9 films where geeks beat the world | Virgin Media
9 films where geeks beat the world

9 films where geeks beat the world



Geeks are usually portrayed as the underdogs. But are they really? We love watching those guys beat the odds, even if they make us all look silly in the process. Let’s be honest - we really just wish we were that clever. In celebration of the release of The Big Short on Virgin Movies this week, here are our favourite films in which geeks best the rest of the planet (or, really, just a lot of people):

1. The Big Short (2016)

We’re in the financial world where Michael Burry (Christian Bale), a numbers genius, foresaw the collapse of the housing market before everyone else. The Big Short tells his true story. Michael runs a hedge fund and was one of the first to predict and bet on the 2008 crash happening - and yup, everyone thought he was mad at the time. The film is super entertaining stuff, making financial concepts  as fascinating as cat videos. If you don’t believe us, give it a shot. Plus, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt also star. 

2. The Social Network (2010)

The Social Network

Mark Zuckerberg: undoubtedly one of the world’s most successful geeks. This biopic about Facebook’s founder takes us to the platform’s very beginnings, when Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) was studying psychology and computer science at Harvard University.  His invention, a social network for fellow students, takes everyone by surprise, and becomes a wild success. Spreading the idea all over the world isn’t all easy though - there’s some serious drama with his early co-founders and co-investors, all told in delicious detail. The platform made Zuckerberg into the world’s youngest billionaire. We’d definitely call that winning. 

3. 21 (2008)

The geek shall inherit the Earth

The geek shall inherit the Earth

Kevin Spacey plays an MIT professor who recruits the very best of his students for weekend trips to Vegas. Sounds weird? They’re actually there to put their maths skills to profitable use: they count cards in games of blackjack, hence increasing their odds of winning significantly. The casino owners are, however, not so keen on the idea.

4. The Imitation Game (2014)

“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am”

“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am”

Awkward and brilliant mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) is recruited by British intelligence during WWII to break the German intelligence code. Or try, anyway: it’s a task that’s considered impossible. But hey, geeks love impossible challenges. The film also stars Keira Knightley as fellow code-breaker Joan Clarke, and names from the Downton Abbey cast. Shouldn’t you be watching this already?

5. Moneyball (2011)

The odds of you enjoying this film are very high

The odds of you enjoying this film are very high

A baseball team manager and his assistant (Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, an awesome duo if you ever saw one) decide to use statistics for their recruitment decisions. It’s a completely novel approach, which helps them create a winning team with their small budget. Their way of choosing players at first meets a lot of resistance, especially among their own staff  - and yet goes on to revolutionise the sport.

6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) may have unusual methods, but you can’t deny that she is effective in getting her way - or that she is brilliant hacker. Here, she puts her skills to good use to solve a long-standing mystery alongside journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig). On the way, she manages to secure her legal and financial independence.  And she’s got great Nordic cool.

7. Now You See Me (2013)

“Pick a card, any card.  Not that card”

“Pick a card, any card. Not that card”

These guys are an unusual type of geeky. The Four Horsemen are magicians with tricks so good that they manage to make anyone believe anything. They fake deaths, rob banks across the Atlantic, and create heart-stopping illusions. The world is left speechless, as well as the police, who are struggling to catch up. Could these guys get any cooler? Nope. But who is behind the mysterious organisation called the Eye that they’re trying to impress?

8. The Maze Runner (2014)

Maze Runner

A group of teenage boys are stuck in a giant maze, with no memories of their previous lives, and no explanation for why they’re there. For years, they organise meticulously to survive, and search desperately for a way to escape. Ultimately, it’s their wits that allow them to break the Maze’s code, and stand up to those who trapped them there. Plus, all of the characters are named after famous scientists (watch and you’ll find out why). It’s awesome stuff

9. Iron Man

All right, so Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) isn’t your conventional geek - there’s a playboy archetype thrown in too - but he gets himself out of trouble by inventing things. In this case, it’s escaping from kidnappers in Afghanistan that prompts him to make a rudimentary Iron Man suit. His new superhero status then allows him to save the world several times over, in this film and sequels (along with doing a few other silly things).