15 Must Watch Movies on Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Advance artificial intelligence systems, humanoid robots and machine learning is not just in science fiction movies anymore. We come across this technological advancement in our everyday life. Today our cellphones, cars, TV-sets and even household appliances are using machine learning to improve itself. As we are advancing towards faster connectivity and the possibility of making Internet of Things (IoT) more common, the idea of machines taking over and controlling humans might sound funny but there are some challenges which needs attention. Including ethical and moral dimensions of machines thinking and acting like humans.

Here we are going to talk about some amazing movies that brings to life these moral and ethical aspects of machine learning, artificial Intelligence and the power of data science. These are a must watch for any data science enthusiast.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

This classic film by Stanley Kubrick addresses the most interesting possibilities that exist within the field of Artificial Intelligence. Scientists like always are misled by their pride when they develop highly advanced 9000 series of computer. This Artificial Intelligence system is programmed into series of memory banks giving it the ability to solve complex problems and think like humans. What the humans don’t comprehend is that this superior and helpful technology has ability to turn against them and signal the destruction of the mankind. The movie is based on Discovery One space mission to the planet Jupiter. Most aspects of this mission are controlled by H.A.L the advance A.I program. H.A.L is portrayed as a humanistic control system with actual voice and ability to communicate with the crew. Initially H.A.L seems to be a friendly advance computer system, making sure crew is safe and sound. But as we advance into the storyline, we realize that there is a glitch in this system and what H.A.L is trying to do is fail the mission and kill the entire human crew. As lead character Dave tries to dismantle H.A.L we hear the horrifying words “I’m Sorry Dave.” This phrase has become iconic as it serves as a warning against allowing computers to take charge and control of everything.

Interstellar (2014)

Christopher Nolan’s cinematic success winning Oscar for best visual effects and grossing over $677 million worldwide. The film is center around astronauts’ journey to the far reaches of our galaxy to find a suitable planet for life as Earth is slowly dying. The lead character played by Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, an astronaut and spaceship pilot along with mission commander Brand and science specialists are heading towards a newly discovered wormhole.

The mission takes the astronauts towards a spectacular interstellar journey through time and space, but at the same time they miss out their own life back at home light years away. On board spaceship Endurance is a pair of quadrilateral robots called TARS and CASE. They surprisingly resemble the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

TARS is one of the crew members of mission Endurance. TARS personality is witty, sarcastic and humorous, traits programmed into him to make him a suitable companion for human crew on this decades long journey.

CASE mission is maintenance and operations of the Endurance in the absence of human crew members. CASE’s personality is quiet and reserved as opposed to TARS. TARS and CASE are true embodiment of the progress that human beings have made in the artificial intelligence technology, thus promising us great adventures in the future.

The Imitation Game (2014)

Based on the real-life story of famous Alan Turning who is also known as the father of modern computer science. The film is centered around Turning and his team of code-breakers at top secret British Government Code and Cipher School. They are determined to decipher the Nazi German military code called “Enigma”. Enigma is a key part of the Nazi military strategy to safely transmit important information to its units. To crack this Enigma Turning creates a primitive computer system that would consider permutations at a faster rate than any human. This achievement helped Allied forces ensure victory over Nazi German in the second world war. The movie not only portrays impressive life of Alan Turning but also describes the important process of creating first ever machine of its kind giving birth to the field of cryptography and cyber security.

The Terminator (1984)

Cult classic Terminator starring famous Arnold Schwarzenegger as cyborg assassin from the future is the perfect combination of action, sci-fi technology and personification of machine learning.

The humanistic cyborg is created by Cyberdyne Systems and is known T-800 model 101. Designed specifically for infiltration and combat and is sent on a mission to kill Sarah Connor before she gives birth to John Connor, who would become the ultimate savior for humanity after the robotic uprising.

In this classic we get to see advance artificial intelligence in the works and how it has considered humanity the biggest threat to the world. Bent upon total destruction of the human race, only freedom fighters lead by John Connor stands in their way. Therefore, sending the robot back in time to alter their future is the top priority.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

The sequel to 1982 original Blade runner with impressive visuals capturing audience’s attention throughout the film. The story is about bio-engineered humans known as “Replicants” after the uprising of 2022 they are being hunted down by LAPD Blade Runner. Blade Runner is an officer who hunts and retires (kills) rogue replicants. Ryan Gosling stars as “K” hunting down replicants who are considered a threat to the world. Every decision he makes is based on analysis. The films explore relationships and emotions of artificial intelligence beings and raises moral questions regarding freedom to live and life of self-aware A.I technology.

I, Robot (2004)

Will Smith stars as a Chicago policeman Del Spooner in the year 2035. He is highly suspicious of the A.I technology and robots being used as household helpers. One of these mass-produced robots named Sonny goes rogue and is held responsible for the death of its owner. His owner falls from a window on 15th floor. Del investigates this murder and discovers a larger threat to humanity by Artificial Intelligence. As the investigation continues, there are multiple murder attempts on Del but he manages to barely escape with his life. Police detective continues to unravel mysterious threats from the A.I technology and tries to stop the mass uprising.

