Mathematics and statistics, calculating the probability of something happening, or simply relying on numbers have often been implemented in the movies, whether in ones that are directly related to the topic or in ones where it is a part of a bigger picture. The majority of these movies have been extremely well accepted by both the audience and the critics and in this list, we are going to write about the 10 best movies about statistics and probability.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
One of the best movies where mathematics plays a significant role is this excellent drama about Will Hunting, a troubled young man who works as a janitor at M.I.T. He is struggling with himself and lives in a world where he can solace any problem but in the real world, he is dealing with demons that are difficult to get rid of.
He is a brilliant mathematician, able to solve any task in front of him and even deal with the most difficult, still unsolved ones. But without his psychiatrist Sean’s help, Will is not able to grasp what is going around him and is in desperate need of guidance and support. He is the one who notices his talent while watching him solve a statistics problem and will be the pivotal figure in Will’s acceptance to M.I.T.
Ex Machina (2014)
Ex Machina is a sci-fi drama thriller that faces us with one of the most challenging and intriguing topics in the technological world. It deals with the probability, pros, and cons of artificial intelligence, here presented in a form of a beautiful young robot woman who is able to make conversation with a human, and express her opinion and emotions.
Caleb is one of the most prospective young programmers who wins a competition to spend a week in a remote mountain cabin belonging to Nathan, the CEO of the company. What he finds there is a brilliant experiment including the world’s first true artificial intelligence, the beautiful robot named Eve.
Hidden Figures (2016)
Hidden Figures is a brilliant biographical drama featuring Octavia Spencer, Taraji P.Henson, and Janelle Monae Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary, three gifted African-American mathematicians who managed to get their place among some of the greatest minds in the field of astronomy.
They have never given up and have crossed all race, professional, and gender lines to prove their brilliance and talent and make room for future female scientists in these and similar fields of research. It is also a wonderful ode to mathematics, statistics, and numbers since we are all the time presented with calculations connected to rockets and spacecraft.
21 is an excellent crime drama that begins and ends with numbers, making the game of Blackjack more interesting than ever. It is the story of Ben Campbel, a gifted and highly intelligent student at M.I.T. who wants a scholarship to transfer to Harvard to study medicine. He is aware that hasn’t got enough money to do that but his situation might change very soon.
One evening his unusual mathematics teacher Micky Rosa introduces him to five students who are trained by him in the skill of counting cards. Ben joins all of them on a secret weekend getaway to Las Vegas, with the goal to earn hundreds of dollars at Blackjack, which he finally succeeds. But what he didn’t expect was getting corrupted by greed and putting the casino security enforcer on their backs.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Ron Howard directed this wonderful biographical drama about John Nash, a brilliant mathematician lacking social skills. Nash made a remarkable discovery at the very beginning of his career and was about to become internationally acclaimed and praised.
But as many highly intelligent people are, Nash was also an arrogant and self-centered man who on top of all that didn’t have highly developed social skills, and when a tragedy hit him, he had to go through a long journey of self-discovery, drowning in his thoughts and hoping to make it, with help of his loving wife. Statistics play an important role in this movie, especially Nash, since it helps him understand the world around him.
Minority Report (2002)
Based on Philip K.Dick’s short story, this inventive, exciting and extremely interesting movie directed by Steven Spielberg and with Tom Cruise in the leading role takes us to a crime-free future where the police are able to arrest possible murderers and other criminals before they commit a crime.
It is 2054 and crime is virtually eliminated from Washington D.C. thanks to the use of three gifted humans who have special power and can see into the future, predicting possible crime. When John Anderton, a true believer of the system is predicted to become a murderer of a victim he doesn’t even know of, he decides to go deeply into the system behind the predictors, especially a woman named Agatha who might prove him innocent.
The Bank (2001)
This thriller focuses on banking and corruption and introduces us to Jim Doyle, a math prodigy who decides to take revenge on a bank. He is a brilliant mathematician who is working on a formula to predict the fluctuations in the stock market.
It is an intense movie, full of computer hacking and information about the stock market and speculations that are connected with the things going on around there. It brings us closer to the good and bad sides, good and evil inside and outside the bank.
Daron Aronofsky directed this intriguing and mindblowing horror thriller about a paranoid mathematical genius Maax who believes that mathematics lies behind everything, from nature to banks, and is convinced that he can predict everything if he is able to find a pattern and key to the chaos.
He believes that everything can be understood in terms of numbers and is spending his days working around an advanced computer system he has built in his apartment. His brilliant discovery is interesting to both a Wall Street company and a Hasidic sect who want to know more about it, but Max is having a hard time presenting anything to them due to his hallucinations and paranoid delusions.
This sports drama was inspired by a true story and it follows the story of the Oakland Athletics baseball team and their general manager Billy Beane who tried to assemble a competitive team in the season of 2002. Beane and his assistant Peter Brand are faced with a limited budget for players so they have to form a team of undervalued talent.
The team executives are not satisfied with their decision and the leading critics don’t have good prognostics for their success. But slowly, the team started winning and achieved a record-breaking 20th consecutive. Beane is stubborn in his attempt to change baseball by seeing others use their method and eventually this exact method begins to get used in some baseball teams.
The Imitation Game (2014)
Stories and movies about the cracking of the German Enigma have always been extremely interesting to viewers and many directors and screenwriters filmed successful and interesting movies about the topic. This when focuses more on Alan Turing, the most important man behind the Enigma, his calculations and statistics.
Statistics plays a great role here since it was one of the key features in cracking the code. While following Turing’s attempts to crack the code with help of his fellow mathematicians, we are also witnessing his personal problems and his troubled private life.