One of the perfect and most well-known movies ever made revolves round a mathematician. You’ll acknowledge a number of different titles featured on the listing, however frankly, there are a ton of underrated initiatives featured herein, too. But for probably the most half, they have been all directed by the most important administrators the trade has ever seen, they usually have star-studded casts besides.
A noteworthy level to make is that these films characteristic mathematicians as their respective principal characters. So, initiatives similar to Moneyball (2011) would solely depend if Jonah Hill’s character have been the protagonist, as an illustration. And for what it is price, worldwide cinema might be included on the listing. All that mentioned, these are the sixteen greatest films about mathematicians, ranked.
16 Straw Dogs
Championed by loads of well-known movie critics similar to Gene Siskel, this entry was reasonably controversial upon launch. Specifically, Straw Dogs (1971) acquired criticism for its shows of violence. Certain scenes have been even censored by quite a lot of movie ranking boards, with a number of different movies from this very yr using a equally violent aesthetic: A Clockwork Orange (1971) by Stanley Kubrick and Dirty Harry (1971) by Don Siegel, for instance.
But Straw Dogs is well probably the most missed of these. It follows Dustin Hoffman’s protagonist David (the mathematician of the bunch) who marries an Englishwoman named Amy. But once they relocate to the latter’s hometown, David is given the chilly shoulder by the lads thereof. An odd supply of battle for a psychological thriller. Thankfully, director Sam Peckinpah noticed it come into implausible fruition.
15 In Our Prime
After gaining reputation within the States within the early 2000s because of movies similar to Oldboy (2003), the cinema of South Korea has seen an abroad resurgence as of late because of Parasite (2019) by Bong Joon-ho. But actually, South Korean filmmakers have by no means stopped releasing high-quality content material, and that is very a lot the case with In Our Prime (2022). Directed by Park Dong-hoon, the entry at hand follows two protagonists: a genius mathematician and a pupil who’s failing the topic.
The former is performed by Choi Min-sik, certainly one of South Korea’s all-time biggest thespians and the star of the aforementioned Oldboy. But with In Our Prime, he shares a blinding rapport together with his on-screen co-star Kim Dong-hwi, who performs the novice of the dynamic. And though few of those names possible imply a lot to you, relaxation assured that every inventive engaged on In Our Prime — whether or not in entrance of the digital camera or behind the scenes — elevated this undertaking to qualitative heights.
14 The Man Who Knew Infinity
Based on Robert Kanigel’s 1991 e-book of the identical title, The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015) focuses on a real-life mathematician named Srinivasa Ramanujan. He’s performed by Dev Patel, with Jeremy Irons showing in a supporting position as one other reliable mathematician named G.H. Hardy. Both thespians painting their respective lecturers to an absolute tee, with nice critiques doled out to each of them by pundits of the trade. In truth, even if you happen to aren’t all for arithmetic, their respective performances and grand dynamic can be definitely worth the watch by themselves.
It follows Ramanujan as he turns into a pioneer of mathematical theories beneath the tutelage of the aforementioned professor, G.H. Hardy. The former does so at Cambridge University amid the disastrous happenings of World War I, with the adjustment to his new house of England being much more sophisticated than anticipated as a result of racial injustices. The Man Who Knew Infinity appears at first like a typical biopic with Oscar-caliber performers within the lead roles. But upon digging deeper into the rapport of its characters and the efforts of its leads, this turns into an important film in regards to the subject at hand.
13 The Theory of Everything
Among the extra well-known movies up so far on the listing is The Theory of Everything (2014), starring Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking. Those unfamiliar with the gripping story of that real-life theoretical physicist ought to expertise the movie from begin with a recent perspective, however relaxation assured: it runs the gamut of emotion with one of the crucial good performances on your complete listing offered by Redmayne.
He walked away with a golden statuette for Best Actor on the 87th Academy Awards, actually. And he deserved it by and thru. Supporting efforts are given by the likes of Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, and Emily Watson, with everybody sharing a tangible dynamic with one another and Redmayne alike to render this one of the crucial entertaining exchanges of dialogue you will examine right now. But actually, The Theory of Everything goes down as an important film about mathematicians primarily as a result of career-defining efficiency from the aforementioned Oscar winner.
Without a doubt, one of many lesser-known films on the listing is Enigma (2001), directed by Michael Apted from a script by Tom Stoppard. The latter is a revered playwright with many notable works beneath his belt similar to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. But he is additionally written a number of screenplays apart from the one at hand: Brazil (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), and Shakespeare in Love (1998) have been all written by Stoppard. And certain, chances are you’ll not acknowledge both of these creatives by title. You ought to certainly know the actress within the movie’s lead position, although.
