Movies That Make You Smart: Watch And Learn!

Vito Corleone in Movies That Make You Smart

Watch an assortment of movies that make you smart and that give you an advantage over every other idiot on the road.

Let me explain.

The road to secure wealth, happiness and greatness is bumper to bumper with people just like you.  Along the way there are breakdowns, people cutting you off, pushing in front, and most likely, you’re alone with only your thoughts of self-doubt and worry.

Let’s change that.

To success, you need the smarts and the motivation and so here are some films that supply both.



The Top 10 Movies That Make You Smart

1.  A Beautiful Mind

Directed by Ron Howard.  Stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris and Paul Bettany.

Plot: This film is based on the life of the math genius Professor John Nash.  As usual some liberties are taken with actual events but the crux of his accomplishments are very real.  He came up with a paper at Princeton as a student there that is now known as Game Theory.

Why? There is something about watching geniuses that makes people a little jealous.  Jealousy in this circumstance though is a good thing because it pushes you to be better.  Reading a book instead of watching The Simpsons or staying in then going out.

In this case, you’re concentrating on what you’re supposed to be doing, just like John Nash from A Beautiful Mind.  The character John Nash portrayed by Russell Crowe is inspiring because not only is he a genius but he’s a hard working one.  I like that.


2.  Limitless

Directed by Neil Burger.  Starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert DeNiro

Unlike the previously mentioned film, Limitless is pure fiction.  However, we can derive some serious inclination to self-improvement as a result of watching this movie.

Plot: Limitless is about a procrastinating author who is suffering from writer’s block.  By chance he stumbles upon some pills that gives him unprecedented motivation as well as the brain power of a two hundred Einsteins’.

Why? I’m all about the theme of this movie.  This movie inspired me to go and search for the real life Limitless pill

Which to a degree I found. 

I discovered Nootropics which are considered *smart drugs* and boost motivation and cognitive function.  Nowhere near the results displayed in this film though.  However, I credit this movie for making me smarter by finding these cool supplements.


3.  Rocky

Directed by John G. Avildsen.  Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire and Carl Weathers.

Plot: Everyone should know this classic.  An unknown and underrated boxer is thrown into the spotlight when he gets a chance to fight the heavyweight champion of the world in his native city of Philadelphia.

Why? This film’s ability to increase brain power rests in its capacity to motivate.  This worked for me before an exam while studying at university.  I’d watch this film throughout the semester which made me realise how lazy how was being. 

I’d study, I’d get smarter.  Simple.


4.  Lincoln

Directed by Steven Spielberg.  Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Spader and Tommy Lee Jones.

Plot: Lincoln is a perfect example of a movie that not only makes you smarter by giving you a history lesson but also puts you inside the mind of a brilliant man.  President Abraham Lincoln throughout the entire film is figuratively and literally fighting several battle fronts.  He is under constant pressure from his wife and son, his own and opposing political party and, of course, the Confederates.

Why? Being Australian I’ve never fully understood the events that took place to free the slaves or even the American Civil War.  This movie sparked an interest, and I quickly took to Wikipedia and other various sources to find out more.

Apart from becoming more knowledgeable from watching this film, I believe I’ve become wiser in another way. 

Although a movie, I feel strongly that Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln is so real and authentic that watching this film is like having the best role model you could possibly have for two and half hours. 

If it wasn’t for President Lincoln’s astuteness and leadership, what he actually did could not have transpired any other way.  If you’re in a bit of a pickle, sit down and put this film on, a solution might present itself as you look inside the mind of a great man.


5.  The Godfather

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.  Starring Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Al Pacino and Diane Keaton.

Plot: The story of the Corleone Mafioso crime family in New York City, who are faced with increasing competition from rival Cosa Nostra concerning drugs, politics and power. 

After the attempted murder of the boss of the Corleone family monikered “The Godfather”, his sons must succeed him and remain in control of his empire.

Why? The character played by Marlon Brando in this film, Vito “The Godfather” Corleone, is an incredibly clever and adept man.  Although his business is crime, he still remains an astute businessman. 

This movie has made me less careless in the way I do things and conduct myself (most of the time).


6.  Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2

Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen.

