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Good science movies: list

  1. May 11, 2005 #1
    Id like to compile a list of good science/physics/mathematics/ or "movies that make you think" type films. Please add to my small list:

    the arrival
    independence day
    the bbc space series with sam neil
    event horizon
    a beautiful mind
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2005 #2


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    -OutBreak/The Adromeda Strain
    -When Worlds Collide
    -Any Irwin Allen Natrural Disaster Film (and the "Airport" series; to a lesser degree)

    -Connections w/ James Burke
    -Blue Planet
    -Angry Planet (Discovery Channel)
    -Secret Weapons (don't bother with "Fututre Fighting Machines" on Tech TV; they show advanced weapons systems, but give little or no information on their inner workings)
    -Living Planet (BBC Miniseries; really top-shelf)
    -This Saturday either the Discovery or Learning channel will do a bit of scifi they're calling "Alien Planet". Purely speculative exobiology, and I don't expect the ideas (or even the science) to be very good, but might be a good trigger for further thought.
  4. May 11, 2005 #3
    October Sky
  5. May 11, 2005 #4


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    Contact. Also The Matrix, even if it's heavy on the fiction side of things and could only make this list tangentially.
  6. May 11, 2005 #5


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    IMO, any movie that exhibits bad science, even if it has some good science, needs to be disqualified. If not, it will lead viewers to the fallacious conclusion that all the science they see in that movie is accurate.

    This disqualifies 'Independence Day' and 'Event Horizon' at least which are horrible in their depiction of science.

    However, I would definitely put '2001: A Space Odyssey' on that list, if not at the top. Some old-timers like to play a game called 'Find a physics error in the movie'. It is not easy to do. Almost every detail of the movie is accurate - from orbital motion to vacuum of space - and it was released in 1967! Before we landed on the Moon!
  7. May 11, 2005 #6
    good will hunting
  8. May 11, 2005 #7

    This is a sentence written to get my message above the minimum number of characters allowed. It serves no other purpose so don't bother reading it.
  9. May 11, 2005 #8
    2001 is a great film, but is still essentially science fiction, Hal being the most fictional element. The only films mentioned that don't play fast and loose with any science are October Sky and A Beautiful Mind.
  10. May 11, 2005 #9
    My good list:

    Apollo 13
    The Right Stuff
    October Sky
    The Dish

    My fun science (fiction) movie list:

    First Men In The Moon
    Galaxy Quest
    Space Cowboys

    Just a few for now.
  11. May 11, 2005 #10
    The Dish (Never heard of this one, so I looked it up):

    Australia's involvement with the 1969 Apollo moon mission arrived with an unexpected wallop when its radio telescope in rural Parkes was elevated fron the Southern Hemishpere's backup broadcaster to primary broadcaster of Neil Armstrong's "one giant leap for mankind'. It is a modern wonder that the ten-year-old multibillion-dollar program became solely reliant on an untested crew based in a sheep paddock to capture this priceless moment in history."

    DVD & Video Guide, Martin & Porter, 2004
  12. May 11, 2005 #11
    well whatever you do get rid of "the bbc space series with sam neil" its complete rubbish, it's one of these science programmes that spend a lot of time telling you a load of nothing. They simply dazzle you with pretty pictures to convince you that you're learning something.
  13. May 11, 2005 #12


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    The Dish is a fantastic movie. Very good. So is October Sky.

    I have to agree that most science movies are crap and are junk science at best. If we're including those movies then I'd add Real Genius.
  14. May 11, 2005 #13

    Chi Meson

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    Feynman fans would like "Infinity." It's more about Feynman than about physics, but it does have some episodes from "Surely your Joking." It does hane more physics than "October sky."

    Oh, the movie stars Matthew Broderick; it's also his directing debut.
  15. May 11, 2005 #14


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    'The Arrow' for both a touch of aeronautical engineering and a lot of history.
    My favourite 'Charly'.
    I can't remember the name of it, but there's a really good one out there detailing the Los Alamos project. I think it might have been a 2-part miniseries.
  16. May 11, 2005 #15
    This movie is a hoot. It actually makes my fun list too.

    TV science shows:

  17. May 11, 2005 #16


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    The Arrow....my Dad would be proud of you! That's coming from a huge Avro Arrow fan BTW.

    The movie you may be thinking of is Fat Man and Little Boy.
  18. May 11, 2005 #17
    forgot to add hawkings series on the history of the universe.

    whereas space with sam neil is not the most information based material, there is something to be learned from everything, even mistakes and non-information-abstractly.
  19. May 11, 2005 #18
    Ahhh what could be more enjoyable than a move about moon travel:

    Aside from that I put my money on Real Genius, Project X, The Manhatten Project, and Re-Animator.

    Good stuff.
  20. May 11, 2005 #19
    The Cube
    The Cube 2: HyperCube are both funny
  21. May 11, 2005 #20


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    I thought you were a Yank? I've never met one who ever heard of the Arrow, and the ones that I told about it called me a liar. As a lot of my friends here say, "Don't even get me started on the Arrow." We're all madder than a raped nun about that, and it's a mad that will never go away. June Callwood swears that she heard the unmistakeable sound of J75 engines leaving the base when the fleet was grounded. We still hold out hope that it was ditched in Lake Ontario and is just waiting for us to find it and put it back in the air. If you can get your hands on the Arrow movie, do so. It's a CBC production available on tape.
    By the way, where the hell were you when we were trying to find out the weight of a JT9D in GP?

    That's the one! Good flick.
    Last edited: May 12, 2005
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