In one of many extra missed roles of her profession, English actress Kate Winslet seems (alongside actor Dougray Scott) right here in Enigma as a Blechley Park enigma codebreaker amid World War II. The undertaking acquired criticism for its historic inaccuracies, however for probably the most half, critics have been happy with the general product. When it involves films about mathematicians, no dialog is full with out the mentioning of Enigma.
Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, this psychological thriller follows a pupil of arithmetic who obsesses over looking for full order for the world through which he lives. Of course, the title of Pi (1998) refers back to the mathematical fixed of the identical title, with the protagonist extra particularly trying within the movie to distinction human nature with the quantity concept. It’s an off-the-wall premise from its first body, however Aronofsky’s behind-the-scenes brilliance renders it an important movie in regards to the topic at hand.
This was Aronofsky’s feature-length directorial debut, and critics have been greater than happy with its high quality. Pi made nice waves on the worldwide field workplace too, and it is nonetheless regarded again on fondly right now. If you are a fan of this director’s later works similar to Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Wrestler (2008), Black Swan (2010), and The Whale (2022), or if you happen to’re simply on the lookout for a stable undertaking about mathematicians, Pi ought to certainly be for you.
From its opening scene, Cube (1997) options among the most tantalizing camerawork you are certain to examine right now. Right out of the gate, low angles are used to convey a way of helplessness surrounding a given character, whereas shaky handheld pictures intention to elicit anxiousness. Fitting, because the plot follows six individuals who abruptly awaken inside an concerned deathtrap that is constructed on mathematical ideas, a kind of labyrinth consisting of cube-shaped rooms.
One member of the group is a math pupil, whereas the others harbor distinctive talent units of their very own. There’s an escape artist of their midst, together with a free clinic physician and a police officer. They aren’t portrayed by any notable names, nor would you acknowledge any of the creatives that labored behind the scenes. But Cube is nonetheless a thrill experience from its first scene till the ultimate body, and it is certainly an important movie relating to mathematicians.
9 Stand and Deliver
Directed by Ramón Menéndez from a script he co-wrote with Tom Musca, this entry tells the story of real-life highschool math instructor Jamie Escalante. He’s portrayed right here in Stand and Deliver (1988) by Edward James Olmos, and for his career-defining efforts, he acquired a nomination for Best Actor on the 61st Academy Awards.
Sure, he got here up quick to Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man (1988) for the golden statuette. But that is one of the crucial legendary performances of the last decade, and it after all takes nothing away from Olmos’s work. And to talk extra to the standard of the movie at hand, it gained the Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature. That’s a reasonably excessive honor, and to prime issues off, it has been preserved by the Library of Congress with a spot within the National Film Registry.
8 The Imitation Game
Widely thought of to be the daddy of theoretical laptop science and synthetic intelligence, British mathematician and laptop scientist Alan Turing is probably the most influential determine the latter area has ever seen. He’s portrayed in The Imitation Game (2014) by Benedict Cumberbatch, who acquired widespread popularity of his efficiency.
The movie as a complete gained Best Adapted Screenplay on the 87th Academy Awards, too, with the general product being of the utmost high quality. If The Imitation Game someway eluded you whereas it was in theaters or throughout its subsequent launch into the house video market, you may relaxation assured that it is well-worth your time.
7 A Serious Man
Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, this entry stars Michael Stuhlbarg as a physics professor named Larry Gopnik. His life is falling aside round him each personally and professionally, with the primary supply of battle coming from inside because the filmmaking duo explores the human situation. Larry’s spouse leaves him, his brother strikes in after dropping his job, and a co-worker makes an attempt to smash his shot at tenure.
And regardless of flying a bit beneath the general public radar, A Serious Man (2009) resonated fairly fondly with critics. In truth, the movie as a complete picked up a nod for Best Picture on the 82nd Academy Awards, whereas the Coen Brothers picked up a nomination for Best Original Screenplay. There are loads of different high-quality components of filmmaking price writing house about too, from the cinematography by Roger Deakins to the rating by Carter Burwell. Everyone is close to sufficient to the highest of their recreation to render A Serious Man a no brainer alternative for the listing.
6 A Beautiful Mind
With regard to on-paper statistics, A Beautiful Mind (2001) is by far and away probably the most spectacular characteristic on the listing. It did not simply accrue nice cash on the worldwide field workplace — $317 million off a finances of $58 million — however it additionally cleaned up on the 74th Academy Awards. It gained 4 out of eight whole nominations, together with Best Director for Ron Howard, Best Actress for Jennifer Connelly, Best Adapted Screenplay for Akiva Goldsman, and even Best Picture for the movie general.
