Top 10 Movie Geniuses

Script written by Niki Neptune. Their brainpower is immense… Even if their social skills are lacking. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 movie geniuses. For this list, we’re looking at characters who excel, defy expectations, or just blow our minds with their brilliance. We’ve decided to exclude comic book characters and real life virtuosos – now, put on your thinking caps and let’s start the countdown. Special thanks to our users killer_penguin88, Jon Ellison, gamingtyphon, john.tonderys, PyroLegz91 and novartus for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Movie Geniuses


Their brainpower is immense… Even if their social skills are lacking. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie geniuses.

For this list, we’re looking at characters who excel, defy expectations, or just blow our minds with their brilliance. We’ve decided to exclude comic book characters and real life virtuosos – now, put on your thinking caps and let’s start the countdown.

#10: Teen Tech Geniuses
Gary & Wyatt: “Weird Science” (1985)

Making the transition from “geek” to “chic” isn’t always easy. But when you’re assisted by a supermodel that you created using an ‘80s PC and a doll, the sky’s the limit. Harnessing the power of their superior intellect, these two are hampered only by their social awkwardness. Getting their comeuppance through their creation, they have a raging party, save the day, and get their girls. Sounds pretty brilliant to us.

#9: Home Invention Genius
Wayne Szalinski: “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” (1989)

It’s not every day that someone invents a shrink-ray at their family home. In fact, it probably hasn’t happened. But in this ‘80s family romp, a well-meaning and enthusiastic inventor has developed a shrink-ray in his attic. While his kids do end up shrunk and hijinks ensue, somehow we think that keeping it out of their teenaged hands in the first place is the true demonstration of superior intellect.

#8: Time Traveling Genius
Alexander Hartdegen: “The Time Machine” (2002)

Love makes people do crazy things. That includes creating a time machine to travel to the past and prevent your fiancée from being murdered. Aside from the obvious impressiveness of building a time machine, building one at the turn of the century when technology was in its primitive stages is almost unfathomable. A steampunk time machine does look rather sharp, however.

#7: Literary Genius
Jamal Wallace: “Finding Forrester” (2000)

There is genius in defying expectations. For a hardscrabble kid from the inner city, being a literary prodigy is almost unheard of. And writing 5,000 words overnight on command is almost miraculous – at least, according to most college students. While everyone is expecting him to excel in basketball, this whiz-kid banks left and stuns them with his innate talent with words. It’s almost poetic.

#6: Logical Reasoning Genius
Sherlock Holmes: “Sherlock Holmes” (2009)

He’s a wacky crime fighter-slash-detective-for-hire who also likes his drugs. To top it off, he’s blessed with incredible reasoning skills that border on the improbable. When the cops can’t crack a case, this simultaneously smarmy and dapper gentleman, accompanied by his loyal bestie Watson, show up and show out. Holmes makes solving complicated cases look like breeze, when most of us can’t figure out where our left sock disappeared to.

#5: Good Time Genius
Chris Knight: “Real Genius” (1985)

A true sign of genius is destroying someone’s house using only popcorn and a high-powered laser. Back when the CIA was apparently commissioning mega-death weapons from child prodigies, one stood supreme amongst them. As the leader of the genius brigade, Knight manages to make the most of his intellectual acumen, choosing to pack as much fun as possible into his college experience. With great brainpower comes great pranking ability.

#4: Low-Key Genius
Will Hunting: “Good Will Hunting” (1997)

He’s like, a genius, or whatever. It’s no big deal. Or at least, he doesn’t seem to care. While everyone else around him is flabbergasted by his photographic memory and clearly exceptional intellect, he’s content toiling away as a janitor. With some therapy, and some introspection, he eventually realizes his potential and decides that true love is what motivates him in the end.

#3: Savant Genius
Raymond Babbitt: “Rain Man” (1988)

His ability to recall information is staggering. As an autistic savant, he possesses genius level skills that scientists don’t yet truly understand. And though his brother attempts to capitalize on his talents with a trip to Vegas, we have to admit that we like the cut of Raymond’s jib in a camel-colored suit. Not to mention, we think a cross-country road trip with him would be a blast.

#2: Child Genius
Fred Tate: “Little Man Tate” (1991)

While most of us were probably setting Lego traps for our siblings or twisting the heads off dolls, this child prodigy was studying university level quantum physics. At seven, his unparalleled intellect often has him upstaging other whiz-kids at a special school for the super smart. He eventually learns how to reconcile being a genius with being a little boy. We’d just hate to go up against him in a spelling bee.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Hannibal Lecter: “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
- William Forrester: “Finding Forrester” (2000)
- Edward Morra: “Limitless” (2011)

#1: Tortured Mathematical Genius
Max Cohen: “Pi” (1998)

Being a walking supercomputer can be a little intense at times. In fact, it can be such a hassle that you’re compelled to take a drill to your skull. Or, that’s the impression we get from this tormented genius, whose mental acuity has him fighting off greedy Wall Street types and religious zealots looking for theological answers. Who knew math could be so life threatening?

Do you agree with our list? Who’s your favorite movie genius? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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