Published: 22nd June 2023

Five scientific discovery films to watch with the family

With Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer hitting the big screen, we've rounded up five films that are all about scientific discoveries. Rated U to 12, and covering topics like physics, space exploration and chemistry, there's something here for the whole family.

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.

Hidden Figures

discrimination theme, mild bad language

Drama telling the story of the female African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA in the 1960s. While the film portrays discrimination, it does so in a historical context that educates younger viewers.

Threat and horror

There is mild tension when a spacecraft suffers a technical malfunction that places an astronaut in danger.There is also a sense of tension when police are seen facing-off against anti-segragation protestors.


There is some use of mild bad language, such as 'bastard'.


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.

Alcohol and tobacco

Adults are seen drinking alcohol.


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.


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.

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.

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.

The Imitation Game

moderate sex references

During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.


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.

The Theory Of Everything

brief sexualised images, mild bad language

Biographical drama about famous scientist Stephen Hawking and his wife.


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


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.

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.