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Stand and Deliver (1988)
As a math teacher, this movie is quite inspiring. I think all math teachers should aspire to be like Escalante. I watch this movie before every semester.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Although the math isn't as prevalent in the plot as other films on this list, it is still a terrific movie. Matt Daman and Robin Williams are fantastic.
This movie is perhaps the most frustrating to watch because any viewer with a decent knowledge of mathematics is forced to remember that this is FICTION. I found myself wanting to hear the results of the main characters' mathematical endeavors, but they never came. The results were simply scenery of the narrative. Nevertheless, it was a good story.
Mean Girls (2004)
I like this movie in spite of myself. My wife was persistent in her efforts to get me to watch this film, despite my incessant protests. I finally caved, hoping that the fact that Tina Fey wrote the screenplay would prove to be a redeeming quality. I was pleasantly surprised, but I must say that I don't think would like it nearly as much (if at all) if the story didn't include a math club pursuing a Calculus competition.
I studied math in college and in grad school, and I now teach mathematics at the college level. As such, I'm particularly interested whenever mathematics shows up in Popular Culture. Here are my 10 favorite movies where math is integral to the plot of the story.
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