10 Movie Recommendations for Mathematics Lovers

In the past 2 months we have been doing a movie recommendation every Saturday on our Facebook page. We decided to share with you a list of some of our favourite movies. Let us know what other movies you would add to the list. Enjoy!

A Beautiful Mind

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish. The story begins in Nash’s days as a graduate student at Princeton University. Early in the film, Nash begins to develop paranoid schizophrenia and endures delusional episodes while watching the burden his condition brings on wife Alicia and friends.

1

It is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of the American mathematician John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics and Abel Prize winner. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva Goldsman. It was inspired by a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-nominated 1998 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar*. The film stars Russell Crowe (Jogn Nash), along with Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, and Christopher Plummer in supporting roles.

 

The Man Who Knew Infinity

The story of the life and academic career of the pioneer Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and his friendship with his mentor, Professor G.H. Hardy. The film stars Dev Patel as Srinivasa Ramanujan, who after growing up poor in Madras, India, earns admittance to Cambridge University during World War I, where he becomes a pioneer in mathematical theories with the guidance of his professor, G. H. Hardy, portrayed by Jeremy Irons.

22

It is a 2015 British biographical drama film about the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, based on the 1991 book of the same name by Robert Kanigel*. The film had its world premiere as a gala presentation at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and was selected as the opening gala of the 2015 Zurich Film Festival. It also played other film festivals including Singapore International Film Festival and Dubai International Film Festival.

 

The Hidden Figures

The movie is about the story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.

3

It is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder. It is loosely based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly* about black female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race. The film stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and other missions. The film also features Octavia Spencer as NASA supervisor and mathematician Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monáe as NASA engineer Mary Jackson, with Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, and Mahershala Ali in supporting roles.

 

21

It is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings. This movie has a connection with the mathematician Claude Shannon.

4

It is a 2008 American heist drama film directed by Robert Luketic and starring Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Bosworth, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts, Aaron Yoo, and Kieu Chinh. The film is inspired by the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team as told in Bringing Down the House, the best-selling book by Ben Mezrich*.

 

Proof (or {proof})

The plot alternates between events immediately following the death of Robert (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant mathematician whose genius was undone by crippling mental illness, and flashbacks revealing the life he shared with his daughter Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow). Catherine is also a mathematician, but she struggles with living in her father’s shadow, with balancing her demanding studies with caring for her father and also with the fear that she may have inherited his mental illness.

5

It is a 2005 American drama film directed by John Madden and starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Hope Davis. The screenplay was written by Rebecca Miller and David Auburn, based on Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof.

 

The Imitation Game

During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as British cryptanalyst Alan Turing, who decrypted German intelligence messages for the British government during the Second World War.

6

It is a 2014 American historical drama film directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Graham Moore, based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges*. The title of the film quotes the name of the game Alan Turing proposed for answering the question “Can machines think?”, in his 1950 seminal paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”.

 

N Is a Number A Portrait of Paul Erdos

It is a 1993 biographical documentary about the life of mathematician Paul Erdos, directed by George Paul Csicsery. The film was made between 1988 and 1991, capturing Erdős in various countries along with some of his numerous collaborators. It covers his unusual career, his personal life, and many of his recurring jokes and anecdotes, including that of Erdős numbers.

7

The film won the Gold Apple Award (National Educational Film & Video Festival), and the Gold Plaque Award (Science/Nature, Documentary category, Chicago International Film Festival).

 

x + y

This heartwarming drama tells the story of an introverted mathematical prodigy who is not good with relationships and social interactions but comes across a young girl with whom he strikes a friendship while competing at the International Mathematics Olympiad. The film, inspired by the documentary, Beautiful Young Minds, focuses on a teenage English mathematics prodigy named Nathan (Asa Butterfield) who has difficulty understanding people, but finds comfort in numbers. When he is chosen to represent the United Kingdom at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), Nathan embarks on a journey in which he faces unexpected challenges, such as understanding the nature of love. The character of Nathan was based on Daniel Lightwing who won a silver medal at the 2006 IMO.

8

X+Y, released in the US as A Brilliant Young Mind, is a 2014 British drama film directed by Morgan Matthews and starring Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins. 

 

Stand and Deliver

It’ centers around a high school teacher who strives hard to transform his academically poor performing students into mathematical prodigies. He transforms the students by bringing about a change in the school culture and helps them take AP Calculus by their senior year.

9

It is a 1988 American drama film based on the true story of high school math teacher Jaime Escalante. For portraying Escalante, Edward James Olmos was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 61st Academy Awards. The film was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2011.

 

Fermat’s Room

Three mathematicians and one inventor are invited to a house under the premise of solving a great enigma, and told to use pseudonyms based on famous historical mathematicians. At the house, they are trapped in a room. They must solve puzzles given by the host, who calls himself “Fermat”, in order to escape the slowly closing walls of the room.

10

It is a 2007 Spanish thriller film directed by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopeña

 


Hope you liked this post. Have a great day. You can find us on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. We will try to post there as often as possible.

Lots of love and don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy!


*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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