10 of Our Favorite Geniuses in Movies

Back in 2010 I wrote an article on geniuses in movies but since then I realized that I had missed a few so I wanted to amend that article and bring some new names to light.   In that article I only focused on geniuses who were fictional.  However I realize that doesn’t do an actor justice for playing a role well.

So here is an amended genius list with a few more added on (and some taken out)……

Will Hunting – Good Will Hunting

To this day it remains one of my all time favorite movies.  This is a fantastic portrayal of a boy, yes boy, who is extremely conflicted by his own genius.  Sure he may know a lot about the world from books, but he hasn’t experienced any of it for himself.  He never allows personal relationships to grow too deep and the movie is excellent at depicting this idea.  Oh and tot to mention the Boston accent.  Kind of a nice twist considering he’s a genius.  How do you like them apples?

Fred Tate – Little Man Tate

Never have I seen a movie that depicts the genius of a young child as well as Little Man Tate does.   Fred is conflicted with the knowledge of his own genius but at the same time wanting to be a normal child.   If you haven’t seen this movie then you must.

John Nash – A Beautiful Mind

Aside from you know, seeing people that aren’t there, no one can deny the impact Nash had on modern economics and theory.   Russell Crowe did a fantastic job exploring both is genius and his psychotic side.   Going to lengths so far that he nearly killed his own child and alienated his wife in the process.   Math can be crazy sometimes.

Ray Babbitt – Rain Man

Ray is a different kind of genius.   In fact a savant, Raymond is both amazing with numbers but even has a sense of humor once he warms up to you.  From “Kmart Sucks” to “Uh oh fart” to “One for bad, two for good” the adventure he goes on is memorable and Rain Man will always remain a classic.  Blackjack anyone?

Chris Knight – Real Genius

This is definitely one of Val Kilmer’s best roles.  Chris Knight is a wise ass genius at a school for well…geniuses.  His task is to build a super powerful laser for a purpose he doesn’t know (yet).  That purpose being a weapon that could blow targets away from space.  The humor of this character is unmatched not to mention the T-Shirts he wears.  I absolutely loved this movie.

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  1. A couple years ago I worked for a sandwich place and I got to make a sandwich for Kim Peek, who was the inspiration for Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man. I had no idea who he was until after he left when a coworker told me. Kim Peek was in my town giving a lecture or something like that. It was pretty cool, I just wish I could have had an opportunity to talk to him a bit.

  2. Nash never actually had any visual hallucinations, only auditory. And the movie played down a lot of the negatives about him as well, including divorcing his wife in like the early 70s, his rampant and viscious anti-Semitism, aand his not being allowed to give a speech while accepting his Nobel Prize because he was so out of control.

    1. Actually he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and that includes delusions. But you’re partially right, its MORE of the auditory type but not exclusive to it.

  3. I like the list, and this site; however, why not include:

    Matt Damon – Good Will Hunting (even though I’m not sure I liked the movie thaaaat much)

    Dian Bachar as Ben/Choda Boy – Orgazmo

    William Sanderson as J.F. Sebastian – Blade Runner

    Joe Turkel as Dr. Eldon Tyrell – Blade Runner (yeah…I’ve got a boner for Blade Runner)

    Bradley Cooper – Limitless (though, I’ll say that the character wasn’t actually a genius, he got doped up and became one [like Burroughs]. Also, I’m on the fence about whether or not this was a good movie or not…)


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