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Top Science Movies


This is a list of top science movies, as rated by your About Guide for Chemistry. I've included my rationale for liking these movies and I made sure to include a few that relate to chemistry. I imagine you can determine my age with high accuracy, given my choices of flicks.

1. Weird Science

John Hughes movie is a classic already (1985). There's not a whole lot of science in the movie, but it's still at the top of my list for its entertainment value. Rated PG-13.
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2. Dr. Strangelove

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Fluoridation is a communist plot, right? Stanley Kubrick's 1964 movie is definitely better than Weird Science, but a teensy bit depressing. Rated PG.
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3. Real Genius

Yes, much of the appeal of this movie for me has to do with Val Kilmer. I greatly enjoy this movie and wish it was more widely available. It's only available in VHS format. (1985) Rated PG.

4. The Atomic Cafe

Duck and cover! This is a collection of archival film clips from the dawning of the Atomic Age. The US government propaganda makes for some interesting black humor. I think it's my training at a National Lab that causes me to be so amused by this film. Not Rated.
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5. The Absent-Minded Professor

Robert Stevenson's 1961 Disney classic is due to be re-released in January 2003. It's one of Disney's best and a zillion times better than the remake, Flubber. However, rumor has it that the computer enhanced color of the 2003 release detracts from the original film (which is no surprise). I prefer the original black and white format. Rated G.
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6. The Andromeda Strain

I enjoyed Michael Crichton's book even more than the movie, but this 1971 thriller is a faithful adaptation. There is a lot more science to this film than any other on my list, with the exception of The Atomic Cafe. Rated G.
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7. Love Potion #9

This 1992 romantic comedy actually features main characters who are chemists! There isn't any serious science, but the film is silly and sweet. Rated PG-13.
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8. Prince of Darkness

John Carpenter's 1987 horror flick looks at the science of evil. I think this is an excellent movie, although I can't watch it over and over again like some of films I have ranked higher. There's actual science embedded within its plot. Rated R.
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9. Project X

Jonathan Kaplan's 1987 movie takes a look at the ethical considerations of animal experimentation. Matthew Broderick delivers an excellent performance. Rated PG.
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10. Manhattan Project

I watch this 1986 movie whenever I start feeling an urge to write an article outlining how to build a bomb (atomic or otherwise). John Lithgow's performance is excellent; the movie is not, but it makes this list as an object lesson. Rated PG-13.
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