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Top 10 Must-Watch Movies Like Good Will Hunting

Updated on March 8, 2017
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A young software engineer passionate about being a writer, sharing thoughts, and spreading knowledge.

Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film, directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and Damon, the film follows 20-year-old South Boston laborer Will Hunting, an unrecognized genius who, as part of a deferred prosecution agreement after assaulting a police officer, becomes a client of a therapist and studies advanced mathematics with a renowned professor. Through his therapy sessions, Will re-evaluates his relationships with his best friend, his girlfriend and himself, facing the significant task of confronting his past and thinking about his future.

The film received positive reviews and was a financial success. It grossed over US$225 million during its theatrical run with only a $10 million budget. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, and won two: Best Supporting Actor for Williams and Best Original Screenplay for Affleck and Damon.

Here is a list of some more great movies similar to Good Will Hunting:

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

DIRECTOR:

Frank Darabont

WRITER:

Stephen King, Frank Darabont

STARS:

Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton

PLOT SUMMARY:

Bank Merchant Andy Dufresne is convicted of the murder of his wife and her lover, and sentenced to life imprisonment at Shawshank prison. Life seems to have taken a turn for the worse, but fortunately Andy befriends some of the other inmates, in particular a character known only as Red. Over time Andy finds ways to live out life with relative ease as one can in a prison, leaving a message for all that while the body may be locked away in a cell, the spirit can never be truly imprisoned.

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

DIRECTOR:

Ron Howard

WRITER:

Akiva Goldsman, Sylvia Nasar

STARS:

Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly

PLOT SUMMARY:

From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally - late in life - received the Nobel Prize.

The Imitation Game (2014)

DIRECTOR:

Morten Tyldum

WRITER:

Graham Moore, Andrew Hodges

STARS:

Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode

PLOT SUMMARY:

During the World War II, the mathematician Alan Turing joins a team of code-breakers at top-secret facility at Bletchley Park to try to decipher the code of the German enigma machine. Turing is a homosexual genius and along two years, he and his team successfully develop another machine to decipher the enigma.

The Theory of Everything (2014)

DIRECTOR:

James Marsh

WRITER:

Anthony McCarten, Jane Hawking

STARS:

Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior

PLOT SUMMARY:

The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Little was expected from Stephen Hawking, a bright but shiftless student of cosmology, given just two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at 21 years of age. He became galvanized, however, by the love of fellow Cambridge student, Jane Wilde, and he went on to be called the successor to Einstein, as well as a husband and father to their three children. Over the course of their marriage as Stephen's body collapsed and his academic renown soared, fault lines were exposed that tested the lineaments of their relationship and dramatically altered the course of both of their lives.

Rain Man (1988)

DIRECTOR:

Barry Levinson

WRITER:

Barry Morrow, Ronald Bass

STARS:

Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino

PLOT SUMMARY:

Charlie is a hustler. He's been on his own long enough to know how to work people and situations. He finds that the father who threw him out as a teen ager has died. He's left him a now antique convertible and something more important, a previously unknown brother, Raymond. Raymond is autistic, but is able to calculate complicated mathematical problems in his head with great speed and accuracy. Their father has left his fortune to Raymond who doesn't even understand what money is for. Charlie is enraged by what has happened and by his father keeping Raymond's existence from him for his entire life. He kidnaps Raymond from his residential home but then finds that Raymond will only fly Qantas. The two begin a long road trip that will lead them to an understanding of each other.

Finding Forrester (2000)

DIRECTOR:

Gus Van Sant

WRITER:

Mike Rich

STARS:

Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham

PLOT SUMMARY:

Jamal Wallace is an inner-city kid from the Bronx who has an aptness at basketball and a genius at writing. While always a C student, Jamal comes to the attention of a prestigious New York prep school when he scores highly on his standardized tests. While Jamal is given a heavy load at his new school, both he and the school know that the real reason they took him on is for his prowess on the court. Befriended by fellow student Claire and helped along by Pulitzer-prize winning author and recluse William Forrester, Jamal pursues his dreams both on and off the court while overcoming obstacles placed by his bitter literature teacher. As Jamal is shaped by Forrester, he finds that he is changing the old writer as well, forcing him to confront his past...and his future.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

DIRECTOR:

Anthony Minghella

WRITER:

Patricia Highsmith (novel), Anthony Minghella

STARS:

Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law

PLOT SUMMARY:

The 1950s. Manhattan lavatory attendant, Tom Ripley, borrows a Princeton jacket to play piano at a garden party. When the wealthy father of a recent Princeton grad chats Tom up, Tom pretends to know the son and is soon offered $1,000 to go to Italy to convince Dickie Greenleaf to return home. In Italy, Tom attaches himself to Dickie and to Marge, Dickie's cultured fiancée, pretending to love jazz and harboring homoerotic hopes as he soaks in luxury. Besides lying, Tom's talents include impressions and forgery, so when the handsome and confident Dickie tires of Tom, dismissing him as a bore, Tom goes to extreme lengths to make Greenleaf's privileges his own.

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)

DIRECTOR:

Matt Brown

WRITER:

Matt Brown, Robert Kanigel

STARS:

Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Malcolm Sinclair

PLOT SUMMARY:

In the 1910s, Srinivasa Ramanujan is a man of boundless intelligence that even the abject poverty of his home in Madras, India, cannot crush. Eventually, his stellar intelligence in mathematics and his boundless confidence in both attract the attention of the noted British mathematics professor, G.H. Hardy, who invites him to further develop his computations at Trinity College at Cambridge. Forced to leave his young wife, Janaki, behind, Ramanujan finds himself in a land where both his largely intuitive mathematical theories and his cultural values run headlong into both the stringent academic requirements of his school and mentor and the prejudiced realities of a Britain heading into World War One. Facing this with a family back home determined to keep him from his wife and his own declining health, Ramanujan joins with Hardy in a mutual struggle that would define Ramanujan as one of India's greatest modern scholars who broke more than one barrier in his worlds.

Codebreaker (2011)

DIRECTOR:

Clare Beavan, Nic Stacey

WRITER:

Craig Warner

STARS:

Ed Stoppard, Henry Goodman, Paul McGann

PLOT SUMMARY:

The highs and lows of Alan Turing's life, tracking his extraordinary accomplishments, his government persecution through to his tragic death in 1954. In the last 18 months of his short life, Turing visited a psychiatrist, Dr. Franz Greenbaum, who tried to help him. Each therapy session in this drama documentary is based on real events. The conversations between Turing and Greenbaum explore the pivotal moments in his controversial life and examine the pressures that may have contributed to his early death. The film also includes the testimony of people who actually knew and remember Turing. Plus, this film features interviews with contemporary experts from the world of technology and high science including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. These contributors bring Turing's exciting impact up to the present day, explaining why, in many ways, modern technology has only just begun to explore the potential of Turing's ideas.

Little Man Tate (1991)

DIRECTOR:

Jodie Foster

WRITER:

Scott Frank

STARS:

Jodie Foster, Dianne Wiest, Adam Hann-Byrd

PLOT SUMMARY:

Dede is a sole parent trying to bring up her son Fred. When it is discovered that Fred is a genius, she is determined to ensure that Fred has all the opportunities that he needs, and that he is not taken advantage of by people who forget that his extremely powerful intellect is harboured in the body and emotions of a child.

Which of these awesome movies are you gonna watch next?

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