Australian actor Russell Crowe did not stroll away with a golden statuette for his work, however he nonetheless acquired a nomination for Best Actor because of his efforts as real-life, American mathematician John Nash. A Beautiful Mind is without doubt one of the most well-known movies featured herein, and with good motive. It finally is available in at quantity six.
In their sixth collaboration with each other, English director Christopher Nolan and Irish actor Cillian Murphy teamed up as soon as once more to indicate audiences throughout the globe how one man amid World War II change historical past ceaselessly. Of course, Oppenheimer (2023) follows the titular theoretical physicist of American origins — performed to a career-defining diploma by Murphy — as he leads the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb.
Though laborious to look at at occasions, Oppenheimer strikes at such a fast tempo that the wit and well-researched nature of its dialogue maintain your consideration rolling till the credit do. And it options one of the crucial star-studded casts you will examine right now, with far too many names from the Hollywood block to listing individually. But they’re all on the prime of their video games in Oppenheimer to render it a top-five choose for the perfect films about mathematicians.
4 Hidden Figures
Based on the non-fiction e-book of the identical title by Margot Lee Shetterly, that is each a more moderen film on the listing, and one of many extra well-known. It follows three African American mathematicians who performed integral roles within the development of area expertise, they usually’re portrayed splendidly by their respective thespians. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe all acquired widespread acclaim for his or her main efforts, with Spencer even garnering a nomination on the Oscars for Best Supporting Actress.
Other gifted and well-known performers among the many forged of Hidden Figures (2016) embrace the likes of Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Mahershala Ali, and Jim Parsons. Hard-hitting themes emerge early within the story, and they’ll have flourished in poignance by the point it is mentioned and completed. Even if this weren’t a real story with real-life implications, Hidden Figures would nonetheless warrant a spot amid the perfect films made about mathematicians.
Though a bit gradual to start out, Proof (2006) picks up within the second act and solely snowballs in intrigue and depth from there. It stars Gwyneth Paltrow as Catherine, the daughter of a revered mathematician — Robert, performed by Anthony Hopkins. The latter passes away close to the start of the movie, and his pupil (portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal) comes into combine whereas hoping to sift by the deceased’s notebooks. On prime of his mathematical aspirations, he additionally performs in a rock band, and he develops an curiosity in Catherine that prospers into an incredible rapport between their performers.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Anthony Hopkins are three of probably the most gifted actors of their respective generations, however the worth of their names failed to draw audiences to attend showings of Proof at their native film theaters. It did not precisely resonate fondly with pundits of the trade, both. Sure, sure critics similar to Roger Ebert championed the movie upon launch. But it nonetheless stays an underrated undertaking from everybody concerned, with its give attention to arithmetic rendering it a surefire choose for the listing.
2 21 Grams
This second entry in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s non secular “Death Trilogy” follows three disparate storylines related by the tragedy of a hit-and-run. Sean Penn performs a critically sick arithmetic professor named Paul Rivers, whereas different performers in 21 Grams (2003) embrace the likes of Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro, Melissa Leo, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. They all carry out brilliantly — actually, Watts acquired a nod for Best Actress on the 76th Academy Awards, together with Best Supporting Actor for Del Toro. Both well-earned.
But intriguing techniques of lighting, well-selected wardrobes, and a rigorously curated colour palette all performed into rendering every story line idiosyncratic, distinctive in their very own methods, and spectacular throughout the board of high-quality filmmaking. Iñárritu is without doubt one of the biggest administrators Mexico has ever produced, and 21 Grams is among the many greatest options of his profession. It’s additionally among the finest films ever made that revolve round mathematicians.
1 Good Will Hunting
Perhaps probably the most well-known movie on the listing is Good Will Hunting (1997), which occurs to be the perfect of the bunch, as nicely. Directed by Gus Van Sant from a script co-penned by each Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, this movie options these two screenwriters within the lead roles. Specifically, Damon performs the titular character Will, a blue-collar employee with a genius-level IQ, whereas Affleck seems as his greatest pal Chuckie. And talking of the forged, probably the most poignant efficiency of the pack was offered by Robin Williams.
It’s the best position of his profession as Dr. Sean Maguire, and he shares a tangible rapport with Damon each step of the way in which. Williams gained the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor because of his efforts, with Damon and Affleck profitable the golden statuette for Best Original Screenplay. And Good Will Hunting as a complete holds as much as perfection practically three a long time down the road. This may very nicely be recognized ceaselessly as the perfect film a few mathematician.