# Are there any good movies involving mathematics or probability?

Can you suggest some good movies which involve math, probabilities etc? One example is 21. I would also be interested in movies that involve algorithms (e.g. text decryption). In general "geeky" movies with famous scientific theories but no science fiction or documentaries. Thanks in advance!

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nice idea for a collection ! @mods: Beside cw maybe renaming to "movies every statistician should have seen" or something like that ? – steffen May 7 '11 at 12:28
@steffen Thx. Better to flag the question for mods attention in the future (we aren't notified with @mods). – chl May 7 '11 at 12:37
By the way, I found this page, which might add some movies to the collection: world.std.com/~reinhold/mathmovies.html – Thea May 7 '11 at 14:41
Nothing that will inspire anybody to take up mathematics. Stick to books. – Emre May 7 '11 at 15:21
@Emre Maybe. But nevertheless it is entertaining for those who already deal with math (even more if the movie is presenting things wrong or with exaggeration). – steffen May 7 '11 at 18:38

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 An absorbing story and one I'd recommend, but it referred to math rather than truly involding math. I'd say the same thing about the tv show Numb3rs. – rolando2 May 7 '11 at 22:43

Not a movie, but a TV series: Numb3rs

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'A Beautiful Mind' naturally has a bit of game theory in it.

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 one can also use this to generate discussion on spurious correlation – KennyPeanuts May 7 '11 at 16:56
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 good one. It has a not so good sequel called Hypercube. – mpiktas May 16 '11 at 11:07 @mpiktas, I never did see Hypercube, and it does not sound like I should :-) I saw The Cube some ten years ago and found it pretty entertaining. – NRH May 16 '11 at 16:47

Proof was pretty good.

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21 - based on the book Bringing Down the House (MIT Blackjack team)

Near the beginning they discuss the Monty Hall Problem. However after that there isn't much actual math/probability.

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I have not seen this yet, but it seems somewhat geeky: Fermat's Room

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 It's not particularly geeky - it is a Spanish thriller (and like all thrillers has some implausible plot lines to move the story along and resolve it at the end) with a few logic puzzles using numbers. If you want to solve the puzzles yourself, a pause button might be useful. – Henry May 7 '11 at 22:30

There are several movie versions of Flatland. And there's The Great $\pi$/e Debate.

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Early in The Social Network begins with a one night hackathon where Mark Zuckerberg uses the Elo rating system algorithm to

... create a website that rates the attractiveness of female students when compared to each other. ... in a few hours, using an algorithm for ranking chess players supplied by his best friend, Eduardo Saverin, he creates a website called "FaceMash," where students can choose which of two girls presented at a time is more attractive.

However, much of the rest of the movie is devoted to episodes of hacking, corporate politics, lawsuits, escapades, Zuckerberg's interpersonal problems, etc. But, I found it quite fascinating, overall. A great geek movie.

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The mathematical movie database has some great suggestions with over 800 movies (though most tenuously linked to maths) already listed. In the navy, from 1941, is probably my favourite.

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MONEYBALL! It's a movie where the statisticians win!

This is probably the most inspiring major motion picture about the power of quantitative methods. (if only because the plot is a little formulaic). And it shows quantitative methods (sabrmetrics) eventually coming to dominate over the backward and untested techniques of the dinosaurs of baseball.

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BBC Horizon - The Bible Code. It shows, that whatever codes people found in Bible, so far they didn't prove to be statistically significant.

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Rounders. A very watchable drama about poker players.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0128442/

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