrow,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 25
    Shine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Geniuses
    38
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    Shine

    Geoffrey Rush, John Gielgud

    Released1996

    Directed byScott Hicks

    Shine is a 1996 Australian biographical drama film based on the life of pianist David... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
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