Great Movies That Every Math Lover Needs To Watch

by Shiwani Pandey September 09, 2022

There is a saying that movies are inspired by real-life events and reflect who we are as a society. They show us not only our values and aspirations but also our assumptions and perspectives about a given subject. In short, we can say that cinema is our cultural mirror that acts as an expressive way to convey a message to people on a mass level. 


Although some movies are more than just an emotion to us and turn the table for our thoughts in a special genre of informative & educational movies. In this blog, we are talking about some of the remarkable works of cinema in the world of numbers ie. Best Mathematics movies that the world has ever seen. Let’s find out:


films for maths lover


Also Read: Life Lessons from Greatest Teachers of All Time


Movies About Math & Math Geniuses 

Math is a subject that most students have anxiety about & struggle with for many generations. It requires not only regular practice but analytical, and logical thinking. But what if we tell you that Math can be an interesting subject? What if you can enjoy solving problems? What if you get to know that Math plays a key factor in your favorite movies? 


Yes, you heard it right!! There are a variety of movies that not only show us the importance of math in real life but also teach us how to learn the subject in an easier & interesting way. Here, we will be learning about the movies that will make math nerds look like geniuses & cool. Let’s get started:


1. Pi

This Black & White film released in 1998 by Darren Aronofsky with an abbreviated runtime of 84 minutes was greatly applauded back in its day. The film shows a story of a paranoid mathematician Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) who is deliberately trying to find out a pattern in the stock market that will also lead him to unlock the universal patterns found in nature. However, hallucination has a part to play in the movie which will make you think about what is real and what is fake. So, we can say that usually after watching a movie, people like to relax but this movie will not let you do that. 


2. A Brief Of History Of Time

If you are interested in taking a sneak peek into the life of great math genius Stephen Hawkings, who is a well-known turn-of-the-Millenium Einstein, late theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, this film should be your choice. You will get a chance to have a wonderful look at the most remarkable work of Stephen Hawking's career. 


The film is named after Hawking’s most famous work. A variety of complicated math concepts and tricks have been amazingly explained in the film to make it easily understandable for the less-technical savvy audience. However, if you want to know why we can’t see the future, this film has all your answers.


3. Super 30

If you want to see Hrithik Roshan depicting the life story of a renowned math genius and mathematician Anand Kumar, go & see this movie. Anand Kumar revolutionized the tuition system with his Super 30 Programme and made it available for poor & unprivileged students over rich ones willing to crack IIT-JEE but couldn’t due to the financial crisis. 


The film shows his struggle right from selling papads & teaching in the IIT entrance coaching classes being run by a minister for rich students to realizing that only capable ones deserve the crown & running his own innovative education program under Super 30. Hrithik Roshan has done a commendable job in the movie.


4. Traveling Salesman

Released in 2012, the title of the movie “Traveling Salesman” points toward the mathematical problem of P versus NP in computer science. If you want to know about this math problem in detail, this is your movie. A movie where 4-5 guys are discussing solving the problem as well as the aftermath of their solutions. String dialogues and a worthy movie for anyone interested in conclusions of mathematics rather than just its content. Directed and co-written by Timothy Lanzone, the film earned great appreciation and an official selection at New York International Film Festival.


5. Shakuntala Devi

If you are a fan of math, you probably heard the name Shakuntala Devi, a born mathematics genius who can calculate complex cube roots at the age of five. Her mathematical wonders helped her earn the name of a Human-Computer who can perform calculations in seconds, even faster than computers sometimes. 


6. Agora

The great movie is based on the life of Ancient Greek-Egyptian mathematician Hypatia, one of the first female mathematicians and astronomers. She lived in the Roman province of Egypt in the fourth century and was the first female mathematician in recorded history. Released in 2009, it was a Spanish film where the lead role was portrayed by Rachel Weisz and earned 13 Goya award nominations. 


7. Cube

Cube is not like other films that we have ever seen. It has geometry, prime numbers, and the power of prime numbers. It is about five people who are trapped in a large network of cube-shaped rooms that contain dangerous traps. The trapped people try to find out where they are and how they can get out of it. Although the film doesn’t attract awards, the combination of sci-fi & horror gives us goosebumps.


8. Moneyball

Brad Pitt's starrer movie “Moneyball” is about a man who wants to change baseball recruiting & analytics through math forever. This is a movie about applied mathematicians and statisticians. The character name Billy Beane is the real-life formal general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team who hires a statistician to apply statistics to create a winning team. The practical demonstration of Mathematics is really worth giving a shot. 


9. Proof

Many movies based on Mathematicians mainly include a male character as a lead but in this film, you will get to see a woman Mathematician named Catherine played by Gwyneth Paltrow. The film also has many male mathematicians in the movie who are trying to solve a difficult proof. The plot starts with Catherine, losing her father and reconciling with this loss. It gets interesting when a famous mathematician enters Catherine’s life willing to solve the mystery of her father’s last mathematical proof. It is an emotional drama with a mathematical mystery that keeps the viewers engaged throughout the story. 


10. A Beautiful Mind

Released in 2001 by Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind is about John Nash played by Russell Crowe, a famous mathematician and Noble Prize winner who is bored with his job at MIT and is amazed to join a new working offer for the Pentagon. The film depicts the beauty of mathematics flawlessly compared to any other movie on the list. It follows a story of a mathematician who is suffering from schizophrenia and his some of the most important mathematical discoveries in history. 


The Final Words!!!

There is no denying that films are merely a reflection of society and play a huge role in conveying a message. Whether you are good at math or avoid math classes, it requires a special kind of attention & learning method. These movies based on math & mathematicians will definitely help students in polishing their math skills. Watch them once!!!

FAQs on Great Movies That Every Math Lover Needs To Watch

1. Which movie should I watch based on a math genius?

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015) is a story of Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel), who is known for developing several properties of infinite series as a clerk in India.

2. Who is the best genius in math?

Hypatia, Girolamo Cardano, Leonhard Euler, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Georg Cantor etc are some of the best mathematicians in the world. 

3. Name a movie on math for middle school students?

Hidden Figures is an amazing & inspiring movie based on the power & knowledge of mathematics for all individuals irrespective of gender & background.