9 Movies That Will Leave You Feeling A Little Smarter

We live in the golden age of entertainment. All around you, there are things designed to engage you and sometimes you might not even notice them. We crave more of this entertainment and that’s why you see us queuing to catch the latest flick in a theatre nearby. While all movies entertain, some movies go deeper than that in terms of using scientific, philosophical, and psychological concepts. Someone who already knows about these concepts has a different kind of admiration for these kinds of smart movies, and some like us feel ourselves becoming a little smarter with each of them.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

One of the first space movies and one of the finest ones to date. All the supporters of practical effects still look at this movie to showcase what they can achieve. Stanley Kubrick delivered a masterpiece that people talk about till today. The film touched upon topics like space travel, evil AIs, and what it is to be human all in two and a half hours. There have been scores of people who have initially found the movie boring but have distinctive respect for it after rewatching it.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Our history is full of geniuses who were shunted or executed during their time. Even today, anyone who is considered different has had a life that is not easy. There are a lot of movies that explore this concept and there are a few that do it as well as Good Will Hunting. This movie won an Academy Award and brought stars like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to the limelight. The story gives a whole new insight on how to go about emotionally helping geniuses.

Pi (1998)

If Mathematics were today’s pop culture, Pi would be its Batman. The number that answers a lot of questions also stumps a lot of mathematicians. Darren Aronofsky took this concept and added themes like religion, mysticism, and the correlation between mathematics and the universe to it, creating this movie. This number is supposed to unlock the world, and if we believe the movie, it is better if some things remain unsolved.

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Being John Malkovich gave us two important things – it introduced us to one of the most brilliant screenwriters, Charlie Kaufman, and it showed us that philosophy is not the monopoly of literature. The movie is a surreal comedy with a lot of underlying messages. It made a point about how celebrity worship and how pointless it all is. The film also explored areas of escapism. The plot might seem convoluted to some, and it might make others smile.

Primer (2004)

We know sci-fi movies usually lean more on fiction than science. Often, the word quantum explains all bits of science in a movie. In the world of sci-fi, if there was a beloved concept, it is time travel. Shane Carruth did something that no one thought was possible. He brought sound scientific ideas in a movie that involved time travel. This short movie relies heavily on the tech jargon but certainly is criticism-proof against the science experts sitting in the audience.

Mr. Nobody (2009)

We have seen movies like the Butterfly Effect, which shows us how the smallest decisions today can change your path. You never get the chance to go back and change these decisions. If there was a movie that narrates this phenomenon perfectly, it is Mr. Nobody. The film follows the story of Nemo Nobody at three important junctions of his life. They show us what his life has come to be and what it would have been if he had chosen differently.

Watchmen (2009)

Alan Moore, who has written some thought-provoking comics like V for Vendetta and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, has always been disappointed by their Hollywood adaptations. The movie came out at the time when we were entering the golden age of comic book superheroes joining the big screen. We had superheroes like Batman and Iron Man saving the day, and along came Zack Snyder with this superb adaptation. The movie went beyond a typical superhero movie delving deeper into the philosophy of what the world would be like if superheroes existed. The film has gained such a cult following that we even have a TV show based on it.

Inside Out (2015)

There is nothing more complicated than understanding how you are feeling. We know the difference between angry and sad but might confuse angry and disgust. Pixar is the only studio capable of showing us the difference between these emotions in the best way possible. This movie helps kids and adults to figure out how each feeling plays an important part and how it is actually essential to accept one’s sadness. A little deep for a kids’ film, isn’t it?

Arrival (2016)

This movie is for all the language geeks out there who, in the world of emojis, continue to believe that language is the basis for all communication. This sci-fi drama tackles a straightforward yet significant problem. An alien species have found their way to Earth and it is on us to figure out whether they are a friend or a foe. While we have had our fair share of aliens invading the Earth, none of them have explored this part of communication before.

Stay tuned for more things you can watch during this lockdown. Stay safe!

Mansi Bengali: A self-confessed nerd, living to write and entertain.