23 Awesome Movie Geniuses

Frankenstein (1931)

The Genius: Dr Frankenstein

The Awesome: Oh, you know, just reanimating dead flesh and creating your own walking rag doll. Dr Frankenstein belongs to his own special breed of scientist – he’s young and smart, and wants to do things with his miiiiiind .

Which is why he flouts the law, pinching body parts and stitching them together a whole new human. A human that he’ll give the gift of life thanks to the power of science.

Stupidest Moment: Underestimating the monster, which escapes into the night after strangling Frankenstein’s assistant. Parental responsibility’s lost on him.

Home Alone (1990)

The Genius: Kevin McCallister

The Awesome: Most kids left home alone and facing the threat of invading jewellery-grabbing thieves would promptly wet themselves then run screaming to the nearest police station.

Not young Kev, who goes cave-child on the robbers’ asses (“this is my house and I have to protect it!”), laying out a complex series of traps to fudge the thieves’ attempts at looting the house. Pivotally, Kev is smart enough not to get flummoxed by his own complicated tricks.

Stupidest Moment: Getting lost again in sequel Home Alone 2: Lost In New York . Seriously, how careless can one family really be?

Wall Street (1987)

The Genius: Gordon Gekko

The Awesome: Cautious crooks keep their ambitions small, never forging a long-term plan and living for the quick fix.

The smartest crooks, though, turn their crimes into a craft – like Gordon Gekko, who may mostly stick to the law, but isn’t above an under-the-table deal. He doesn’t care who he screws over, so long as he’s making millions out of it.

Stupidest Moment: Going behind young stockbroker Bud’s back, and underestimating Bud’s ability to play dirty. Filthy dirty.

Saw (2004)

The Genius: Jigsaw

The Awesome: Some are born with the power to do good, some with the power to do evil. But few engage the latter with such whipsmart, deliciously sinister propensity for design as Jigsaw.

Revelling in sadistic games, Jigsaw creates devilishly clever death traps for his victims – and watches them doom themselves.

Stupidest Moment: Attempting suicide and failing. There are cries for help, and then there are moments of just plain idiocy.

The Fly (1986)

The Genius: Seth Brundle

The Awesome: Not only does Brundle figure out how to create a man-sized teleportation device, the ruddy thing even actually works (poor inside-out monkey test notwithstanding).

He’s also awesome because when his genes get spliced with those of a fly, Brundle boasts the ability to walk on ceilings and snap grown men’s arms in half. Woah.

Stupidest Moment: Not double-checking that his teleportation device didn't have a fly in it. Or a moth. Imagine if it had been a moth, he'd probably still be butting his head against the Bat signal as we write this.

Watchmen (2009)

The Genius: Dr Manhattan

The Awesome: He’s ripped for a start, possessing a six pack and pecs that would have even height-of-his-fame Arnie gurning in jealousy.

But more than that, Dr Manhattan is basically a god – a physicist who transforms into an insanely powerful being after getting trapped inside an Intrinsic Field Subtractor. Blowing things up, slowing time down, travelling to the moon, creating multiple clones – there’s nothing this guy can’t do.

Stupidest Moment: Growing tired of humanity – like some kind of holier than thou tabloid celebrity.

Charly (1968)

The Genius: Charlie Gordon

The Awesome: Artificial intelligence takes on a whole new meaning with Charlie, who suffers from a mental disability that means he finds it difficult, sometimes impossible, to learn like other people.

After undergoing an experimental procedure, however, his intelligence receives a massive boost, and he finds himself growing in smarts by the day. Sadly, it’s not to last.

Stupidest Moment: Becoming sexually aware and attacking teacher Alice in a fit of passion.

The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)

The Genius: Chris Gardner

The Awesome: First Gardner solves a Rubik’s Cube in mere minutes (ours from 1983 is still sat unsolved, gathering dust).

Then Gardner refuses to give up even when he’s made homeless, taking care of his young son while attempting to better himself – and eventually proving himself so smart that he lands a job as a stockbroker and makes millions.

Stupidest Moment: Initially turning down an unpaid internship – doesn’t he know those positions generally lead to big-money jobs?

Harry Potter (2001-2011)

The Genius: Hermione Granger

The Awesome: There are witches, and then there’s Hermione Granger. Born into a Muggle (non-magical, if you’ve been living under a rock) family, Hermione is nonetheless the most gifted magic practitioner in her class. Hell, her entire year.

She’s streets ahead of the competition – which is as alienating as it rewarding.

Stupidest Moment:
Not just coming out and ruddy telling Ron how she feels about him – bloody teenagers.

Indiana Jones (1981 1989)

The Genius: Professor Henry Walton ‘Indiana’ Jones Jr

The Awesome: Most heroes have an inbuilt self-preservation unit that means even if their shares in grey cells aren’t that high, they still manage to get themselves out of scrapes and scraps.

Not Indiana Jones, who is a hero AND a professor of archaeology. Proving that those who can , teach, Jones applies his vast knowledge about the world to his epic adventures, meaning he’s just about the coolest hero ever.

Stupidest Moment:
Something to do with nuked fridges and crystal skulls. We have memory blockers preventing us recalling exactly what that has to do with anything, but something tells us it was all pretty awful.