Plot: A woman’s past returns to haunt her when she is left in a coma for years after surviving a brutal attack during her wedding’s practise run, carried out by her old assassin colleagues.  She awakens to exact her revenge

Why? This one is for the ladies.  Uma Thurman’ character in the Kill Bill films known only as “The Bride” or “Black Mamba” is a woman who women want to be and men want to be with.  In turn, I think that makes you want to be smarter is some way.

There something about this movie also where the conversations that take place are forever in an ingenious sarcastic lingo.  I want to talk like that.


7.  There Will Be Blood

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.  Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O’Connor and Ciaran Hinds.

Plot: An abrasive yet ambitious oil man faces numerous challenges when he starts a new drilling venture in California.  These include competition from other oil companies, his son’s hearing impairment, the introduction of his brother as well as some difficulties with various locals.

Why? Anyone wanting to start their own business needs to watch this movie. 

Daniel Day-Lewis is ruthless as the protagonist, Daniel Plainview, a cold, calculating and apathetic driller striving to become an oil tycoon. 

This movie demonstrates the steel interior one has to have as an employer and the acumen that must be developed.  Probably not so much to the degree of the character Daniel Plainview but the point is definitely put across.


8.  The Power of One

Directed by John G. Avildsen.  Starring Stephen Dorff, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Morgan Freeman.

Plot: A young English boy growing up in South Africa around the time of World War II is set on path that will unite the people of his land.  He struggles being an Englishmen in a Boer land as well as losing both his parents and fighting for the underprivileged indigenous natives of South Africa.

Why? This story’s hero is Peekay (Stephen Dorff).  The pain he endures is hard to fathom and even just his survival is an incredible triumph. 

However, he does far more than that. 

I watch this film for inspiration, both of the good kind and bad.  The good side of inspiration this movie provides rests in the people who help Peekay and his love for them.  It makes me realise that, I too have mentors, the difference is I rarely listen to mine.  And, this reminds me that I have to.

The negative motivation, the kind that gets you moving out of fear of undesirable consequences, is that this guy is only 18 and he’s achieved so much.  I’m 27 and I’ve achieved nihility; this guy is smarter than me already.


9.  RocknRolla

Directed by Guy Ritchie.  Starring Gerard Butler, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Tom Wilkinson, Jeremy Piven, Chris Bridges, Mark Strong, Toby Kebbell and Thandie Newton.

Plot: An intertwining set of stories that takes place in London and involves a group of small time crooks, a rockstar, an accountant, London gangsters, Russian gangsters, music executives and a few drug addicted homeless guys.

Why? I adored Thandie Newton in this movie.  She portrays Stella, a sassy accountant who likes to steal from nasty Russian gangsters. 

Then it dawned on me. 

No use trying to find a wife or girlfriend in places like bars or festivals where sassy accountants, quick witted lawyers or charming doctors don’t hang out.  They’re found at university, business meetings, seminars, libraries and conferences. 

So get smarter as a vehicle to find your trophy wife.

P.S.  The same can be said for women trying to find their trophy husband.


10.  Thirteen Days

Directed by Roger Donaldson.  Starring Kevin Costner, Steven Culp and Bruce Greenwood.

Plot: This film gives insight to actions taken from inside the White House by President John F. Kennedy, his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy and their trusted confidante Kenneth O’Donnell during the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Why? The Kennedy brothers had it all, the looks, brains, charisma and power.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that it was all given to them though.  Between them you’ve got a lawyer, war hero, author, congressman, senator, attorney general, presidential candidate and president. 

That pretty much comes down to hard work and dedication, setting the bar for the rest of us.


Do you agree?

Everybody at least wants to be a little brighter than they already are and these movies can aid that wish.  Movies are great way to reflect on your own life and can reveal something, anything that is missing. 

Watching these films did that for me and started a fire under me to learn more, for whatever reason.  I’ve watched these movies that make you smart several times each and it’s remarkable how they can still have such a deep marrow impact on your thinking and motivation.

If you have any questions or queries just post them below.

What are your movies that bring out the best in you?  We’d love to know.

Cheers for reading.  MCM’s Rohan.

 Go to:

<< Last Movie    Next Movie >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *