It takes a big man to play an action hero, and an even bigger one to play a nerd. That’s because audiences do not exactly admire the nerd, but rather love him for his shortcomings and his triumphs against the odds. Not all the movies on this list have nerdy protagonists, but they do have some geeky appeal. Here are our top picks for the nerdiest movies of all time:
Number 5 is alive! This 1980s classic showed us the softer side of artificial intelligence. Number 5 (voiced by Tim Blaney), an anthropomorphic prototype robot programmed for military destruction, is electrocuted and wanders away from company grounds, finding itself lost and all alone. When it meets Stephanie (Ally Sheedy), it learns the value of life and death and rejects its military programming. Of course, the Army and the security team back at headquarters have other plans for Number 5…
This memorable kid adventure flick is all about the importance of sticking with a few good friends. The friends embark on their adventure after finding an old Spanish map and hearing rumours about a lost treasure. After some deadly traps and narrow escapes, the gang returns home which enough riches to save their families’ homes from foreclosure.
2001: A Space Odyssey
This 1968 Stanley Kubrick flick started out as a cult classic before becoming one of the most influential movies of all time. Based on the short story “The Sentinel” by Arthur C. Clarke, the film centres on a series of encounters between humans and mysterious black monoliths beginning during the dawn of human civilisation and continuing through a space mission on Jupiter. Advertised as “the ultimate trip,” the film delivers a great sci-fi storyline and some celebrated special effects.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
While recent films like Superbad and Project X take on the classic story of the high school nerd’s quest to get laid, this Judd Apatow flick extends involuntary celibacy to an age it has never seen before: 40. Poor Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is totally clueless, but with the help of his friends, he’s on a quest to finally lose his virginity. But when he finds the right woman, he might just be too cowardly to do it.
Revenge of the Nerds
Of course, no list would be complete without a nod to Revenge of the Nerds. Before the days when majoring in computer science meant you had the power to create a new social network to make friends (ahem, Zuckerberg), nerds Lewis Skolnick (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert Lowe (Anthony Edwards) had to fight nerds the old fashioned way: by starting their own fraternity. Let the panty-raiding, Liquid Heat sabotage, and Greek Games begin!