List of films about mathematicians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of feature films that include mathematicians, scientists who use math or references to mathematicians.

About mathematics[edit]

Films where mathematics is central to the plot:

  • 21 (2008) – A group of MIT current and former students, mostly mathematicians, and an algebra professor devise a card counting scheme for success at Las Vegas Strip blackjack tables.
  • The Bank (2001) – A mathematician discovers a formula to predict fluctuations in the stock market.
  • Cube (1997) – Six people, including Leaven, a math student, awake in a deathtrap based on mathematical principles.
  • Fermat's Room (2007) – 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.
  • Gifted (2017) – Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy—his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace)—in a coastal town in Florida after the death of her mother Diane, a mathematician. Mary's grandmother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) and uncle have different ideas on how to raise her. Mary tells her grandmother she wants to solve the problem her mother was working on, the Navier-Stokes existence and smoothness problem.[1]
  • Good Will Hunting (1997) – Janitor and genius Will Hunting (Matt Damon) begins to turn his life around with the help of psychologist (Robin Williams) and a Fields Medal-winning professor (Stellan Skarsgård).
  • I.Q. (1994) – Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau) helps a young man (Tim Robbins) pretend to be a physicist in order to catch the attention of Einstein's niece (Meg Ryan).
  • An Invisible Sign (2011) – Mona Gray (Jessica Alba) gives up everything important to her in life, except mathematics, as part of a "deal with the universe" to help restore her father (a mathematician) to health. Years later, Mona teaches the subject, and does her best to help her students contend with their own personal crises.
  • Moebius (1996) – Topologists including a young girl make contributions to the subway system and other facets of reality in Argentina in this math film with a science fiction and surreal feel.
  • Moneyball (2011) – Oakland Athletics baseball team's general manager Billy Beane attempts to assemble a competitive team using statistics.
  • The Oxford Murders (2008) – A Student (Elijah Wood) finds out about mysterious killings in Oxford and helped by a professor (John Hurt), they reveal the math patterns used by the killer.
  • Pi (1998) – A mathematician searches for the number that underlies all of nature.
  • Proof (2005) – A former student (Jake Gyllenhaal) of a recently deceased, brilliant mathematician (Anthony Hopkins) finds a notebook in his office containing a proof of an important theorem, but the mathematician's daughter (Gwyneth Paltrow) claims it is hers. The ensuing dispute is complicated by signs that she may have inherited her father's mental illness and a burgeoning romance.
  • Raising Genius (2004) – The film is about a boy (Justin Long) who locks himself in the bathroom to work out math equations on the shower wall.
  • Sneakers (1992) – An eclectic team is blackmailed into stealing a mathematician's code-breaking box.
  • Travelling Salesman (2012) – The US government hires four mathematicians to solve the most powerful problem ever to plague computer science (P vs NP problem).
  • X+Y (2014) A teenage mathematical prodigy has difficulty understanding people, but finds comfort in numbers.

Mathematician biographical films[edit]

Biographical films based on real-life mathematicians:

Starring mathematicians[edit]

Films where one or more mathematicians play the main role, but that are not otherwise about mathematics:

Featuring mathematicians[edit]

Films where one or more of the members of the main cast is a mathematician:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chang, Justin (April 6, 2017). "Chris Evans raises a young math prodigy in the clever but overly calculating 'Gifted'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 25, 2022. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Girls who fell in love with Math". Taiwan Film Institute. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  3. ^ "Trailer: Girls Who Fell in Love with Math". Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  4. ^ Deborah Young (14 September 2015). "'The Man Who Knew Infinity': TIFF Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 February 2016. Brown's screenplay brings math into the dialogue often and without embarrassment.
  5. ^ Horowitz, David (1990). "Tabular Integration by Parts" (PDF). The College Mathematics Journal. 21 (4): 307–311. doi:10.2307/2686368. JSTOR 2686368.

External links[edit]