Minority Report (2002)

Minority Report is a 2002 action thriller director by Steven Spielberg starring Tom Cruise. The most common use of data science, current data is used to infer new information but here, data is being used to predict crime predispositions. Group of humans gifted with psychic abilities (PreCogs), provide Washington police force with the information to crimes before they are committed. Using visual data and other information by PreCogs, it is up to the PreCrime police unit to use data to explore finer details in a crime in order to prevent it. However, things take a turn for the worst when one day PreCogs predict John Anderson one of their own, is going to commit murder. To prove his innocence, he goes on a mission to find the “Minority Report” which is the prediction of the PreCog Agatha that might tell a different story and prove John’s innocence.

Her (2013)

Her (2013) is a Spike Jones science fiction films starring Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly a lonely and depressed writer. He is going through a divorce at the time and to make things easier he purchases an advance operating system with A.I. virtual assistant designed to adapt and evolve. The virtual assistant names itself Samantha. Theodore is amazed at operating system’s ability to emotionally connect with him. Samantha uses its highly advance intelligence system to help with every need of Theodore. But now he is facing an inner conflict of being in love with a machine.

Ex-Machina (2015)

The story is centered around a 26-year-old programmer Caleb who wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to the CEO of Blue Book search engine company. Soon afterwards Caleb realizes he is participating in an experiment to interact with the world’s first real artificial intelligence robot. In this British science fiction, A.I does not want world domination but simply wants the same civil rights as humans.

The Machine (2013)

The Machine is Indie-British film centered around two artificial intelligence engineers who come together to create first ever self-aware artificial intelligence machines. These machines are created for Ministry of Defense. Government’s intention is to create a lethal soldier for the war. The cyborg told its designer, “I’m a part of the new world and you're part of the old.” this chilling statement gives you the idea what is to come next.

Transcendence (2014)

Transcendence is a story about brilliant researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence Dr. Will Caster played by Johnny Depp. He is working on a project to create a conscious machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything along with the full range of human emotions. Dr. Caster has gained fame due to his ambitious project and controversial experiments. He has also become a target for anti-technology extremist who are willing to do anything to stop him. However, Dr. Caster becomes more determined to accomplish his ambitious goals and achieve the ultimate power. His wife Evelyn and best friend Max are concerned with Will’s unstoppable appetite for knowledge which is evolving into terrifying quest for power.


A.I Artificial Intelligence is science fiction drama directed by Steven Spielberg. The story takes us to the not so distant future where ocean waters are rising due to global warming and most of the coastal cities are flooded. Humans move to the interior of the continents and keep advancing their technology. One of the newest creations is realistic robots known as “Mechas”. Mechas are humanoid robots very complex but lacking emotions. This changes when ‘David’ a prototype Mecha child capable of experiencing love is developed. He is given to Henry and his wife Monica, whose son contracted rare disease and has been placed in cryostasis. David is providing all the love and support for his new family, but things get complicated when Monica’s real son returns home after a cure is discovered. Film explores every possible emotional interaction humans could have with an emotionally capable A.I. technology.

Moneyball (2011)

Billy Beane played by Brad Pitt and his assistant Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) are faced with the challenge of building a winning team for the Oakland Athletics 2002 season with limited budget. To overcome this challenge Billy uses Brand’s computer generated statistical analysis to analyze and score players potential and assemble a highly competitive team. Using historical data and predictive modeling they manage to create a champion baseball team with a limited budget.

Margin Call (2011)

2011 American drama film written and directed by J.C. Chandor is based on the events of 2007-08 global financial crises. The story takes place over a 24-hour period at a large Wall Street investment bank. One of the junior risk analysts discovers a major flaw in the risk models which has led their firm to invest in the wrong things and winding up at the brink of financial disaster. Seemingly a simple error is in fact affecting millions of lives. This is not only limited to the financial world, an economic crisis like this caused by flawed behavior of human and machine can have trickle-down effects on ordinary people. Technology doesn’t exist in a bubble it affects everyone around it and spreads exponentially. Margin Call explores this impact of technology on our lives.

21 (2008)

Ben Campbell a mathematics student at the MIT is accepted at the prestigious Harvard Medical School but he is unable to afford the $ 300,000 tuition. One of his professors at MIT Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey) offers him to join his blackjack team consisting of five other fellow students. Ben accepts the offer to win enough cash for his tuition. They fly to Las Vegas over the weekend to win millions of dollars using numbers, codes and hand signals. This movie gives insights on Newton’s method and Fibonacci numbers from the perspective of six brilliant students and their professor.

Thanks for reading we hope you will enjoy our recommendations. Also check out the 18 Best Data Science Podcasts.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.datasciencedojo.com/p/c47aa5b7-3675-4169-8333-307971b8f423/