Published: 28th July 2021

10 films celebrating the role of scientists

To celebrate the role that scientists have had in the last 18 months, we've pulled together some films that are all about the importance of science in our society. From Darwin, to Marie Curie and Hypatia, all these films tell stories about the brightest brains across their scientific fields. 

Apollo 11

very mild bad language

Apollo 11 is a documentary about the first moon landing, in July 1969.


There is infrequent very mild bad language.

A radio news report refers to a woman's death in a car accident, but the incident is not described in detail.

The Aeronauts

mild threat, injury detail

The Aeronauts is a British drama in which a scientist and an adventurer attempt to fly higher in a hot air balloon than any others previously have travelled.

Threat and horror

There are scenes in which characters are placed in dangerous situations when they fly through storms and to heights at which they are exposed to very cold conditions.

Injury detail

There is brief injury detail including scenes of frostbite and some bloody head injuries after a fall.

There is also very mild bad language ('God', 'damn').


Contains mild language and emotionally intense scenes

Creation is a drama concerning Charles Darwin's relationship with his devoutly religious wife.


There is infrequent mild bad language ('bugger').


The film deals with the effect the death of Darwin's daughter had on his family, and there are scenes in which she lies gravely ill in bed. There are also scenes in which a bird falls from its nest and is subsequently consumed by insects and a slug, and a scene in which a foetus opens its mouth to scream. The first scene illustrates Darwin's theories on the cycle of life, whilst the second scene indicates his declining mental health.

The film also contains a couple of scenes of natural child nudity.

Hidden Figures

discrimination theme, mild bad language

Hidden Figures is a drama, based on true events, about a group of African-American women who were hired by NASA for their skills in mathematics to be a part of America's space programme in the 1960s.


The film portrays the racial divisions in America at the time, with segregated facilities for black and white personnel, and black people being held back from progress and promotion. Although no overtly abusive racist language or behaviour is shown, terms such as 'negro' and 'coloured' are employed by both black and white characters as matter-of-fact expressions. There are also examples of gender discrimination, again reflecting the attitudes of the time.


There is mild bad language ('bastards'). Very mild bad language includes uses of 'damn', 'Jesus Christ' and 'God'.

There is also mild tension when a spacecraft suffers a technical malfunction that places an astronaut in danger.


upsetting scenes, moderate injury detail, language, sex

Radioactive is a biographical drama about the life and work of Marie Curie, and her relationship with her husband Pierre.

Disturbing images

There are scenes depicting the bombing of Hiroshima and the Chernobyl meltdown, as well as scenes showing injured soldiers and horses on WWI battlefields. In one scene, a man is knocked down and killed by a horse-drawn cart.

Injury detail

There is brief sight of bloodied and burned soldiers during the wartime sequences, as well as images of victims of the Hiroshima bombing and Chernobyl disaster, exhibiting radiation burns.


Moderate bad language includes a use of 'whore'.


There is a brief scene in which a couple make love.

Other issues include discriminatory language and behaviour (eg 'dirty Pole') and brief natural nudity.

The Theory Of Everything

brief sexualised images, mild bad language

The Theory Of Everything is a drama based on the life of the scientist Stephen Hawking and his relationship with his first wife, Jane.


In one scene, the cover and pages of a glamour magazine are seen briefly. The images feature partial breast nudity and women in sexualised poses.


There is mild bad language, including uses of 'God', 'damn', 'sod off' and 'tits'.

The film also contains mild sex references, scenes set in operating theatres but without strong surgical detail, and moments of emotional upset as Hawking and those around him struggle to cope with his medical condition.

A Beautiful Mind

Contains moderate sex references and portrayal of schizophrenia

A Beautiful Mind is a US biographical drama about the life of mathematician John Nash.


There are moderate sex references including references to characters wanting sex and to sex being 'nothing more than an exchange of fluids'. There is also a sequence in which a woman grabs her partner's crotch in order to instigate sex.


A character suffers from mental health issues. The character is seen being treated for schizophrenia in a mental institution where he receives electronic shock therapy.

There is mild bad language including uses of the terms 'dick', 'arsehole', 'damn', 'shit', 'Jesus Christ', 'bastards' and 'screw up'.

The Man Who Knew Infinity

racist language and behaviour

The Man Who Knew Infinity is a film about Srinivasa Ramanujan, a self-taught Indian mathematician who was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, just before the First World War.


In one scene Ramanujan is approached by a group of former Cambridge undergraduates, now soldiers in uniform. One says, 'Look who it is, the little wog, the freeloading little blackie'. Ramanujan is then knocked to the ground and kicked several times, the blows landing below frame. In another scene a lecturer, jealous of Ramanujan's mathematical brilliance, says to him, 'Little wog, let me tell you something. You don't pull a stunt like that in my class'.

Other issues include: some mild threat and injury detail as a German Zeppelin drops bombs on Cambridge; mild bad language, including several uses of 'bloody'; and scenes of adult cigarette smoking.


Contains moderate violence and brief gory moment

Agora is a historical drama charting the life of female scientist and philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, set against the backdrop of the downfall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity.


There are occasional scenes of moderate violence in scenes of rioting between Christians, Romans and Jews including stabbings, blows to the head and stonings. These sometimes include sight of blood, although stronger images occur in the aftermath of violent scenes such as sight of a decapitated corpse and a head wound being sewn up.

There is also a brief scene in which a woman is threatened with sexual violence, but the attacker soon realises what he is doing is wrong and stops.

There is brief rear female nudity. A woman also presents an admirer with a symbolic gift of a cloth stained with blood from her menstrual cycle.

The Imitation Game

moderate sex references

The Imitation Game is a period drama about the life of the pioneering mathematician and computer scientist, Alan Turing, as he works towards breaking the secret code of the Nazi Enigma machine.


A man tells a joke, suggesting oral sex, in which he refers to a woman putting something in her mouth while she's humming a tune. A man also says that he's being held in a police station before he's accused of 'entreating a man to touch my penis', with further undetailed references to his homosexuality. There are also comments about a man undergoing chemical castration through hormone treatment.

Other issues include mild bad language, with uses of 'sod', 'bleeding', 'bloody', 'Christ', 'hell', 'bastards' and 'arse'. There are also uses of discriminatory language, including 'poofter' and 'kyke'.

There are scenes of mild violence, including a man being punched and left with a bloody lip, and a man being slapped around the face. There is archive footage of war, including ships and planes being blown up, and burning cityscapes and rubble-strewn streets after the Blitz. A young boy is bullied at school, including being nailed in under some floorboards before he is rescued by a friend.

Several characters are seen to smoke, reflecting the wartime era.

To find out where you can stream, buy or rent these films, check out Find Any Film.