21 Movies About Scientists and Their Struggle For Inspiration

Inventions are not all about intelligence, but years of struggle.

Genia Giri

Feb 7, 2021|7 min read


Movies about Scientists, Inventions and Discoveries
Movies about Scientists, Inventions and Discoveries

Scientists are not magicians. What they have with them are science and struggle. They have not treasured huge intelligence, intellect, or other extraordinary talents within themselves. For example, if you see Albert Einstein and other renowned scientists-all have proved this concept.

They were once a poor student or below-average student who turned out to be eminent scientists later in their life, with their persistent determination and dedication. Imagination and creativity are more important than intelligence.

Scientists have proved this time and again. Films on scientists and their journey of struggle have proved that great things happen only out of comfort zone. So go through the list of films and start your journey afresh. 

1. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind is a movie about science, which won Oscar and the love of people for decades. Even after receiving good recognition as a mathematical genius in the academic world, John Forbes Nash Jr had to struggle a lot for his recovery of schizophrenia. The movie is inspirational and focuses on the personal battle with mental disabilities.

2. Hidden Figures (2016)

Not all movies about scientists are on men. This movie centres around three women at NASA, the masterminds responsible for the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit. This glorious incident restored the glory of the nation proud and stunned the world.

3. The Theory Of Everything (2014)

Movies about scientists are not only inspirational but thrilling too giving you goosebumps. Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking experiences a major set-back with deadly motor-neuron disease. 

Despite all the odds, he and his wife fellow collegian Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones)both together reaches the crest of achievement. They break all kinds of impossibilities and set an extraordinary example.

4. The Imitation Game (2014)

Some movies about scientists are pretty sad. They speak in volumes about the dark ages of society-the thoughts that battered freedom in four walls of the conventions. British intelligence agency appoints Cambridge mathematics alumnus Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to crack Nazi codes, including Enigma that was thought to be unbreakable. 

Even after succeeding in deciphering Enigma messages through his self-built machine, he was sent to prison after being recognized as gay.

5. The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)

Failure makes you stronger. Yes, this movie reveals this secret to success. Self-taught mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan fails in college, but eventually makes it to Trinity College with his brilliant performance. He takes help from Professor G H Hardy and follows his passion determinedly.

6. Gorillas In The Mist (1988)

Glorious is a movie where the protagonist sacrifices his/her life for a noble cause. Adapted from the real-life story of wildlife expert Dian Fossey, this movie narrates the battle gorilla-lady with poachers. 

Following her dream and passion, Fossey arrives in Africa to study about gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda. During her study, she grows an affectionate relationship with gorillas and protects them from poachers. But in doing so, she puts herself in danger and finally losses her life.

7. Creation (2009) 

Few movies reveal how great things are created from disputes or clashes. Based on the real-life story of Charles Darwin, this movie displays how his daughter Annie’s death and disagreements with wife Emma blocked him from his work. Despite all the odds, he invented the theory of evolution.

8. Temple Grandin (2010)

Some movies stress the importance of secured childhood in life. Temple Grandin is diagnosed as a schizophrenia patient, resulting from autism. Despite all her shortcomings in social life or obstacle from peers, she gathered tremendous achievements in the fields of animal care. She stood against the inhuman slaughtering of cattle and thus triumphs against all odds.

9. Agora (2009)

Interesting and thrilling are those movies about scientists where science clashes with faith. Astronomer and philosopher Hypatia focuses on science whole-heartedly and successfully defies all other advances from male students. 

But the movie reaches its climax when two different communities of Christians and pagans engage themselves in war.

10. The Secret of Nikola Tesla (1980)

Nikola Tesla, the renowned electrical engineer made significant contributions to electrical engineering. Like this one, few movies throw light on cold ars between two scientists. Nikola Tesla has a clash with Thomas Edison regarding the topic of the superiority of alternating current over direct current.

11. Einstein and Eddington (2008)

No risk, no gain. Well, this movie focuses on this mentioned law. We all know the great Einstein, but his journey is not yet that well-known. Set in the backdrop of the World War, Einstein’s agreements with British scientist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington was of high risk. 

Still, all situations turned in his favour later and paved the way for his best-known work till today- the theory of relativity.

12. Galileo (1968 and 1975)

A sad and tragic film, Galileo gives a good insight into the life of Galileo. Movies on scientists are full of pain and struggle and sometimes their work is recognized after their death. As a result of contradicting the Copernicus model of the universe, Galileo receives a sentence from the higher authorities of the Roman church. 

The theory was a threat to the religious community even, and as a consequence, he and his daughter were forced to spend a life of pain and trauma.

13. Einstein's Big Idea

Intellect and intelligence are mere tools when compared to the common struggle of men and women. The hardships of people inspire and push each one of us forward in life. Movies about scientists convey this sole message of truth. 

It took a lot of surprising stories of the struggle of the common people that inspired Einstein to innovate the famous formula of E=mc2.

14. Madame Curie (1943)

Who knew that the invention of Radium and Polium can take such a toll on life? Not many movies on scientists portray such tragedy and pain like this movie. From a poor student in the school to proving herself efficient in Pierre Curie’s lab, Madame Curie’s journey was embarking.

She fell in love with Pierre Currie but the life doesn’t grant them much happiness. Both of them invent radium and polium from a rock material and makes a significant contribution in World War. 

But eventually, she loses her husband in a road accident and still continues with her work- made discoveries in x-rays. She died due to the radiations from Radium.

15. Tesla (2020)

Some movies on scientists often seem to be similar or somehow portrays the same story. This movie Tesla centres around the professional and personal life of tesla, where Tesla stands against the conventions of Thomas Eddison and dismissed Anne’s love in his life. He stands all alone just like a winner does.

16. Radioactive (2019)

A lot of pain and struggle landed in Madame Curie’s life after her husband Pierre’s death. Unlike the general movies about a scientist, this movie explains everything from a flashback. Madame Curie made significant contributions for World War with her X-ray units, helping the deceased soldiers. 

The film wonderfully portrays some of the future events that have already been visualized in Madame Curie’s subconscious mind. The film ends with Madame Curie’s departure with Pierre as he arrives at the hospital to take her.

17. A Dangerous Method (2011)

Many of the movies are set in the backdrop of the 1st World War. This movie focuses on the interpersonal grudges and splits between two psychologists over one patient regarding her recovery.

18. The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)

Many biographical movies about scientists like this one, unleashes the source of determination that is required to win in life. Going against all fellow scientists, superstitious government and medical academy Loius Pasteur invents the Rabbies vaccine and saves thousand of life.

19. Kinsey (2004)

It is astonishing when movies stress the importance of sex education. This film goes on showing brave professor Alfred Kinsey’s actions for awarding everyone about the importance of sex education.

20. October Sky (1999)

The journey gets tougher when obstructions come from family. Just like other movies are based on stories of pain and aches, this movie too resonates the same theme. Protagonist John Hickam goes against his father’s will and follows his dream in rocket science.

21. Hawking (2013)

You can consider this film as one of the twin movies about Stephen Hawking. Based on the real-life story of Stephen Hawking, this movie embarks on Hakwking’s achievements throughout his career. It highlights his court despite his rare disease.

You are sure to agree to the fact that scientists are not genius. They have just made everything possible with their own determination and power. With so many inspiring stories of struggle, we are sure that a lot of confidence has already reached you.

And by the time you finish reading, you must have positive vibes inside, cheering you up. And also realized that what comfort and beneficial life do we live. Let us know which one brought tears in your eyes or moved you.

Make sure you watch all the movies and if any particular movie is there which you wanna mention, please go ahead. We are all ears to listen from you.

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